November 2021 Newsletter

Dear Folks,

We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We are grateful for your patience while we developed a safe way to celebrate our folk arts community once again in the midst of a pandemic.

Below you’ll find our plan for the 33rd annual festival, guided by your feedback and with hopes of continuing the enduring spirit of the Anchorage Folk Festival. 

How will the 2022 Anchorage Folk Festival work? 

First off, we heard you, and determined that a majority of you have major concerns about safety at large-scale indoor events, AND that there is limited appetite for extended virtual events. So the Board has chosen to split the difference and hold a small one-day event on Saturday, January 22 as follows:

  • A “House Concert” will be held at 7pm, highlighting two local bands, and will be broadcast live via internet
  • A small audience will be invited to attend the performance and will be randomly selected from the AFF current membership. So make sure to renew your membership online! (Attendees will need to provide proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test taken 72 hours prior to the event, at which masks will be required.)
  • Workshops will be held throughout the day via Zoom. Please fill out this online workshop form if you’re interested in leading a workshop!

Everyone’s favorite raffle is coming back with online tickets available January 1, 2022, with raffle winners being drawn during the live broadcast. This year’s prizes include:

  • Voucher for two Alaska Airlines tickets
  • Two Alaska Railway tickets
  • Gift certificates for Alaska Music and Sound and Paramount Bikes 

A big thanks to our sponsors! (And if you’d like to become a sponsor, please email Michael@touchstonealaska.com regarding the benefits of becoming a commercial sponsor.) We would also like to thank all of our donors, including those who gave to us through Pick. Click. Give. Your support keeps us moving forward.

The Annual Membership Meeting will be held via Zoom on Sunday, January 23 at 5:00pm. We will share meeting details with current members closer to the date.

But wait! There’s more!

In the spirit of delivering value to our members and greater community, the Anchorage Folk Festival plans to continue with monthly in-person house concerts in February, March, and April. These concerts will spotlight local artists and will be broadcast live online for your pleasure and entertainment. (Performances will be open to a small audience, which will be drawn monthly from AFF’s membership.) 

In addition to the house concerts, we also plan to offer monthly virtual workshops on certain Saturdays throughout the spring. 

Lastly, we are exploring the option to host a one-day outdoor festival in May, which would be free and open to our entire community. Our hope is that the outdoor festival will resemble our traditional festival in many ways, including an all-day mainstage, in-person workshops, jam sessions, festival merch, and a guest artist from out of state. 

We are in the early planning stages of the monthly concerts, workshops, and May in-person festival. A schedule and more details for these additional events will be shared during the January event. 

Success for these additional events will depend largely on engaging additional support that we’re looking to bring online soon, so keep reading!

Outreach for New Board Members

Our ability to remain a relevant organization and deliver on the Anchorage Folk Festival Mission relies on members stepping up and leading the way.

We are currently seeking three energetic, organized, and passionate individuals to join the Anchorage Folk Festival Board of Directors! 

Earlier this year we completed a strategic plan with support from the Foraker Group. Part of that plan is to transition from a working-Board model to a staffed organization. We’d love to have folks with prior non-profit board experience, communications backgrounds, or financial acumen. However, there are no formal qualifications to serve on the Board: we’d love to have you if you’re passionate about the organization and are ready to be part of moving the Anchorage Folk Festival into the future! 

And speaking of the future…

Seeking a Festival Coordinator (Paid Position!)

The AFF is moving forward with building its capacity thanks to a generous gift from Steve Hinds in 2019, as well as months of strategic planning and some successful community grant applications. AFF is seeking to hire a contractor to fill the role of Festival Coordinator

Initially, this part-time contractor will last for six months, and the primary responsibilities will include coordinating the house concerts and one-day outdoor festival, supporting organizational development, and leading marketing and communications efforts. You can read the full position description online. 

If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity or submitting an application for the Festival Coordinator position, please email our Board President, Johnse Ostman, at folks@anchoragefolkfestival.org

And as always, we’ll need lots of help to pull off all these activities, so if you haven’t signed up for our volunteer list, you can do so to stay in the loop for opportunities to help out. 

Thanks for your patience and continued support as we navigate the challenges of our changing world. And that’s what’s so important about this festival and its community: it gives us hope for the future based on the experiences shared through dance, art, and music of those who’ve successfully endured the challenges of their times.

We appreciate your support!