Montana Resources, through the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, is again a sponsor of the event in 2012, with a renewed commitment of $100,000 per year for three years for a total of $300,000 by 2014. The Foundation was a major sponsor for Butte’s hosting of the National Folk Festival in Butte for three years, from which developed the Montana Folk Festival in 2011. A multicultural mosaic of music, unique crafts, ethnic foods and dancing, the Montana Folk Festival hosts musical performances on six stages over a three day period. Over 250 musicians fill the summer air with Bluegrass, Western Swing, Kosher Gospel, Blues, Old-Time Appalachian Music, Japanese Taiko and Zydeco. The Montana Folk Festival has been a successful effort to diversify the Butte economy and Butte’s reputation as a destination spot for summer visitors. Montana Resources is proud to be a community booster and to showcase the Mining City in this way.
The economic impact of the 2011 Folk Festival included an estimated 140,000 visitors over three days with direct sales in the Butte and surrounding area of $8 million and $18 million statewide. Approximately 24% of visitors were from out of state and more than 30 states were represented among the visitors. The Butte community has embraced the Montana Folk Festival as their signature summer event with over 650 direct volunteers helping out during the three day event in 2011.