Richmond Folk Festival and Capital One
Bring Artists into Schools
Local non-profit JAM Inc. organizes school visits for fourth year bringing a variety of festival performers into 14 Richmond City Schools
October 24, 2008 (Richmond, Va.) – Upwards of 3,000 Richmond City School students were entertained at their schools by performers from The Richmond Folk Festival. Under the sponsorship of Capital One, and the coordination of local non-profit organization, JAMinc, The Richmond Folk Festival “In the Schools” program brought seven different performers into 14 Richmond City schools. Through this program students had the unique opportunity to experience individual performances by some of the exceptional traditional artists who performed at The Richmond Folk Festival.
“Capital One is happy to support the Richmond Folk Festival, leveraging our partnerships with Richmond Public Schools and Venture Richmond,” said Andrea Wright, Capital One community relations manager, Richmond Market. “We see the music in schools program as a way of providing valuable cultural and educational experiences for the students. At Capital One, we work to identify ways of promoting positive learning experiences for children and this is an ideal situation.”
"This continues a long history of support that Capital One has demonstrated for Richmond City Schools," said Richmond City School Interim Superintendent Dr. Yvonne Brandon. "In this case, our students were exposed to some of the world's most unique and talented artists. This type of exposure truly enhances our children's education, and we are thankful for Capital One's support of the 2008 Folk Festival “In the Schools” program."
Local non-profit JAMinc coordinated the transportation and logistics of all performers in the schools for the fourth year. JAMinc.’s mission is “to open minds hearts and ears to music deserving a wider audience through education, performance and support.”
“JAMinc has been involved in the school outreach program since the National came here in 2005,” said Tim Timberlake, board chair for JAMinc as well as Local Programming Committee member and Artist Host Team Leader for the Richmond Folk Festival.
“Getting non-mainstream music in front of our children is a big part of our mission and we’re grateful for the opportunity to handle the scheduling and transportation of all these world-class artists, this year presenting 7 groups and performers to nearly 3,000 students in 14 Richmond city schools. The reality is that most of these young people wouldn’t have attended the Festival so we took a little of the music and culture to them. We hope to expand the program for the 2nd Richmond Folk Festival in 2009.”
Participating schools included, Reid Elementary, Elkhardt Middle, Greene Elementary, Broadrock,Chandler, King, Fairfield, Oak Grove, Miles Jones, Huguenot, George Mason, Ginter Park, Brown Middle, Henderson Middle. Participating performers were Colombian joropo masters Grupo Cimarrón, Texas/Czech Polka accordionist Mark Halata , Japanese ritual drummers San Jose Taiko, Arabic musicians Nadeem Dlaikan & Friends, young Saharan blues guitarist Vieux Farka Touré, father and son Kentucky Thumb-picked guitar duo Eddie & Alonzo Pennington, and Mexican Day of the Dead altar makers David Amorosa & Ernesto Gomez.
One of the goals of Festival organizers is to ensure that the cultural richness and diversity of the event reaches into the community. “As much as we’d like for them to be there, we know that not everyone in the Region can get to the festival,” said Lisa Sims, director of events for Venture Richmond. “But with Capital One’s support and JAMinc’s meticulous coordination, we’re able to take a taste of the Festival into the community. We’re extremely grateful for this opportunity.”
The inaugural Richmond Folk Festival took place October 10-12, 2008. In the exact likeness of the National Folk Festival, the Richmond Folk Festival featured more than 30 performing groups on seven live music stages with continuous music and dance performances, along with a Virginia Folklife demonstration area, children's and family activities, a folk arts marketplace, regional and ethnic foods and more. The FREE three-day festival is one of the largest events in Virginia, and the largest festival in Richmond, drawing more than 185,000 visitors this year over the three-day weekend.
For more information on the rich variety of performers, demonstrators and participants at the 2008 festival, please visit the website, www.venturerichmond.com.
About the Richmond Folk Festival
The Richmond Folk Festival continues the three-year tradition established by the hugely successful National Folk Festival in Richmond, Virginia, celebrating the roots, richness and variety of American culture through music, dance, traditional craft and food.
The “National” has been held in 27 communities around the country and spent three years on downtown Richmond’s riverfront from 2005 through 2007. The National has moved to Butte, Montana, but Richmond is continuing the cultural celebration by presenting its own festival with the same commitment to quality and authenticity established by the National. Planting the seeds for continuing folk festivals across the country is part of the mission of the National Folk Festival; hence the reason for its three-year stay in selected cities.
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 www.venturerichmond.com or call (804) 788-6466.