Policies, Health, and Safety

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The policies, health, and safety information below is for the 2023 Folklife in the South gathering, which will be held in Guntersville, Alabama on June 8-10, 2023. These policies were last updated on January 12, 2023.

General Policies

Standards of Behavior and Terms

The Folklife in the South gathering is presented in partnership by South Arts, the Alabama State Council on the Arts, the Alabama Folklife Association, and the American Folklore Society (known collectively as “The Organizers”). The following guidelines apply to all aspects of the FITS gathering. 

  • The Organizers are committed to providing a harassment-free gathering for every person, regardless of gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, age, or religion. The Organizers do not tolerate harassment of gathering participants in any form including bullying, acts of aggression, unwelcome sexual attention, and inappropriate physical contact.
  • Attendees (presenters, participants, volunteers, etc.) are expected to act in a professional manner at all FITS events. Attendees shall not infringe upon the rights and privileges of another attendee. Any complaints regarding infractions of the rules or disputes between parties that cannot be settled in a calm and professional manner should be made directly to the Organizers. The Organizers will inform parties of requested boundaries but will not act as mediator or arbitrator in any disagreements.
  • The Organizers reserve the right to bar any attendee or organization from participating in the FITS gathering, solely at their discretion.
  • Any decision by the Organizers shall be final, binding, and non-appealable. Unethical or criminal conduct or infraction of the rules on the part of an attendee will subject the attendee to ejection from the gathering venue. In such an event, the attendees acknowledge that they shall not receive any refund of fees.
No Solicitation

The Organizers maintain a no-solicitation policy covering all FITS gathering events. To provide a distraction-free environment for our partners and attendees, we do not allow solicitation of any kind, including asking for business, distributing grant proposals, or requesting grant funding. Additionally, attendees expect that participation in FITS activities will not result in future solicitations unless an attendee specifically invites future contact. Accordingly, we ask that all participants at FITS events refrain from using attendee lists or similar information for solicitation purposes without the express permission of the Organizers.


All Folklife in the South gathering payments must be received in full prior to participation in the gathering. For questions, extenuating circumstances, or other needs regarding payment, please contact Teresa Hollingsworth at thollingsworth@southarts.org or 404-874-7244 x814.

Cancelation, Refunds, and Transfers
  • The Organizers understand that there are circumstances that may prohibit a registrants’ attendance at the Folklife in the South gathering. Up to 30 days prior to the gathering, the Organizers will issue a refund (minus a 10% administrative fee). 
  • Outside of the 30-day window prior to the summit, partial refunds will be handled on a case-by-case basis. 
  • Registrations are non-transferable.
  • Refund requests must be submitted in writing to the American Folklore Society Annual Meeting and Programs Director, Roz Rini Larson, at annualmeeting@afsnet.org.
Recording, Photography, and Social Media
  • Personal digital cameras are permitted at FITS events, provided photography is not disruptive. For all sessions, registrants may take photos from their seats, if they are silent, not obstructing views, and not using a flash. 
  • No professional photography or videography is permitted during the FITS gathering without press credentials. Press credentials must be obtained from the Organizers at least two weeks prior to the start of the gathering. If any photography or videography is deemed disruptive by gathering staff, the participant may be asked to discontinue or leave the event. 
  • Contact for media inquiries or professional photographers/videographers: Ivan Schustak, Director of Communications for South Arts at ischustak@southarts.org or 404.874.7244 x829.
  • Photography and videography for social media purposes, such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are encouraged, provided that workshop or speech materials are not shared in full, and the artist or speaker is referenced. Social media posts using the hashtag #FITS2023 are encouraged.
  • Please be advised that any participants may be photographed and/or videotaped as part of the gathering. By entering the facility and participating in this event, you are giving your permission for your photo or video image to be included in the Organizers’ advertising and media products.
  • The Organizers believe the arts should be available to all individuals and communities and are committed to ensuring Americans with Disabilities Act compliance for its physical offices and portfolio of services and activities. Organizations that receive funding from the Organizers are required to provide accessibility for their constituents. All FITS gathering venues are compliant with ADA regulations. 
  • The South Arts Accessibility Coordinator is always available to discuss and accommodate your needs. To request accommodations such as large print materials, please submit a request during the registration process, using the “ADA Accommodations” field in the registration form. Any requests for accommodation should be submitted at least two weeks in advance of the gathering. For further assistance while at the gathering, please see the Organizers. For any questions or to discuss accommodations, please contact Teresa Hollingsworth at thollingsworth@southarts.org or 404-874-7244 x814.
Distribution of Materials

FITS gathering attendees are restricted from distributing or posting materials outside of the resource tables designed for this specific purpose.

Liability and Theft

The Organizers are not responsible for property that is lost, stolen, or damaged at any time during the Folklife in the South gathering. However, the Organizers take such instances of loss very seriously and will direct anyone who reports a lost or stolen item to the proper authorities.

  • Children under the age of 18 are welcome at the FITS gathering under the supervision of their parents or guardians. Attendees planning to bring their child for an overnight stay will need to register and pay for both beds in a double-occupancy room. 
  • Please note that the Organizers cannot review all FITS content and activities for age appropriateness nor guarantee the safety of children at the gathering venue. Supervision of children at FITS is the sole responsibility of their parents or guardians. 

Health and Safety

  • Since COVID-19 is extremely contagious and is spread mainly from person-to-person contact, the Organizers have put in place preventative measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 during the Folklife in the South gathering. However, the Organizers cannot guarantee that FITS attendees, volunteers, or others in attendance (collectively “participants”) will not become infected with COVID-19. Even with every reasonable precaution to keep you safe as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and federal, state, and local governments and health departments, the Organizers, cannot fully eliminate all risks of harm to FITS participants or guarantee their safety, especially from risks posed by COVID-19 or its variant strains.
  • The Organizers strongly encourage all in-person participants to be fully vaccinated (defined below) before attending FITS. Face masks or other protective coverings are strongly recommended but not required. N-95 or N-94 masks purchased from a credible source are thought to be most effective in the prevention of COVID-19. The Organizers will provide hand sanitizer in each gathering room. 
  • We ask that all attendees continue to monitor their own health for possible symptoms before, during, and after the gathering. Should an attendee experience symptoms and/or receive a positive COVID-19 test result, we request that attendee follow all applicable guidance from local and federal authorities such as the CDC and report their status to the Organizers for tracking purposes.
  • As a reminder, the current CDC guidance for someone who has been fully vaccinated and shows no symptoms of COVID-19 says that the individual does not need to quarantine. However, the CDC recommends that fully vaccinated individuals who are in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 should:
    • Wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until a negative test result.
    • Get tested 5-7 days after close contact with someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
    • Get tested and isolate immediately if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • According to the CDC, a fully vaccinated person is anyone having received the second dose of Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine and two weeks have transpired since the last dose.
  • In accordance with CDC guidelines, it is strongly recommended that anyone traveling to and/or attending a large indoor gathering be fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated travelers should still follow CDC’s recommendations for traveling safely.
  • It is inadvisable for anyone to attend if you: 
    • Are unvaccinated and have COVID-19 related medical risk factors.
    • Have symptoms or signs of sickness or have been in recent contact with known positive COVID-19 cases.
    • Test positive for COVID-19 or any of its variant strains within 10 days of the FITS gathering.

No weapons of any kind are allowed at any facilities or activities during the Folklife in the South gathering.