In 2004, the Festival continued its long tradition of presenting the diverse cultural heritage of the people of the United States and the world to large public audiences in an educational, respectful, and profoundly democratic way, with three major programs and the Ralph Rinzler Memorial Concert honoring longtime collaborator, Roland Freeman.
In 2004, the Haitian people marked the bicentennial of their independence. In 1804, inspired by American and French ideals, Haitians fought for their own freedom, abolished slavery, and created the second independent nation in the Western Hemisphere. Haitians have sought freedom and liberty ever since, and through tough times have relied on their rich culture and seemingly boundless creativity to persevere. The Festival program, in the planning for several years, came at what was obviously an important time for Haitians and Americans - particularly Haitian Americans. It provided an excellent opportunity for Haitians to tell their own stories through their skill and artistry, and for Festival visitors to learn from them.
The inaugural program in a planned multi-year sequence, the Latino music program helped the Smithsonian reach out to a major segment of the American population not only as audience, but also as presenters, performers, and spokespeople for their own cultural expressions. Latino music includes a wide variety of traditions now energizing social and community life in the United States. Some are centuries old and reach back to early indigenous, European, and African roots. Others have come to us more recently, with immigrants from south of our border. Sharing these traditions broadly at the Festival contributed to a valuable and needed cultural dialogue, particularly one involving the growing number of Washingtonians of Latino heritage.
The Mid-Atlantic maritime program allowed the Smithsonian to convene a public discussion of "water ways" spanning six eastern seaboard states. Many people and communities depend upon the ocean, coast, bays, and rivers for their livelihoods - whether through commercial fishing and aquaculture or recreation and tourism. At the time of the Festival, homes, jobs, and ways of life were facing unprecedented economic and ecological challenges. The Festival program brought together scores of workers, professionals, and officials who used, monitored, and regulated these water ways to demonstrate their knowledge and inform visitors about the key issues facing them.
The 2004 Festival took place for two five-day weeks (June 23-27 and June 30-July 4) between Madison Drive and Jefferson Drive and between 10th Street and 14th Street, south of the National Museum of American History and the National Museum of Natural History (see site plan
). It featured three programs and the Rinzler Concert.
The 2004 Program Book
included schedules and participant lists for each program; keynote essays provided background on the Festival and on each of the programs (with versions in Kreyòl and Spanish of the respective essays).
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
Richard Kurin, Director; Richard Kennedy, Deputy Director; Smithsonian Folklife Festival: Diana Parker, Festival Director; Stephen Kidd, Production Manager; Arlene L. Reiniger, Program Specialist; Charlie Weber, Media Specialist; Smithsonian Folkways Recordings: Daniel Sheehy, Director and Curator; Anthony Seeger, Director Emeritus; D.A. Sonneborn, Assistant Director; Ralph Rinzler Archives: Jeffrey Place, Archivist; Stephanie Smith, Assistant Archivist; Save Our Sounds: Frank Proschan, Project Director; Cultural Heritage Policy: James Early, Director; Cultural Research and Education: Olivia Cadaval, Chair; Thomas Vennum, Jr., Senior Ethnomusicologist Emeritus; Betty J. Belanus, Olivia Cadaval, Nancy Groce, Marjorie Hunt, Diana Baird N'Diaye, Peter Seitel, Cynthia Vidaurri, Nilda Villalta, Curators, Folklorists, Education and Cultural Specialists; Carla Borden, Program/Publications Manager; John W. Franklin, Program Manager; Roland Freeman, Ivan Karp, Corinne Kratz, Worth Long, René López, Kate Rinzler, Sam-Ang Sam, Laura Schneider, Rajeev Sethi, Chucho Valdez, Research Associates
Folklife Advisory Council
Kurt Dewhurst (chair), Judy Mitoma (vice-chair), Michael Doucet, Anthony Gittens, Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Debora Kodish, Enrique Lamadrid, Worth Long, J. Scott Raecker, Robert Santelli, Ricardo Trimillos, John Herzog (ex-officio)
Folkways Advisory Council
Michael Asch (chair), Phyllis Barney, Hal Cannon, Don De Vito, Ella Jenkins, Anthony Seeger (ex-officio), Fred Silber
National Park Service
Fran P. Mainella, Director; Donald W. Murphy, Deputy Director; Terry R. Carlstrom, Regional Director, National Capital Region
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. Major funding for this year's programs came from Whole Foods Market and the Music Performance Fund, a Festival sponsor for 34 years. Telecommunications support for the Festival was provided by Motorola, Nextel, Pegasus, and Icom America. Media partners included WAMU 88.5 FM, American University Radio, and WashingtonPost.com, with in-kind support from Signature Systems and Go-Ped.