Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival, initiated in 1967, has brought more than 16,000 musicians, artists, performers, craftspeople, workers, cooks, storytellers and others in daily and evening programs of music, song, dance, celebratory performance, crafts and cooking demonstrations,  encouraging visitors to sing, dance, eat traditional foods, and converse with people presented in the Festival program.

To date the Festival has featured exemplary tradition bearers from 54 nations, every region of the United States, scores of ethnic communities, more than 100 American Indian groups, and some 50 occupations.

As the largest annual cultural event in the U.S. capital, the Festival receives considerable publicity, typically reaching 40 million readers and viewers through print and electronic media. In the past, the Festival was named the Top Event in the U.S. by the American Bus Association as a result of a survey of regional tourist bureaus -- thus joining previous winners that include the Olympics and the World Expo. The Festival has also been the subject of numerous books, documentary films, scholarly articles and debate.

Details & Events

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  • Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
  • 750 9th Street, NW, Suite 4100, Smithsonian Institution
  • Washington, DC 20560-0953
  • (202) 275-1150
  • Directions
  • Web site

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