News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Folk Festival announces winter JAM auction and fundraiser

One of the many traditions of the Sisters Folk Festival is its longstanding relationship with Bend guitar builders, Breedlove Guitars, and the annual festival raffle for one of Breedlove’s custom guitars. Typically valued at between $6,000 and $10,000, these highly sought-after guitars featured an element of the annual festival’s artwork in a custom inlay and often included exotic woods built to the specifications of a Breedlove featured artist.

“When we were forced to postpone the 24th annual Sisters Folk Festival due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we began discussing options for our sponsors to continue their support through the remainder of the year,” executive director Crista Munro said, “and the response was overwhelmingly positive.

Breedlove offered us an amazing Ed Gerhard Signature Model, and we began planning how to use that as a centerpiece for our fall annual campaign.

Soon, other supporters lined up to participate, and it was an easy decision to expand the offerings with auction packages featuring gift cards from festival sponsors, food and beverage packages, festival merchandise, live and virtual house concerts from festival performers, and some very cool musical instruments.”

The other instrument that will be raffled off is a custom mandolin. This gorgeous, handcrafted 2-point style mandolin from Berkeley, California, luthier Milton David McClaskey is one-of-a-kind. Featuring a claro walnut back, Adirondack soundboard, curly red maple neck and ebony fingerboard, this 2018 mandolin is in like-new condition, and includes a hard-shell case.

The Winter JAM (Journey/Adventure/Music) Auction and Fundraiser will raise money for critical mission support. Since the pandemic hit in March, SFF has continued to offer — and even expand on — its traditional programming, with the notable exception of its largest annual revenue-generating event, the Sisters Folk Festival, which had to be postponed due to COVID-19.

The organization was able to produce a successful socially-distanced concert at their new backyard venue on August 1, and also hosted two Creativity Camps for kids there in mid-August. There were plans for round two of the Close To Home Concerts with three days of performances at the Art Works venue September 11-13, but the event had to be canceled because of heavy wildfire smoke.

The inaugural Sisters Songworks retreat, originally scheduled for April and postponed to October, was held virtually and plans are in the works to host another session in early 2021. SFF is currently working with Black Butte School to provide music education for K-8 students twice a week and will be hosting its Americana Song Academy for Youth virtually on November 20 and 21. Other programming ideas are in the works starting in early 2021.

SFF’s JAM Fundraiser officially kicks off on December 1, a day known to nonprofits and donors alike as #GivingTuesday, and runs through 6 p.m.

on Saturday, December 5.

At that time, bidding will close on all of the packages and the two raffle winners will be drawn on a live webcast.

Sisters Folk Festival’s Winter JAM features the two instrument raffles plus fun auction items that include instruments, a Pacific City getaway, indoor and outdoor adventure packages and live, private virtual and in-person house concerts from Judith Hill, Martyn Joseph, Beth Wood and Thunderstorm Artis.

Supporters can also join or renew SFF’s annual membership program, Sisters Folk Arts Circle, or make an end-of-year contribution to the nonprofit organization in any amount.

SFF’s Winter JAM Fundraiser will also feature a free, livestream celebration on Friday, December 4 at 6 p.m. This specially produced program will feature unique performances from Judith Hill, Thunderstorm Artis, John Craigie, AJ Lee & Blue Summit, The Parnells and Kristen Grainger & True North.

For additional information, to preview the auction items, purchase raffle tickets, register to bid or to make an end-of-year donation, visit


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