Festival of American Folklife

American Folklife, Festival of

Last weekend in June to first weekend in July
Since 1967 the Festival of American Folklife has been held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to celebrate the richness and diversity of American and world cultures. Since that time the Festival has presented more than 15,000 musicians, craftspeople, storytellers, cooks, workers, performers, and other cultural specialists from every region of the United States and from more than 45 other nations. Recent festival programs have included musicians from the former Soviet Union, demonstrations of African-American coil basketry and Italian-American stone-carving, the performance of a Japanese rice-planting ritual, and exhibits illustrating the occupational cultures of working people—taxicab drivers, firefighters, waiters, and railway workers.
The Festival is designed to expose visitors to people and cultures who would not ordinarily be heard in a national setting. It emphasizes folk, tribal, ethnic, and regional traditions in communities throughout the U.S. and abroad. Each year the festival features a particular state (or region) and country. One year, for example, the featured region was "Family Farming in the Heartland." More than 100 farmers from 12 Midwestern states came to the nation's capital to talk to visitors about changes in farming methods and farm life, and to demonstrate both modern and traditional farming skills. The featured country was Indonesia, and there were demonstrations of Buginese boat-building and traditional mask carving, in addition to an all-night Indonesian shadow-puppet show.
CONTACTS:
Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage Capital Gallery
600 Maryland Ave. S.W., Ste. 2001 MRC 520
Washington, D.C. 20024
202-633-6440; fax: 202-633-6474
www.folklife.si.edu
SOURCES:
MusFestAmer-1990, p. 219
References in periodicals archive ?
Bess's work at the Smithsonian Festival of American Folklife began when she directed a program on California traditions.
The Smithsonian Institute scouted her work and eventually commissioned a piece to serve as program cover for the 1976 Bicentennial Festival of American Folklife.
Northwest) offers a history of folk music festivals in the US from the late-nineteenth century to the present, focusing on the 1950s, 1960s, the Newport Folk Festival, and the Smithsonian Festival of American Folklife and others held in the 1970s.
Georgia folk potter Lanier Meaders filled an order for face jugs for the first Smithsonian Institution's Festival of American Folklife in 1967.
By the 1960s however, the National Folk Festival was facing stiff competition from both the Newport Folk Festival (1959-) and the Smithsonian Institution's Festival of American Folklife (1967-) where, unlike in her festival, the performers were paid, and the music was more appealing to the younger urban folk revivalists.
From there he was invited to participate in the Smithsonian Institution's bicentennial Festival of American Folklife in 1976.
On the wall of his store, a certificate of appreciation from Washington's Smithsonian Institution recognized his participation in the 1994 Festival of American Folklife.

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