The 2014 Smithsonian Folklife Festival was the greenest one to date, and represented the largest composting effort for any event on the National Mall. Resource recovery tents were strategically placed near dining areas and busy walkways to maximize accessibility and visibility. By collecting and sorting … Continue reading Sustainability Matters: 2014 Festival Statistics
Museum visitors are often classified by evaluators as “streakers, strollers, and students,” terms apparently coined by Australian museum administrator George MacDonald in the 1990s. Streakers move quickly through exhibitions; strollers take their time; and students stay the longest and learn as much as they can. … Continue reading Streakers, Strollers, and Students: What Kind of Festival Visitor Are You?
It is extremely important to us that the events and programs offered at the Folklife Festival are accessible to all visitors. Throughout the Festival, American Sign Language Interpreters and CART (Communication Access Real Time) captioning services will be available at selected stages. The dates and … Continue reading Festival Accessibility Resources
Thirteen miles east of the National Mall, the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage supply and technical crews gear up for their big move to the Mall for the Festival. The high-ceilinged warehouse is busy as the crew finishes up construction projects and final … Continue reading A Visit to the Warehouse
The harmonica is an instrument synonymous with all genres of American music—Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan used it in their classics ballads, psychedelic rock pioneers the Brian Jonestown Massacre brought it to new generations, and Stevie Wonder used it on chart-toppers. Despite its versatility and … Continue reading Sneak Preview: Classic Harmonica Blues from Smithsonian Folkways
I first met “Teeth” in early Fall 1968, the year I began my Baltimore Arabbers Photodocumentary Project. I was at the old Camden Street Produce Center, near the corner of Camden and Light Streets (now a Hyatt Hotel), and I was documenting the lives of … Continue reading In Memoriam: Remembering Walter Milton “Teeth” Kelly (July 27, 1926 – November 26, 2012)
I have volunteered and worked at several Smithsonian Folklife Festivals before, but I did not know what to anticipate when I went down to the Festival grounds on Sunday, July 1. Deadly winds had ripped through the D.C. metro area the previous Friday night, downing power … Continue reading Festival 2012: A Volunteer’s Reflections