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Current Programs

  • Earth Optimism × Folklife
    Seen underwater, three people snorkeling in shallow water examine green algae on a rock.
  • United Arab Emirates
    A person seated, facing away, paints a large mural depicting an Arab woman wearing head and face coverings, listening to pink headphones connected to a device playing music, on a background of bright teal with pink and orange dots.

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, the Festival has featured participants from all 50 states and more than 100 countries.

    Our free Festival takes place for two weeks every summer on the National Mall, overlapping the Fourth of July holiday. It is an educational, research-based presentation that features master artisans and other tradition bearers. We invite visitors to sing and dance along, try craft and game workshops, learn traditional recipes, ask questions, and take part in this unique cultural exchange.

Featured Video

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