he Folk Alliance International Conference, presented by Folk Alliance International (FAI), is the world’s largest gathering of the folk music industry and community (crossing a diverse array of genres including Appalachian, Blues, Bluegrass, Celtic, Cajun, Francophone, Global Roots, Indigenous, Latin, Old Time, Traditional, Singer-Songwriter, Spoken Word, Zydeco, and many fusions).
The annual February conference (now in its 31st edition) draws 2,800 artists and industry (agents, managers, publishers, labels, festival/venue presenters, promoters, media) dedicated to folk music. Delegates who attended the 2018 conference represented 35 countries
FAI was founded in 1989 to connect folk music leaders aiming to sustain the community and genre. The leading international voice for folk music, FAI is a nonprofit based in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.
The organization’s expanded global network now includes more than 3,000 members, a worldwide community of cultural sector entrepreneurs and leaders that includes artists, record companies, publishers, presenters, agents, managers, arts administrators, diplomats, and more.
FAI’s mission is to nurture, engage and empower the international folk music community – traditional and contemporary, amateur, and professional – through education, advocacy, and performance.
We fulfill our mission through Education, Networking, and Advocacy as well as Field, Professional, and Consumer Development. Diversity and inclusion are core values of FAI.
In 2019 FAI has an Indigenous focus to its program including a Keynote address by Inuk artist Tanya Tagaq, Award presentation to Buffy Sainte Marie and ShoShona Kish, the appointment of Lawyer Gerald Torres to the Board, Indigenous Official and Private showcase stages, panel programming, and the world’s first International Indigenous Music Summit ( a day-long Indigenous-led meeting).
FAI’s 2019 Artist in Residence project is a commissioned work to coincide with and for the use of the United Nations declaration of 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages. FAI invited Twin Flames to consider and converse with Indigenous artists globally to create an original piece that speaks to the importance of language.
FAI’s Artist in Residence program was created to foster cultural cross- cross-pollination, diversify audiences, and nurture artistic growth, FAI’s Artist in Residence program (AIR) pairs folk musicians with institutions and community organizations through innovative partnerships. Past projects have paired artists with KC Ballet, the WWI Museum, Topeka Correctional Facility, KCPD, and UMKC’s Math and Statistics Department and the Kansas City Art Institute.