Let’s Talk About MennoFolk

Have you heard about MennoFolk?

It’s a celebration of music and art created by people with some kind of association to Mennonite culture or religion. Check out that awesome feature photo, taken with my awesome phone (I’m using the word “awesome” sarcastically, btw) — perhaps you can tell it’s Andrew! He read a short story at last year’s MennoFolk, and I was very proud of him.

The theme for MennoFolk 2017 had been FEAR[FULL] and the logo was fantastically dark. I greatly appreciated the stage backdrop illustration of Menno Simons alongside the words: “I’m not that kind of Mennonite.” I feel like I’ve said those exact words before. Maybe because there are a LOT of different kinds of Mennonites. That whole “Anabaptist sickness” thing (the tendency to split churches) likely has contributed to this. Many around our area, in Manitoba, I’d say are no longer involved in anything religiously Mennonite, though the culture of the particular peculiar group of Menno Simons followers who immigrated from Holland to Poland to Russia to Manitoba has impacted us, has shaped us.

MennoFolk began as a festival at Camp Assiniboia. At some point it was moved indoors, to various Winnipeg venues… lately at X-Cues on Sargent.¬†Apparently there are MennoFolk chapters all over Canada and the United States! Here’s what MennoFolk has posted on their website:

“MennoFolk seeks to provide a welcoming atmosphere for people regardless of age and level of connectedness to the Mennonite Church to come together and appreciate the music and art of the Mennonite community.
We celebrate MennoFolk because it provides an outlet for artists and musicians associated with the Mennonite community to break from tradition and explore new ideas.”

Right now, there’s a call for submissions for MennoFolk 2018, and the deadline is February 24th. This year’s topic: “Stop to ponder the past, present, and future of what it means to be Mennonite and make art.”

Will you?