National Folk Festival Taps Music Industry Veteran to Build National Partnerships

Art Menius, a
co-founder of Folk Alliance International and the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), led MerleFest’s marketing and media relations for 10 years

"Greensboro, N.C., February 24, 2016 — The National Folk Festival announced today that it has tapped North Carolinian Art Menius to assist in forging genre-specific relationships with media and other potential music-industry partners. The 76th National Folk Festival will take place in downtown Greensboro from September 9 – 11, 2016, when it will celebrate the second year of its three-year residency in Greensboro.

Menius, a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, has spent more than 30 years with various nonprofit arts and music organizations, including Appalshop in Whitesburg, Kentucky; The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, North Carolina; and MerleFest in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, where he served as Associate Festival Coordinator for 10 years. A co-founder of both Folk Alliance International and the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), Menius is also a prolific writer and reviewer of American roots music.

“Art has incredible contacts and deep expertise across the music industry,” said Tom Philion, President and CEO of ArtsGreensboro, which is co-producing the National Folk Festival with the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) during its North Carolina residency. “It’s a real coup for the Festival to work with him on building music-industry partnerships at a national level.”

In 2015, the 75th National Folk Festival attracted more than 102,000 attendees to downtown Greensboro for a FREE, three-day weekend. Based on survey data, organizers expect attendance to grow substantially in 2016—by as much as 30% or more.

Approximately 300 artists—musicians, dancers, storytellers, and craftspeople—will take part in the National Folk Festival in 2016, with more than 30 different musical groups performing on as many as seven outdoor performance venues throughout downtown Greensboro. To date, nine artists—across a wide range of genres—have been announced for the 2016 Festival, including DJ Grandmaster Flash, Balsam Range, Clinton Fearon & the Boogie Brown Band, Leonardo Sandoval, Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano, Nathalie, the Quebe Sisters, Super Chikan & the Fighting Cocks, and The Alt. More performers will be announced as they are confirmed.


About the 2016 National Folk Festival: Co-produced by the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) and ArtsGreensboro, the National Folk Festival is celebrating the second year of its three-year residency in downtown Greensboro in 2016. The FREE, three-day event is America’s longest-running festival of traditional arts.

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. 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 approximately $4 million, ArtsGreensboro is a catalyst for innovation to build recognition and support for the arts. Through its ArtsFund-supported grant programs, the 17DAYS Arts & Culture Festival, the Levitt AMP Greensboro Music Series, I HEART ARTS Month, and other opportunities including 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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