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December 2019 Newsletter

Friday, December 13, 2019  
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December Newsletter

Measuring Folk Research Report Released 

FAI is proud to release the report and Executive Summary of our inaugural Audience Research Initiative.

Led by the board's Reseach Committee and a staff team, the study was conducted over the past two years by acclaimed stakeholder research firm, Slover Linett. The study included the participation of over 2000 survey respondents, including FAI members and input from the extended industry and community.  

An initial review of the findings was presented at FAI's 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM) by the report's lead author, Michelle Concision. This written report summarizes the findings and prepares for the next phase of research, pending funding. 

View Report

NPR's Ann Powers and Melissa Block Set to Interview

FAI is bringing in music critic, Ann Powers to interview Ani DiFranco on her memoir "No Walls and the Recurring Dream," and special correspondent, Melissa Block, to conduct the keynote interview of Mavis Staples. 

Powers, one of the most notable music critics in the country, currently writes a music blog for NPR's The Record. Before joining NPR, she served as the chief music critic with the Los Angeles Times until 2006. Powers has also worked with The Blender, the Experience Music Project, as well as The New York Times, and the Village Voice

Block was a co-host of the news program All Things Considered from 2003 until 2015. Since then she has been an NPR Special Correspondent, responsible for detailed profiles of newsworthy figures, and long-form stories and series on topical issues.

Leyla McCalla to Host the International Folk Music Awards (IFMAs)

The 2020 IFMAs kick off on Wednesday, January 22, at 6:00pm at the Sheraton New Orleans. This year's rewards will be hosted by NOLA resident Leyla McCalla, a former member of the GRAMMY® winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, and a current member of the GRAMMY® nominated Our Native Daughters. The IFMAs are the premier recognition of folk music industry leaders, legends, unsung heroes, and rising talent. They are preceded by FAI's AGM at 4:00pm and the opening reception at 5:00pm (sponsored by the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development and Atchafalaya National Heritage Area).
See This Year's Recipients

Global Outreach

CANADA - FAI participated in an early fall Town Hall at the Folk Music Ontario conference in Toronto, where discussions centered on options and community feedback on the idea of a merger of FMO, Folk Music Canada (FMC), and the Canadian Folk Music Awards (CFMAs), in tandem with preliminary discussions about a more formal alignment with FAI. 

ENGLAND - With a Brexit vote looming, FAI recently held strategic meetings with the British Arts Council, PRS Foundation, and Culture Ireland, complemented by attendance at the BBC Folk Music Awards and English Folk Expo in Manchester, England.

ESTONIA - FAI was part of a delegation to Estonia for a series of showcases and meetings with Music Estonia, Tallinn Music Week, the Estonian Traditional Music Center, and the Viljandi Folk Music Festival, as well as Canada's Chargé d'affaires to Estonia, Michael Eyestone.

FINLAND - At the 19th edition of WOMEX (the World Music Expo), held this year in Tampere, Finland, FAI hosted an inaugural Executive Directors' peer group meeting to establish an online thinktank and network to share support, resources, and best practices. While there, a meeting of FAI's Nordic Folk Alliance advisory board and conference team was held to prepare for the April 1-2, 2020 showcase and networking event in Gothenburg, Sweden.  

CHINA - At the Annual General Assembly of JM International in Suzhou, China, FAI presented an overview of programs as part of the formal process of becoming the first US-based organization to join JMI. Strategic conversations were held with organizations from across Europe, Africa, South America, and Asia regarding FAI's programs.

COLOMBIA - To connect with artists, agents, managers, and festival directors from across Central and South America, FAI once again attended the CIRCULART Music Industry Fair in Medellín, Colombia November 7-10. A representative from CIRCULART will attend FAI for the first time this year.

BELGIUM - FAI attended the launch of the European Folk Network. FAI is a founding member of the EFN, and was onsite to discuss strengthening the European industry, building bridges with our extended membership, and plans for the Nordic Folk Alliance. 

FRANCE - FAI was in Paris, France from Nov 28 - Dec 2 for a multi-day training session with international coordinators of JM International's ETHNO program. FAI will produce the first edition of ETHNO in North American late next summer. 

USA  - In order to champion membership needs, FAI has been accepted into the membership of The Performing Arts Alliance, a Washington, D.C. based coalition, national policy advocate, leadership forum, and learning network for America’s nonprofit performing arts organizations, artists, and allies.

The ExChange - Australia

Registration is now open for the 2020 edition for FAI's boutique micro-conference, The ExChange. Industry delegates interested in learning more about the Australian market are invited to attend this event focused on peer networking and export development.

The opening night concert will include performances by Archie Roach, Gina Williams & Guy Ghouse, Shane Howard, and The East Pointers, and will feature the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to Jamie Mckew who established the Port Fairy Folk Festival in 1977. The ExChange showcase lineup has been announced online.

The event is presented in partnership with the Port Fairy Folk Festival, in association with The City of Greater Geelong Arts & Culture Department, Geelong Regional Library Corporation, Woodfordia, Sounds Australia, the New Zealand Music Commission, and Folk Alliance Australia, with funding in part by Creative Victoria, Music Victoria, and VMDO.
Register Now

Gene Shay Folk DJ Scholarship Recipient

The annual folk Gene Shay Folk DJ Scholarship is determined by a committee comprised of radio veterans and music industry executives. This year the scholarship is awarded to Toni Doman. 

Toni earned her Master’s Degree in Communications and Media Arts and Studies from Ohio University focusing on Appalachian music and culture as the core of her graduate research. She is also one of the few students to earn the world’s first four-year degree in traditional bluegrass music offered at Glenville State College in West Virginia. She intends to continue to work towards preserving and promoting the roots and branches of Appalachian and Country music and to give a positive voice for the people of the Appalachian region.

Toni is currently working in various roles with the Birthplace of Country Music organization as Grants Coordinator, Radio Bristol Production Assistant, Museum Frontline Associate, and also hosts a weekly radio program, "Mountain Song & Story"which tells the tales and Folklore of the people who make up the rich cultural tapestry of Central Appalachia. Showcasing influential Appalachian artisans and traditions through in-depth interviews, music, and storytelling, “Mountain Song & Story” aims to promote arts and culture for a greater understanding of the region.

The Gene Shay Folk DJ Scholarship includes FAI conference registration, hotel for four nights, travel compensations up to $500, and more.  

Folk Charts 

Sign up for weekly Folk Chart updates
To support the FAI Folk Chart, you can donate here

NACC Chart member discount details and sign up -The discounted rate is a member benefit and payment will be processed on a recurring monthly basis.  

Video Archive

Each year FAI presents its Elaine Weissman Lifetime Achievement Awards (LAA's) to honor the cultural impact of a legendary Living, Legacy, and Organization/Academic folk music figures. In 2006, an LAA was presented to the legacy of Clifton Chenier.    

You can see more video archives at FAI's Youtube channel

Clifton Chenier - FAI Lifetime Achievement Award 2006


Thank you to our conference sponsors! 



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