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 2005 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. 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 6 series.
Series 1: Program Books, Festival Publications, and Ephemera
Series 2: Food Culture USA
Series 3: Forest Service, Culture, and Community
Series 4: Nuestra Música: Music in Latino Culture
Series 5: Oman: Desert, Oasis, and Sea
Series 6: Special Events
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 2005 Smithsonian Folklife Festival was produced by the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and cosponsored by the National Park Service.
For more information, see Smithsonian Folklife Festival records.
In its 39th year, the Festival once again presented a sample of the diverse cultural heritage of America and the world to large public audiences in an educational, respectful, and profoundly democratic way on the National Mall of the United States. True to form, the Festival illustrated the living, vital aspect of cultural heritage and provided a forum for discussion on matters of contemporary concern.
For the first time, a full-scale Festival program was devoted to an Arab nation, Oman. Oman is at the edge of the Arabian Peninsula, both geographically and historically situated between East Africa and the Indian Ocean. Trade routes, frankincense, silverwork, Islam, a strategic location, and oil have connected it to the cultures of the Middle East, Africa, Asia, the Mediterranean region, and beyond. Contemporary Omanis live poised between a long and rich past and a future they are in the midst of defining. New roads, hospitals, schools, businesses, high-tech occupations, and opportunities for women are developing alongside traditionally valued religion, family life, artistry, and architecture. Omanis are well aware of the challenges of safeguarding their cultural heritage in an era of globalization. The Festival program provided a vivid illustration of the approaches they have taken and enabled American visitors and Omanis to engage in open, two-way interchange.
During the Festival, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service celebrated its 100th anniversary. Programs in previous years have illustrated the traditions of White House workers and of Smithsonian workers. This Festival examined the occupational culture of Forest Service rangers, smokejumpers, scientists, tree doctors, and many others devoted to the health and preservation of our nation's forests. They were joined by artists and workers from communities that depend upon the forests for their livelihood or sustenance. The Festival offered the opportunity for an active discussion of the significance of our national forests and rangelands to the American people.
Food Culture USA examined the evolution of our nation's palate over the preceding generation. New produce, new foods, new cooking techniques, and even new culinary communities have developed as a result of immigrant groups taking their place in our society, the rise of organic agriculture, and the growing celebrity of ethnic and regional chefs on a national stage. A diversity of growers, food inspectors, gardeners, educators, home cooks and prominent chefs shared their knowledge and creativity as they demonstrated the continuity and innovation in America's culinary culture.
The program in Latino music continued with a series of evening concerts. The 2004 program drew many Latinos to the National Mall, helping the Smithsonian reach out to a major segment of the American population. Audiences in both 2004 and 2005 were thrilled by the performances, as were the musicians who presented their own cultural expressions and thus helped educate their fellow citizens of the nation and the world. Smithsonian Folkways released recordings of three of the groups that had performed the previous year, and one later went on to be nominated for a Grammy award.
The 2005 Festival took place for two five-day weeks (June 23-27 and June 30-July 4) between Madison Drive and Jefferson Drive and between 9th Street and 14th Street, south of the National Museum of American History and the National Museum of Natural History (see site plan). It featured four programs and the Rinzler Concert.
The 2005 Program Book included schedules and participant lists for each program; keynote essays provided background on the Festival and on each of the programs (with a Spanish version of the Latino music essay).
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
Richard Kurin, Director; Richard Kennedy, Deputy Director; Smithsonian Folklife Festival: Diana Parker, Festival Director; Arlene L. Reiniger, Program Specialist; Charlie Weber, Media Specialist; Smithsonian Folkways Recordings/Smithsonian Global Sound: Daniel Sheehy, Curator and Director; Anthony Seeger, Curator and Director, Emeritus; D.A. Sonneborn, Assistant Director; Ralph Rinzler Archives: Jeffrey Place, Archivist; Stephanie Smith, Assistant Archivist; Cultural Heritage Policy: James Early, Director; Cultural Research and Education: Olivia Cadaval, Chair; Thomas Vennum, Jr., Senior Ethnomusicologist Emeritus; Betty J. Belanus, Olivia Cadaval, Nancy Groce, Marjorie Hunt, Diana Baird N'Diaye, Frank Proschan, Peter Seitel, Cynthia Vidaurri, Nilda Villalta, Curators, Folklorists, Education and Cultural Specialists; Carla Borden, Program/Publications Manager; John W. Franklin, Program Manager; Research Associates: Robert Albro, Geri Benoit, Patrick Delatour, Kip Lornell, Mara Mayor, Joan Nathan, Sam-Ang Sam, Preston Scott, Chucho Valdez, Patrick Vilaire, Nilda Villalta; Rockefeller Humanities Fellows (2004-05): Robert Albro, Jane Anderson, Lesley Fordred-Green, Christina Kreps, Tong Lam, Lillian Manzor, Marya McQuirter, Sita Reddy
Folklife Advisory Council
Kurt Dewhurst (chair), Judy Mitoma (vice-chair), Michael Doucet, Anthony Gittens, John Herzog (ex-officio), Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Debora Kodish, Enrique Lamadrid, Worth Long, Libby O'Connell, J. Scott Raecker, Robert Santelli, Ricardo Trimillos
Folkways Advisory Board
Michael Asch (chair), Phyllis Barney, Hal Cannon, Don De Vito, Ella Jenkins, Anthony Seeger (ex-officio), Fred Silber
National Park Service
Fran P. Mainella, Director; Donald W. Murphy, Deputy Director; Joseph M. Lawler, Regional Director, National Capital Region
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. Support for this year's Festival came from the Music Performance Fund, with in-kind support provided through Motorola, NEXTEL, WAMU 88.5 FM, WashingtonPost.com, Pegasus Radio Corp., and Icom America.
Forms Part Of:
Smithsonian Folklife Festival records: 2005 Smithsonian Folklife Festival 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.