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2017

IlluminAsia

A Festival of Asian Art, Food, and Cultures

Celebrating the reopening of the Smithsonian’s Freer|Sackler

October 14, 2017, 5 p.m. to midnight
October 15, 2017, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival joins Freer|Sackler in celebrating the reopening of its galleries with IlluminAsia, a free weekend festival with music and dance performances, food and craft demonstrations, language and martial arts lessons, and more.

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.



  • Photo by Shervin Lainez

    Red Baraat
    • Opening procession, Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
    • Freer Plaza, Saturday, 11 p.m.
    • Freer Plaza, Sunday, 1:30 p.m.
  • Photo courtesy of the artist

    Mamak Khadem
    • Freer Plaza (with band), Saturday, 8:15 p.m.
    • Haupt Garden, Sunday, 11:15 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Photo courtesy of the artist

    DJ Qbert
    • Freer Plaza, Saturday, 6 and 9:30 p.m.
  • Photo by Vladimir Mongush

    Alash Ensemble with Shodekeh
    • Freer Plaza, Saturday, 7 p.m. and Sunday, 12:30 p.m.
    • Haupt Garden, Saturday, 10:45 p.m. and Sunday, 2:15 p.m.
  • Photos courtesy of the artists

    Silkroad Ensemble
    • Drum circle, Sunday, 3 p.m.
    • Freer Plaza, Sunday, 4:30 p.m.
  • Photos courtesy of the artists

    Gusti Sudarta with Gamelan Raga Kusuma
    • Haupt Garden, Saturday, 9:30 p.m.
    • Discovery Theater, Sunday, 11:30 a.m.
  • Photos courtesy of the artists

    Washington Samulnori
    • Haupt Garden, Saturday, 7:15 p.m. and Sunday, 12:15 p.m.
  • Photos courtesy of the artists

    Rizqi Rachmat
    • Haupt Garden, Saturday, 8:15 p.m.
    • Freer Plaza (with DJ Qbert), Saturday, 10 p.m.
  • Photo by Paul Gordon Emerson

    Asanga Domask & SerendibDance
    • Freedom Plaza, Sunday, 11:45 a.m.
  • Photos courtesy of the artists

    District of Raga with Nistha Raj
    • Freer Plaza, Sunday, 3:30 p.m.
  • Photos courtesy of the artists

    DJ Ayes Cold
    • Haupt Garden, Sunday, 3 to 5 p.m.
  • Photos courtesy of the artists

    The Pinstriped Rebel
    • Haupt Garden, Sunday, 1 to 3 p.m.
  • Photos courtesy of the artists

    Kwon Myoung Won
    • National Mall, Saturday, 6:15 p.m. and Sunday, 1:15 p.m.
  • Photos courtesy of the artists

    CHELOVE, MASPAZ, and SUPERWAXX
    • Freer Plaza, Saturday and Sunday
  • Photos courtesy of the artists

    Stephan Berwick
    • Freer Plaza, Sunday, 11 a.m.
  • Photos courtesy of the artists

    Amadou Kouyate
    • Haupt Garden, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

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