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The living art that the American people make of their own experience is not taught in our educational institutions, performed in our concert halls or housed in our museums. Folk songs and dances may be taught in schools and interpreted by professionals in concerts; material culture appears in museum exhibitions and collections, but living folkways are drenched with the rich, vital style which only the living tradition bearers themselves can impart to the performance of a song, to the execution of a complex craft technique, to the telling of a tale. The Festival celebrates folk cultures as they persist in thousands of styles among millions of

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