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Our Purpose

  • Since 1967, the purpose of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival has been to collaborate with cultural practitioners, communities, and heritage professionals to spark curiosity, catalyze intercultural exchange, and create participatory experiences that nurture human connection.

    Through research, curation, live programs, and digital storytelling, the Festival communicates an unwavering commitment to representing diverse cultures as a positive force for cultural equity, inclusivity, and the common good.

Featured Video

Current Research

  • United Arab Emirates
    Young falconer Osha readies her falcon, Yas.
  • Earth Optimism
    Seen underwater, three people snorkeling in shallow water examine green algae on a rock.
  • D.C. Music
    Map of DC showing user-submitted images and recordings with red star markers.

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