Jane Fallon (Brookline, NH), Amber Ikeman (Bozeman, MT), and Austin MacRae (Ithaca, NY) are the winners of the 2017 South Florida Folk Festival singer-songwriter competition. The three showcased their talents, along with nine other finalists, on Jan 28 during the annual event presented by the nonprofit Broward Folk Music Club at Fort Lauderdale’s Hugh Taylor Birch State Park.
Selected by a panel of judges, each of the winners received the Vic Heyman Songwriting Award – a $200 cash prize and an invitation to perform at next year’s festival. In addition, all 12 finalists were afforded the opportunity to perform ‘in-the-round’ during the festival’s second day on Sunday, Jan. 29.
The songwriting competition was co-presented by Reba Heyman. Along with her late husband, Vic, Reba has been an integral part of the folk community in South Florida and nationally for many years. The couple, known for decades for their generous financial backing of folk festivals and artists, formerly ran a concert series in Rockville, Maryland known as Vic’s Music Corner. They also served on the boards of several music festivals and established a scholarship fund for performing artists.
Suzy Bogguss and Victoria Vox headlined this year’s event, while a number of Florida-based musicians and other artists from the U.S., Canada and Israel also performed over the weekend. Performing artist-led workshops, jams and campfires also took place.