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 1983 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 6 series.
Series 1: Program Books, Festival Publications, and Ephemera
Series 2: Aviation Program
Series 3: Festival Sampler
Series 4: French/French-American Program
Series 5: National Heritage Fellowships Program
Series 6: New Jersey
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 1983 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.
Like its predecessor, the 1983 Festival took place for two five-day weeks (June 23-27 and June 30-July 4) 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). A program on the folklife of flight celebrated the 200th anniversary of human flight, with other major programs focusing on French and French American music and dance, the folklife of New Jersey, and the second awarding of National Heritage Fellowships by the National Endowment for the Arts.
The idea that shaped this year's program - and any year's program, for that matter - was the Smithsonian Institution's abiding commitment to cultural conservation. The selected traditions were brought to the National Mall not only for visitors' enjoyment and intellectual edification, but also as a statement to the people who keep the traditions, to their communities, and to the great American public that these cultural traditions were more than the artistic flowering of a healthy community. They were often the very roots of a group's cultural identity, community feeling, and shared sense of style and, as such, were crucial to its well-being and productivity. Visitors were encouraged to find entertainment in the beautiful and significant traditions presented at this year's Festival and to understand their importance in the lives of the performers and their communities. Festival organizers also expressed their hope that visitors would join in making our nation an environment in which myriad cultural traditions can flourish.
The 1983 Program Book provides information on each of the programs.
The 1983 Festival was co-presented by the Smithsonian Institution and National Park Service, with support from Festival New Jersey '83!, the Government of France, Continental Telecom, Inc., Music Performance Trust Funds, and John & Clara Higgins Foundation, and with cooperation of the National Endowment for the Arts. It was organized by the Office of Folklife Programs, in conjunction (for the Aviation Program) with the National Air and Space Museum.
Folklife Advisory Council
Wilcomb E. Washburn, Chairman, Roger Abrahams, Richard Ahlborn, William Fitzhugh, Lloyd Herman, Robert Laughlin, Scott Odell, Ralph Rinzler, Peter Seitel, Thomas Vennum
Office of Folklife Programs
Ralph Rinzler, Festival Director; Peter Seitel, Acting Director; Jeffrey LaRiche, Acting Assistant Director; Diana Parker, Associate Festival Director; Thomas Vennum, Senior Ethnomusicologist; Marjorie Hunt, Folklorist; Kazadi wa Mukuna, Ethnomusicologist; Jack Santino, Folklorist; Richard Derbyshire, Archivist
National Park Service
Russell E. Dickenson, Director; Manus J. Fish, Jr., Regional Director, National Capital Region
Fieldworkers and presenters:
Barry Ancelet, Tina Bucuvalas, Lynda Burack-Novick, Tom Carroll, David Cohen, Angus Gillespie, John Herbst, Pandora Hopkins, Mary Hufford, Michael Licht, Amanda McQuiddy, Rita Moonsammy, Kazadi wa Mukuna, Kathleen Mundell, Catherine Perrier, Charlie Sayles, Daniel Sheehy, Nick Spitzer, Bob Teske, Norma Threadgill, Tom Vennum, John Vlach, Hank Willett, John Wright, Peggy Yocum
Forms Part Of:
Smithsonian Folklife Festival records: 1983 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.