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 1987 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 4 series.
Series 1: Program Books, Festival Publications, and Ephemera
Series 2: Cultural Conservation and Languages: America's Many Voices
Series 3: Metropolitan Washington
Series 4: Michigan
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 1987 Festival of American Folklife was produced by the Smithsonian Office of Folklife Programs and cosponsored by the National Park Service.
For more information, see Smithsonian Folklife Festival records.
The 1987 Festival took place for two five-day weeks (June 24-28 and July 1-5) between Madison Drive and Jefferson Drive and between 10th Street and 14th Street, south of the National Museum of American History and the National Museum of Natural History (see site plan). Held on parkland among many of the nation's most treasured memorials and institutions, the Festival explored the city beyond Washington's federal buildings. Visitors learned of its diverse, vibrant and evolving musical traditions - a hometown to Americans of many cultures. In any culture language is a primary source of unity and pride. Through the 1987 Festival visitors had the opportunity to learn about the valued role of language in some of America's linguistic communities. Culture and language have played an important role in shaping the character of each state in the union. In this, Michigan's sesquicentennial celebration year, traditional craftspeople, musicians, cooks, woodworkers, boatmen, and others shared with Festival-goers the particular history and culture of their state.
The 1987 Program Book included schedules and participant lists for each program; the Program Book essays provided a larger context for the Festival presentations, without being limited to traditions actually presented at the 1987 Festival.
The Festival was co-presented by the Smithsonian Institution and National Park Service and organized by the Office of Folklife Programs.
Office of Folklife Programs
Peter Seitel, Director; Richard Kurin, Deputy Director; Diana Parker, Festival Director; Thomas Vennum, Jr., Senior Ethnomusicologist; Alicia María González, Director, Folklife Quincentenary Programs; Marjorie Hunt, Phyllis M. May-Machunda, Frank Proschan, Nicholas R. Spitzer, Folklorists; Peter Magoon, Archivist
National Park Service
William Penn Mott, Jr., Director; Manus J. Fish, Jr., Regional Director, National Capital Region
Shared Stewardship of Collections:
The Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage acknowledges and respects the right of artists, performers, Folklife Festival participants, community-based scholars, and knowledge-keepers to collaboratively steward representations of themselves and their intangible cultural heritage in media produced, curated, and distributed by the Center. Making this collection accessible to the public is an ongoing process grounded in the Center's commitment to connecting living people and cultures to the materials this collection represents. To view the Center's full shared stewardship policy, which defines our protocols for addressing collections-related inquiries and concerns, please visit https://doi.org/10.25573/data.21771155.
Forms Part Of:
Smithsonian Folklife Festival records: 1987 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 to the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections is by appointment only. Visit our website for more information on scheduling a visit or making a digitization request. Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies.