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FAI E-News January 2017

Tuesday, January 17, 2017   (0 Comments)
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Kansas City Folk Festival

In 2016, FAI launched a one-day, indoor, family-friendly folk festival to close the conference week. On Sunday, February 19, 2017, our 2nd Annual Kansas City Folk Festival will feature Billy Bragg’s only scheduled concert during #FAI2017. The festival is FREE for all conference delegates. 

The 2nd Annual public event will feature:

  • Headliner - Iconic UK artist, Billy Bragg
  • Featured Artists
    • Blues legend, Bobby Rush
    • Latin American emerging artist, Ani Cordero
    • Acclaimed folk singer, David Wilcox
    • Grammy Award-winning children’s artists, The Okee Dokee Brothers
  • A Ceili (participatory Irish Dance with caller)
  • Artisan Market (with jewelers, painters, potters, luthiers)
  • Six stages of regional, national and international acts. Click here for a Festival schedule and list of Artists.

Stage Sponsors Include: Tom's Town Distilling Co, Grassy Hill Entertainment, Made in KC, Mize Houser, Polsinelli, KKFI 90.1 FM, KCUR 89.3 FM, The Bridge 90.9 FM, INK Magazine, and The Pitch Magazine.

Kansas City Folk Festival
Sunday, February 19, 2017
10 am - 5pm

Don't miss this unique Kansas City event that is Close to Home, but Far From Ordinary.

International Folk Music Awards

Our members are currently voting for the 2016 Album, Song, and Artist of the Year!

Finalists were compiled from "best of 2016" radio and print media lists in the US, Canada, the UK, EU, and Australia in addition to the year-end Folk DJ chart. 

Finalists for Album of the Year
All These Years by Solas
Auprès du Poêle by Ten Strings and a Goat Skin
Nine Pin by Kaia Kater
Undercurrent by Sarah Jarosz
Upland Stories by Robbie Fulks
Finalists for Song of the Year
"Ain't Nobody" by Dori Freeman
"Black Man in a White World" by Michael Kiwanuka & Inflo
"Move Me" by Sara Watkins
"Play By Your Own Rules" by Sam Bush
"We are Love" by The Once
Finalists for Artist of the Year
John McCutcheon
Irish Mythen
Parker Millsap
Tanya Tagaq
Thank You to the 2016 Album, Song, and Artist of the Year Sponsor:

          A premier Kansas City listening room venue.

Collaborations = One Large Folk Family

Official Showcase artists Alysha Brilla, Bill Miller, and Marquise Knox

“Folk Music is the root of the tree.” - Odetta

FAI values the many communities, styles, and sounds that inform and influence the past, present, and future of folk music. Relationships with artists, organizations, networks, and supporters from various communities are essential for programming that uplifts, challenges, and inspires.

In this spirit, we’re proud to share that the 2017 conference will feature themed stages, community gatherings, and unique programs to celebrate the folk roots of:

Blues -  FAI is committed to fostering lasting partnerships with the Blues Foundation based in Memphis, the Kansas City Blues Society, and the Toronto Blues Society. Look for the Official Showcase, panel, a blues musician in the Artist in Residence program (Friday, Feb. 17), and a performance by legendary artist Bobby Rush at the Kansas City Folk Festival (Sunday, Feb. 19).

Global Roots - The folk music of many nations, traditions, languages, and instrumentation, there is more in common between Folk and World music than the latter’s colonial term implies. Look for the Official Showcase, panel, and International Private Showcase room curated by FAI.

Indigenous - The original folk music of the world is indigenous music. Celebrate and raise community awareness of the traditions, perspectives, protocols, and artists of the indigenous community. Look for the Official Showcase, panel, and open community gathering with indigenous participants from Canada, the US, South America, Australia, and Norway.

Traditional - Trad music is a vital part of folk music, representing the musical lineage and influence of many cultures. Look for the Trad Official Showcase stage, panel discussion, and Private Showcase room.

These events are open to FAI conference delegates and registered members of the press. For a schedule of conference events visit: Daytime Schedule | Evening Schedule


To purchase ad space in a future FAI e-newsletter, please email

Conference News

Hard to believe we're counting down 33 SLEEPS UNTIL #FAI2017! We're pretty excited, and here is the latest conference news.

Event Highlights

We have a lot of amazing things planned for this year's conference, here are some highlights you won't want to miss.

International Folk Music Awards Show
Wednesday, Feb. 15, 6 pm | Featuring awards for Album, Song, and Artist of the Year, Spirit of Folk, and Lifetime Achievement. Two inaugural awards, the Clearwater Award, and the People's Voice Award will be presented to the Clearwater Festival, and multi-platinum recording artist Bruce Cockburn.

Bruce Cockburn Book Signing
Thursday, February 16, 12 pm

Ani DiFranco Special Presentation 
Friday, February 17, 12 pm

The Music They Didn't Want You to Hear panel
Friday, Feb. 17, 2:30 pm |  Featuring Ken Paulson, First Amendment Center

Contemporary Protest panel
Saturday, Feb. 18, 10:30 am |  Featuring Billy Bragg, Ramy Essam, SONiA disappear fear, Eliza Gilkyson, and Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, Nic Dawes.

Censorship *%@#s panel
Saturday, Feb. 18, 2:30 pm |  Featuring Lynn Margolis, Nic Dawes, Si Kahn

Showing Up for Racial Justice training
Saturday, Feb. 18, 2:30 pm 

Billy Bragg Keynote Presentation
Saturday, Feb. 18, 4 pm

Billy Bragg's Headline Performance at Kansas City Folk Festival*
*This event is not a part of the conference but is FREE to attend for delegates with conference wristband.
Sunday, Feb. 19, 4 pm 

All events are open FAI conference delegates and registered members of the press. For locations and schedule of additional events, visit Daytime Schedule.

#ForbiddenFolk Songs 

Our theme this year is a celebration of activism in art. Folk music is known for its tradition, oral history, and for its role in social movements. Here are a couple of inspired songs that have moved us this month and a link to our #ForbiddenFolk playlist on YouTube.


Rhiannon Giddens - "Freedom Highway"

Odetta - "Oh Freedom"

The Fugutives - "New Year's in Sochi"

REGISTER NOW - Final Rate Increase on February 1

January 31, 2017 - NEW deadline - Winter Registration Rate Ends
February 1, 2017 - NEW final rate - Final Registration Rate Start

Register for the conference here.

A note about the conference hotel: Some of the evenings are currently sold out at the conference hotel, the Westin Crown Center. An alternate stay option is the Sheraton Crown Center Hotel.

Reserve your hotel room at the Westin Crown Center here.
Completely sold out Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Some availability on Wednesday and Sunday nights.

Reserve your hotel room at the Sheraton Crown Centehere.
Available all nights.

Last chance to advertise!

All marketing items and ads are sold out with the exception of Digital Ads and Tote Bag Inserts.

Digital ads:

Replacing papers posters and flyers on the main floors, there will be large video screens throughout the conference displaying ads, schedules, and information. Ad(s) will be displayed approximately 8 seconds in rotation with about 100 other ads, and seen hundreds of times per day. FINAL ARTWORK DUE 5:00 pm January 31, 2017.

Each ad is $60 (limit four per artist). Purchase ad and find specs here

Tote bag inserts:

Advertise your business or artist in the #FAI2017 tote bag. You provide 2,500 CD’s, branded items or postcards and FAI volunteers put them in bags the day before the conference. For details, contact Alex Mallett

Deadline to purchase tote bag inserts, February 2. Items must be received by February 10.

Public Tickets to FAI Events

You do not have to be registered for the conference to experience FAI's Official Showcases, Music Camp or Folk Festival. Take advantage of the many opportunities to engage in folk music with these public events.

2017 Official Showcases
The 200 jury-selected nightly concerts feature emerging artists and touring legends from around the world. Representing the best of folk music from around the world, this year's Official Showcases feature an impressive array of Appalachian, Americana, Blues, Bluegrass, Celtic, Cajun, Global Roots, Indigenous, Indie-Folk, Old-Time, and Traditional performers. Public tickets to the Official Showcases do not provide access to the Private Showcase floors. For a full list of artists visit

February 15 | 8:15 pm - 11:15 pm
February 16 - 18 | 6:15 pm - 10:45 pm
*Doors open 1 hour prior to start time. | Evening Schedule

Single night tickets or multi-night passes available.

FAI Music Camp
Adult and student musicians of every level - from amateur to professional - study with the world’s foremost instructors and legendary artists.

Thursday - Sunday, February 16-19, 2017
10 am - 4pm

Kansas City Folk Festival

One-day indoor folk festival complete with; morning gospel, folk song sing-along, multiple workshop stages with local and international artists, folk dance with instructor, boutique artisan’s marketplace, and headliner act, Billy Bragg.

Sunday, February 19, 2017
10 am - 5pm

FAI Partner Events

FAI is proud to co-host the following event:

KCUR Generation Listen Event
February 14, 2017
Stockyard Brewing Company | 1600 Genessee St. #100, KCMO, 64102
Doors 6:30 pm | Show 7:00 pm
Tickets are $5 at the door. | RSVP and buy tickets 

FAI Staff Profiles

Membership and Technology Manager: Jerod Rivers
Jerod is a multi-instrumentalist, sound engineer who has been working in the music industry of Kansas City since his arrival in 2005. A musician in multiple bands, Jerod is also a band leader, producer, writer, designer, and studied Architectural Engineering as well as Urban Planning and Architecture in college. He brings his expertise in design and planning to FAI systems and processes, making it possible to implement the organization’s mission. Jerod manages all technology and data for the organization, membership enrollment, and renewal, the FAI Group Exemption program, onsite conference registration, and is office liaison with the FAI regional organizations.

KC Folk Festival Artisan Market Coordinator: Tara Tonsor
Tara Tonsor is a local Kansas City maker and business owner. Her laser cut jewelry and home goods can be found under the name Lost & Found Design. When she is not making, she is an art educator at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Tara joined the FAI team to organize the first Artisan Market for the Kansas City Folk Festival in 2016. Her knowledge of the local makers provides for artfully curating some of the area’s finest painters, potters, jewelers, and instrument makers for the market.

FAI Archives

Lifetime Achievement Award Videos

Each year, we present the Elaine Weissman Lifetime Achievement Awards to honor the cultural impact of some of the great Legends of Folk, including 2007 honoreeAlan Lomax.

Visit our Awards page to access the full archive of short documentary films featuring past honorees.

Celebrating 30 Years of Folk Alliance in 2018

We've started gathering files, images, and stories for a 30-year retrospective at the 2018 Conference. Please contribute to the archive here, and share your Folk Alliance memories!

Annual Report

Please check out our 2015-2016 Annual Report highlighting FAI's conference and year-round charitable activity. Thank you to our donors, partners, members, and friends.  Link to PDF.

Job Board 

Marketing and Sales Manager
Small World Music Society
Toronto, Ontario, CAN

Executive Director
Kansas City, MO

Have a job opening you want included? Email

Thank You to Our Premier Sponsors

Gold level and above. All sponsors are listed at

Thank You to Our Funders!


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