Volunteer for the Festival!
If you are interested in volunteering at the festival, register to volunteer with Takoma Park Folk Festival via VolunteerLocal.
Our team is working on the 2023 Takoma Park Folk Festival--the 44th Festival! Join us to make this historic event a success! Submit this form or contact email@example.com, and specify your interests and availability.
It takes many volunteers working year-round to plan the Festival. See below for the various roles involved. In addition to feeling good about taking on an important role in the community, you could develop valuable leadership skills and personal connections.
We also welcome volunteers for diverse tasks on the day of the Festival, to set up the day before, and to help us promote the Festival in advance. Students: SSL hours available. Volunteers are asked to work at least a two-hour shift. Volunteer areas include performer hospitality, vendor assistance, merchandise sales, parking, groundskeeping, stage assistance, and more.
It takes a lot of people to make a festival happen - please join us!
Long-Term Volunteer Areas
Interested in being part of our core team? Volunteers can support one or several areas, depending on interests and availability. Chairing or sitting on a committee may take a few hours per week or per month, depending on the month; and we're all pretty busy on Festival weekend. Use the form at the top of this page to get more information, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The head honcho. Detail-oriented. Organized. Decisive. Assertive. Excellent communicator. Able to navigate bureaucracy and herd cats. All for the pride that comes from knowing that you are the linchpin that keeps everything together and steers the whole festival. Able to dedicate some serious time at key points before the festival. Does not have to be a solo role; co-chairs work, too! Think you can do it but prefer some mentorship first? Be a vice chair.
Even with all the volunteers, it takes "$25,000" plus each year to put on the Festival, and that comes from a variety of sources, including the City of Takoma Park and our wonderful sponsors, as well as from various creative fund-raising efforts. Someone needs to stay on top of all that.
Part of what draws the crowds is getting the word out--press releases, Facebook and Twitter posts, articles for the website and local publications, designing posters and materials, getting on various community calendars. Distributing banners, posters, flyers, and yard signs. Coordinating our booth at the farmer's market and other community outreach activities. Lots of room for creativity.
The program committee sifts through hundreds of submissions each year to find the performers who will fill the six or seven TPFF stages. If you like working with musicians, this may be for you.
Familiar with the world of arts and crafts? Do you have creative ideas for keeping this corner of the Festival thriving through the changes wrought by Etsy and the Internet? Someone needs to solicit applications, jury the entries, and coordinate with the artisans at the Festival.
One of the unique aspects of TPFF is that this was conceived by its founders as a place to build community. Where else can local non-profits find so many people to share their ideas with? We need someone (or some people) to publicize this feature to organizations, manage the applications, coordinate set-up, and all the other things it takes to make Tables work.
We don't pay our performers, but we try to be nice to them by providing snacks, drinks, and a place out of the sun to sit and relax and hang out with fellow musicians.
Numerous food vendors put in a long day feeding all the festival-goers. These folks are all professionals and know what they are doing, but we need some people to coordinate their applications, collect their fees, figure out where they will set up, and take care of all the little issues that arise from before sunup to after sundown on Festival day.
Other than the year-round committee members and all the performers, we have hundreds of volunteers who do whatever needs doing before and during the festival. Groups like the Girl Scouts run our kids' area, and the Friends of Sligo Creek keep the the area clean. Someone needs to line up volunteers and match them to tasks.
What's a Festival without a T-shirt? From design to production to sales, this could be you.
On the day before and the morning of the Festival, we transform the Middle School into a Festival site, and then turn it back into a school at the end. Coordination, materials, and just plain old labor are part of this job.
You may not notice the people constantly on patrol to keep the trash and recycling bins from overflowing and pick up all the bits that go astray. We need some people to prepare for and manage this sometime thankless task.
Procuring tents, walkie-talkies, port-a-johns, ATMs, whatever we need to rent or buy, and making sure that it gets to the Festival and works as expected.
Tending to the website, maintaining our performer database, dealing with our ISP and mailboxes, etc. This could be an opportunity to be creative -- maybe we need a Festival app?