NERFA is the northeast regional afiliate of Folk Alliance International (www.folk.org), a Kansas City, MO-based nonprofit organization that seeks to nurture, engage and empower the international folk music community — traditional and contemporary, amateur and professional — through education, advocacy and performance. Our goal is to provide opportunities for our members to network regionally and advance the overall mission of Folk Alliance International to:
- Increase understanding of the rich variety, artistic value, cultural and historical significance, and continuing relevance of folk music among educators, media and the general public. (Education),
- Provide a bridge to and from folk music organizations and needed resources, and to help those organizations link with their constituencies. (Networking),
- Influence decision-makers and resource providers on the national, state, provincial, and local levels — ensuring the growth of folk music. (Advocacy),
- Support and encourage the development of new and existing grassroots folk music organizations. (Field Development),
- Strengthen the effectiveness of folk music organizations by providing professional development opportunities. (Professional Development).
To help accomplish these goals, NERFA holds an annual four-day conference where artists, agents, booking agents, venue and festival promoters, recording industry professionals, graphic artists, folk DJs, journalists, photographers, publicists and production professionals get together to exchange ideas, learn by attending workshops, panel discussions and seminars, participate in an exhibit hall, attend formal showcases of juried performing artists, and go to private and guerilla showcases hosted by performers, agents and promoters. NERFA has expanded its outreach by holding more local one-day conferences within its region, as well as NERFA Showcase concerts at venues around the region and NERFA Presents Young Folk showcases at various festivals in both the U.S. and Canada.