The 2016 Folklife Festival celebrated resilient communities around the world. Visitors could discover how the Basque country sustains culture, drawing on traditions to innovate in a rapidly changing world. Audiences could learn renowned cooking techniques and phrases in the Euskara language, experience bertsolaritza poetry competitions and stone-lifting matches, or drink a refreshing glass of cider or rioja wine and meet master artisans. In the other main program, visitors were invited to explore the Sounds of California through the music and stories of communities shaping the diverse state, and to interact with artists in music workshops or stretch out on the lawn for an evening concert series.
In 2016, the Festival was located on the National Mall between 4th and 7th streets, and between Madison Drive and Jefferson Drive, just north of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum (see site plan
). The Festival Marketplace was inside the Arts and Industries Building. Most music and dance performances took place in the Musika eta Dantza Etxea, Frontoia, Sounds of California Stage & Plaza, and indoors at the Arts and Industries Building Stage. Evening concerts were held at the Ralph Rinzler Concert Stage, along 4th Street. The 2016 Festival took place for two five-day weeks (June 29-July 4 and July 7-10) and featured three programs and special events including the Rinzler Concert.
The 2016 guide
included participant lists for each program, 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; Robert Leopold, Deputy Director for Research and Collections; Smithsonian Folklife Festival: Sabrina Lynn Motley, Festival Director
Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage Advisory Council
Ellen McCulloch-Lovell, Chair; Cathy Sulzberger, Co-Chair; Bill Ivey, Dawn McCall, Susan Norton, Anna Maria Ochoa, George Papagiannis, Frederik Paulsen, Jennifer Cover Payne, Ann Elizabeth Sheffer, Deborah Wong, Council Members; Libby O'Connell, J. Scott Raecker, Honorary; Patricia Shehan-Campbell, Ex officio
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. Promotional support was provided by Dulles International and Reagan National Airports, Comcast, Captivate Network, Telemundo Washington DC, WAMU 88.5, Destination DC, BrightestYoungThings.com, The Washington Informer, El Tiempo Hispano (MD-DE-PA), Latin Opinion Baltimore Newspaper, ettractions.com, El Tiempo Latino, Digital Conventions, WeekendBestBets.com, National Museum of African American History and Culture, and Kepa Junkera. In-kind program and technical support came from Audio Event Services, The Art League, Blacksmiths' Guild of the Potomac, Chem-Trend, Destaco, Tech Shop DC, and Target (Glen Burnie, Rockville, Ellicott City).