The Smithsonian Institution Festival of American Folklife, held annually since 1967 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., was renamed the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in 1998. The materials collected here document the planning, production, and execution of the annual Festival, produced by the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (1999-present) and its predecessor offices (1967-1999). An overview of the entire Festival records group is available here: Smithsonian Folklife Festival records.
Scope and Contents note:
This collection documents the planning, production, and execution of the 1973 Festival of American Folklife. Materials may include photographs, audio recordings, motion picture film and video recordings, notes, production drawings, contracts, memoranda, correspondence, informational materials, publications, and ephemera. Such materials were created during the Festival on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., as well as in the featured communities, before or after the Festival itself.
Arranged in 5 series.
Series 1: Program Books, Festival Publications, and Ephemera
Series 2: Regional America: Kentucky
Series 3: Native Americans: Northern Plains Indians
Series 4: Old Ways in the New World
Series 5: Working Americans
The Festival of American Folklife, held annually since 1967 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., was renamed the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in 1998.
The 1973 Festival of American Folklife was produced by the Smithsonian Division of Performing Arts and cosponsored by the National Park Service.
For more information, see Smithsonian Folklife Festival records.
In 1973, the Smithsonian Institution began preparing its multi-year commemoration of the Bicentennial of the American Revolution in 1976. Beginning with this year's Festival, the National Park Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior became co-sponsor of the Festival with the Smithsonian, and it was moved to the western part of the National Mall alongside the Reflecting Pool, between 17th and 23rd Streets, and between Constitution Avenue N.W. and Independence Avenue S.W. (see site plan). As explained by Secretary S. Dillon Ripley, "Themes and presentations for this Festival are a trial run for the themes around which our own celebration of America's 200th birthday will be organized."
The 1973 Festival ran from June 30 to July 8 and included four programs that initiated the Bicentennial preparations: Regional America featured the Commonwealth of Kentucky; Native Americans featured Northern Plains tribes; Working Americans featured the building trades; and Old Ways in the New World was inaugurated with two programs: Tribute to the Tamburashi presented Yugoslavian and Yugoslavian American traditions, and British Isles Music, Song, and Dance Traditions included participants from England, Scotland, Ireland and the U.S. Of these programs, Native Americans and Working Americans extended throughout the nine-day Festival, with the British Isles program running the first four days, the Tamburashi program running the first five days, and Kentucky featured for the last five days. During the Festival, evening concerts were presented on a stage at the base of the Lincoln Memorial; documentation of those concerts is found within each of the relevant programs whose musicians were featured.
The 1973 Festival was co-organized by the Smithsonian Institution, Division of Performing Arts (James R. Morris, Director; Richard Lusher, Deputy Director) and the National Park Service (Ronald H. Walker, Director). Ralph Rinzler was Director of Folklife Programs, with Gerald L. Davis serving as Associate Director and Kenneth S. Goldstein as Special Assistant to the Secretary on Folklore and Folklife.
The 1973 Program Book provided information on all of the programs, including a schedule and participant lists.
Forms Part Of:
Smithsonian Folklife Festival records: 1973 Festival of American Folklife forms part of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival records .
Smithsonian Folklife Festival records
Smithsonian Folklife Festival records: Papers
1967 Festival of American Folklife records - [Ongoing]
Related Archival Materials note:
Within the Rinzler Archives, related materials may be found in various collections such as the Ralph Rinzler papers and recordings, the Lily Spandorf drawings, the Diana Davies photographs, the Robert Yellin photographs, and the Curatorial Research, Programs, and Projects collection. Additional relevant materials may also be found in the Smithsonian Institution Archives concerning the Division of Performing Arts (1966-1983), Folklife Program (1977-1980), Office of Folklife Programs (1980-1991), Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies (1991-1999), Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (1999-present), and collaborating Smithsonian units, as well as in the administrative papers of key figures such as the Secretary and respective deputies. Users are encouraged to consult relevant finding aids and to contact Archives staff for further information.
Access by appointment only. Where a listening copy or viewing copy has been created, this is indicated in the respective inventory; additional materials may be accessible with sufficient advance notice and, in some cases, payment of a processing fee. Older papers are housed at a remote location and may require a minimum of three weeks' advance notice and payment of a retrieval fee. Certain formats such as multi-track audio recordings and EIAJ-1 videoreels (1/2 inch) may not be accessible. Contact the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections at 202-633-7322 or firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
Copyright and other restrictions may apply. Generally, materials created during a Festival are covered by a release signed by each participant permitting their use for personal and educational purposes; materials created as part of the fieldwork leading to a Festival may be more restricted. We permit and encourage such personal and educational use of those materials provided digitally here, without special permissions. Use of any materials for publication, commercial use, or distribution requires a license from the Archives. Licensing fees may apply in addition to any processing fees.