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Our Folklife Festival - A Fifteen Year Perspective

Fifteen years ago we began our Folklife Festival as a way to further intercultural understanding within our nation. We planned these festive events in the belief that increased knowledge about the creativity of a people leads to a fresh appreciation and admiration. We felt that as we celebrated the differences between groups in the U.S. - regional, occupational, ethnic and racial groups - we were contributing to the unity of our country.

The idea took hold immediately. Letters poured into the Smithsonian after the 1967 Festival. They came from children - one as young as three who after expressing his gratitude for the Festival confessed that

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