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  • On the Smithsonian’s 175th Birthday, We Look Forward to Future Projects

    Video by Albert Tong

    Today the Smithsonian celebrates its 175th birthday, and as always we are in awe of the remarkable work done by our colleagues around the institution. At the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, we bring people from around the world to connect with the Smithsonian in different ways every day, and those experiences mean something unique and personal to everyone.

    As we commemorate the Smithsonian at 175, let’s not only look back but ahead to what’s on the horizon for the Center. Watch the short video above to learn about a few of our new projects, and join our circle of support to help bring these goals to fruition.

    Fundraising Priorities

    • Silk Road Book & Website

      In 2022, interim director Richard Kurin will publish The Silk Road: Connecting Cultures, Creating Trust, a book and companion website, reflecting twenty years later on the pivotal Smithsonian Folklife Festival program that brought experts and artisans from across the historic trade route to the National Mall.

    • Mother Tongue Film Festival

      Since 2016, this annual film festival has celebrated cultural and linguistic diversity by showcasing films from around the world. We work with established and emerging filmmakers to promote unique voices and worldviews, exploring the power of language to connect the past, present, and future.

    • African American Craft Initiative

      Through this new initiative, our goal is to broaden the understanding of contemporary craft in the United States and demonstrate African American craft’s contribution to pride in cultural heritage, highlighting their practices as essential to community, economic, and social health.

    • Tech-Teach Training

      Designed to serve low-income youth in the D.C. area, Tech-Teach provides hands-on STEM education through basic drafting, carpenty, and safety skills, applicable to employment in theatrical production, museum exhibition design, construction, and other technical fields.

    • Earth Optimism × Folklife

      The 2022 Smithsonian Folklife Festival will host Earth Optimism × Folklife: Inspiring Conservation Communities. Visitors will discover the possibilities of positive change through workshops, performances, interactive art installations, film screenings, design competitions, and more.

    • Folkways K-12 Music Education

      This pilot K-12 education program from Smithsonian Folkways Recordings addresses systemic inequities in music education by providing high-quality, multidisciplinary resources from diverse cultural perspectives at no cost to teachers and students.

    • Paid Diversity Internships

      Our Internship Diversity Initiative allows us to broaden our talent pool to reflect the diversity of the United States. Our goal is to welcome students who may not be able to afford the costs of housing, meals, and transportation during their internship in D.C., or even remotely.


  • Support the Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, sustainability projects, educational outreach, and more.

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