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How to Participate

Three men pose in front of the U.S. Capitol Building, each holding a musical instrument: fiddle, banjo, and acoustic guitar.
Musicians David Scrivner, Nathan McAlister, and David Cavins performed at the 2022 Festival in a preview of the 2023 Ozarks program.
Photo courtesy of MSU Libraries

The 2023 Folklife Festival will bring Ozarks-based musicians, artisans, cooks, performers, and others to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to celebrate and share their culture. Presented through two weeks of performances, workshops, demonstrations and other participatory experiences, the program will highlight diverse populations from across the region, encompassing parts of Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Illinois.

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.

We are still researching the rich cultural resources available within the Ozarks. If you would like to submit additional information for the project, please fill out the Cultural Expressions Survey. We will use the information collected for research and archival purposes on behalf of the Smithsonian, Missouri State University Libraries, and our partners.

Other ways to be involved in the program:

  • Presenters — The Festival relies on regional experts who are knowledgeable about the Ozarks and its expressive cultural traditions. These individuals are enthusiastic about interacting with large public groups, to introduce performers, pose questions, and generally encourage rich interactive discussion. Please send recommendations, along with their specialty and contact information, to program co-curator Cristina Diaz-Carrera, Diaz-CarreraC@si.edu.
  • Seasonal staff — While the application deadline has passed for temporary staff and contract positions, we will continue to review applications on a rolling basis as needed. Knowledge of Ozarks culture is especially useful in the roles of program assistant, foodways assistant, and participant assistant.
  • Interns — Several funded internship positions will be available for a six- to eight-week period between June 5 to July 28. 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.

Click the button to complete the survey through Missouri State University. 


Frequently Asked Questions


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