We wrapped up the 14th annual Richmond Folk Festival on October 14, and can’t help but marvel at that event’s feeling of togetherness and belonging that draws us in, year after year. It can be hard to describe to those who have never attended the festival. Scholars identify it as “communitas“—that feeling of deep connectedness and shared experience. For us, it is most of all a profoundly felt sense of family. We bond with our staff, our artists, and our audiences during our sojourn to the Richmond Folk Festival. In those moments, we became our best selves. We felt it while we cheered with our neighbors at a stage overflowing with talent during the Sherman Holmes Project (which included Phil Wiggins, Cora Harvey Armstrong, Brandon Davis, and Danny Knicely, among others), or when we watched children delight in the elaborately dressed and energetic Caribbean carnival dancers, or when we belted out “The Family Prayer” with the Legendary Ingramettes to close out the Virginia Folklife Stage. This celebration of traditional music, folklore, and artistry from around the world brings out the very best in all of us. And whether you have been coming to the festival since the very beginning or you joined us for the first time this weekend, we thank you for being part of it.