This accession consists of records documenting the administration of the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (CFCH), previously known as the Office of Folklife Programs, 1978-1991, and the Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies, 1992-1999, during the tenure of Richard Kurin. Kurin served as the Deputy Director, 1985-1987; Acting Director, 1987-1990; and Director, 1990-2009. Earlier files were created by Ralph Rinzler, Director, 1978-1983, and Peter Seitel, Director, 1983-1987, or were created or collected by Kurin in various positions he held at the Smithsonian Institution beginning in 1976. Kurin was named Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture in 2009, but holds Emeritus status with CFCH. Also included in this accession are records documenting the administration and oversight of numerous Smithsonian Institution museums and programs while Kurin served as Acting Director for National Programs, 2004-2007; Acting Under Secretary for History and Culture, 2007-2008; and Acting Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture, 2008-2009.
Topics documented within this accession include Kurin's participation on the American Folklife Center Board of Trustees; policy development and administrative guidelines at CFCH; the history of CFCH; fellow and research associate staffing; research and scholarly work concerning the Festival of American Folklife (later named the Smithsonian Folklife Festival), intangible cultural heritage, and cultural anthropology; Smithsonian/Folkways Recordings and Smithsonian Global Sound; the National Museum of the American Indian Grand Opening and the First Americans Festival; Kurin's service on the United States National Commission to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco); the Smithsonian Institution 150th Birthday Party on the National Mall; the creation of the Save our Sounds Project; and the Columbus Quincentenary, 1992-1993.
Materials include correspondence and memoranda; administrative and budget files; notes; agreements and memoranda of understanding; conferences and symposia documentation; scholarly publications and reviews; meeting minutes and agendas; pamphlets and brochures concerning special projects and exhibitions; grant proposals; newsletters; staff manuals and directives; copyright notes and production agreements; exhibition files; lecture notes; clippings; Unesco candidature videotapes; resumes and curricula vitae; advisory board member lists; activity reports; architectural drawings and floor plans of CFCH office spaces; images; and related materials. Some materials are in electronic format.