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The Dalai Lama sits on a stage facing the U.S. Capitol Building and an enormous crowd.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama addresses a crowd on the National Mall during the Tibetan Culture Beyond the Land of Snows program at the 2000 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.
Photo by Jeff Tinsley, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives

National Advisory Committee

Joanne Braxton, Diana Burnett, Alan Cooperman, Diana Eck, Celene Ibrahim, Hilary Kahn, Mehr Kaur, Rosalyn LaPier, Rachel Lindsey, Meg Nicholas, Melissa Nozell, Robert Orsi, Eboo Patel, Elinor Pierce, Yolanda Pierce, Anthony Pinn, Sally Promey, Jerusha Rhodes, Omid Safi, Lexi Salomone, Leigh Schmidt, Todne Thomas, Duncan Williams, Eric Williams, Jamye Wooten

Smithsonian Curatorial Staff

Michelle Banks, Lead Curator

Rebecca Fenton, Co-Curator

Brad Braxton, Senior Curatorial Advisor

James Deutsch, Diana Baird N’Diaye, Curatorial Advisors

Natalie Solís, Latinx Curatorial Assistant

Ashley Martinez, Program Coordinator

Emma Efkeman, Program Coordinator (2021)

Victoria Mogollon Montagne, Program Assistant

La‘akea Ai, Zoe Fess, Taylor Freeman, Luis Guevara-Flores, Lily Pangelinan, Mia Sturdivant, Lilia Yaralian, Program Interns

Sitalin Sanchez, Latino Museum Studies Program Fellow

Sabrina Lynn Motley, Festival Director


Creative Encounters: Living Religions in the U.S. received generous support from Lilly Endowment’s Religion and Cultural Institutions Initiative. The national initiative aims to help museums and other cultural institutions foster greater public understanding about religion and present the contributions of people of all faiths and diverse religious communities.

The program received federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the National Museum of the American Latino, and the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

The program received support from the National Museum of Asian Art through The Arts of Devotion, a five-year initiative dedicated to furthering civic discourse and understanding of religion, made possible by Lilly Endowment, Inc. Additional support was received from the National Museum of the American Indian, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the American-Indonesian Cultural and Educational Foundation.

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