Vision – What are the Lawrence Folk Possibilities?

1)  Community participatory activities such as music, dancing, and growing food, connect people with one another.     By providing resources to connect folks to community participatory folklife activities, we hope to inspire greater community involvement.   This may result in a more stable community environment, the building of skill sets, positive personal development, a sense of well being and happiness.    Similar successful organizations

2)  Activity Space:  One of our primary functions will be to develop a functional, visually interesting and affordable activity space for folklife related groups to develop and grow.  We would manage that space and coordinate the use of the folklife center’s spaces. Functional facility goal

3)  The possible facility uses by the community are as follows:

  • classes:  music, dance, arts, food education, growing food, etc
  • small festivals
  • studio and workshop spaces
  • gallery spaces
  • dance events
  • concerts & presentations (music, performance, etc)

4)  Act as an umbrella non-profit for small groups

5)  Develop a monthly e-newsletter or print version of happenings in our community

6)  Community collaboration:  We seek to form a collaborative network among various community groups that will potentially benefit from the use this facility or might be able to call this facility their home.  Collaboration with other groups is essential for the success of this project.  Focus is on folklife related activities and may include music, dance, urban agriculture, ethnic festivals, etc.

7)  Develop a community online folk activity calendar:   We will provide links and a future activity calendar in a centralized location so that folklife related activities are more accessible to the public.

8)  Act as a conduit, connecting tradition bearers with school programs.   

9)  Organize workshops and small festivals:  Future inter-generational programming may also involve the planning of exciting and interesting activities to meet our community’s needs.  Educational programming may involve music, dance, traditional culture, etc.

10)  Encourage the development of a local Folk School model:  The folk school movement started in Denmark and has been successful in the Scandinavian countries, and has prompted the development of some successful schools in North America.   These are schools devoted to the sharing of knowledge, skills, history, tradition, as well as positive social interaction and a connecting to our environment in a learning environment that is non-competitive and supportive.

11)  Encourage the development of a Recreation Laboratory model:   The rec lab movement started the early 1900’s and is a community welfare improvement plan for people to continue learning practical and social skills.  Sharing of skills and knowledge is deeply valued.  The Redwood Recreation Leadership Laboratory summarizes the concept in their mission statement:   To foster, encourage, teach, and promote fellowship and community welfare through shared recreation.  

12)  Organizational structure:  The organization will have a board of directors, and an advisory board.    We will depend on volunteers for many projects and tasks.

13)  Evaluate future community needs


Building community happens when people participate in group activities such as music, dancing, and growing food. Lawrence Folk values the sharing of skills and knowledge, and working cooperatively and in collaboration with other groups and individuals to meet community needs.


1)  Secure and manage a permanent facility for folklife related activities

2)  Develop folklife programming to enrich the community

3)  Develop a community calendar of folklife activities

4)  Collaborate with similar organizations to meet community needs

What folklife activities do for you and your community:

  • Help people understand and celebrate their own cultures and the cultures of others.
  • Embody everyday life and values, and are accessible and relevant to all.
  • Connect people across cultural groups, generations, regions and countries.
  • Build awareness that culture crosses geographic and political boundaries.
  • Build and stabilize community through new friendships, collaboration, sharing of knowledge and listening.
  • Build positive interaction skills, positive personal development, a sense of well being and happiness.
  • Are good food for the brain.
  • Illustrate that culture, place and the natural environment are deeply connected.

Moving Forward

To move this project forward, we need your help.   We need to continue building a passionate and diverse leadership team.  This project IS possible.   A strong interest, a focus on the goal, community collaboration and effective fundraising can make this idea a reality.     Imagine the positive impact of creating a functional space to facilitate worthwhile and wholesome community activities!   If some part of this project fits with your interests, passion and time, please contact us.  Contact Byron Wiley  or  841-2829 for more information.