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About Folkworks


Sage Gateshead’s Folkworks programme aims to develop interest and practical involvement in traditional music, song and dance. This is achieved through various activities, including unique performances, one-day workouts, weekly classes, weekend courses and three week-long Summer Schools, for all ages.

Folkworks Artistic Associate

Eliza Carthy, English folk singer-songwriter and fiddler, has been appointed as Folkworks Artistic Associate commencing April 2014. Eliza will build on the achievements of Northumbrian piper Kathryn Tickell who steps down as Folkworks Artistic Director in September 2013 after four busy years.

Eliza’s role will be to develop exciting musical projects which will build on Sage Gateshead’s existing programme in folk and related musics. This is the first of a series of two year Folkworks Artistic Associate appointments – designed to offer a wider range of folk artists the opportunity to work with us rather than a long term ‘Director’ role.


Folkworks was established in 1988 by Ros Rigby OBE and Alistair Anderson, and quickly became England’s leading folk music development agency. Folkworks was a lead partner in the development of Sage Gateshead and is now fully integrated into its management structure.

Folkworks’ early achievement in establishing Folk and Traditional music centre-stage in the concert halls of the world alongside classical, rock and world music, often bringing together musicians from different, complementary backgrounds, grew from a programme that included the promotion of regional and national tours, international collaborations, festivals, training for teachers and schools, and establishing a youth summer school which has inspired thousands of young musicians, some of whom, such as Nancy Kerr, Robert Harbron, Rachel and Becky Unthank and others, have gone on to make professional careers in music.