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Cross-Cultural Negotiation: Building Stages of a Festival Program

Before the stages are set at the Festival of American Folklife, there are prestage engagements which carry an element of performance in their own right. Sharing stories as well as analytical approaches, Smithsonian staff present the customs and traditions of the Festival to local scholars, who portray their own customs and traditions in return. As with any cross-cultural collaboration whose aim is joint representation, dialogue and negotiation map out the thematic landscape, social issues, and aesthetic priorities to form the basis of research for Festival programs.

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