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News & Press: E-News

February 2020 Newsletter

Wednesday, February 19, 2020  
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FAI February E-News 

Announcing a New Brand and Logo

The board and staff are delighted to share FAI's new brand identity and logo, launched Wednesday, January 22, during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in New Orleans.

In developing FAI's past and current Strategic Plan, we identified a need to strengthen and refresh our visual identity, ensure greater image consistency, and update messaging around who we are and what we do. A series of in-depth discussions informed the direction and work of the Kansas City-based firm Whiskey Design. The new logo and visual assets signify a contemporary, professional, and dynamic organization rooted in tradition. 

"Our genre, community, and organization are in an exciting renaissance, so we're thrilled to reveal a logo that proudly presents the word folk unequivocally," said Executive Director, Aengus Finnan. "Just as the f-hole of an instrument transmits sound from the body of the instrument, the stylized 'f' in the new logo suggests a similar community transmission, while the signature tip and tail of the logo can be activated separately as playful 'speech bubbles' for highlighting key messages."

In the coming months, we will redesign our various websites with a focus on improved user experience. In the meantime, we incorporated our new brand identity, logo, and colors into all general communication and marketing. 

NOTE:  We ask all of our partners and members to replace any use of our former logo with the new versions found here.

2020 GRAMMY® Week Celebration

On January 25th, along with the Blues Foundation and the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), FAI co-presented the third annual GRAMMY® Week celebration of nominees in the American Roots category. Jon Hornyak, Senior Executive Director of the Recording Academy Memphis Chapter, gave opening remarks followed by feature performances by Amy Hānaiali’i, Amythyst Kiah, Che Apalache, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Gregory Alan Isakov, Larkin Poe, Frank Solivan, Michael Cleveland, and Robert Randolph. Presenters during the afternoon event included Missy Raines, Robert Randolph, and Stephen Curtis Chapman. Also in attendance were GRAMMY® winning Blues legend Bobby Rush and members of the Po' Ramblin' Boys. 

Congratulations to this year's winners:

Best Folk Album - "Patty Griffin" by Patty Griffin

Best American Roots Performance - "Saint Honesty" by Sara Bareilles 

Best American Roots Song - "Call my Name" by Sarah Jarosz, Aoife O'Donovan, and Sara Watkins (I'm With Her) 

Best Americana Album - "Oklahoma" by Keb' Mo'

Best Bluegrass Album - "Tall Fiddler" by Michael Cleveland

Best Traditional Blues Album - "Tall, Dark & Handsome" by Delbert McClinton & Self-Made Man + Dana

Best Contemporary Blues Album - "This Land" by Gary Clark Jr.

FAI would also like to congratulate past Spirit of Folk award recipient, Anäis Mitchell, and the Broadway cast of "Hadestown" for winning the GRAMMY® for Best Musical Theatre Album.

The ExChange - Australian Edition 

Final preparations are underway for the 3rd edition of The  ExChange, FAI's boutique program to be held in Geelong, Australia in partnership with the Port Fairy Folk Festival this March 1-2. The two-day network and showcase micro-conference focuses on industry partnerships, professional development, business networking, music export showcases, and sector strategy for the Australia and New Zealand folk music communities. Past editions were held in Ireland and Sweden.
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National Advocacy Partnership

After six years of developing its advocacy role and establishing cultural-sector partnerships, FAI has been formally accepted into the Performing Arts Alliance (PAA) where FAI's Executive Director has been invited to serve on its board. PAA is a Washington D.C., based multi-disciplinary coalition of national service organizations from the professional nonprofit performing arts field.

The Performing Arts Alliance advocates for America’s professional nonprofit arts sector before Congress and key policymakers. Core advocacy issues include federal funding for the arts and arts education, timely visa processing for foreign artists, international cultural exchange, and nonprofit charitable giving incentives. To learn more about the PAA, its Member Organizations, and the Board of Directors please visit

Conference Wrap-up 

The 32nd annual conference marked a record-breaking year for FAI with over 3,300 people in attendance.  Our first night of onsite registration saw a remarkable 2,500 delegates check-in, up from last year's 1,200 opening. 

Conference highlights included Mavis Staples' keynote interview by Melissa Block of NPR, the impactful keynote speech of Rhiannon Giddens, a memorable Wisdom of the Elders panel, the Cultural Equity Summit, and the introduction of affinity group sessions. FAI was also fortunate to have a strong media presence from around the world.  FAI had a strong global media presence this year including NPR, Songlines Magazine, and RTE, Ireland's national radio station. Hear RTÉ's 'Simply Folk' coverage here

FAI will share more details and results in our upcoming post-conference report. 

2021 Early Bird Registration 

Discounted "members-only" registration is now open for the 33rd FAI conference, to be held February 17-21, 2021, in Kansas City, Missouri. Members are encouraged to take advantage of 1/2 price savings off the final price during this Early Bird phase.

CAPACITY ALERT: FAI exceeded its capacity this year and will be reducing and limiting registration to 3000 moving forward. This means we anticipate selling out of registrations and highly recommend you register early if you plan to attend or typically do.
Register Now

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 an FAI member benefit and payment will be processed on a recurring monthly basis. 
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FAI’s office is located on the traditional land of the Kansa and Osage nations. FAI acknowledges that all of its activities and that of its North American member organizations take place on ancestral Indigenous lands.

The purpose of making this land acknowledgment in post-colonial society is to show respect for Indigenous peoples, recognize their unique culture and enduring relationship to the land, and raise awareness about histories that are often suppressed or forgotten.

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