Wisdom of the Elders
Sonny Ochs first created the Wisdom of the Elders program at a NERFA conference. In 2013 it spread to both the Folk Alliance International Conference and to SERFA. Wisdom of the Elders provides a structured opportunity for us to learn from and about our senior leaders and for the elders to share their experiences with each other. Wisdom of the Elders has rapidly become an essential feature of our Folk Alliance gatherings. Elders over age 70 participate in a panel with questions posed by SERFA historian Art Menius, each other, and audience members.
Folk music is a stream into which we are called to float along for all or part of our lives. The folk music community values tradition while using our art to push for social change. We appreciate in the folk community that we stand on the shoulders of our predecessors whether they were known internationally or worked in obscurity.
Past Elders at SERFA
2019: Nancy and Norman Blake, David Wilkes
2018: Jim Rooney, Billy Edd Wheeler, Ginny Hawker and Tracy Schwarz
2017: Doug Orr, Reggie Harris, Patrick Sky
2016: Peggy Seeger, Lowell "Banana" Levinger, Freebo
2015: Ken Irwin, Bill Nowlin, Marian Leighton-Levy, Alice Gerrard, Si Kahn
2014: Alice Gerrard, Margo Blevins, John McCutcheon
2013: Sonny Ochs, Ralph Lewis