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News & Press: E-News

E-News Feb 11

Thursday, February 11, 2016  
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Artist in Residence: Joe Crookston

In 2015, Folk Alliance International launched an annual Artist in Residence pilot to develop partnerships, foster cultural cross-pollination, and nurture artistic growth. The first participant was Nashville-based musician Brandy Zdan who was partnered with the Kansas City Ballet to create a new performance.

This year FAI proudly welcomes the National World War I Museum and Memorial as its residency partner, and U.S.-based singer-songwriter and painter Joe Crookston as Artist in Residence. Of Hungarian descent, Crookston was raised in Ohio, and currently calls Ithaca, New York home. He has released four albums, toured extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad, been featured on national radio programs, and received a Rockefeller Foundation songwriting grant. 

Working with the education team of the Museum to access archived images, letters, and sound recordings over the months of January and February, Crookston has created a new composition inspired by time with this rare material. His creations center on the letters of Florence Hemphill, a Kansas City nurse stationed in France during WWI. The song and painting will be presented at the 2016 conference as an opening presentation before Judy Collins’ Keynote address at 4pm on Friday, February 19.

International Folk Music Awards

This year FAI is proud to launch three International Folk Music Awards in the categories of Album, Song, and Artist of the year for 2015.

The Nominees are (in alphabetical order)...

Album of the Year
With the Dawn by Bella Hardy
Joe Hill's Last Will by John McCutcheon
Tomorrow Is My Turn by Rhiannon Giddens
Jayme Stone's Lomax Project by Jayme Stone
The Social Music Hour Vol. 1 by Spuyten Duyvil

Song of the Year
Get Up by Caitlin Canty
Boston Town by Della Mae
A Wanderer I'll Stay by Pharis & Jason Romero
Best Medicine by The Stray Birds
River Winding Down by The Sweet Lowdown

Artist of the Year
Chuck Brodsky
Fortunate Ones
Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton
We Banjo 3

The shortlist and finalists were based in part on Folk DJ airplay for 2015, in addition to industry input on par with other FAI award processes, shortlists were established and narrowed down to five final nominees.

All FAI members in good standing are eligible to vote for one artist in each category. Members must be signed into their online account to access the ballot. The deadline to vote is midnight (CST) Friday, February 12.

The winners will be announced at the Folk Alliance International Awards Gala at 6pm on Wednesday, February 17. Emceed this year by Steve Poltz, the ceremony will also include the presentation of six Spirit of Folk Awards, the Lifetime Achievement Awards, and a commemorative Pete Seeger video. The Awards are preceded by an opening reception hosted by Culture Ireland, Mid-America Arts Alliance, and Browne’s Irish Market.

Kansas City Folk Festival

The Kansas City Folk Fest (a revamped version of FAI's Music Fair) is a one-day indoor folk festival open to delegates and the public alike from 10am to 5pm on Sunday, February 21 at the Westin Crown Center in Kansas City. Multiple stages, a gospel session with Ken Whiteley & Friends, a square dance for all ages (led by Kristin Andreassen), and an artisan marketplace with jewelers, painters, potters, and instrument makers.

MAIN STAGE PERFORMANCES INCLUDE: Grammy Award-winner Alison Brown (The Song of the Banjo), legendary folksinger Eric Andersen, Australian folk-pop band The Soorleys, songsmith Peter Case, and a closing concert by Los Texmaniacs.

KANSAS CITY ARTISTS INCLUDE: Ayllu, Jessica Paige, Sara Morgan, Under The Big Oak Tree, and Ensemble Iberica.

REGIONAL ARTISTS INCLUDE: Underhill Rose (SERFA), Johnsmith (FARM), The Young Novelists (NERFA), Moors & McCumber (SWRFA), and Beth Wood (FAR-WEST).

ADDITIONAL ARTISTS INCLUDE: Robbie Fulks, The Jellyman's Daughter, Lisa Sanders and Brown Sugar, Jerron 'Blind Boy' Paxton, Sarah Jane Scouten, Under The Big Oak Tree, and Matthew Byrne.

Described as “close to home and far from ordinary” the event is not-to-be-missed and marks the beginning of a warm February tradition. Tickets are $30 for adults with discounts for seniors, students, youth and children are free.

Grant Opportunity

The American Folklife Center is pleased to announce the 2016 Henry Reed Fund Award to support activities directly involving root-tradition folk artists, especially when the activities reflect, draw upon, or strengthen the collections of the American Folklife Center.

Past award amounts have been about $2,000. The deadline for applications is March 15, 2016. For more information and application instructions see:

Job Board

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Deadline: Feb 26
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