The Freer Gallery of Art opened to the public in 1923, and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcomed its first visitors in 1987. Today, the Smithsonian’s Freer|Sackler makes inspiring connections among Asia, America, and the world.
Over its fifty-year history, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival has explored the power of culture and heritage in contemporary life. This includes working with artists whose experiences offer multiple vantage points into considering the complexity of Asian and Asian American cultures and identities, from the presentations by a D.C. Chinatown lion team at the first Festival in 1967 to the interactions extending from collaborations with communities from East to Central Asia, across the Mekong Delta and along the historical Silk Road.
llluminAsia culminates Freer|Sackler’s two-year renovation project, welcoming the public to visit the revitalized building and its new exhibitions. Outdoor areas—including the Enid A. Haupt Garden, the Freer Plaza, and on the National Mall—are transformed with an Asian food market, arts demonstrations and activities, and live music and dance performances by local and international artists.
Activities occur inside and outside the Freer|Sackler. For a full list of concessionaires, artists, and activities, visit the IlluminAsia festival site.