News & Events from Sisters Folk Festival

(Photo | Courtesy of Sisters Folk Festival)

Sisters Songworks: An Intimate, Virtual Writing Retreat October 2-4, 2020

This event has been moved to cyberspace with a new, lower price and a few spaces are still available!

Sisters Songworks is an intimate and intensive virtual writing retreat celebrating and exploring the art of songwriting in community. This year’s inaugural event will bring in noted songwriters and poets Beth Wood and Anna Tivel, along with special guest instructor Tom Kimmel, to lead the workshop sessions and delve into the magic of songwriting.

Sisters Songworks is a unique opportunity to learn from professional singer-songwriters, connect with others who share a love of songwriting and poetry, share your work in a non-performance focused setting and engage in creativity in a supportive environment, all from the comfort and safety of your own home during COVID-19.

There is a cap of 21 participants who will be divided into smaller groups for workshop sessions. The weekend retreat will include small group workshops, a master class with Tom Kimmel, a song circle, opportunities for sharing, an instructor concert, Q & A with Beth and Anna, time for reflection and plenty of stretch/dance party breaks to keep the blood flowing.

All three instructors are poets as well as songwriters so the focus will be on the craft of songwriting as a literary art form, with an emphasis on lyrics.

For additional questions or concerns regarding program content, contact Beth Wood ( For additional questions or concerns regarding logistics, arrangements and general assistance, contact Dave Ehle ( or 541-588-7066).

Sisters Folk Festival Receives Critical Emergency Funding Through CARES Relief Fund

We were thrilled to learn that Sisters Folk Festival Inc. was awarded $194,998 in CARES Coronavirus Relief Funds for Cultural Support (CRFCS) through the Oregon Cultural Trust to address severe revenue shortfalls during the pandemic. Although ALL of our programming has been impacted in some way since March, the biggest hit to the organization came with the postponement of the 24th Annual Sisters Folk Festival, SFF’s primary revenue generator for year-round programs in the Sisters community and in the elementary, middle and high schools of the Sisters School District.

This award allows us to breathe a huge sigh of relief, but the grant amount represents just 53 percent of the total revenue losses incurred during the current fiscal year due to the COVID-19 health crisis. 

“These funds are lifeblood to Oregon’s cultural community,” said Chuck Sams, chair of the Cultural Trust Board of Directors. “While they won’t replace all the losses suffered during the pandemic, they will ensure Oregon culture survives this crisis. We are deeply grateful to the Oregon Legislature for making this possible.”

Sisters Folk Festival Inc. finalized the purchase of the Sisters Art Works building in December of 2019, completing a two-year, $1.4 million capital campaign that included upgrades and additions to their home office and site of their largest festival venue. This fortuitous acquisition allowed us to pivot and create new, COVID-safe outdoor creativity camps for children this summer, as well as streamed and live performances by regional artists utilizing a safe and creative pod-style seating arrangement on the 10,000-square-foot lawn behind the new building. The new stage and other upgrades will provide outdoor venue space opportunities for safe events and educational activities for the whole community, and will allow SFF staff and volunteers to continue to engage the community safely until the time when indoor and larger outdoor public events can resume.

Video Series Continues

We’re continuing our release of a series of videos filmed here in Sisters from past performers. We couldn’t do it without the help of the many amazing sponsors who’ve hung in there with us, offering support in many ways. Below are the latest videos we put out there on our Facebook and Instagram feeds over the past week or so. They live on the Sisters Folk Festival YouTube Channel — if you haven’t subscribed yet, please do! 

Caldera Sessions from Sisters Folk Festival: Thunderstorm Artis

The Barn Sessions from Sisters Folk Festival: Caitlin Canty

The Barn Sessions from Sisters Folk Festival: Mark Erelli


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