The Folk Alliance International Conference returns to Kansas City, an event expected to draw about 3,000 people.
The five-day music conference, which begins Feb. 18, will include more public events this year featuring folk musicians and other artists.
Folk Alliance International moved its headquarters in 2013 from Memphis to 509 Delaware St. in Kansas City. The annual conference was held for the first time in Kansas City last year and is scheduled for return appearances the next three years.
Kansas City tourism officials estimate that about 80 percent of those in attendance will come from outside the area, with a total economic impact of $2.6 million.
Last year’s conference drew about 2,700 and “it’s continuing to grow every year,” Joelle May, a Folk Alliance International spokeswoman, said Thursday.
This year’s keynote speaker is Grammy winner Rita Coolidge. Her appearance, which is not open to the public, is scheduled for Thursday at the Westin Kansas City at Crown Center. The Music Fair portion of the event will be held at the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center.
The organization began in Malibu, Calif., in 1989 to foster and promote traditional, contemporary and multicultural folk music and dance and related performing arts.
For more information on the conference and public events, go to www.folkalliance.org/conference.