Kerrville Folk Festival Achieves Nonprofit Status
In a move to preserve, celebrate and educate the public about the original and eclectic fabric of American music, the Texas Folk Music Foundation today announced it has acquired the assets of Kerrville Folk Festival, Inc., including the Kerrville Folk Festival and the Kerrville Wine & Music Festival, two of the premier folk and singer/songwriter festivals in the country. The "Kerrville Folk Festival" will now benefit from the tax-free donation of private and public monies to support and promote songwriters, songwriting, folk music education and live performances of traditional folk, bluegrass, acoustic rock, blues, country, jazz and Americana music. Donations from Foundation and Festival supporters made this transition possible.
Since 1972, the Kerrville Folk Festival (KFF) has been known internationally as a mecca for singer songwriters of various musical styles. For 18 straight days and nights each May and June, over 30, 000 guests come from around the world to experience the magic of what they simply call "Kerrville." More than just a folk music festival, the event is intended to promote emerging artists as well as recognized, seasoned talent, the likes of which have included musicians such as Peter, Paul and & Mary, Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson, Michelle Shocked, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Robert Earl Keen, Lucinda Williams, and Nancy Griffith, among others.
"The Kerrville Folk Festival is a miracle of plain ole' goodness of spirit, welcoming community and stunningly beautiful hand-made music, " said renowned folk singer Peter Yarrow. "The old pros like me are honored and respected in ways that make us feel we are truly coming home when we return, year after year. Thank goodness for those that have kept the faith so that Kerrville not only survived, but remained true to its roots, spiritually and musically. I am personally beyond grateful."
"The Kerrville Folk Festival has always been a major part of our Folk Alliance Community and provides a connection between the legendary songwriters of the past and the generations of songwriters to come, " said Louis Jay Meyers, executive director of the Folk Alliance. "The art of songwriting should be cherished, respected and celebrated. The Kerrville family makes this a reality every year."
The Kerrville Wine & Music Festival has the same musical format as the Folk festival, but with an additional focus on Texas Wines. Held each year over Labor Day weekend, this annual three-day event combines camping, music, and the best wines Texas winemakers have to offer. In addition to afternoon and evening concerts, there are Saturday and Sunday wine seminars which pair food morsels with the vintners' choice of wine.
TFMF was founded in 1999 to educate, preserve and promote public appreciation and support for songwriters, songwriting and folk music in all its forms. Since then, the Foundation has worked with KFF to deliver a range of music education programs and workshops that include:
Grassy Hill Kerrville New Folk Competition for Emerging Songwriters - TFMF's highest profile program has been the springboard for the careers of many well-known artists; 32 Finalists are selected from 800 entries, six of whom are chosen as Award Winners to perform on the second weekend of the Festival.
Summer Youth Music Camp – over thirty children ages 11 to 18 from Texas and across the country participate in programs to "find your voice through music, " including song structure, rhyming, rhythm, writing lyric poetry, songwriting and canoeing with a twist.
Songwriter School - accomplished, professional songwriters come from across the country to teach songwriting and share their unique talents with aspiring songwriters of all levels who come to hone their craft.
Blues Guitar Workshop - started in 2000 as a valuable service provided to those interested in learning the art and technique of playing the blues. Steve James, writer, performer, teacher and blues historian, heads up a revolving faculty of master blues artists for this three-day program.
Professional Development Program for Teachers - trains teachers to incorporate music into the classroom and to help at-risk students develop interests in music; teachers are eligible to receive continuing education credits for attending the course.
Campus Songwriters Competitions - songwriters from university campuses across Texas compete for an opportunity to perform in a showcase event during the Festival (this program is currently available at the University of North Texas, Texas State University, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and the University of Texas in Austin).
Memorial Day Blues Workshop - some of the finest acoustic blues musicians in the country gather to discuss their roots, influences and instruments in an educational and spontaneous forum; past performers have included Elizabeth Cotton, Sue Foley, Ernie Hawkins, and Spider John Koerner, among others.
"The Kerrville Folk Festival will still be the same 'phenomenon' our musicians, fans and supporters have come to know and love, " said Dalis Allen, KFF producer. "Combining forces with the TFMF gives us more opportunities to move forward with our mission of support for original music and the education of the world about the importance of music in our lives. It also ensures the continuation of these events and allows for fundraising to make additional improvements to them. As Festival founder Rod Kennedy always said, 'We are saving the world one song at a time'."
Both Kerrville Music Festivals, and many other TFMF programs are held on the Quiet Valley Ranch, nine miles south of Kerrville, Texas.
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