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The Smithsonian's Intangible Cultural Heritage project examines a diversity of policies and practices that engage living cultural traditions. 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 and practice at the Smithsonian.

Project Team

The Smithsonian's Intangible Cultural Heritage project is steered by co-investigator colleagues from across the institution.

Click on the names below for biographies and contact info.

Principal Investigator & Project Manager

Meredith Holmgren
Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (CFCH), Smithsonian Institution


Meredith Holmgren, M.Phil., M.A. (CFCH) simultaneously serves as Principal Investigator and Project Manager of ICH@SI, and is affiliated with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. A cultural heritage researcher by training, her work has contributed to numerous international cultural organizations, including the International Council for Traditional Music, Freemuse, UNESCO, and the International Institute for Asian Studies. Her professional interests span cultural heritage policy, ethnomusicology, sociocultural research, area studies, and education.


Joshua Bell
National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), Smithsonian Institution


Joshua Bell, D.Phil. serves as Curator of Globalization in the Anthropology Department of NMNH. His work broadly combines ethnographic fieldwork with research in museums and archives. His specializations include the examination of shifting local and global networks of relationships between persons, artifacts and the environment. He is also the former director of Smithsonian’s Recovering Voices initiative.

Olivia Cadaval
Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (CFCH), Smithsonian Institution


Olivia Cadaval, Ph.D. is Curator and Chair of Research and Education at Smithsonian's Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Since joining the Center in 1988, she has curated numerous Folklife Festival programs, produced curriculum enrichment materials, exhibitions, and Web sites, and has worked extensively on documentation, public programs, and education projects in the Latino community of Washington, D.C.

Aron Crowell
National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), Smithsonian Institution


Aron Crowell, Ph.D. (NMNH) is an anthropologist and Alaska Director of the Smithsonian Institution's Arctic Studies Center. His research, publications, and exhibitions in cultural anthropology, archaeology, and oral history reflect collaborations with indigenous communities of the north and with major museums and research institutions. He produces diverse public programs and online media to highlight intangible cultural heritage and contemporary expressions.

Eve Errickson
Office of Contracting (OCon), Smithsonian Institution


Eve Errickson, J.D., M.A. (OCon): Before recently joining the Smithsonian as Supervisory Attorney-Advisor, Eve served for several years as Attorney and Contracts Director at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Her research on legal definitions of property in the development of cultural vulnerability and economic marginalization in North America and the Caribbean was published following the 15th Annual Symposium of US/ICOMOS.

Molly Fannon
Office of International Relations (OIR), Smithsonian Institution

Molly Fannon, B.A. (OIR) serves as Director of the Office of International Relations. Prior to her current position, she served the Smithsonian as a consultant for the International Museum Professional Education Programs in Abu Dhabi, Oman, and Singapore. Fannon has broad international experience as a Fulbright Scholar in Argentina, a volunteer consultant on cultural tourism at UNESCO World Heritage sites in Mozambique, and has worked in more than 23 countries on six continents.

Anthony Seeger
Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (CFCH), Smithsonian Institution

Anthony Seeger, Ph.D. (CFCH, Emeritus) was the founding director of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, where he continues to serve as Emeritus Director and Curator. He is an eminent anthropologist, ethnomusicologist, archivist, heritage specialist, and musician, whose work spans indigenous cultural expressions, intellectual property, vernacular musics, archives, and applied ethnomusicology. He has served as Distinguished Professor of Ethnomusicology at UCLA, Secretary General of the International Council for Traditional Music, Director of the Archives of Traditional Music at Indiana University, and contributed to several UNESCO initiatives to safeguard musical traditions as ICH.

Cori Wegener
Office of the Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture (OUSHAC), Smithsonian Institution


Cori Wegener, M.A., M.A. (OUSHAC) serves the Smithsonian as Cultural Heritage Preservation Officer where she specializes in disaster risk reduction, armed conflict mitigation, and cultural recovery of arts and artifacts. She is the president and founder of the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield, which supports The Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (1954).

The Smithsonian's Intangible Cultural Heritage project is generously supported by the Smithsonian’s Grand Challenges Consortia.

Support the Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, Cultural Vitality Program, educational outreach, and more.