WALK, LOOK, LISTEN and CONNECT
This Memorial Day Weekend, the Ashland World Music Festival (AWMF) invites the public to live,in-person storytelling, music, dance and visual art offerings from cultures around the world. The festival features culture-bearing performers, visual artists and teachers at live events and a weekend of SoundWalks through Ashland’s downtown city-scape. All AWMF events are free to the public and produced in collaboration between Rogue World Music (RWM) and Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission (APRC).
This is RWM’s third fundraising festival for community members impacted by the Almeda Fire. All funds raised this year are donated to Coalición Fortaleza, a local organization dedicated to:
- Restoring Latinx neighborhoods in the Rogue Valley that were disproportionately impacted by the Almeda Fire
- Creating a future where every Latinx voice can be heard and our communities can thrive with dignity, peace, and justice
“RWM’s mission is to build community & connection through world music experiences. We feel that the AWMF is the perfect opportunity to inspire community, create shared moments of joy, and catalyze support for fire recovery.” ~ Ana Byers, RWM Executive Director
The Festival’s revitalizing vision is shared by co-organizer Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission.
“Ashland Parks and Recreation is excited for the return of the Ashland World Music Festival in 2022 including live performances in Lithia Park! We are honored to partner with Rogue World Music in providing amazing performers to entertain and inspire. It feels great to bring people back together to enjoy celebrating music and culture from around the world, all while supporting the rebuilding of our community .” ~ Lonny Flora, Recreation Manager, APRC
Festival stakeholders agree that the AWMF offers a unique, effective way to contribute to the regeneration and renewal of the Rogue Valley community. AWMF events offer opportunities for everyone to participate in uplifting, joyful, shared experiences. The SoundWalk extends the Festival's energy throughout the town of Ashland, drawing visitors and residents through the scenic downtown area and encouraging foot traffic to local businesses. The fundraiser supports active community involvement in the process of fire recovery.
Both the 2020 and 2021 fundraisers raised approximately $10,000 each for fire relief funds. The goal for the 2022 AWMF is to meet or exceed that amount for housing initiatives that will center and prioritize Almeda Fire survivors.
Over 2,500 structures were destroyed in the Almeda Fire, mainly impacting Latinx, low-income and elderly Rogue Valley residents. While rebuilding has begun, housing for disproportionately impacted community members is returning slowly. Coalición Fortaleza is a local nonprofit led by local women of color focusing on addressing the housing needs of their community. They work with families and organizations in the areas of community development, housing justice, education, and the arts. Current projects in development include an affordable housing rental project in Medford for farmworker families and the purchase/founding of a mobile home park in Talent that will be the first resident owned community in Southern Oregon.
“Coalición Fortaleza is very grateful to all of the community and partners who have supported the work in restoring our vibrant Latinx neighborhoods in the Rogue Valley. We have been a vessel for this vision that came from our people months after the fire. We are looking forward to telling our story at the Ashland World Music Festival and weaving more community into this beautiful journey ahead of us. “ - Coalición Fortaleza Executive Director, Erica Alexia Ledesma
More information about the 2022 AWMF events can be found at rogueworldmusic.org/awmf
. AWMF fundraiser participants can contribute at rogueworldmusic.org
Donations through RWM will qualify for a tax credit if matched with a gift to the Oregon Cultural Trust. For more information about Coalición Fortaleza, visit coalicionfortaleza.org
The Ashland World Music Festival is made possible with support from:
The Collins Foundation
The Oregon Arts Commission
The Oregon Cultural Trust
The Oregon Community Foundation
The Ashland Parks Foundation
The Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission
The Jackson County Cultural Coalition
The Pacific Power Foundation
Community Business Partners including:
Evergreen Federal Bank
Full Circle Realty
Southern Oregon PBS
Harry & David
The Nell & Jim Band
For more information on APRC, visit AshlandParksandRec.org