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Northwoods Folk Collective still clicking

Don Zieman of Bemidji, a popular local musician, is shown performing at the Northwoods Folk Collective at Rail River Folk School. Submitted photo

The Northwoods Folk Collective has a long history of providing an opportunity for artists in all genres to meet and perform their craft.

"The collective started in 1993 with song circles and an embrace of folk arts in Bemidji and the surrounding communities," said Drew Warne-Jacobsen. "In November of 1994 it began as a music and spoken word coffeehouse at Griffy's Restaurant (Raphael's Bakery is now at that site), then in September 1997 moved the project to the Headwaters School of Music and the Arts."

While at HSMA, the crowds formed around the block on coffeehouse nights waiting to sign up or just be a part of the audience. Like all ventures, there are ups and downs in their lifetimes.

Warne-Jacobson and Dennis Montgomery restarted the collective in 2008 in collaboration with the Mask and Rose Women's Theater Collective in the Wild Rose Theater. In February of 2011, the collective moved to its current home, Rail River Folk School which seems to be a favorable spot for a permanent residence.

The next event will be held at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Rail River Folk School, 303 Railroad St. SW.