BalkanFest 2022

Mark your calendars — Dates and venues are set for our summer and fall weekend events, featuring classes and great live music dance parties!

East Coast:
August 5, 2022
Village Community School Sky Yard
West Village, Manhattan, NY

August 6, 2022
Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden
Astoria, NY

West Coast:
September 9-10, 2022
Presidio Theatre Plaza
San Francisco, CA

Many more details to come. Stay tuned!

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Since the beginning the East European Folklife Center has depended on you—our big-hearted community!

The Staff

Meet the EEFC Staff

Administrative Staff


Rachel MacFarlane EEFC StaffRachel MacFarlane, General Manager
I have been intrigued by Balkan languages, folk music, and domestic arts for many years. My activities have included performing with groups such as Seattle’s Radost Folk Ensemble and the San Francisco Bay Area’s Macedonian folk band Debela Mačka, the construction of Balkan folk costume reproductions, translation and transcription of Balkan folk song lyrics, creating beaded-crochet snakes, and exploring Balkan and other international cuisines. I have served as EEFC’s General Manager and Program Director for many years.

In addition to my managerial duties, I have cut my editorial teeth with the EEFC, having been on the Kef Times production staff since its inception, and as a member of the Forum Folkloristika editorial team. I have also been a contributor to the Forum’s “Balkan Savories” culinary series.

I reside in Oakland, California, where I played baritone horn for over a decade with the Bay Area’s late, lamented Brass Menažeri Balkan Brass Band. I have continued my Balkan brass adventures with Fanfare Zambaleta.


Amita Vempati, Marketing & Outreach Manager
As a lifelong performer and lover of art from all around the world, I began studying Indian Classical music when I was six and had added Indonesian, Middle Eastern, and Central Asian traditions by the time I graduated college. Since then, I have had musical adventures ranging from drumming at Mongolian New Year events, going viral in Tajikistan, and—importantly—ending a business dinner in Belgrade by singing Romani and Russian songs with the house band. After that memorable evening and with a budding love of Balkan arts and culture after a few trips to the region, I dedicated part of a 2019 vacation to Bulgaria to learn the basics of Bulgarian choral singing with the Stefan Kanev choir.

Just a few songs convinced me to join the Washington D.C.-based Orfeia ensemble in early 2020, where I am fortunate to study with the esteemed Bulgarian singer Tatiana Sarbinska. I am excited to continue exploring Eastern European folklife and am honored to support others’ forays into this beautiful world through my work at EEFC.