Folk Alliance International relocating to Kansas City

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Folk Alliance International, an organization and annual conference celebrating and promoting folk music, will officially make Kansas City its home base in 2014.

The three-day conference attracts 2,000 registrants every year. Starting in 2014, and going for at least the next five years, the conference will be held at the Crown Center Westin and Sheraton hotels. Louis Jay Meyers, one of the founders of South by Southwest, is executive director of the organization, which is currently located in Memphis.

"It's three days of panels, workshops, exhibit halls, and music education camps," Meyers tells The Pitch. "It's about 50 percent music industry people and 50 percent musicians who attend."

The Folk Alliance also operates as an organization year-round, and Meyers says it plans to bring music clinics, workshops, concerts and films to the community. The group is still scouting locations for headquarters, including the Boone Theater at the 18th and Vine Jazz District. But nothing is official yet on that front. Meyers plans to move to Kansas City in the spring to get preparations under way. "We'll start having a real presence in Kansas City by 2012," he says.

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