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  • Symposium: Cultural Sustainability in the Age of Globalization

    May 12, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    Rasmuson Theater, National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, D.C.

    The Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, the Alliance for California Traditional Arts, and the Royal Textile Academy of Bhutan will host a one-day symposium exploring exemplary efforts to sustain local artistic practices and cultural identities in the face of ever-accelerating globalization.

    As international trade and investment, immigration/migration, and technologies touch the lives of almost everyone, the world is increasingly understood and experienced as a single place. People afflicted by human conflicts and natural disasters engage traditional arts practices and values to serve as social rallying forces that enable effective group self-determination.

    Within this vast context, individuals and communities strive to sustain the expressive cultures that matter most to them and to maintain and strengthen a sense of social cohesion. In the process, they are generating innovative strategies for cultural sustainability and safeguarding their living cultural heritage.

    Beyond the inherent value of their art and heritage, participation in traditional arts activates cultural assets that promote individual well-being and public health. Moreover, cultural heritage plays an increasingly important role in economic development, both through the growing artisan sector and cultural heritage tourism.

    The symposium will be live streaming from this link.


    8:30 a.m. — Gathering for coffee and tea

    9:00 — Welcome by Smithsonian Secretary Dr. David Skorton

    9:15 — Speaker: Queen Mother of Bhutan

    • Her Majesty Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuck

    9:30 — Panel: Cultural Heritage and Wellbeing

    10:30 — Speaker: Angelique Kidjo

    11:00 — Panel: Cultural and Economic Sustainability

    12:00 p.m. — Lunch

    1:30 — Panel: Cultural Sustainability and Revitalization

    2:30 — Speaker: Maria Rosario Jackson, Claremont Graduate University               

    No registration is necessary for the symposium. If you have any questions, please email

    Co-presented by:

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