Support Folkmoot's stellar lineup

Help ensure the festival's next 30 years
Jul 18, 2013

As Folkmoot USA begins celebrating its 30th anniversary, it is not only a time to enjoy the fun, but to provide support that will help secure the organization’s future.

Folkmoot’s presence in Haywood is significant. The performers not only open a door to the cultures of the world, but draw thousands of visitors in Haywood that pump an estimated $2 million into the local economy.

However, as with many long-running events and nonprofit efforts, Folkmoot is struggling to continue its programming. The organization relies on both contributions and ticket sales to cover the tremendous overhead associated with housing, transporting and feeding about 200 entertainers for nearly two weeks.

Many organizations that depend on donors are looking for ways to make ends meet.

Just this year, it was announced that Bele Chere, the downtown Asheville event that has always been held during the same time frame as Folkmoot, will celebrate its last season as a city-sponsored event. What that means for the future is unknown

Public funds have all but dried up for Folkmoot, but luckily, the effort has been able to continue thanks to ticket sales, private fundraising and contributions from the county’s tourism development authority.

While Bele Chere and Folkmoot both draw many people into the area, there the similarities end. Some downtown Asheville merchants have complained that business suffers when thousands fill the streets to enjoy street vendors and entertainers. The opposite is true in Haywood where Folkmoot complements what’s offered by the business community.

For those who have never experienced Folkmoot, this is the year to allow the performers to transport you into their corner of the world, if just for a few minutes. There’s the 1 p.m. parade today and a chance to see all groups perform in downtown Waynesville Saturday.

Both events are free, but that doesn’t help Folkmoot pay the bills. Take even a deeper journey into the cultures of France, Thailand, Poland, Slovakia, Mexico, Japan, Canada and Martinique by purchasing a ticket to one of the events where full performances are on tap.

To see the full schedule or get advanced tickets, to to www.folkmootusa.org.

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