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Newport Folk And Jazz Festivals Return To Non-Profit Status06:00

This article is more than 9 years old.

The Newport Folk Festival kicks off this weekend. For more than 50 years, the festival has been one of the premier events in folk music.

It has launched the careers of musicians who became American icons, including Bob Dylan. Dylan, of course, chose the Newport Folk Festival for one of American music's most seminal moments when he went from acoustic to electric at the 1965 festival.

This year, the event's creator, George Wein, decided to shake things up in order to ensure the festival's future. Wein is 85. And despite its long history of success, the festival has not been immune to the pressures of the weak economy.

In 2009, the festival's 50th anniversary was almost canceled after corporate sponsors walked away. That's why earlier this year, Wein decided to return Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals to their roots and converted them back to non-profit status.

Deborah Ross, the executive director of the Newport Festival Foundation, says that the change is with the future in mind.


  • Deborah Ross, executive director, Newport Festivals Foundation

This segment aired on July 27, 2011.

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