Today the Festival returned to the National Mall with a bang! Nearby lightning strikes forced the opening concert indoors, courtesy of our neighbors at the National Museum of Natural History. The Baird Auditorium, at capacity, filled with sounds and stories of Afghanistan and the Afghan American diaspora.
Starting with Yo-Yo Ma’s solo cello performance of the African American spiritual “Nobody Knows the Troubles I’ve Seen,” the evening evolved through moments of joy, empathy, and camaraderie. If you missed the concert, you can watch the archived livestream.
Our usual daytime programming begins tomorrow, and we can’t wait to explore Earth Optimism × Folklife and the United Arab Emirates with you. Start your day in the Meyer Auditorium at the Freer Art Gallery for the Opening Ceremony and celebrate our in-person reopening! Join a poetry workshop with artists from the UAE.