The National Folk Festival celebrated its 75th anniversary and its first year in downtown Greensboro, NC this past weekend. It was a beautiful weekend to enjoy three days of live outdoor music, art projects, dance, and of course, food trucks. The National Folk Festival is the longest-running traditional arts event in the nation and is free and open to all who attend. The festival celebrates the diversity and roots of American culture and this year, featured over 300 traditional musicians, dancers, and craftspeople with a variety of performances and interactive events.

As part of our ongoing commitment to the arts and social justice, AJF partnered with ArtsGreensboro to bring Fabric of Freedom programming to the festival. The program explores Greensboro’s unique historical struggle for social change and freedom through traditional arts. Fabric of Freedom celebrated music and culture inspired by the civil rights struggle in the 1950s and 60s, a particularly pivotal time in both music and culture, as well as the region’s pacifist Quaker origins through its diverse immigrant struggles for equality today. Programming also included music performances, storytelling, partnerships with Greensboro museums, and celebrations of Greensboro’s Montagnard community.

The National Folk Festival was great fun and we hope even more will return next year as Greensboro will host this event again in 2016 and 2017!

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Crowds enjoy the weather as they sit outside listening to Dale Watson play honky-tonk and country music on Sunday afternoon.

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A woman demonstrates a form of traditional weaving as part of Fabric of Freedom programming celebrating Montagnard culture. Greensboro is home to the largest Montagnard community in the world outside of Vietnam.

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Marquise Knox sings the blues for dancing crowds on Sunday evening.

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