Since President George Washington attended John Bill Ricketts’ circus in Philadelphia in 1793, circus arts have intrigued generations of audiences throughout the United States. For many Americans in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the circus brought glimpses of a wider wo...
Focusing on youth, culture, and migration, we’ll explore how American culture has been shaped by the movement of people to and within the United States. Together we will examine immigration and migration through cross-cultural and intergenerational dialogue about our collective past and future.
We celebrate 50 years of Folklife in 2017, and on July 8 and 9 we invite you to our 50th reunion weekend with stories about early days of the Festival and a look to the future, as well as special workshops and performances. Share your favorite Festival memories and photos in person or online.
From chainsaw carvers to Southern potters, religious scroll painters to silversmiths, participants in the Smithsonian Folklife Festival have created a remarkable array of “storied objects” during the annual event. It is both an unintentional collection and a wonderful treasure.