To the Folklore Village Community,
Everyone at Folklore Village has been very busy working on lots of important tasks, getting ready for our next year of programming, and helping the organization work through all of our transitions.
A huge task that the current Board of Directors has taken on this year has been creating a set of consistent policies for everyone – staff, volunteers, and participants – to rely on. While Folklore Village has always had thoughtful practices that are within appropriate legalities, it wasn’t as necessary in the past for policies to be written out in the way the current era requires, and we are now working to fill in those gaps.
One of the most important topics the Board needed to address was the use of alcohol on Folklore Village property and at events. There has never been a written policy addressing this subject. The Board and the staff have discussed and researched this issue at length, and we have created what we feel is a fair and appropriate alcohol policy, appropriate to our Mission. I am attaching the policy, plus some of the background considerations, for you to read. This policy is now in effect, along with our standing policies on conduct and behavior. Many events will continue to be alcohol-free, while Class B beverages (i.e. beer and wine) will be allowed at others. Program information will delineate this clearly.
The Folklore Village Board feels it is important to be able to rely on a standard understanding of how things are done here, and why. We think this will help keep our organization focused on its Mission, avoid conflicts, and help us stay on top of the changing demands of the world around us.
President, Folklore Village Board of Directors
FOLKLORE VILLAGE ALCOHOL POLICY
Folklore Village is committed to provide alcohol-free program opportunities, especially at family and children oriented events. However, alcohol consumption at some events is appropriate and consistent with the mission of Folklore Village. The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines regarding the consumption of alcohol at Folklore Village. The appendix to this policy outlines the background to the development of this policy.
1. Alcohol consumption will be prohibited during programs geared toward children or where the programming is specifically for children or where children are expected to be the focus of the programming.
2. Alcohol consumption of class B beverages such as wine or beer will be permitted (a) at events where it is integral to the program, such as local beer and wine tasting events or certain ethnic traditional celebrations, (b) at adult oriented events.
3. Where alcohol consumption is permitted at Folklore Village events, it shall be limited to class B beverages such as wine or beer that people bring themselves.
4. Consumption of alcohol is permitted at events put on by persons or organizations renting Folklore Village facilities as long as these events are not advertised as a Folklore Village sponsored event. Contracts for those rentals shall contain a liability waiver clause for incidents related to the use of alcohol.
1. The Executive Director will determine (a) which events would benefit (e.g. enhance the event) by allowing the consumption of alcohol and (b) the times or places its use is allowed. When alcohol consumption is permitted at an event notification indicating so will be made on program materials and posted at the event. At alcohol-free events, a sign indicating that alcohol consumption is not allowed will be posted at the event.
2. The Executive Director will review rental contracts to make sure they comply with Folklore Village’s alcohol policy.
3. The Executive Director will make sure that Folklore Village has sufficient insurance to cover alcohol consumption and that Folklore Village complies with all laws and regulations regarding the use and/or sale of alcohol.
4. The Executive Director will post a copy of the Folklore Village Code of Conduct policy in the lobby of Farwell Hall and make sure the staff is current on Folklore Village’s Code of Conduct Policy and other policies.
5. This policy shall be evaluated yearly. The Executive Director will present a written report to the Board of Directors evaluating the policy and suggesting any necessary changes.
6. All inquiries regarding this policy will be directed to the Folklore Village Board or Executive Director.
Until the adoption of this policy, Folklore Village did not have a written policy regarding the consumption of alcohol. Rather, Folklore Village was adhering to a long term tradition of prohibiting the consumption of alcohol except at private party rentals such as weddings - events not open to the public and not advertised as Folklore Village events. Rental contracts contained a waiver of liability clause for incidents relating to alcohol use during the event.
Despite this tradition, people continued to consume alcohol on site after Folklore Village events or inconspicuously on site at other times. In effect, Folklore Village had a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. The current policy reflects the belief that it is not possible nor necessarily desirable to maintain and enforce a total prohibition on alcohol use. Further, rather than tolerate the surreptitious consumption of alcohol, it is better to have a straight forward policy allowing its consumption at specified times and/or types of events.
The formulation of the alcohol policy was guided by the following considerations:
1. Respect for the intent behind the prohibition tradition, i.e., creating a child/family friendly environment at Folklore Village events that are primarily for children or families.
2. Recognition that providing a “child/family friendly” environment and responsible consumption of alcohol by adults in that environment need not be incompatible.
3. Allowing a person to consume a class B beverage such as wine or beer at a designated event is not the same as promoting the use of alcohol. It is not the role of Folklore Village to encourage or discourage the use of alcohol, but to respect peoples rights to decide this matter for themselves. Providing an alcohol-free environment is not part of the mission of Folklore Village.
4. Disruptive or offensive behavior, not the presence of alcohol, is the problem that needs to be addressed. Such behavior is as problematic for people who responsibly consume alcohol as it is to people who refrain from drinking. Neither want their children exposed to such offensive or disruptive behavior. Folklore Village already has a Code of Conduct policy in place to ensure a safe environment for all. It outlines staff procedures for dealing with disruptive behavior of any kind. The surreptitious drinking which occurs at Folklore Village has not appeared to have resulted in any violations of the Code of Conduct policy.
5. Folklore Village wants to be inclusive, which means making people who enjoy a glass of wine or beer feel as welcome as people who prefer to refrain from drinking.
6. Beer or wine tasting are pertinent to the program content in events such as local food festivals or the celebration of certain cultural traditions.