AT&T North Carolina To Serve As Major Sponsor for National Folk Festival

Sponsorship will fund National Folk Festival artists performing in local schools in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of the Festival, which will take place in downtown Greensboro from Sept. 11 – 13, 2015

Greensboro, N.C., April 14, 2015  — The National Folk Festival announced today that AT&T North Carolina will serve as the Artists-in-the-Schools Sponsor for the 2015 Festival, which will feature 300 artists on seven stages over three days in downtown Greensboro from September 11 – 13, 2015.

As a result of the AT&T North Carolina sponsorship, various artists will visit a number of schools in the days surrounding the National Folk Festival. In addition to performing and conducting workshops, the artists will spend time talking with the students and answering their questions.

Making the announcement today at Erwin Montessori School in Greensboro were AT&T North Carolina President Venessa Harrison; ArtsGreensboro Board Chair Florence Gatten; Honorary National Folk Festival Chair and former N.C. Secretary of Cultural Resources Linda Carlisle; and Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan. They were joined at the podium by Erwin Principal Dr. Deborah Parker; Erwin Art Teacher Mary Young; and Guilford County Schools Arts Education Coordinator Nathan Street.

“We are thrilled to announce that AT&T North Carolina—with its 6,900 employees across our state—is making a major commitment to the 2015 National Folk Festival,” said Carlisle. “With this investment, AT&T will enable thousands of school children to meet and enjoy performances by some of our nation’s outstanding traditional artists.”

At AT&T, we are committed to making a difference in the lives of individuals, families, and communities,” said Venessa Harrison, President of AT&T North Carolina. “We are excited to be the Arts-in-the-Schools sponsor for the Festival, and appreciate the opportunity to help enrich so many students’ educational experiences through first-hand exposure to outstanding musicians and performers.”

Following the announcement, participants enjoyed a special dedication of a “Kindness” Quilt created by Elon University students for Erwin students.


About the 2015 National Folk Festival: Co-produced by the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) and ArtsGreensboro, the National Folk Festival is beginning its three-year residency in downtown Greensboro this year, when it will celebrate its 75th anniversary from September 11 – 13, 2015. The FREE, three-day event is America’s longest-running festival of traditional arts; it will highlight both long-standing traditions and the heritage and culture of North Carolina’s newest immigrant groups, and set the stage for a continuing and permanent North Carolina Folk Festival, beginning in 2018, after the “National” moves on.

With downtown Greensboro as the backdrop, audiences will enjoy seven stages featuring continuous musical entertainment—from rockabilly to old-time to mariachi, and from funk to Cajun to jazz. Attendees will also be able to dance non-stop to a variety of musical genres at the dance pavilion; dine on regional and ethnic foods; experience folk art demonstrations and performances by N.C. artists; and share the fun of the Family Activities Area with their children.

About the National Folk Festival: Since it was first presented in St. Louis in 1934, the National Folk Festival has celebrated the roots, richness, and variety of American culture. Championed in its early years by Eleanor Roosevelt, it was the first event of national stature to present the arts of many nations, races, and languages on equal footing. It was also the first to present to the public musical forms such as the blues, Cajun music, polka bands, Tex-Mex conjunto, Peking Opera, and many others. An exuberant traveling festival that embraces the diverse cultural expressions of the American people in the 21st century, the National Folk Festival is FREE to the public, and is produced by the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) in partnership with communities around the country.
About the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA): The National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) is one of the nation’s premier non-profit cultural organizations dedicated to the presentation and documentation of folk, tribal, and ethnic arts in the United States. Founded in 1933, it is the nation’s oldest producing and presenting organization with such a focus. Its programs celebrate and honor deeply rooted cultural expressions—music, crafts, stories, and dance passed on through time by families and communities as well as by tribal, ethnic, and occupational groups. The NCTA stresses excellence and authenticity in presenting artists to the public in festivals, tours, concerts, media programs, exhibitions, recordings, and other activities, and works in partnership with communities across American to establish new, sustainable traditional arts events that bring lasting social, cultural, and economic benefits.

About ArtsGreensboro: With an annual budget of over $2.9 million, ArtsGreensboro is a catalyst for innovation to build recognition and support for the arts. Through the 17DAYS Arts & Culture Festival, I HEART ARTS Month, power2give, and other initiatives such as the National Folk Festival, ArtsGreensboro is driving the health and vitality of our community by supporting arts education, celebrating the diversity of Greensboro, and driving economic impact through excellence in arts programming."

- A Press Release

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