These are unprecedented times. Beyond the global health consequences of COVID-19, our community of artists and entrepreneurs has suffered an immediate and deep economic impact with tours, programs, and revenue canceled for the foreseeable future. Despite this reality, it has been inspiring to see folk musicians front and center in online efforts to bring joy, meaning, and connection to the world, which is, after all, what music has always done. To support the folk music community at this time, we are focused on:
- Providing resources – we’ll continue to host webinars and post information about emergency funding, health and safety, and general COVID-19 resources on our website at www.folk.org/covid19
- Promoting online concerts – to support revenue-generation, we want to connect fans and donors with artists through online concerts and events. We invite all folk artists (or their agents, managers, and labels) to post upcoming events to our live stream concerts hub at www.folk.org/livestream
- Advocating for the sector – through collaboration with regional, national, and international partners to ensure the interests and needs of all creative sector workers are represented in data collection, funding programs, and policy development.
We will survive this and live music will flourish once again, but it will take time. For now, we encourage you to stay home, healthy, and connected, and we hope you enjoy the following highlights and updates including the post-conference report from New Orleans, an overview of last month’s edition of The ExChange program in Australia, and ways you can engage with us and the community through this week’s webinar and our fun #FolkQuarantunes posts on Instagram.
CommUNITY Online Webinars
Starting on Wednesday, April 8, we will be holding space weekly for our community to gather online. The series, CommUNITY Online, will kick off with “Coping With the New Norm”. This episode will be an opportunity to discuss changes facing folk music, share strategies and practices for staying centered and healthy, and envision ways of increasing community connection while adhering to physical distancing directives. You can register for this free webinar here.
The content of these weekly sessions will vary to suit the needs of our members and other stakeholders in the folk music industry. Offerings may include round table discussions, panels with experts, peer sessions with specific cohorts, or instructional modules. Please complete our survey to help us better understand what information our community needs access to.
If you missed our latest webinar, presented in partnership with the APAC, “Ask an Expert: Contracts, insurance, visas, employment and legislation in the COVID-19 era”, you can view the recording here.
Pictured above: Marisa Kolka, FAI’s Digital Marketing Coordinator, and Aengus Finnan, FAI’s Executive Director
What #FolkQuarantunes are you listening to? Our staff has posted some photos of what’s keeping them happy working from home, but we’d love to see what you’re spinning these days… so grab your favorite record, CD, or cassette (remember those?), swing on over to Instagram, and tell us why the music you’ve shared moves you. Don’t forget to tag @folk_alliance and use the hashtag #FolkQuarantunes!
It’s hard to believe it’s been almost three months since 3,332 delegates gathered in New Orleans representing the folk music traditions of 41 countries. So much has changed so quickly since then. That said, we’re delighted to share our annual post-conference report at this time. Thank you to all who joined us and to those who provided important feedback in the post-conference survey.
Rhiannon Giddens Keynote
If you missed Rhiannon Giddens’ keynote address at #FAINewOrleans, or just want to relive it again, we’ve got good news for you! The full video is now available over on the FAI YouTube channel. Her inspiring speech is just what we are all in need of right now.
The ExChange: Australia
For the third edition of The ExChange (FAI’s boutique micro-conference), we headed Down Under to the coastal city of Geelong, Australia, just west of Melbourne. Over 100 of Australia’s top folk music artists, industry, and festival presenters were in attendance, joined by 50 international delegates from New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, the UK, and U.S. The full schedule of events, panels, and showcases can be viewed here.
FAI Lifetime Achievement Award: Jamie McKew
On March 2nd, during the opening evening of The ExChange: Australia, Dr. Jamie McKew, founder and retired director of the world-renowned Port Fairy Folk Festival, became the latest recipient of our Elaine Weissman Lifetime Achievement Award in the Business/Academic category. Known as “the gentleman of the folk scene”, McKew also founded the Geelong Folk Festival in 1978 and the Turramurra Folk Camp in 1983, along with serving as the founding president of Folk Alliance Australia. We hope you enjoy learning more about Dr. McKew here.
That’s all for this month! We wish you a safe and healthy April.