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About the Festival
At the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, experience living traditions from around the world. Our goal is to work with communities to strengthen and preserve their cultures and share them with you on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Featured Programs

  • Northeast Brazil
    Ilê Aiyê
  • United Arab Emirates
    Young falconer Osha readies her falcon, Yas
  • Earth Optimism
    Smithsonian research scientist Mary Hagedorn takes a census of a Pacific coral reef community
  • Solar Decathlon
    University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee teammates at the 2009 Solar Decathlon

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.

    In 2020, the Festival explores how cultural knowledge—from religion to design to science—shapes the ways we understand, experience, and respond to ever-changing natural, social, and built environments. As always, visitors can enjoy live music and dance presentations, craft workshops, cooking demonstrations, and our evening concert series.

Featured Video

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