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Longtime international folk festival in Haywood County is downsizing

Cory Vaillancourt

North Carolina’s official international festival, Folkmoot USA, continues to struggle following financial challenges stemming from the pandemic, according to a press release by the Folkmoot board.

Following pandemic shutdowns, the rising costs of international travel caused financial shortfalls for the organization which at its peak would host nearly a dozen international groups of dancers and musicians.

Leadership in the organization also shifted. The Board of Directors recently accepted the resignation of its executive director, Evan Hatch, who was hired just more than a year ago.

“The Board is dedicated and determined to make tough choices in order to protect the legacy of Folkmoot,” Alan Fletcher, president of the Folkmoot Board of Directors, said in the release.

Folkmoot is headquartered at the old Hazelwood School on Virginia Avenue. The organization owns the building and rents spaces to local schools, artists and others.

“We’ve made our rental spaces affordable for nonprofits and local artists, and are doing all we can to keep the doors open” Fletcher said in the release.

Folkmoot will continue to offer rentals and host performances and special events as it faces financial challenges, according to the release.

For information on shows and other events, visit folkmoot.org. For information on monthly space, classroom and auditorium rentals, contact Operations Manager Brett Pinkston at 828.452.2997 or email operations@folkmoot.org.

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