Folk Alliance International gives a big welcome to our new board president, Ashley Shabankareh!

We’re thrilled to welcome Ashley Shabankareh as Folk Alliance International’s Board President!

Our previous president, Amy Reitnouer Jacobs, has stepped down six months early due to other obligations, but we’re lucky to have her remain on the board through this year.

About the transition, Amy says: “It has been my honor and privilege over these last two years to serve as Folk Alliance’s Board President, and I could not be more thrilled to hand that responsibility over to Ashley Shabankareh. Her deep well of experience, dedication, and friendship has demonstrated that she will not only be a great leader for the Board of Directors, but one who can continue to steer Folk Alliance International towards bigger and better things.”

About Ashley

Ashley Shabankareh (she/they) is a musician, music educator, and arts administrator. Ashley received her M.M. and B.M.E. from Loyola University, New Orleans, with a concentration on conducting and brass instruments. For 13 years, Ashley served as the Director of Programs for Preservation Hall Foundation. In 2016, she was named a Top Female Achiever by New Orleans Magazine, a New Orleans Hero by the Times-Picayune, and a Woman of the Year by New Orleans City Business.

Today, Ashley serves as the Director of Operations and Programs for the Trombone Shorty Foundation. Ashley continues to support the work of numerous nonprofit organizations in New Orleans, including Artist Corps New Orleans, Upbeat Academy Foundation, and the New Orleans Jazz Museum.

“I am honored to be the first genderfluid woman of color to serve as the President of the Board of Directors for Folk Alliance International. Folk music not only connects us to our culture, but to the culture of many people. Being a part of this organization has been transformational for me, creating more opportunities for me to participate in the larger folk community, where knowledge and perspectives are uplifted and shared. I look forward to continuing to support our Board of Directors, staff, and the folk community at large in my capacity as Board President.”

We’re thrilled to have Ashley leading us through the next couple of years as we continue to grow and expand as an organization!