Woody Guthrie Folk Festival 2017

The Woody Guthrie Coalition – organizer of the annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival -  needs your help!  As you may know, the Woody Guthrie Coalition is a non-profit organization run entirely by a board of directors made up of a group (20 or less) of dedicated volunteers.  This year – 2017 – will mark the 20th annual festival and we are hoping it will be the best yet!

The last several years have been a challenge financially as the costs of travel and lodging have increased.  In 2015 we were forced to charge an admission fee for the first time.  We are still struggling to stay afloat.   As we began to plan for this year’s festival, it became apparent that we can’t do it without help.  We are confident that there are at least 1000 persons who would be willing and able to donate $20 to keep the festival going and the Coalition solvent.   But no donation is too small.  We would be pleased to accept donations less then $20....or more than $20! Your donation will help defray the costs associated with artists' travel and lodging, sound, security, and all other festival associated expenses.

Please take a few minutes to read the statements below from Ellis Paul, Joel Rafael, Mary Reynolds and David Amram - four of the artists who are supporting the festival by encouraging you to donate

From Ellis Paul:
"The Woody Guthrie Festival is like a historical landmark, a history lesson and a celebration of American roots music. It serves as a yearly reminder of Woody Guthrie's legacy, an annual gathering of the folk music community, and it's a great time for musicians and fans to experience some great memories. I use it as an annual reminder of my mission as a songwriter. To write songs that bring people together rather than apart, songs that nudge the world to a better a place. That's the kind of Festival this is.  Please do what you can to help keep it going."

From Joel Rafael: 

“WoodyFest has become an annual reunion of musicians who travel, often at their own expense, to share the musical heritage of Woody Guthrie, hosted by the people of Okemah and surrounding communities, whose children, now adults, grew up coming to this festival, and are now determined to keep it going.  To me, WoodyFest simply means:  the celebration of Woody Guthrie in his hometown will go on, and carry his songs far beyond the Pastures of Plenty. 

Will you help keep this festival alive and well?”  

From Mary Reynolds: 
“I can’t begin to describe the feeling in my soul when I sit underneath the stars at the Pastures of Plenty stage and listen to my friends pour their hearts out in their music.  To honor this great human being at his birthplace, the smell of the hayfield, arm to arm with the best people in the world, the WoodyFest fans and volunteers from all over the world, the vast Oklahoma night sky above is a feeling and a moment like no other. 

 This feisty little festival cobbled itself together from nothing.  Let’s not let it be gone with the wind.” 

 From David Amram:
"When I first came to WoodyFest in Okemah Oklahoma in the summer of 2005, fifty nine years after I first met Woody Guthrie back in 1956 in New York City, I felt that all these years later, I was now really meeting him for the first time .

During a week of sleepless days and nights, my three children and I were privileged to be part of a festival in a community which celebrated the enduring values that Woody sang about. WoodyFest reminded us all that This Land of ours was really meant for you and me. For a whole week, the musicians and the audience were all part of an extended family. 

 WoodyFest not only celebrates the legacy of the Oklahoma of Woody’s youth. It shares with all of us the inspiration he has provided for a whole new generation of young people today.  WoodyFest reminds us that we can all make a difference.

 2017 will be my 12th year in a row of being part of this unique event, and I look forward seeing all the marvelous musicians and warm-hearted people who come back every year to share that welcoming spirit.

 Since like all the others performers, I am also a fan as well as a volunteer, I am pledging $20 as requested to help keep the festival alive, and remain an affordable, family friendly and a creative oasis for all the world to share.

 I hope you can all do the same.”  

Questions or concerns?  Feel free to contact any of our officers whose contact information can be found at www.woodyfest.com .  Thank you for your consideration and support!

                WoodyFest......where THIS LAND Began!  


Karen Zundel
Okemah, OK
Woody Guthrie Coalition
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.

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