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Introduction

The pan-institutional project Intangible Cultural Heritage at the Smithsonian examines the milestones, challenges, policies, and practices of institutional engagement with living cultural expressions. While the Smithsonian Institution is perhaps best known for its vast collections of material art and artifacts, the institution is also a thriving force for cultural work concerning traditions of performance, ritual, music, dance, knowledge, storytelling, and oral transmission—often collectively referred to as intangible cultural heritage. By interviewing and surveying Smithsonian staff about their work with these diverse cultural expressions, and through ongoing engagements with external networks and strategic cultural partners, best practices and challenges emerge to inform the future of cultural heritage policy at the Smithsonian.

Intangible Cultural Heritage at the Smithsonian is generously supported by the Smithsonian’s Grand Challenges Consortia.



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