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July 2019 Newsletter

Monday, July 22, 2019  
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FAI Newsletter | July 2019
Artist in Residence Announcement
On June 20, 2019, Folk Alliance International (FAI) marked World Refugee Day with the announcement that 2020’s Artist In Residence project will partner Denver-based musician Rebecca Folsom with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in an extended songwriting workshop with refugees. More information will be announced closer to the unveiling of the completed project. To learn more, please see the press release.  
Nashville Board Meeting and Reception

In June the FAI board held its annual fiscal year end meeting to wrap up and to look ahead to next year. The board participated in Cultural Equity training with Ellen Gilbert, Executive Director of the Global Education Center, and Clay Lord, Vice-President - Local Arts Advancement of Americans for the Arts.  

While in Nashville the board also held a members and industry reception hosted by local current and past directors. 

Special thanks to BMI for sharing their space for the event and to Tom’s Town Distillery for providing drinks.

Call for Board Nominations

As announced on July 1st, and pursuant to FAI's bylaws, the Nominating Committee is now looking for candidates interested in being considered for upcoming vacancies on the Board.

If you are interested in running for one of the open seats, click the button below, complete the form, and the Nominating Committee will reach out to you.

For details of what is expected of Directors who join the FAI Board, see this document.

Nominations close on August 1st. 

Apply for the Board
International Folk Music Award
Nominations Due July 31st

FAI members are encouraged to submit suggestions for future award recipients at the International Folk Music Awards (IFMAs). Follow this link to suggest a candidate for the following awards:

  • Lifetime Achievement Awards  - presented to recognize international career achievement and impact by a living recipient, a memorial recipient, and an acclaimed organization or academic. Recipients are determined by the voting members of FAI. 
  • Spirit of Folk Awards   presented to honor and celebrate people and organizations actively involved in the preservation, presentation, and promotion of folk music through their creative work, community building, and demonstrated leadership.
  • Clearwater Award  -  presented to a festival that prioritizes environmental stewardship and demonstrates public leadership in sustainable event production. Past recipients include the Clearwater Festival (2017), Winnipeg Folk Festival (2018), Hillside Festival (2019). 

  • People's Voice Award -  presented to an individual who unabashedly embraces social and political commentary in their creative work and public careers. Past recipients include Bruce Cockburn (2017), Bonnie Raitt (2018), Buffy Sainte Marie (2019).  

  • Folk DJ Hall of Fame -  recognizes radio DJs who have made an outstanding contribution to the preservation, presentation, and promotion of folk music, and who have demonstrated and inspired leadership in the broadcast field with service of over 20 years.  Recipients are determined by an independent panel of DJs.  

For more information and to submit your nominations click here.
Nominate an IFMAs Candidate
FAI Welcomes Interns

Summer Data Intern, Eddie Liu, will be a college freshman at the University of California, Berkeley next fall. He is drawn to the folk scene because he has been a musician since elementary school when he learned to play the piano. Eddie is an avid reader, athlete, and gamer. He will be working with Jerod, FAI’s Membership and Technology Manager, assisting with several data management projects. He will be working on streamlining data collection and verification processes and generating analytics for the annual report. Eddie is excited to contribute to FAI and serve its community! 


Summer Conference Planning Intern Liz Ordoñez, is currently majoring in Health Science at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She is in her last year of college and plans to find a position after graduation before continuing further education. Music is her stress reliever and joy. Elizabeth is part of a sorority called Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority Incorporated and has learned about hosting events, budgeting, and everything in between as part of the sorority. She is excited to learn more about FAI and become more involved in the community. 

Graphic Design and Communications Intern, Fawn Lies, is an artist, designer, and consultant native to Kansas City. They started freelance creative work at 17 after teaching themselves Photoshop and Illustrator on an old computer after school. Fawn went on to study at the Kansas City Art Institute, and after, studied under international artist Peregrine Honig. In their free time, Fawn directs two businesses focused on LGBTQ+ advocacy, helps advise a transgender/gender non-conforming youth group, and is passionate about learning how to excel their creative and professional practice.

Conference Information
Americans for the Arts 

Robert Lynch, President and CEO, Americans for the Arts, Aengus Finnan, Executive Director, Folk Alliance International, Tom Simplot, Senior Advisor at National Endowment for the Arts
photo credit: Sylvain Gaboury

As part of a growing network of partnerships, and in keeping with our strategic plan to expand our reach and impact, FAI’s Executive Director was recently at the Americans for the Arts (AFTA) convention in Minneapolis where issues of Cultural Equity were first and foremost in panels, plenaries, and affinity group discussions. 

The annual event centered on how the arts build civic engagement, give us the space to investigate our past and future, and create lasting positive change through deep and genuine arts-based community dialogue. 

To learn more about AFTA please visit

Staff Planning Trip to NOLA

Sculpture at Congo Square
FAI staff recently took a planning trip to New Orleans and Baton Rouge to map out the conference hotel and to meet with key organizations, government officials, and people in the community. During the trip, staff members visited Congo Square, often considered the birthplace of Jazz and American music, and had a very powerful and meaningful tour of the Whitney Plantation, the only plantation with an exclusive memorial focus on the lives of enslaved people.
Kansas City Folk Festival
The fourth annual Kansas City Folk Festival took place June 30th at the historic Guadalupe Center in Kansas City, Missouri. A departure from previous years of being held on the Sunday of the FAI Conference, the event was held outside as an independent event. Local, regional and international artists, including Raye Zaragoza, QuiQue Escamilla, and Violet and the Undercurrents, Regina Del Carmin, Sisters Havilah and Kenese, and Danny Cox took the stage and performed to a local crowd of over 300. The festival also featured community non-profit booths, a children's area, and a silent auction. Thanks to all who attend and to those who helped to produce the event. The festival received support from the Missouri Arts Council, Kansas City Neighborhood Tourism and Development Fund, KCUR 89.3, KKFI 90.1, and The Bride 90.0 FM. 
QuiQue Escamilla, top picture;  Raye Zaragoza, bottom picture
Photos by Anna Selle

Social Media Shoutout 
Shoutout to Anais Mitchell and her award-winning Hadestown. Mitchell’s acclaimed album “Hadestown” was adopted into a Broadway musical and recently won the 2019 Tony Awards for Best Musical and Best Original Score as well as awards in six other categories. Anais was a 2017 International Folk Music Awards Spirit of Folk winner. 
Attention Members! Do you have great news to share with us? Follow @FolkAlliance and tag us on social media and let us know about the notable moments in your career!

Don't forget to follow Folk Alliance International on social media and tag us in your photos! #FolkAlliance
FAI Video Archive
Each year FAI presents its Elaine Weissman Lifetime Achievement Awards (LAA's) to honor the cultural impact of a legendary Living, Legacy, and Organization/Academic folk music figures. In 2004, an LAA was presented to the legacy of Mississippi John Hurt.  

Mississippi John Hurt 2004 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

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