Folkmoot and Haywood tourism authority do annual tango over grant funding

Folkmoot USA International Dance Festival once again saw its grant funding cut by the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority.

The  event that brings in international folk dance and music troupes from eight to 10 countries for a 10-day extravaganza has been a signature festival in Haywood County for 30 years. But some on the county tourism authority have grown weary of continued financial support for Folkmoot year after year.

International festival has become a WNC tradition

coverBringing together world culture and Southern Appalachia traditions, Folkmoot USA transcends any and all barriers.

Whether it’s language, physical boundaries or appearance, the art of live performance found at this international dance and music festival erases any differences by creating an ambiance that’s as embracing as it is unique. Entering its 30th year, the festival has solidified itself in the landscape of Western North Carolina.  

Folkmoot back in the tourism grant fold

fr folkmootThe Haywood County Tourism Development Authority will restore annual grant funding for Folkmoot USA, reversing a move last year to cut off the highly popular international folk dance festival. 

Schedule of Events

moot schedule

The countries of Folkmoot USA

moot performersNew Zealand — Whitireia Performing Arts

Whitireia Performing Arts is affiliated with New Zealand College of Performing Arts. This school is an energetic setting that prides itself on high-quality performing art programs and performers.

Guides serve as ambassadors to visiting performers

moot guidesFor many teens growing up in Haywood County, becoming a Folkmoot guide is a dream come true. The job means spending two weeks with a group of international dancers and musicians, helping them with everything from getting to performances on time to making trips to Walmart for shopping excursions.

Serbian performers return to Folkmoot

moot serbiaThe Serbian group Talija Art Co., crowd pleasers at the 2009 Folkmoot, will make a return appearance at this year’s folk festival.

Can the dream stay alive for another generation?

op fr“You know, this is really the only thing I know I’ve wanted to do my whole life.”

That was my daughter Hannah, a rising senior at Tuscola. She’s had a lifelong gift for coming up with sweeping, profound declarations that make Lori and I laugh first and then ponder later.

She’s talking about being a guide at Folkmoot, which she is this year for the first time. The guides get to spend the entire 12-day festival with their group, eating and sleeping at the Folkmoot Friendship Center, helping the groups make it on time to all their performances and making sure all their other needs are taken care of.

Folkmoot’s financial struggles may re-define festival

coverThe popular Folkmoot international festival will become a shadow of its current self in 2014 if its financial outlook doesn’t take a quick turn for the better.

Folkmoot sculpture must be moved, but to where?

Finding a new home for the Folkmoot sculpture in downtown Waynesville has taken a new turn.

The Waynesville public art commission initially proposed moving the art piece across the street — from its current spot in front of the new town hall to the old town hall.

When the art commission asked the town to sign off on the move earlier this month, however, the town board had a different idea.

The board agreed that the structure must be moved but felt old town hall wasn’t fitting for several reasons. One was there simply is not enough room. The other was lack of visibility to adequately showcase the piece. Plus, the town board expressed concerns that the “disco-ball effect” created by spinning flags on top of the statue would irritate people in adjacent office buildings.

Such complaints by the police department was one of the reasons for moving it in the first place. There have also been occasions when one or more of the flags has fallen off the statue because of high winds that whip by it.

Town board members are strongly considering placing it somewhere on the grounds of the historic courthouse and justice center — a prominent locale for a sculpture celebrating one of Waynesville’s most well known festivals. The art piece features a flowing, banner-like dancer with seven flags that turn in the wind to represent the famed international dance and music festival.

The statue was installed at its current location in 2009 and was created by renowned artist Wayne Trapp.

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