Sisters Folk Festival Honored

(Photo above by Rob Kerr)

Sisters Folk Festival, Inc. was honored and celebrated with the Organizational Achievement Award from the Folk Alliance Region – West (FAR-West). The NW chapter of Folk Alliance International gave the award, which is part of the “Best of the West” category. The annual conference was held in Bellevue, Washington on October 5-8.

Sisters Folk Festival’s creative director, Brad Tisdel, accepted the award. He attended with Americana Project alumni Benji Nagel and FAR-West board member and Sisters Folk Festival ambassador Beth Wood. Tisdel also presented singer-songwriter Jeffrey Martin, who sang on behalf of Sisters Folk Festival.

“To be recognized by FAR-West is an honor and a tribute to the long-term commitment of SFF to build community connections through music and arts education. From humble beginnings to a year-round cultural arts organization, we invest in our community, with compelling events and programming that help create inter-generational connections that support and empower our youth,” said Tisdel.

Sisters Folk Festival received the award for more than twenty years of service to support and enhance the cultural arts in the schools and community of Sisters, Oregon.

A video of Tisdel’s acceptance speech is at the link:

Beth Wood introduced the award, with these remarks, “SFF produces one of the most successful roots music festivals in the country, bringing hundreds of artists from all over the world to enrich the community and celebrate through song. But that is only one part of the Sisters Folk Festival organization’s mission. SFF is a year-round non-profit arts organization that supports arts education in times when we desperately need it. Imagine a world where children learn about American roots music in public school – this world exists; in Sisters, Oregon.

“SFF invests in scholarships for music and arts classes in all grade levels; a luthier program; song academy for youth; special mentoring with music and art professionals; and teaching students to perform live, solo or with a band. I think about the potential impact on young people with access to these educational opportunities, and I am astounded. My mind is blown.”

Beth read quotes from Sisters High School graduate Laura Curtis and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Shawn Mullins.

“Beyond learning how to play music and write songs, the Americana Project taught me the value of community engagement and helped me become a more confident and compassionate person. Through opportunities provided by the Americana Project and Sisters Folk Festival I became a leader, a better student and – most importantly – an active member of a community that supported and believed in me. I am eternally grateful,” said Curtis.

“What struck me most about Sisters was the level of love and community that I saw and heard everywhere around me. People sharing ideas, being creative together, no bad vibes anywhere… We need more of that stuff in the world. Thank you, Brad and everybody else at the Sisters Folk Festival for all that you do to make the world a more positive and peaceful place to live in. Much love and respect,” said Mullins.

Other honorees in the Best of the West awards ceremony included Alice Stuart, longtime NW blues guitar player, songwriter and performer; and the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, with Peter Langston and Janet Peterson accepting on behalf of PSGW. Sisters Folk Festival was thrilled to accept the award, the second given by FAR-West for organizational achievement in the history of the organization. For more information about FAR-West visit To learn more about Sisters Folk Festival Inc. programming visit

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