Northwest Folklife is back with Hybrid Festival

Saturday, April 9, 2022

SEATTLE, WA - After two years of virtual programming, Northwest Folklife in partnership with Seattle Center is excited to announce that it will officially be returning to in-person performances and events for its 51st Annual Festival on Memorial Day weekend May 27-30, 2022 at Seattle Center (campus map)

Each year, Northwest Folklife chooses a theme to embody the spirit of the festival. This year’s Cultural Focus is Metamorphosis: In with the Old, In with the New. In keeping with that spirit, the festival will be a hybrid event, with online and in-person programming available to be accessible to all. In addition, the festival will be exploring themes of transition, transformation, and growth: themes central to the folk lineage and process.

A Seattle institution for 50 years, Northwest Folklife has been building to this re-emergence with intentionality and with community safety in mind. Newly revised Covid-19 policies for the in-person programming and a full lineup online will ensure that the festival will be able to serve all of the community. 

Of the return, Managing Director Reese Tanimura says, “We feel a huge responsibility to make sure our return to live programming keeps safety and community care at the forefront. We are excited to welcome the summer sharing our best folklife.”

“This festival signals not just a re-emergence, but also a growth.” says Benjamin Hunter, Artistic Director. 

“Having been virtual for 2 years, this intentional pivot to hybrid means that we can finally come together again in person, with the realization that the virtual element provides an opportunity for folx who can’t and haven’t been able to attend in the past. I’m really excited at this opportunity to transition Folklife to a more accessible format!”

The 51st Annual Northwest Folklife Festival (May 27-30, 2022) will include programming that includes music, dance, spoken word, visual arts, films, cooking demonstrations, panel discussions, participatory dances, and workshops spanning 20 stages for an anticipated audience of over 200,000.

Northwest Folklife is an independent 501(c)(3) arts organization that celebrates a global Pacific Northwest's multigenerational arts, cultures, and traditions. 

For over 50 years, Northwest Folklife has been deeply committed to celebrating the diversity of our Northwest communities and de-mystifying our differences together under one roof. Northwest Folklife believes that arts and culture strengthen communities and should be accessible for all. 

Our year-round programming is produced in collaboration with over 120 different cultural partners and powered by contributions from the community, corporations, foundations, and the public sector. We are for the people, by the people.


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