Festival Accessibility Resources

American Sign Language interpreters work at stages throughout each Festival program to make the cultural performances and presentations accessible to all visitors.

Making all events and programs of the Folklife Festival accessible to all visitors is a high priority for the Smithsonian. This year, American Sign Language Interpreters and CART (Communication Access Real Time) captioning services will be available at selected stages. The dates and times of these events can be found on the online Festival schedule or in print form at the Volunteer tent or information booths. Service animals are welcomed with water stations at the entrance to each program area.

The following stages will have audio loops installed. Visitors with compatible hearing devices should turn them to the T position, and all visitors are welcome to borrow audio loop receivers from the Accessibility Aide at each venue.

  • Panorama Room Performance Stage (Citified)
  • Good Hope & Naylor Corner (Citified)
  • Red Hot Performance Stage (Creativity and Crisis)
  • Giving Voice (Creativity and Crisis)
  • Justin S. Morrill Performing Arts Center (Campus and Community)
  • Test Kitchen (Campus and Community)
  • The Commons (Campus and Community)
  • Smithsonian U (Campus and Community)
    • NOTE: Events at Smithsonian U are not included on the Festival schedule, but half-hour mini lectures will be given on this stage every day. ASL interpreters will be scheduled for this stage, as well.
  • The central information booth between the Texas A&M and Mississippi State tents in the Campus and Community program will be equipped with a countertop loop.

Verbal description and tactile tours of the three programs will also be offered for visitors who are blind or have low vision on Saturday, June 30 at 1:00 p.m. and Friday, July 6 at 3:00 p.m. Reservations can be made by emailing access@si.edu or by calling (202) 633-2921.

A number of other accessibility resources are available daily at the information booths and the Volunteer tent, which is located in the Festival Services area next to the Smithsonian Metro station.  Audio versions of the Festival guide and large print copies of the schedule and food concession menus are available at both locations. Visit the Volunteer tent to request additional ASL interpreter services or borrow a wheelchair for the day. To request any other access services not mentioned above, please call (202) 633-2921 (voice) or (202) 633-4353 (TTY), or email access@si.edu.

For additional information on Accessibility, visit the General Information page of our Web site.

Laura Anthony is an intern for the Production Manager for the 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. She recently completed her freshman year at University of Pennsylvania.