The Smithsonian Folklife Festival, launched in 1967, is an international exhibition of living cultural heritage presented annually in the summer in Washington, D.C. in the United States.It is held on the National Mall for two weeks around the Fourth of July (the U.S. Independence Day) holiday. The Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage produces the Festival.
The Festival is free to the public, encouraging cultural exchange.Attracting more than one million visitors yearly, the two-week-long celebration is the largest annual cultural event in the United States capital. Usually divided into programs featuring a nation, region, state or theme, the Festival has featured tradition bearers from more than 90 nations, every region of the United States, scores of ethnic communities, more than 100 American Indian groups, and some 70 different occupations.
The Festival generally includes daily and evening programs of music, song, dance, celebratory performance, crafts and cooking demonstrations, storytelling, illustrations of workers' culture, and narrative sessions for discussing cultural issues.Cultural practitioners speak for themselves, with each other, and to the public. Visitors participate, learning, singing, dancing, eating traditional foods, and conversing with people that the Festival program presents.
The regions and topics featured at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival since its inception in 1967:
|53||2019||Social Power of Music (Festival shortened to two days and downscaled due to effects of the 2018–19 United States federal government shutdown. )|
|52||2018||Armenia: Creating Home; Catalonia: Tradition and Creativity from the Mediterranian; Sisterfire: Roadwork 40th Anniversary Concert|
|51||2017||Circus Arts; On The Move: Migration Across Generations; 50 Years, 50 Objects: Storied Objects from the Smithsonian Folklife Festival; 50th Anniversary: 1967-2017|
|50||2016||Basque: Innovation by Culture; Sounds of California|
|48||2014||China: Tradition and the Art of Living; Kenya: Mambo Poa|
|47||2013||Hungarian Heritage: Roots to Revival; One World, Many Voices: Endangered Languages and Cultural Heritage; The Will to Adorn: African American Diversity, Style and Identity|
|46||2012||Campus and Community: Public and Land-grant Universities and the USDA at 150; Citified: Arts and Creativity East of the Anacostia River; Creativity and Crisis: Unfolding The AIDS Memorial Quilt|
|45||2011||Colombia: The Nature of Culture; Peace Corps: 50th Anniversary; Rhythm and Blues: Tell It Like It Is|
|44||2010||Asian Pacific American Connections: Local Lives, Global Ties; México; Smithsonian Inside Out; Special Events: Haiti, Ralph Rinzler Memorial Concert, George Wallace, Smithsonian 3D|
|43||2009||Giving Voice: The Power of Words in African American Culture; Las Américas: Un Mundo Musical (The Americas: A Musical World); Wales Smithsonian Cymru|
|42||2008||Bhutan: Land of the Thunder Dragon; NASA: Fifty Years and Beyond; Texas: A Celebration of Music, Food, and Wine|
|41||2007||Mekong River: Connecting Cultures; Northern Ireland at the Smithsonian; Roots of Virginia Culture|
|40||2006||Alberta at the Smithsonian; Been in the Storm So Long: New Orleans Evening Concert Series; Carriers of Culture: Living Native Basket Traditions; Nuestra Música: Latino Chicago|
|39||2005||Food Culture USA, Forest Service, Culture, and Community; Oman: Desert, Oasis, and Sea; Nuestra Música: Music in Latino Culture|
|38||2004||Haiti: Freedom and Creativity from the Mountains to the Sea; Nuestra Música: Music in Latino Culture; Water Ways: Mid-Atlantic Maritime Communities|
|37||2003||Appalachia: Heritage and Harmony; Scotland at the Smithsonian; Mali: From Timbuktu to Washington|
|36||2002||The Silk Road: Connecting Cultures, Creating Trust, including exhibits on Venice, Istanbul, Samarkand, nomads, Xi'an, truck art from Pakistan, and Nara|
|35||2001||New York City at the Smithsonian, Masters of the Building Arts; Bermuda Connections|
|34||2000||El Rio, Tibetan Culture: Beyond the Land of Snows; Washington, D.C.: It's Our Home|
|33||1999||Celebrating New Hampshire's Stories; Gateways to Romania; South Africa: Crafting the Economic Renaissance of the Rainbow Nation|
|32||1998||Wisconsin; Rio Grande/rio Bravo Basin; Baltic Nations: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania; Pahiyas: A Philippine Harvest; Folkways 50th|
|31||1997||Mississippi Delta; African Immigrant Folklife; Sacred Sounds|
|30||1996||Iowa-Community Style; American South; Working at the Smithsonian|
|29||1995||Cape Verdean Connection; Russian Roots/American Branches; Heartbeat: Voices of First Nations Women;Czech Republic: Tradition and Transformation|
|28||1994||Masters of Traditional Arts: National Heritage Fellowships, The Bahamas, Thailand, Culture and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean|
|27||1993||US-Mexico Borderlands, American Social Dance, metro Music, Kids' Stuff|
|26||1992||New Mexico, Creativity and Resistance: Maroon Culture in the Americas, Workers at the White House, the Changing Soundscape in Indian Country|
|25||1991||Family Farming in the Heartland; Indonesia: Forest, Field, and Sea; Land in Native American Cultures; Roots of Rhythm and Blues: the Robert Johnson Era|
|24||1990||US Virgin Islands, Senegal, Musics of Struggle|
|23||1989||Hawaii, Cultural Conservation: American Indian Program; "Les Fetes Chez Nous": France and North America, Quincentenary Program: The Caribbean-Cultural Encounters in the New World|
|22||1988||Ingenuity and Tradition: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Cultural Conservation: American Folklore Society Centennial; Migration to Metropolitan Washington: Making a New Place Home; Music from the Peoples of the Soviet Union; Music Festival Stage: Bluegrass|
|21||1987||Michigan; Cultural Conservation and Languages: America's Many Voices; Metropolitan Washington|
|20||1986||Tennessee; Japan; Cultural Conservation: Traditional Crafts in a Post-industrial Age; American Trial Lawyers; 20th Anniversary Music Stage|
|19||1985||Louisiana; India: Mela!; Cultural Conservation: Makah and Puerto Rican mask makers; African American cornrowers, Kmhmu craftsmen, Seneca basket makers, Appalachian balladry, Cajun music, cowboy music, song, and poetry, Irish music, Mayan marimba music Mayan Indian weaving|
|18||1984||Alaska, The Grand Generation: Folklore and Aging, Black Urban Expressive Culture from Philadelphia|
|17||1983||New Jersey, France, Occupational Culture: Flight, NEA: National Heritage Fellowship Awards|
|16||1982||Oklahoma, Korea, Children's Program, National Endowment for the Arts Program|
|15||1981||Regional America: Southeastern U.S. music and crafts, Northeastern music and dance; Native American Program: Ojibwa Indians; Old Ways in the New World: South Slavic Americans; Energy and Community: Adobe architecture; Children's Program; Folklore of the Deaf; American Tent Show, National Endowment for the Arts Program|
|14||1980||Old Ways in the New World: Caribbean Americans, Southeast Asian Americans, Finnish Americans; Energy and Community: Folk housing and energy efficiency, community activities, food preservation; American Talkers: Auctioneers, pitchmen, street criers|
|13||1979||Energy and Community: Native American architecture; Folklore in Your Community; Children's Program; Medicine Show|
|12||1978||Native American Community: San Juan Pueblo of New Mexico; Occupational Community: Organ builders, sleeping car porters, sharecroppers; Energy and Community: Oil and coal industry workers; Ethnic Community: Ellis Island and American Immigration; Regional Community: Chesapeake Bay, Smith Island; Mexican Communities|
|11||1977||Virginia; Native American Program: Ojibwa, Tolowa, San Juan Pueblo, Navajo, Seneca; Working Americans: Folklore in Your Community|
|10||1976||Regional America: Northeast, Great Lakes, South, Upland South, Heartland, Great West, Pacific Northwest, Pacific Southwest; Native American Program: Tribes from the Northeast, Southeast, Southern Plains, Prairie, Northern Plains, Northwest Coast, Southwest, Plateau, Basin, Northern California, Arctic; Working Americans; Old Ways in the New World; Children's Program; Family Folklore|
|9||1975||Regional America: Northern Plains, California Heartland; Native American Program: Iroquois Confederacy; Working Americans: Railroad workers, aircraft employees, truckers, seafarers; Old Ways in the New World: Germany, Italy, Lebanon, Japan, Mexico; African Diaspora: Jamaica, Ghana, Haiti; Children's Program; Family Folklore|
|8||1974||Mississippi; Native American Program: California tribes; Working Americans: Graphic artists, radio operators (amateur/commercial); Old Ways in the New World: Sweden, Norway, Finland, Tunisia, Greece; African Diaspora: Ghana, Trinidad & Tobago, Nigeria, Caribbean; Children's Program; Family Folklore; Performance: Evolution of American Folk Music|
|7||1973||Kentucky; Native American Program: Northern Plains Indians; Working Americans: Plumbers, carpenters, electricians, stonemasons, lathers, bricklayers, plasterers, millwrights, operating engineers, pipe fitters, sheet metal workers, steam fitters; Old Ways in the New World: Britain, Yugoslavia|
|6||1972||Maryland; Native American Program: Southwest Indians; Labor Program: ILGWU, lithographers and photoengravers, carpenters and joiners, molders and allied workers; Performance: Chicago blues, old-time country blues, gospel, First Annual Fiddlers' Convention|
|5||1971||Ohio; Native American Program: Northwest Coast Indians; Labor Program: Meat cutters and butchers; bakery and confectionery workers; glass bottle blowers; bridge, structural, and ornamental iron workers; Performance: Puerto Rican music and dance, Cajun music, country music, ragtime, shouts, jubilees, work songs, blues, Caribbean music and dance, rock and roll, rhythm and blues, old-time banjo and fiddle music|
|4||1970||Arkansas; Native American Program: Southern Plains Indians; Performance: Spanish, Irish, and Scottish bagpipers, country, bluegrass music, southern blues, Sacred Harp, Portuguese-American Fado musicians, Chinese dragon dancers, shouts, spirituals, jubilees, string bands, East European folk songs; Crafts: Dairy traditions|
|3||1969||Pennsylvania; Performance: French singers from New Hampshire and Louisiana, Grand Ole Opry performers, Turkish, Afro-Cuban, Greek singers and dancers, ballad singers, string bands, fife and drum bands, blues, shouts, jubilees, spirituals; Crafts: Sheep shearing and wool processing, corn culture, Seminole Indian crafts, carvers and toy makers, doll makers, blacksmiths, basket maker, potter; Toby Show: Traditional Touring Tent Theater|
|2||1968||Texas; Native American Program: Lummi Indians; City-Country Area: Blues, bluegrass, jazz, gospel, Cajun, Basque, Indian, dancers, ballad singers; Crafts: Butter churning, sheep shearing, soap, candy, sorghum making, milling|
|1||1967||Performance: American fife and drum groups; brass bands; string bands; gospel; shouts; jubilees; spirituals; Puerto Rican music; New Orleans jazz; Cajun music; ballads; Mesquakie Indian music; blues; country music; polka music; cowboy songs; clogging; Scottish, Russian, Irish dancers; Chinese New Year's Pantomime; King Island Eskimo dancers; dance of Galicia; Crafts: American basket makers, carvers, doll makers, needleworkers, potters, blacksmith, silversmith, spinners, weavers|
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