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Richmond Folk Festival
Announces Genworth Foundation Family Area

Children’s Museum of Richmond producing “water-theme” in celebration of the James River

September 13, 2008 (Richmond, Va.) – Organizers of The Richmond Folk Festival, taking place October 10-12, 2008, on downtown Richmond’s riverfront, are excited to announce the programming for the highly-anticipated Genworth Foundation Family Area. Produced by the Children’s Museum of Richmond, this special family-friendly area features performances as well as art activities, games and interactive demonstrations. Shadow Puppets, belly dancers, and talented musicians are just a few of the many performances at the 2008 event – all of which encourage audience participation. This year’s art activities will let children and parents alike get their “hands wet” – with a water theme in celebration of Richmond’s own James River.

"We are thrilled to present a tremendous line-up of activities and performances in the Genworth Foundation Family Area at this year's Richmond Folk Festival," said Karen Coltrane, president and CEO of the Children's Museum of Richmond. "Having been involved with the National Folk Festival for the past three years, we were pleased with the decision to continue the festival in Richmond as it offers a unique opportunity for children and families to experience rich cultural traditions and performances that they may not otherwise experience. We have come to see this as one of the highlights of our fall schedule and a fantastic opportunity to showcase to the many festival-goers the types of hands-on activities that happen on a daily basis at the museum."

Performers featured on the Family Area Stage include nationally acclaimed touring glass harmonica player, Dean Shostak; singer and songwriter, Bob Zentz; and ship “models in a bottle” maker, Jim Goodwin. Shostak has been featured on many popular shows, including PBS, Good Morning America, and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and his children’s recording, Colonial Fair has been named “Notable Children’s Recording of the Year” by the American Library Association. Zentz, is a prolific musician, playing several dozen instruments in a repertoire of more than 2,000 songs on his recordings and frequent live appearances. He spends much of his traveling-performing time in maritime museums and on ships, from New Zealand to Finland. Goodwin began building models in Charlotte, NC. Each model has the vessel’s history on the bottle’s base. His work can be seen in Museums and at festivals throughout the Southeast.

“The new Genworth Foundation Family Area is just one more exciting reason to come out to the Richmond Folk Festival this year,” said Heidi Crapol, Global Community Relations leader for Genworth Financial. “Family Area activities will be entertaining, interactive, educational and just plain fun for kids of all ages.”

The Richmond Folk Festival has announced eleven of the more than 30 performing groups to be featured at the festival. These artists include: The Dan Tyminski Band, one of the top bluegrass bands in America, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, one of America’s premier Cajun bands and the leading ambassador of Cajun music, Líadan, six young music masters from across the pond in Galway, Limerick and Dublin, Ireland, performing traditional Irish music, Ledward Ka’apana & Mike Kaawa, two of Hawaii’s most respected players of the slack-key and 12-string guitar, Howard Tate, performing Soul and R&B, Dale Watson playing original honky-tonk country, Traditional Arabic music will be performed by the esteemed Nadeem Dlaikan & Friends, Eddie & Alonzo Pennington, from Princeton, Kentucky, performing thumb-picked guitar, Inuit throat singing will be performed by Nukariik, a sister duo from Kangiqsualujjuaq, Nunavik, Quebec, Eastern European musical group, Harmonia, and San Jose Taiko, performing Japanese drum and dance.
The theme for the 2008 Virginia Folklife Area is Virginia’s Immigrant Culture. Entitled New Neighbors: Common Ground in the Commonwealth, it will explore the artistry, creativity and community life of new immigrants to Virginia highlighting artistic achievement, deeply-held cultural expressions and cross-cultural communication.  

Participants in the 2008 Virginia Folklife Area include:

Alfo-Conce of Arlington County - Guatemalan Alfombra makers; Ernesto Gomez and David Amoroso of Arlington County - Mexican Dia de los Muertos altar builders and papel picado makers; Mongolian Goo-Ertunts Society of Arlington County - Mongolian Ger construction and household arts; Miguel Flores of Loudoun County – Bolivian “Diablada” dance costume maker; Gankhuyag Natsag of Arlington County -Mongolian Tsam Mask and Costume Maker; Ahmed Osman, Kwathi Ajawin and associates with the North American Fashoda Association of Alexandria, Richmond and Arlington - Sudanese Coffee & Tea Ceremonies; Oral Traditions; and Children's games; St. John the Baptist Lutheran Church Ladies Auxiliary of Emporia, Greensville County - Slovakian Holiday Food Traditions; Sochieta Ung of Arlington County - Cambodian Dance Costume Designer and Fabricator; Southside Virginia Czech/Slovak Heritage Society, Joyce Pritchard and Marie Blaha Pearson, of Chesterfield County and Petersburg - Community Historians; Birgitte Hansen Tessier & Anita Barry of Fauquier and Culpepper Counties - Bobbin lace & tatting; Trupti Vakharia of Fairfax County - Indian Rangoli maker; Nadia Hoots, Joanna Griffin & Elaine Hampton of the Tidewater Ukrainian Cultural Association in Virginia Beach - Ukrainian Pysanky (painted egg) decorators; Wilhelm and Melanie Wanders of Manassas - Chocolaterie Wanders, Chocolate and Marzipan makers.

Music/Dance Participants include:

Husnu Aydogdu Turkish Music Ensemble of Arlington and Fairfax Counties - Turkish Instrumental and Vocal Music; Dholi Mastana, Dholi Brij and Dholi Mosaicof Charlottesville - Indian (Punjabi) Percussion Ensemble; Ganga of Falls Church - Indian (Bengali) Song and Instrumental Music Ensemble; River Nile Band of Alexandria - Sudanese Popular music; Rumah Gadang Group of Arlington County - Indonesian (West Sumatran) Music and Dance; The Sama Ensemble of Vienna - Persian Daf and Tombak drumming; Solazo of Floyd County - Ecuadoran, Chilean & Argentine Music; Thongtanh Souvannaphanh & Ensemble of Alexandria - Laotian Instrumental Music; Jose "Chino" Terrones of Falls Church - master dancer, and Peruvian music and dance ensemble of Peruvian Marinera Dance.

The Richmond Folk Festival is produced by Venture Richmond in continuing partnership with the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA), the same organization that produces the National Folk Festival. Other producing partners include the City of Richmond, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, the National Park Service, the Library of Virginia and the Children’s Museum of Richmond.

Stage Sponsors and Major Contributors to date include Comcast, Dominion, Genworth Foundation, NewMarket Corp., Philip Morris USA, Richmond Times-Dispatch, SunTrust, The Community Foundation, Ukrop’s/First Market Bank and Wachovia/Wachovia Securities.

For more information, please visit or call (804) 788-6466.

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