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  • Remembering Kate Rinzler (1937-2010)

    Long-time Center friend and colleague Kate Rinzler passed away December 25, 2010 in Prescott, Arizona after a long battle with cancer. Kate was a specialist in children’s folklore and for years was the curator of the Children’s Area at the yearly Smithsonian Folklife Festival. She took her knowledge of children’s folklore and used it in classrooms in Washington and North Carolina. Kate also documented children’s games in African, African-American, Anglo-American and Chinese culture. These films became part of series of booklets and videotapes available from the Smithsonian in the 1970s.

    Among Kate’s other interests were batik, modern dance, choreography, puppets, and Indian folk culture. Her late husband Ralph Rinzler was the co-founder of the Festival of American Folklife and the director of the Office of Folklife Programs (the predecessor to the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage) for many years. Kate was a partner and collaborator on many of Ralph’s projects during his career. Much of what the Center does today is based on concepts created by Ralph and Kate in years past. We will miss her.

    More on Kate’s life can be found at

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