Juneau band The Breeze, made up of Charles Kiel Renick, Olivia Sinaiko and Bob Sinaiko, prepare to play their set at Centennial Hall during the 2022 Alaska Folk Fest on April 4, 2022. This year’s festival takes place on April 10-16. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)

Juneau band The Breeze, made up of Charles Kiel Renick, Olivia Sinaiko and Bob Sinaiko, prepare to play their set at Centennial Hall during the 2022 Alaska Folk Fest on April 4, 2022. This year’s festival takes place on April 10-16. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)

Alaska Folk Fest returns soon —but there’s still time to apply to perform

This year will be split between JACC and JDHS.

Alaska Folk Festival secretary Hiram Henry said that aside from a change in venues from Centennial Hall to the Juneau Arts and Culture Center and Juneau Douglas Yadaa.at Kalé High School, Juneauites can look forward to the popular Southeast Alaska event maintaining a lot of the same aspects audiences have come to know and love.

“Every year is an awesome assemblage of talented musicians and friends and community, which is unparalleled, so we’ll have that this year for sure,” Henry said. “We’re having a great guest artist along with excellent dances and dance callers that will have a lot to offer folks who enjoy traditional dances and folks dances.”

The 48th Annual Alaska Folk Festival takes place April 10-16. Henry said that due to construction at Centennial Hall this year, the main stage concerts will take place at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center Monday, April 10 through Thursday, April 13, and at JDHS Friday, April 14 through Sunday April 16.

Applications are now open for anyone who would like to perform at the festival, lead a workshop, or volunteer behind the scenes. Applications can be submitted online at alaskafolfest.org. All performance applications are due by 5 p.m. Friday.

Additionally, Henry said this year’s festival guest artist is Lone Piñon, a New Mexican string band, or “orquesta típica” whose music celebrates the integrity and diversity of their region’s cultural roots. They will be performing on the main stage Friday, April 14 and Sunday, April 16.

“The four bandmates are each master musicians, and bring toe-tapping polkas, rancheras, swings, and valses with passionate singing,” Henry said. “They studied their style under community elders, to share and promote their musical, oral and dance traditions. They will perform two concerts, workshops, and accompany a dance. Our Guest Dance Caller, Lucy Salazar, is a collaborator who teaches hispano folk dances that accompany Lone Piñon’s music. She grew up dancing to similar music by her grandfather and father, and takes joy in continuing their traditions.”

This year’s festival poster was created by Sitka based artist Rebecca Poulson. Though this is Poulson’s first time providing artwork for the Folk Festival, she’s a well-established artist throughout Southeast Alaska, which is why the board chose her, Henry said.

Rebecca Poulson’s artwork for this year’s Alaska Folk Festival taking place on April 10-16. (Courtesy Photo / Rebecca Poulson)

Rebecca Poulson’s artwork for this year’s Alaska Folk Festival taking place on April 10-16. (Courtesy Photo / Rebecca Poulson)

“We love the design for a lot of reasons. It’s a beautiful artwork but it captures the culture of commercial fishing and there are so many musicians in the community that share ties in the fishing community. It’s a very Alaskan employment and also life and culture. Her art with all of the musicians scattered around the boats and the docks playing music, I think that captures the enthusiasm and it’s kind of fun and youthful, that’s why we loved it.”

Henry further said Poulson’s block print allows for “genuine rustic detail that is both refined and rough cut at the same time,” which he likened to that of fishing and music.

Poulson has spent years working in wood fishing boat repair as well as co-founding the Sitka shipwrights cooperative, which she said served as her main inspiration for this year’s poster design.

“I’m in love with boats, just the way they look and just how functional they are,” Poulson said. “I just really love fishing boats and also I’m on the board of the Sitka Maritime Heritage Society and there’s a bunch of us restoring boats. We’re getting ready for our annual meeting and talking about doing it around powerskows, which is the boat in the middle of the Folk Fest poster. There’s just something really magical about boats.”

• Contact reporter Jonson Kuhn at jonson.kuhn@juneauempire.com.

More in News

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Aurora forecast for the week of April 15

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

Juneau School District administrators and board members review the updated budget for the current fiscal year during a Board of Education meeting Tuesday night at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The Juneau School District had a $9.5M projected deficit this year. It’s now a $633,185 surplus. How is that possible?

Resignation of 34 employees since January, health insurance savings among reasons, officials say.

Rep. Sara Hannan (right) offers an overview of this year’s legislative session to date as Rep. Andi Story and Sen. Jesse Kiehl listen during a town hall by Juneau’s delegation on Thursday evening at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Multitude of education issues, budget, PFD among top areas of focus at legislative town hall

Juneau’s three Democratic lawmakers reassert support of more school funding, ensuring LGBTQ+ rights.

Rosemary Ahtuangaruak, mayor of the Inupiaq village of Nuiqsut, at the area where a road to the Willow project will be built in the North Slope of Alaska, March 23, 2023. The Interior Department said it will not permit construction of a 211-mile road through the park, which a mining company wanted for access to copper deposits. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times)
Biden shields millions of acres of Alaskan wilderness from drilling and mining

The Biden administration expanded federal protections across millions of acres of Alaskan… Continue reading

Allison Gornik plays the lead role of Alice during a rehearsal Saturday of Juneau Dance Theatre’s production of “Alice in Wonderland,” which will be staged at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé for three days starting Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
An ‘Alice in Wonderland’ that requires quick thinking on and off your feet

Ballet that Juneau Dance Theatre calls its most elaborate production ever opens Friday at JDHS.

Caribou cross through Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve in their 2012 spring migration. A 211-mile industrial road that the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority wants to build would pass through Gates of the Arctic and other areas used by the Western Arctic Caribou Herd, one of the largest in North America. Supporters, including many Alaska political leaders, say the road would provide important economic benefits. Opponents say it would have unacceptable effects on the caribou. (Photo by Zak Richter/National Park Service)
Alaska’s U.S. senators say pending decisions on Ambler road and NPR-A are illegal

Expected decisions by Biden administration oppose mining road, support more North Slope protections.

Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer, speaks on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives on Wednesday, March 13. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska House members propose constitutional amendment to allow public money for private schools

After a court ruling that overturned a key part of Alaska’s education… Continue reading

Danielle Brubaker shops for homeschool materials at the IDEA Homeschool Curriculum Fair in Anchorage on Thursday. A court ruling struck down the part of Alaska law that allows correspondence school families to receive money for such purchases. (Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)
Lawmakers to wait on Alaska Supreme Court as families reel in wake of correspondence ruling

Cash allotments are ‘make or break’ for some families, others plan to limit spending.

Most Read