WoodyFest to Celebrate 20th Annual Festival in Okemah

The Oklahoma Film + Music Office (OF+MO) is proud to sponsor the 20th annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival (WoodyFest) in Woody’s hometown of Okemah, Oklahoma. Kicking off Wednesday, July 12, this four-day event will feature over 100 performing artists on five stages along with several family-friendly events throughout the weekend in honor of the late folk hero.

Performances will commence with a special tribute to Jimmy LaFave at Okemah’s historic Crystal Theatre. The 2017 festival will feature an all-star lineup with several Guthrie family members and WoodyFest mainstays including Arlo Guthrie, Sarah Lee Guthrie, Annie Guthrie, Folk Uke, David Amram, the Red Dirt Rangers, Caroline Spence, Turnpike Troubadours, John Fullbright, Shawna Russell, Michael Fracasso and more.

John Cooper of the Red Dirt Rangers explains that “Woody Guthrie exemplifies the everyday, hard-working, under-represented people in this land. He gives a voice to those without one, hope to those who have none, and shines a light on things that need to be seen for what they really are. His songs are as meaningful and powerful today as they ever were, and maybe even more so. The Woody Guthrie Folk Festival, in its 20th anniversary year, celebrates the life and legacy of the most famous Oklahoman in the world, and some of the best entertainers from our state and around the country will be in Okemah to honor him.”

OF+MO will sponsor the WoodyFest Songwriting workshop hosted by Ellis Paul, a veteran WoodyFest performer and seasoned singer/songwriter and folk musician. The workshop will take place at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, located at 202 N. 3rd St., from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 15. This three-hour class, meant to inform and inspire, will focus on songwriting, editing and creativity with examples taken from Woody Guthrie’s songs as well as others. On-site registration is required. The cost to attend is $50.

In addition to the songwriting workshop, several other unique events will take place, including poetry readings by the Woody Guthrie poets, a presentation and book signing by Tim Z. Hernandez, author of “And They Will Call You”, a documentary novel based on Woody Guthrie’s “Plane Wreck at Los Gatos (Deportee)”, as well as an educational presentation on Woody Guthrie by his granddaughter Anna Canoni. Children’s programming will also be offered with concerts featuring Austyn Moffat and Sarah Lee Guthrie with the Red Dirt Rangers, Ellis Paul and Chloe-Beth Campbell, along with a “Woody’s Kids” songwriting workshop with Lauren Lee.

For a complete schedule of events and to purchase passes and tickets, please visit WoodyFest.com.

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About the Oklahoma Film + Music Office:
Created in 1979, The Oklahoma Film + Music Office strives to share all that Oklahoma has to offer by welcoming filmmakers and music professionals to the state and by creating a network of support to develop Oklahoma’s film and music industries. For more information about the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program or the Oklahoma Film + Music Office please visit www.okfilmmusic.org.

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