Southeast Regional Folk Alliance conference takes place May 13-17 in Montreat

Underhill Rose. Photo courtesy of the band

SERFA is the Southeastern Regional chapter of The Folk Alliance International, an organization created to “preserve, promote, develop and celebrate the diverse heritage, of roots and indigenous music, dance, storytelling and related arts of the Southeastern United States.” The group holds its 8th annual conference at the Montreat Conference Center, Wednesday-Sunday, May 13-17.

With a focus on music, showcases are held on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings and include Angela Easterling, Underhill Rose and Zoe & Cloyd among many others.

“This year’s conference is designed to be a ‘customizable’ one,” says conference director Kari Estrin. “The programming was conceived to allow you greater downtime to rest, relax and recharge at our beautiful retreat location in Black Mountains outside of Asheville, while offering many dynamic workshops, with the addition of smaller interactive sessions.”

The full schedule can be found here. Besides workshops and mentor sessions, there’s also yoga, an open mic and a Rounder Roundtable with Alice Gerrard of folk duo Hazel and Alice.

“We have workshops focusing this year on recording/budgeting and conceiving your new album featuring the Rounder Record founders — Ken Irwin, Bill Nowlin and Marian Leighton Levy, along with Ty Gilpin from The Crossroads Record Group and Chris Garges from Old House Studios,” says Estrin via email. “In addition we have workshops to help you use your music for change, our annual Presenter’s workshop that will answer your questions in what it takes to get booked — with MerleFest’s Steve Johnson and Swannonoa Gathering’s Jim Magill on board as just two of these seasoned panelists.

“We are honored to present Sue Massek, Alice Gerrard and Rounder’s Marian Leighton Levy in a special workshop called ‘The Herstory of Oppression and Resistance in Appalachia’ and Folk Alliance’s own Executive Director Aengus Finnan will partner with LEAF Community Arts’ Jennifer Pickering in a workshop for non-profits and venues called ‘Keeping Your Organization Fit,’ with this rare opportunity to pick up some tips on keeping your organization humming and profitable. And these workshops are just the tip of the iceberg!”

Registration is $145 with additional fees for music showcases. Register here.

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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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