This year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival was born from conversations about the ways artisans, cooks, and musicians—as individuals and communities of practice—have responded to the pandemic. What many created in a time so marked by loss and isolation revealed a deep sense of purpose and connection. Not only were their intentions brought into sharper focus, but we were struck by our hunger for making as a vehicle for giving shape to a world we struggled to know. Whether it’s a song, a garden, a loaf of sourdough, or a protest sign, our creations, however small, offer agency in a changing world.
We invite you to join us from June 25 to 27 for Beyond the Mall: Making Matters, as master artisans, cooks, sculptors, and musicians from as far as Armenia, Fiji, Peru, and Cuba, to right here in Washington, D.C., welcome us into their kitchens and studios to share stories and skills. And for the first time, the Folklife Festival is providing visitors with the opportunity to participate in hands-on workshops from home. Together we’ll learn about Zapotec textile dyeing, Senegalese metalsmithing, Korean home cooking, and much more.
Beyond the Mall acknowledges that the vibrant spirit of our physical event is not bound by time or location. This weekend is a future-facing reflection of the Festival’s legacy of making community no matter the circumstance. As we have every year since 1967, we offer sincere thanks to all who open their creative lives to us. We hope that you take inspiration from their stories and find collective care in the sharing.
Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. Workshops have limited spots available, so we recommend registering early. All times are in the Eastern U.S. time zone. Click on a session to learn more and register.
** Events marked with asterisks have selected accessibility services by request only. Please review the accessibility offerings in the event listing and be sure to indicate your request when you register.
|Friday, June 25|
|6–7 p.m.||Encuentro en el Smithsonian: Telmary Díaz||Story Circle||Streaming online|
|Saturday, June 26|
|10–11:30 a.m.||Quechua Pom-Poms + Tassels||Community Workshop||SOLD OUT||**|
|12–1 p.m.||Placemaking, Collective Care, and Culture: A Conversation with Global Practitioners||Story Circle||Streaming online|
|1–4 p.m.||Backstrap Weaving with Nilda Callañaupa, Part 1||Master Workshop||SOLD OUT||**|
|2–3 p.m.||Languages of Home and Diaspora: Nourishing Palestine in Food and Verse||Story Circle||Streaming online|
|4–5 p.m.||Stories in Stone: Master Artisans on Tools, Technique, and Meaning||Story Circle||Streaming online|
|5–6 p.m.||Fiji Masi Cloth Flowers||Community Workshop||SOLD OUT||**|
|Sunday, June 27|
|10 a.m.–1 p.m.||Backstrap Weaving with Nilda Callañaupa, Part 2||Master Workshop||––||**|
|11 a.m.–12 p.m.||Passing the Torch: Senegalese Metalsmithing Across Geography and Gender||Story Circle||Streaming online|
|12:45–1 p.m.||Making Community in Music: A D.C. Music Map Conversation and Upload-a-Thon at Sound Scene||Story Circle||Registration required|
|2–3 p.m.||Samgyetang: Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup Across Generations||Kitchen Demo||Streaming online|
|2–6 p.m.||Cochineal Dyeing with Porfirio Gutiérrez||Master Workshop||SOLD OUT||**|
The Smithsonian Folklife Festival Marketplace, in collaboration with NOVICA, extends the reach of the Folklife Festival beyond our virtual and in-person events to offer an exceptional shopping experience. It honors the creativity, cultural heritage, and masterful skills of global artisans while contributing to the Smithsonian mission of sustaining and developing traditional crafts worldwide.
In our new online Marketplace, you’ll find beautiful works created by Festival participants, including Nilda Callañaupa and Porfirio Gutiérrez, as well as a global community of talented artisans.