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Earth Optimism × Folklife

Inspiring Conservation Communities

Earth Optimism × Folklife: Inspiring Conservation Communities

June 22–27 and June 30–July 4, 2022

Earth Optimism shows us how to find hope in the face of odds that might seem overwhelming. It reminds us that change happens when we focus on what works—when we collaborate to find solutions and celebrate our successes.

Earth Optimism × Folklife: Inspiring Conservation Communities invites visitors to explore the possibilities and solutions that address some of our planet’s most significant challenges through new ways of living, learning, and working toward a shared sustainable future.

Earth Optimism is a Smithsonian movement that focuses on changing the narrative from doom-and-gloom to hope, inspiring action and mobilizing a global community. The Folklife Festival brought this celebration of conservation action and planetary possibilities to the National Mall in the summer of 2022.

We invited visitors to discover solutions and positive change presented by storytellers, community leaders, innovators, scientists, and artists working to create a sustainable planet. We learned how to make an impact on a local-to-global scale through workshops, performances, interactive art installations, film screenings, hands-on educational activities, cooking and gardening demonstrations, sustainable food concessions, and more.

The program aimed to inform, inspire, delight, and most importantly, leave visitors with hope for our planet and ideas of how to get involved with projects around the world and within their own communities.


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