Folkmoot announces redesigned programming due to COVID-19

Press release from Folkmoot:

With group gatherings limited by restrictions designed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, Folkmoot is working diligently to reschedule and redesign its year-round programming lineup.

Currently, the only safe way to present arts and culture content is online, so Folkmoot is carefully reintroducing programming best suited to Zoom and Facebook Live formats, and is planning to expand and build on these early efforts.

Beginning in August, Folkmoot’s popular Cultural Crash Course series returns, touching on topics surrounding the social justice movement and the country’s political atmosphere. The series re-launches August 6, with an interactive lecture by Western Carolina University professor, Dr. Cyndy Caravelis focused on the Black Lives Matter movement, and continues August 20 with WCU’s Dr. Ingrid Bego’s discussion of #MeToo. Political Scientist Dr. Chris Cooper leads a discussion on the 2020 Election on September 3. Registration is required for these events, but admission is free.

Also In August, on the 11th, Folkmoot’s Cultural Conversations comes back, with WCU’s Dr. Dana Patterson leading a series of workshops designed to analyze and deconstruct deeply held cultural beliefs that cause unhealthy, sometimes racist behaviors. The series, titled “Say His Name: Healing From our Collective Cultural Trauma in the Age of George Floyd” is a ticketed, five-session event held monthly until December.

In light of the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, decisions by Folkmoot to host non-digital events will be finalized in accordance with public health officials and North Carolina’s governance.

Events inactive until spring: Southern Storytellers, Hazelwood Lantern Parade, Live Music at Queen Auditorium, Friendship Dinners

August Events at Folkmoot:

●     Online Cultural Crash Courses
●     Online Cultural Conversations

Cultural Crash Courses
Folkmoot’s Cultural Crash Courses will be reimagined in an online format, featuring local experts who bring their years of research experience to the screen. Cultural Crash Courses are inspired in part by the acclaimed TED Talks and Folkmoot aims to present ideas in the same fashion. These educational services reflect Folkmoot’s mission to embrace differences and cultivate opportunities for community education. Admission is free and participants are asked to register at

The first of three currently scheduled Cultural Crash Courses will be held on Thursday, August 6 and hosted by Dr. Cyndy Caravelis, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Western Carolina University. Dr. Caravelis will kick off the series with an important discussion on the Black Lives Matter (BLM) Movement.

The second course of the series, titled “Let me hear you say #MeToo: Victories and Challenges”, will be held on Thursday, August 20 and hosted by Dr. Ingrid Bego, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Western Carolina University. Dr. Bego will discuss the #MeToo movement through topics of gender and politics.

Cultural Conversations
Folkmoot is reintroducing its “Cultural Conversations” workshops, which focus on the complex issues around race and reconciliation.

Led by Dr. Dana Patterson, the five-workshop series, titled: “Say his Name: Healing from our Collective Cultural Trauma in the age of George Floyd” begins Tuesday, August 11 via Zoom and Facebook Live, and will be held monthly through December. Dr. Patterson is the Director of Intercultural Affairs at Western Carolina University and has been engaged in the Folkmoot community for three years. This event will require registration to attend with a $25 fee per session or $100 for five sessions. Tickets are available at

September Events at Folkmoot:
●     Online Cultural Crash Course
●     Songwriters in the Round
●     Folkmalt

Cultural Crash Courses

The third Cultural Crash Course, “Election 2020”, scheduled for Thursday, September 3, will cover this year’s presidential election and will be hosted by Dr. Chris Cooper, Assistant Professor of Political Science & Public Affairs at Western Carolina University. The lecture will pay particular attention to North Carolina election issues. Admission is free and participants are asked to register online. Tickets can be found at

Songwriters in the Round
The Great Balsam Songwriters in the Round Series, hosted at Queen Auditorium, will be Folkmoot’s first indoor event since February – circumstances permitting. This year’s series, sponsored by Suzanne Hoover Klimek and Alan Klimek.

Songwriters in the Round is scheduled for Saturday, September 12 and will feature Malcolm Holcombe, RB Morris, and Ed Snodderly. Doors open at 6 pm for food, drinks, and meeting the songwriters. Music begins at 7:15. Social distancing guidelines will be enforced at the event and attendance size will be limited at 75 guests.

Note: Folkmoot is committed to assisting the recovery of the arts in the mountain region, and to doing so in a safe and thoughtful manner. Details of live events scheduled at the Folkmoot Center or produced by Folkmoot at other locations should be considered tentative due to circumstances related to COVID-19. Times, dates, and locations are subject to change based on the guidance of state and local health officials. Please follow scheduling updates through social media or on


Folkmoot and BearWaters Brewing present the second annual Folkmalt Festival, North Carolina’s only celebration of international culture and craft beer. The festival is scheduled for Saturday, September 26 in Canton and Folkmoot continues to take every step possible to assure participants attend safely.

Bubble sections will be developed on the lawn at Sorrells Park, with family/friend groups assigned to individual spaces to enjoy music. Guests will be asked to wear personal protection equipment (ie. masks) when outside of their space. Breweries and food vendors will adhere to these social practices as well.

Tickets will be available soon. All Folkmalt proceeds are a contribution to Folkmoot’s year-round arts and cultural programming.

Donations Appreciated

To contribute to these programs or help Folkmoot weather the loss of our yearly international festival and other ticketed events this spring and summer, please consider making a donation or pre-purchasing tickets today. We are planning for fall and spring events while continuing to raise funds for HVAC in building A that will help Folkmoot become financially sustainable.

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