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How to Participate

Five men performing on stage in matching white shirts and pants, some with red vest. Two in front play harmonium and tablas while others clap. Smithsonian Folklife Festival logo on the screen behind them.
Riyaaz Qawwali, representing Sufi musical traditions from Houston, Texas, performed in a preview event at the 2022 Festival.
Photo by Sonya Pencheva, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives

The 2023 Smithsonian Folklife Festival program Creative Encounters: Living Religions in the U.S. explores how the country’s diverse religious traditions inspire a wellspring of creative encounters and expressions. The program centers the stories and lived experiences of Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Native Americans, Humanists, and followers of African-inspired religions and other religious and ethical traditions.

Our open call for Festival participation is now closed, and participant selection is under way. We anticipate having a list of performers by March 2023.

Other ways to be involved in the program:

  • Interns — We offer spring and summer internships for students and non-students alike. The deadline to apply for summer placements was March 15. Check the internship listings for updates and how to apply.
  • Volunteers — Volunteers assist with stage management, audiovisual documentation, participant support, and much more. Subscribe to the Festival volunteer mailing list for updates.

Frequently Asked Questions

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