Reclaiming Folk: Celebrating the Voices of People of Color in Folk Music

Forbes Library (20 West St, Northampton)


Created by Naomi Westwater

Featuring performances by Anand Nayak and Aisha Burns

The Reclaiming Folk Event Series is a celebration of people of color in Folk Music. Folk Music is traditional music, folk music is storytelling, folk music is music of the people, folk music is a voice for what’s happening in the world today.

In our society, there is often no space for marginalized people to tell their stories. The Reclaiming Folk seeks to make space for musicians of color to tell their stories and tell the stories of our past, so that our future can be a more inclusive place for all.

We are Reclaiming Folk, because history has forgotten that people of color have always been at the root of American Folk music. From field calls to Blues to Gospel, the origin of American Folk Music is connected to people of color.

This 90 minute program includes a 60 minute performance by Massachusetts based folk artists of color singing songs in a round. Each musician will play original songs and one traditional folk song by a musician of color. Following the performance will be a 30 minute talk back and discussion where the musicians will talk about their songs and their experience as folk musicians and then the discussion will open up to a Q&A.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Northampton Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.