Best of the West

FAR-West established the Best of the West (BOTW) awards in 2005 to honor individuals who have maintained an enduring presence in the folk and acoustic music scene in the West, and who continue to inspire others by embodying folk values and traditions. The awards are presented at the Best of the West luncheon at FAR-West’s annual conference.

To receive Best of the West awards, an individual or organization must demonstrate excellence in one’s craft; an enduring presence in the geographic FAR-West folk community for at least a decade; embody or build upon folk values and traditions; and promote, nurture, foster and expand the audience and opportunities for folk music and musicians in the FAR-West geographic region.

Previous Best of the West Award Recipients:
2005: Lowen & Navarro; Howard & Roz Larman - Folkscene
2006: U.Utah Phillips; Steve Baker - Freight & Salvage
2007: Rosalie Sorrels; Clark & Elaine Weissman - CTMS (and Folk Alliance Founders)
2008: The Kingston Trio; Mike McCormick - Whistling Swan Productions
2009: Joe Craven; Bob Stane - Ice House/Coffee Gallery; Faith Petric: Lifetime Achievement Award
2010: John McEuen; Cloud Moss - Kate Wolf Memorial Festival
2011: Laurie Lewis; Phil and Vivian Williams
2012: Barry McGuire; Chris Strachwitz - Founder of Arhoolie Records
2013: Chris Hillman; Ed Pearl - The Ash Grove
2014: Barbara Dane; Cassandra Flipper - Bread and Roses
2015: Cris Williamson, Russ and Julie Paris, and Penny Nichols: Lifetime Achievement Award
2016: Danny O’Keefe, Peter McCracken & the Centrum Foundation and Seattle Folklore Society: Organizational Achievement Award
2017: Alice Stuart, Peter Langston and Janet Peterson / Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, and Sisters Folk Festival: Organizational Achievement Award
2018: Wendy Waldman, McCabes/Bob & Espie Riskin and The Guacamole Fund: Lifetime Achievement in Community Service Award
2019: Kate MacLeod, Art Podell
2021: Nina Gerber, Mickie Zekley/The Lark Camp, Dan Navarro (Humanitarian Award)


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