Albuquerque Folk Festival Logo

About Us

Goals and Purpose of the Albuquerque Folk Festival

The Albuquerque Folk Festival is focused on public participation. It is about teaching, not just entertainment. Our goal is to pass on knowledge, skills, and traditions to ensure the survival of folk activities. We enlist organizations and individuals to demonstrate and teach wide-ranging folk activities that include old American, New Mexican, Middle Eastern, and other international traditions. We see the teaching of folk activities as a process of encouraging creative expression and fostering a sense of community. Participation in folk activities can reconnect individuals with their neighbors, and participation in folk activities across cultures may encourage cultural tolerance. We aspire to remind people of the days when they could create their own entertainment by going to the community dance, telling stories to their families, or playing music on the front porch with friends. We seek to create alternatives to the public trend of relying on passive entertainment: participation instead of observation.

The Folk Ethic

The Albuquerque Folk Festival is committed to the Folk Ethic. The Folk Ethic is focused on self-expression, community, friendship building, and social consciousness. It is non-commercial. It embraces acoustic music with the focus on open participation rather than virtuoso talent. Enjoyment is sought through personal involvement rather than fame through performances and recordings. Those who are skillful at an activity are willing to teach beginners, for they were once beginners themselves who learned from others willing to help without cost. The Folk Ethic believes that enriching others through sharing in folk activities and sharing of each other's resources is the best form of self-expression

Our Mission

The Albuquerque Folk Festival provides an opportunity for the public to experience and participate in folk music, song, dance, and storytelling through educational workshops, demonstrations and performances. Folk activities enhance community expression and the continuance of cultural traditions.

Board of Directors

The Albuquerque Folk Festival is a 501(c)(3) corporation with a volunteer board of directors. The current board members are:

  • Kyle Malone - President
  • William Miller - Vice President
  • Athena Kelly - Treasurer
  • Rachel Zulevi - Secretary
  • Emily Anslover
  • Doug Casteel
  • Jacob Chavez
  • Rose Day
  • Debra Fortes
  • Noah Martinez
  • Bruce Thomson

You can reach the board at .

Festival Directors

The 2018 Festival Co-Directors are:

  • Bill Balassi
  • Erika Gerety-Libman

They can be reached at


  • Director of Logistics: Bill Balassi
  • Director of Fundraising: Erika Gerety-Libman
  • Director of Scheduling: Peter Esherick
  • Director of Marketing: Kyle Malone
  • Director of Publicity: Rose Day
  • Director of Operations: Donna Bauer
  • Director of Performance: Debra Fortess
  • Director of Participation: Emily Anslover
  • Director of Volunteers: Bill Miller
  • Director of Vending: Doug Chapman

Bill and Erika and all of these folks spend an enormous amount of time putting this festival together; like everyone else involved, they're volunteers.


If you agree with the folk ethic and our goals and mission, why not join us? The festival encourages many different kinds of participation, from sponsorships and donations, to committee work during the year, to working a few hours at the festival, to performing at the festival, to bringing your family and friends to enjoy all the opportunities the festival offers. Help the festival bring people together!