The Woody Guthrie Coalition is asking for private donations to f - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

The Woody Guthrie Coalition is asking for private donations to fund the 20th annual WoodyFest

OKEMAH, OK (KSWO)- The Woody Guthrie Coalition has started a GoFund Me page to help make the 20th annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival possible. The Festival is held every year in Woody Guthrie's hometown of Okemah.

"The Woody Guthrie Festival is like a historical landmark, a history lesson and a celebration of American roots music. It serves as a yearly reminder of Woody Guthrie's legacy, an annual gathering of the folk music community, and it's a great time for musicians and fans to experience some great memories. I use it as an annual reminder of my mission as a songwriter. To write songs that bring people together rather than apart, songs that nudge the world to a better a place. That's the kind of Festival this is.  Please do what you can to help keep it going," said musician Ellis Paul.

The non-profit organization is run by a committed team of volunteers. However, the recent increase in travel costs has become a financial burden on the organization. They are asking for donations to help with artists' travel and lodging, sound, security, and all other festival associated expenses.

“WoodyFest has become an annual reunion of musicians who travel, often at their own expense, to share the musical heritage of Woody Guthrie, hosted by the people of Okemah and surrounding communities, whose children, now adults, grew up coming to this festival, and are now determined to keep it going.  To me, WoodyFest simply means:  the celebration of Woody Guthrie in his hometown will go on, and carry his songs far beyond the Pastures of Plenty. Will you help keep this festival alive and well?” said Joel Rafael.

WoodyFest celebrates the legacy of the Oklahoma of Woody’s youth while sharing his inspiration for a whole new generation.

 “I can’t begin to describe the feeling in my soul when I sit underneath the stars at the Pastures of Plenty stage and listen to my friends pour their hearts out in their music.  To honor this great human being at his birthplace, the smell of the hayfield, arm to arm with the best people in the world, the WoodyFest fans and volunteers from all over the world, the vast Oklahoma night sky above is a feeling and a moment like no other.   This feisty little festival cobbled itself together from nothing.  Let’s not let it be gone with the wind,” explained Mary Reynolds.

Copyright 2017 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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