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Festival 101

  • The Smithsonian Folklife Festival, established in 1967, honors contemporary living cultural traditions and celebrates those who practice and sustain them. Produced annually by the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage on the National Mall, the Festival has featured participants from all fifty states and more than one hundred countries.

    The 2019 Festival will look a little different, with two days of concerts instead of our usual two weeks of craft demonstrations, narrative sessions, cooking demonstrations, and more. Visitors will still be able to enjoy live music, a variety of food and drink options from local food trucks, instrument workshops for all ages, and presentations about the D.C. music scene.

Featured Video

Looking Ahead

  • In the West African nation of Benin, these Zangbeto spirits protect communities from physical and spiritual danger.
    Photo by Rebecca Fenton

Support the Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, sustainability projects, educational outreach, and more.