The 1993 Festival of American Folklife was the 27th since the Smithsonian's annual living cultural exhibition began in 1967. In 1993, the Festival included programs on U.S.-Mexico borderlands, American social dance, music in the Washington Metropolitan area, and urban children's culture. All pointed to how people creatively use the resources of community culture to shape life experiences in ways that celebrate and affirm social values.
The Festival's featured program, U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, was the latest in a series developed for the Columbus Quincentenary which sought to expand public knowledge about the cultural history of our hemisphere and to fortify the Smithsonian's engagement of colleagues and communities in Latin America and the Caribbean. Those programs, including Creolization in the Caribbean, Land and Power in Native American Cultures, New Mexico, Maroons in the Americas, and American Indian Soundscapes, directly reached some five million Festival visitors. Brought to fruition with the cooperation of scores of academic, cultural, and educational institutions in 18 nations, those programs engaged the efforts of some 250 different scholars and over 1,000 exemplary culture bearers from across the Americas. They generated rich documentary archives, copies of which reside both at the Smithsonian and at collaborating institutions. Additionally, the programs generated two documentary films and several books, and even contributed to the passage of cultural legislation.
The 1993 Festival took place during a single five-day week (July 1-5) 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
The 1993 Program Book
included schedules and participant lists for each program; essays provided background on the Festival and each of the four programs.
The Festival was co-presented by the Smithsonian Institution and National Park Service and organized by the Center for Folklife Programs & Cultural Studies.
Center for Folklife Programs & Cultural Studies
Richard Kurin, Director; Diana Parker, Festival Director; Anthony Seeger, Director, Smithsonian/Folkways Recordngs; Peter Seitel, Senior Folklorist; Thomas Vennum, Jr., Senior Ethnomusicologist; Olivia Cadaval, Director, Quincentenary Projects; Richard Kennedy, Program Analyst; Vivian Chen, Diana Baird N'Diaye, Amy Horowitz, Marjorie Hunt, Folklorists/Curators; Carla Borden, John Franklin, Program Managers; Arlene L. Reiniger, Program Specialist; Jeffrey Place, Archivist; Betty Belanus, Research Associate
Folklife Advisory Council
Roger Abrahams, Jacinto Arias, Jane Beck, Pat Jasper, Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Bernice Reagon, John Roberts, Carol Robertson, Gilbert Sprauve, Jack Tchen, Ricardo Trimillos, Carlos Vélez-Ibáñez
National Park Service
Roger Kennedy, Director; Robert G. Stanton, Regional Director, National Capital Region