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About

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is an international exposition of living cultural heritage produced every summer on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The 2014 festival dates are June 25–June 29 and July 2–July 6.

· festival.si.edu ·

Wonder what goes on at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage when we&#8217;re not round-the-clock busy with the Smithsonian Folklife Festival?
We&#8217;re traveling to Mali to consult on community engagement in museums, researching legends about atomic bomb testing, attending folklore conferences so we can steal ideas, examining the shift of Asian American identities, and so much more. Read all about it in our new issue of Talk Story: Culture in Motion!

Wonder what goes on at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage when we’re not round-the-clock busy with the Smithsonian Folklife Festival?

We’re traveling to Mali to consult on community engagement in museums, researching legends about atomic bomb testing, attending folklore conferences so we can steal ideas, examining the shift of Asian American identities, and so much more. Read all about it in our new issue of Talk Story: Culture in Motion!

Posted on Tuesday, November 25th 2014

Click on the map above to explore lesson plans about music from all over the world. This great interactive resource from smithsonianfolkways provides an international prospective on culture and music to incorporate into your curriculum. 
Check out more resources from the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage here.

Click on the map above to explore lesson plans about music from all over the world. This great interactive resource from smithsonianfolkways provides an international prospective on culture and music to incorporate into your curriculum. 

Check out more resources from the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage here.

Posted on Wednesday, September 3rd 2014

Looking for an afternoon pick-me-up? Here are two incredible stories of reunion at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival – one between an artist and the artwork he sold 50 years prior and another among strangers connected through ancient cultural roots.

Watch the video above about sculptor Elkana Ong’esa, one of the most admired and prolific contributors to art in Kenya, and his chance encounter with an early patron, an American who had been studying in Kisii 50 years prior. Not only do they meet and share stories at the 2014 Folklife Festival, but Ong’esa is reunited with his “childhood art.”

Folklife program coordinator Jing Li writes about another type of reunion on the Festival blog. This is one in which those coming together have never met, but through language, ancestry, and the sharing of a meal, they feel a deep connection to each other. Read more about their story here.

“Although I can’t understand their language, I feel we are from the same ancestor,” says Liang Xiaoying, one of the performers from Guizhou. “We are the same people. I feel happy and immediately at home around them.” 

Posted on Thursday, August 28th 2014

Through sublime rhymes, poet Pages Matam paid tribute to his Cameroonian mother on “Diaspora Day” at the 2014 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Hosted by Bomani D. Armah, organized by Busboys and Poets and co-sponsored by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, the session explored cultural expressions from local African and Asian Diasporas

Posted on Monday, August 25th 2014

The result is a piece that does not forcefully combine the different cultural streams but instead juxtaposes them, with distinct son jarocho and bon odori phrasing. The final effect is a shifting soundscape, the musical version of what one might hear while driving with the window down along the stretch of First Street running from Little Tokyo to East L.A.

From the latest Talk Story, the online publication from the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

Read on here.

Posted on Monday, August 25th 2014