A remarkable celebration of the freedom of expression - sharing and seeking ideas and information - the Festival brings visitors face-to-face with hundreds of tradition bearers from around the world to explore their cultures and histories on the National Mall of the United States. The inherent give-and-take of the Festival creates relationships between people that in turn foster new understandings and new aspirations for communities large and small.
The Festival can only happen through collaboration with experts and supporters from around the world. The Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage forms partnerships with people and organizations who share its commitment to cross-cultural communication and understanding. Together, they research the vital traditions of the highlighted communities, and imagine and prepare presentations for the public.
For this year’s Hungarian Heritage: Roots to Revival program, the Festival partnered with the Balassi Institute in Budapest, and especially its Hungarian Cultural Center in New York, to create a compelling presentation that highlighted the dynamism and diversity of traditional culture in Hungary. For the One World, Many Voices: Endangered Languages and Cultural Heritage program, the Smithsonian collaborated with UNESCO, the National Geographic Society’s Enduring Voices Project, and the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages to focus attention on the thousands of endangered languages in the world today and to demonstrate the important role that language documentation and revitalization play in sustaining cultural heritage and tradition. For the Will to Adorn: African American Diversity, Style, and Identity program, the Center engaged artists, organizations, researchers, and scholars from around the country, including a remarkable group of educators and youth from Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center in the Bronx, as well as Smithsonian colleagues at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, to explore the diversity of African American identity and communities through dress and adornment.
At the 2013 Festival, visitors could once again meet, talk with, and learn from the many exceptional people who are working to sustain the world’s diverse living cultures. The traditions presented and stories told at the Festival often spark new curiosity in visitors and participants alike. The public could continue to explore these through the Center's Web site. Ultimately, the hope was that the Festival would serve as a catalyst for ongoing exploration, dialogue, and learning. As a civic ritual in its 47th year, the 2013 Festival commemorated the expression of our common humanity and our cultural diversity, as part of the nation and the global community.
The 2013 Festival took place for two five-day weeks (June 26-30 and July 3-7) between Madison Drive and Jefferson Drive and between 10th Street and 13th Street, south of the National Museum of American History and the National Museum of Natural History (see site plan
). It featured three programs and special events including the Rinzler Concert.
The 2013 Program Book
included participant lists for each program; keynote essays provided background on each of the programs; a separate brochure
provided a site plan and daily schedules.
The Festival was co-presented by the Smithsonian Institution and National Park Service and organized by the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.
Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Michael Mason, Director;
Smithsonian Folklife Festival:
Olivia Cadaval, Betty Derbyshire, Sojin Kim, Daniel Sheehy, Reshma Sinanan-Hill, Barbara Strickland, Charlie Weber, Festival Interim Management Team; Cristina Díaz-Carrera, Production Manager
Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage Advisory Council
Libby O'Connell, Chair, Cathy Sulzberger, Co-Chair, Mounir Bouchenaki, G. Wayne Clough (ex officio), Sandra Gibson (ex officio), Mickey Hart, Bill Ivey, Richard Kurin (ex officio), Enrique R. Lamadrid, Michael Mason (ex officio), Ellen McCulloch-Lovell, Jennifer Cover Payne, J. Scott Raecker, Ann Elizabeth Sheffer, Deborah Wong
The Festival was supported by federally appropriated funds; Smithsonian trust funds; contributions from governments, businesses, foundations, and individuals; in-kind assistance; and food, recording, and craft sales. Other support for the 2013 Festival came from Smithsonian Channel, ExxonMobil, Turkish Airlines, and AARP.