Skip to main content

In addition to daily performances and activities on the National Mall, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival recommends events and exhibitions relating to our programs at other Smithsonian museums and venues around Washington, D.C. All events are free unless otherwise noted.

Upcoming Events

Smithsonian Mother Tongue Film Festival, 2024. February 21 to 24. Washington, DC. Background design is a film still of two people smiling, looking right into the distance, with an illustrated frame of pale pink, blue, and yellow circles.
February 21–24, 2024

Smithsonian’s Mother Tongue Film Festival
Various locations

The Smithsonian’s Mother Tongue Film Festival celebrates cultural and linguistic diversity by showcasing films and filmmakers from around the world, highlighting the crucial role languages play in our daily lives. In 2024, the festival will showcase films that record personal journeys and explore the drive to find balance and harmony within our world, communities, families, and selves.


Black and white photograph of Sister Rosetta Tharpe singing and holding a guitar.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe performs at the 1967 Newport Folk Festival.
Photo by Diana J. Davies, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
On view until February 2024

Music HerStory: Women and Music of Social Change
National Museum of American History

From our earliest musical encounters to the formation of complex social identities, the American musical landscape wouldn’t be what it is today without the countless contributions of women changemakers, groundbreakers, and tradition-bearers. Women’s leadership in music and social change is central to the American story. Music HerStory explores these contributions through unique media collections from across the Smithsonian.

Children play a game outdoors, forming a circle around someone in the center. Black-and-white photo.
Nanticoke schoolboys playing “bear in ring”, Delaware, ca. 1911. Boy facing the camera is Roosevelt Perkins.
Photo by Frank G. Speck (N01304)

Return to a Native Place: Algonquian Peoples of the Chesapeake
National Museum of the American Indian (Washington, D.C.)

Meet the Native peoples of the Chesapeake Bay region—what is now Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware—through photographs, maps, ceremonial and everyday objects, and interactives. This compact exhibition educates visitors on the continued Native presence in the region, and provides an overview of the history and events from the 1600s to the present that have impacted the lives of the Nanticoke, Powhatan, and Piscataway tribes.

Four teenage parade queens wearing sashes and holding flags of Latin American countries.
Photo by Kike Calvo/Universal Courtesy of Group via Getty Images

!Presente! A Latino History of the United States
National Museum of American History
(Presented by the National Museum of the American Latino)

Reexamine what you know about U.S. history by learning more about Latino identity, immigration, historical legacies, and how Latinas and Latinos have shaped the nation. Listen to first-person oral histories, examine 3D objects, dive into historical biographies, and explore some of the objects found in the exhibition to see how the past relates to the present.

Painting of various scenes of Native American life on a yellow background.
Red Bear’s Winter Count, 2004. Canvas, acrylic paint; 116.5 x 116 cm. (26/8020)
Artwork by Martin E. Red Bear (Oglala/Sicangu Lakota, b. 1947)
Opens spring 2024

Unbound: Narrative Art of the Plains
National Museum of the American Indian (Washington, D.C.)

Celebrate the full expression of narrative art among Native nations of the Great Plains. The exhibition juxtaposes historical hides, muslins, and ledger books with more than fifty contemporary works commissioned by the museum. Illustrating everything from war deeds and ceremonial events to family life, Native identity, and pop culture, the artworks are as diverse as the individuals who created them.

Support the Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, sustainability projects, educational outreach, and more.