One State, Many Worlds - Carolina Country

One State, Many Worlds

Folklife exhibition celebrates works of immigrant artists in N.C.

By NCDNCR | Photos courtesy of North Carolina Arts Council and North Carolina Folklife Institute

One State, Many Worlds

Traditional musician and basket maker Y’Brom Ayun

This September, the North Carolina Folklife Area at the National Folk Festival will celebrate artists from around the world who now make their home in the Tar Heel State.

“‘One State, Many Worlds’ is a rare and wonderful opportunity for visitors and residents to experience the diverse traditions from our immigrant communities together in one venue in Greensboro,” Department of Natural and Cultural Resources secretary Susan Kluttz says.

The 76th annual National Folk Festival will feature more than 300 of the nation’s finest musicians, dancers and craftspeople, including more than 40 performing groups on seven stages, a dance pavilion dedicated to nonstop participatory dancing, and a Family Stage with performances appealing to both the young and young at art.

At the N.C. Folklife Area, new North Carolinians from Africa, Syria and Turkey, among others, will share artwork, crafts, musical, culinary and cookery traditions. The lineup features stars of la musica latina, revered Southeast Asian and African artists, and many other musical masters. You can see fine cooks reveal the secrets of their favorite homeland dishes, watch crafts demonstrations, and try out games and sports from around the globe. This area will be divided into the following three experiences. Scheduled performances include:

Traditions Stage

Music and dance

  • Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba, Griot and kora player
    Senegal (Carrboro)
  • International Community Mass Choir, Gospel choir
    Central and West Africa (Charlotte)
  • Awalom Gebremariam, Bahlawi music
    Asmara, Eritrea (Durham)

On Sunday, this stage will open with music from Greensboro’s Montagnard Community. Performers include:

  • Y’Brom Ayun, Traditional musician and basket maker
    Buon Mui, Daklak Province, Vietnam (Greensboro)
  • Janarde, Traditional Montagnard dance
    Central Highlands of Vietnam (Raleigh)


A Montagnard weaver

Cuisine and Cookery Area

Unique foodways

  • Margarita Delgado, Salvadoran cuisine
    San Salvador, El Salvador (Greensboro)
  • Judelande Dumé, Traditional Haitian cuisine
    Les Cayes, Haiti (Mount Olive)
  • Lanoy Thammavongxay, Lao cuisine
    Savanhakhet, Laos (Morganton)

Masters and Makers Showcase

Old and modern arts and crafts

  • Marlene Makita, Hair braiding
    Brazzaville, Republic of Congo (Greensboro)
  • Faustin Dumé, Self-taught painter
    Les Cayes, Haiti (Mount Olive)
  • Ruben Olmos, Custom lowrider cars displayed
    Second generation Mexican-American (Burlington)

In addition to the N.C. Folklife Area, themed festival areas include the Family Activities Area and North Carolina Arts Marketplace. The lineup of performers and artists was curated by the North Carolina Folklife Institute and North Carolina Arts Council. The N.C. Folklife Area is a project of the council, an agency of NCDNCR.

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