The theme for the 2017 conference, Forbidden Folk, is designed to celebrate activism in art by exploring the past and present role of folk music in civil, labor, pacifist, and environmental movements. Whether in response to unfair working conditions, protesting inequality and injustice, confronting issues of war, standing up for the downtrodden, or addressing topics of concern for society to take note of, folk music is rooted in social commentary and has historically documented the issues of the day.
The official artwork, created by long-time FAI graphic designer Michael Wrycraft, is influenced by the bold and evocative images of the labor movement, and includes the universal clenched fist of resistance, wielding a ukulele.
"Our choice of a ukulele was intentional, an effort to make the image more accessible and modern" states Executive Director Aengus Finnan. "Placing a user-friendly instrument in the image is a call to action for the average person, not just the professional musician. We all have a part to play, and the songs we write and sing can have meaningful impact."
The mission of Folk Alliance International is to nurture, engage, and empower the international folk music community - traditional and contemporary, amateur and professional - through education, advocacy and performance.
DATE: February 15-19, 2017