This year, the 15th annual Bookmarks Festival in Winston-Salem lands on the same weekend as the second North Carolina Folk Festival in Greensboro. Starting Thursday through Sunday, authors, musicians and performers will descend upon the two cities and bring with them unique live performances as well as impressive works of the written variety. Rather than choosing one event or the other to cover, this year we’ve decided to highlight musicians and writers from each festival under shared themes. Here you’ll find insight into how and why these artists to do what they do.

The Bookmarks Festival takes place from Thursday through Sunday. More info including a schedule of events can be found on their website at
The NC Folk Festival takes place from Friday through Sunday. More info including a schedule of performances can be found on their website at Both events are free and open to the public.

On what it means to be an immigrant:

  • Rajia Hassib (Bookmarks)
  • Michael Mwenso of Mwenso & the Shakes (NC Folk Festival)

On Appalachian culture and identity:

  • Anya Hinkle (NC Folk Festival)
  • Meredith McCall (Bookmarks)

On women of color as artists:

  • Dhonielle Clayton (Bookmarks)
  • Kiran Ahluwalia (NC Folk Festival)

On how to create stories for children:

  • Stacy McAnulty (Bookmarks)
  • Jon Sundell (NC Folk Festival)

On black excellence:

  • Lesa Cline-Ransome and James Ransome (Bookmarks)
  • North Carolina A&T State University Cold Steel Drumline (NC Folk Festival)

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