Greensboro, N.C., May 20, 2015 — The National Folk Festival announced today that VF Corporation will sponsor the “Wrangler Stage” at the 2015 Festival, which will feature 300 artists on seven stages over three days in downtown Greensboro from September 11 – 13, 2015. The Festival is FREE; no tickets are necessary.
A large “street stage” located in the 400 block of North Elm Street in downtown Greensboro, the Wrangler Stage will anchor the northern end of the Festival. At any time throughout the Festival, as many as 5,000 attendees will be able to enjoy performers on this stage, which will operate day and night. Food and beverage vendors will be located on the Wrangler property adjacent to the stage.
Making the announcement today at the Wrangler facility in Greensboro were Anita Graham, Vice President – VF Global Human Resources; Scott Baxter, Vice President – VF Corporation and Group President – Jeanswear, Imagewear and South America; Florence Gatten, Board Chair – ArtsGreensboro; Tom Philion, President and CEO – ArtsGreensboro; Julia Olin, Executive Director – National Council for the Traditional Arts; and Greensboro City Council Member-At-Large Marikay Abuzuaiter.
“We are thrilled to announce that VF Corporation—with its corporate headquarters right here in Greensboro—is making a major commitment to the 2015 National Folk Festival,” said Philion. “With this investment in the Wrangler Stage, VF is providing an opportunity for tens of thousands of people to enjoy performances by some of our nation’s outstanding traditional artists during the Festival.”
“VF and Wrangler are proud to support the National Folk Festival in Greensboro, the place we call home,” said Scott Baxter, Vice President – VF Corporation and Group President – Jeanswear, Imagewear and South America. “By presenting some of the nation’s best traditional artists on the Wrangler Stage during the National Folk Festival, we have a unique opportunity to celebrate the arts and American heritage, something that is also at the heart of Wrangler.”
Approximately 300 artists—musicians, dancers, puppeteers, storytellers, and craftspeople—will appear during the National Folk Festival, with at least 30 different musical groups performing on the Wrangler Stage and six other outdoor performance venues throughout downtown Greensboro.
Following the announcement of VF’s sponsorship of the Wrangler Stage, Julia Olin, Executive Director – National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA), which awarded the National Folk Festival to Greensboro and is co-producing it with ArtsGreensboro, announced the first set of eight artists performing at the Festival. Those artists include:
- Dale Watson – honky-tonk & country
- Marquise Knox – blues
- Los Tres Reyes – trío romántico
- Mythili Prakash Dance Ensemble – Bharata Natyam
- The Dardanelles – traditional music of Newfoundland
- Sheila Kay Adams – Appalachian songs, stories, and ballads
- Babá Ken Okulolo & the West African Highlife Band – highlife
- Yuqin Wang & Zhengli Xu – Chinese rod puppetry
Over 40 people of different backgrounds—and with a deep knowledge of traditional music and art forms—came together from across North Carolina to serve as the local Festival Programming Advisory Committee. “I was thrilled to work with the local Programming Advisory Committee whose input was so valuable to the Festival programming process,” said Olin. “This first group of performers underscores how diverse and exciting the Festival’s programming will be.”
More performers will be announced over the next two months. Check the newly launched NationalFolkFestival.com website often for updates and information on all the performers, including biographies, audio and video clips, artist websites, and more.
About VF Corporation: VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) is a global leader in the design, manufacture, marketing, and distribution of branded lifestyle apparel, footwear, and accessories. The company’s highly diversified portfolio of 30 powerful brands spans numerous geographies, product categories, consumer demographics, and sales channels, giving VF a unique industry position and the ability to create sustainable, long-term growth for our customers and shareholders. The company’s largest brands are The North Face®, Vans®, Timberland®, Wrangler®, Lee® and Nautica®. For more information, visit www.vfc.com.
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. nationalfolkfestival.com
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 America to establish new, sustainable traditional arts events that bring lasting social, cultural, and economic benefits. ncta-usa.org
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. www.artsgreensboro.org