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Staff

202.633.6456, AbramowitzS@si.edu

Sophie Abramowitz joined Smithsonian Folkways in 2023. She previously worked as a college instructor in the fields of English and music theory and as an archivist at the Association for Cultural Equity, the University of Virginia, and the Pembroke Center for Teaching & Research on Women at Brown University. She has hosted blues shows on college radio stations WKCR and WTJU and has produced several archival blues releases with her company Americana Music Productions, including the Ann Arbor Blues Festival 1969 box set that was released in 2019 by Third Man Records. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Virginia. Her writing has been published in Slate, Artforum, Journal of Popular Music Studies, and American Quarterly

202.633.6512, AdamsG@si.edu

Greg C. Adams is the interim director of the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections. His work focuses on the preservation processing of archival collections and providing records management support for staff. He holds a BA in music history from Youngstown State University (2001) and master’s degrees in library and information sciences (2004) and ethnomusicology (2012) from the University of Maryland, College Park. Greg’s ethnomusicological work is grounded in critical heritage research and programming focused on the multicultural history of the banjo.

202.633.7478, AlcalaP@si.edu

Paloma Alcalá joined Smithsonian Folkways as a sales associate in 2021. She studied Spanish and education at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania before gaining experience in music sales at Crooked Beat Records in Alexandria, Virginia. She has also written for Document Records, a UK-based blues, jazz, and gospel reissue label. Paloma is a D.C.-area native who enjoys instant film photography and attending local shows in her free time.

202.633.0643, BellM@si.edu

Marquinta Bell joined the Center in January 2004, serving as an administrative specialist. She manages accounting, budgetary, and financial matters for the Center. Her financial background includes positions at the Smithsonian’s Office of the Comptroller, Cellular One, and AT&T Wireless.

202.633.4015, ButvinHM@si.edu

Halle Butvin joined the Center as director of special projects in 2016, following three years as an advisor at the Smithsonian’s Office of International Relations. She is responsible for expanding the reach of the Cultural Vitality Program around the world, designing collaborative projects to support communities, safeguard their heritage, promote cultural expression, and elevate cultural practices to improve local economies. Prior to joining the Smithsonian, Halle spent ten years designing and implementing impact-driven international development programs in East Africa and Asia, ranging from democracy and governance to biodiversity conservation and economic growth. She holds a master’s degree in city and regional planning from The Ohio State University.

202.633.7472, CastillejaJ@si.edu

Josué Castilleja establishes and designs the visual branding for the Center and provides art direction for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. A graduate of the Corcoran College of Art + Design, he joined the Center as senior designer in 2009 and became the art director in 2012. He brings to this position twenty years of design and art direction experience with Scholastic Publishing, Inc. NYC, Bussolati Associates, and the U.S. Department of State. As of 2019 Josue has art directed and designed graphics for over thirty unique cultural programs for the Smithsonian.

202.633.6448, ChenCE@si.edu

Cecille Chen joined Smithsonian Folkways Recordings in 2013 and is responsible for contracts, copyrights and royalties. She brings more than a decade of experience in entertainment law and artist management, having previously handled licensing, publishing administration, digital music distribution, royalties, and bookings. Cecille’s professional interest in arts management stems from internships at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Public Broadcasting Service, and The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. She holds an undergraduate business degree from Georgetown University and a law degree from The George Washington University School of Law. She is a member of the District of Columbia Bar.

202.633.3722 ClarkLE@si.edu

Logan Clark joined Smithsonian Folkways in August 2017. She graduated with a PhD in ethnomusicology from UCLA in 2017, focusing on marimba music in contemporary Mayan migrant communities in Los Angeles and Guatemala. She has also conducted graduate research on Mayan traditional dance as intangible cultural heritage, as well as independent radio and tastemaking. She has administrative and programming experience with a variety of organizations, including the World Musical Instrument Center at UCLA, Ethnomusicology Review, the Fowler Museum, and the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law. Logan plays and sings mariachi music, and was a member of UCLA’s official mariachi, Mariachi de Uclatlán, for six years.

202.633.8046, CordovaA@si.edu

Amalia Córdova joined the Center in 2016. She co-directs the Mother Tongue Film Festival, a project of the Smithsonian’s Recovering Voices initiative, and is currently the Center’s Chair of Cultural Research and Education. She has co-curated various festivals and showcases of Indigenous film, and co-curated two On the Move immigration and migration programs for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. She began her career at the Smithsonian in 2001, as a Latin American specialist for the Film + Video Center of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York City. She has taught courses on Indigenous film at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study and served as assistant director of New York University’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. She holds an MA in performance studies and a PhD in cinema studies from New York University. She is from Santiago, Chile.

202.633.6507, DardarH@si.edu

Hali Dardar supports process development, community-based service design, and general operations for the Center’s Language Vitality Initiative. Prior to joining the Center, she led collaborative project management and design with Shift Design Inc. and the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. Co-founder of the Houma Language Project and member of the United Houma Nation, she holds a BA in print journalism from Louisiana State University and an MA in Arts, Culture, and Media from Rijksuniversiteit Groningen in the Netherlands.

202.633.6465, DeutschJ@si.edu

Jim Deutsch has curated several Smithsonian Folklife Festival programs, including National World War II Reunion (2004), Forest Service (2005), (as co-curator) Mekong River (2007), NASA (2008), Peace Corps (2011), Hungary (2013), and China (2014). He has worked in many other capacities—including foodways coordinator, accessibility coordinator, program coordinator, researcher/presenter, and sound engineer—on other Festivals dating back to 1991. At other times, Deutsch has worked overseas (including three stints as a Fulbright Scholar), teaching classes on American folklore, film, history, and literature at universities in Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Germany, Kyrgyzstan, Norway, Poland, and Turkey. He is currently adjunct faculty in George Washington University’s American Studies Department (where he received his PhD in 1991). Overall, he has held more than sixty different jobs, including newspaper reporter (Indiana and Mississippi); librarian (Alaska, Georgia, Mississippi, Montana, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.); park ranger/forest ranger (Alaska, Arizona, and Mississippi); census enumerator (Washington, D.C.); and Monorail operator (Walt Disney World).

202.633.6519, Diaz-CarreraC@si.edu

Cristina Díaz-Carrera joined the Center in 2007. She specializes in curating Smithsonian Folklife Festival programs, especially those involving Latin American and Latinx communities. Festival and community engagement programs she co-curated include Perú: Pachamama (2015), Basque: Innovation by Culture (2016), Catalonia: Tradition and Creativity from the Mediterranean (2018), and  Brazil in D.C. (2019–2021). Prior to becoming a curator, Cristina interned with the Nuestra Música: Music in Latino Culture program and then worked in various roles under the mentorship of curator Olivia Cadaval, in community research, web, and program production. She holds a BA in ethnomusicology from Barnard College, Columbia University, and an MA in Caribbean/Latin American studies from New York University.

202.633.6461, DoddsT@si.edu

Toby Dodds came to the Center in 2001. Since that time he has helped introduce many technology innovations including the launch of Smithsonian Global Sound and the digitization of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. Prior to coming to the Smithsonian, he was employed by the Experience Music Project, a music museum in Seattle. He holds an undergraduate degree in philosophy from the University of Washington in Seattle, and a master’s degree in library and information science from Catholic University in Washington, D.C.

636.489.8377, EwaldOV@si.edu@si.edu

Kirby Ewald joined the Center’s Cultural Vitality Program in 2023. She creates and manages communications plans for the program while also supporting general digital communication projects for the Center. As part of the editorial team, she writes and edits articles, news releases, and other content for web and social media. Prior to joining the Center, she worked in communications at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, the Saint Louis Zoo, and the Georgia General Assembly. Kirby also participated in the U.S. Department of State National Security Language Initiative for Youth program in Nanjing, China, from 2011 to 2012 and was a certified interpretive guide through the National Association of Interpretation from 2018 to 2022. She holds a BA in international relations and minors in creative writing and political science from the George Washington University.

202.633.6525, FentonR@si.edu

Rebecca Fenton is a curator with the Smithsonian Folklife Festival who has co-curated the programs Creative Encounters: Living Religions in the U.S. (2023), United Arab Emirates | Living Landscape, Living Memory (2022), and an unrealized program featuring Benin, as well as contributed to the Crafts of African Fashion program. She earned a PhD in African art history from Indiana University and was a predoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian. Her research focuses on dress, craft, and migration in West Africa and the Middle East. She previously worked at the Indiana University Art Museum, in study abroad programming, in art consulting, and at a boutique letterpress and artists’ print shop.

202.633.6508, Forondac@si.edu

Claudia Foronda joined CFCH as the Sales, Customer Service, and Inventory Manager at Smithsonian Folkways Recordings in 2012. After eight years with Folkways, she transferred to the Cultural Vitality Program, where she is in charge of program management and support. She previously worked in the graphics and customer service departments for the e-commerce site Birthday in a Box. She graduated from Pennsylvania State University with an integrative arts degree.

202.633.6457, GriffinW@si.edu

William Griffin joined Smithsonian Folkways in early 2013 and works with creative professionals in film, television, theater, video games, and advertising, as well as educators, scholars, and museum curators, to pair recordings from the Smithsonian Folkways catalog with a variety of visual and multimedia projects. Previously, William worked for nearly a decade in a variety of roles such as A&R, production management, and as director of music licensing at ESL Music—the independent Washington, D.C., record label founded by electronic dance music group Thievery Corporation. William earned a BA in English from The George Washington University, and has worked as a political media analyst and as a professional club DJ playing venues nationwide, including a longtime weekly residency at DC’s Eighteenth Street Lounge.

202.633.6482, HoughE@si.edu

Elisa Hough joined the Center as editor in 2013, after interning at Smithsonian Folkways. She serves as the managing editor for Folklife Magazine and the Festival Blog, maintains the Smithsonian Folklife social media channels, and manages and creates content for the Center, Folklife Festival, and Mother Tongue Film Festival websites. She holds an MA in arts journalism from the University of Southern California and a BA in English from the University of California, Davis, where she dedicated most of her time to the community radio station KDVS. She maintains the “Folklife West” office in Berkeley, California.

202.633.6471, Marjorie@si.edu

Marjorie Hunt holds an MA and PhD in folklore and folklife from the University of Pennsylvania. Since joining the Center in 1982, she has curated numerous Folklife Festival programs, including The Grand Generation: Memory, Mastery and Legacy (1984), White House Workers (1992), Masters of Traditional Arts (1994), Working at the Smithsonian (1996), Masters of the Building Arts (2001), and Carriers of Culture: Living Native Basket Traditions (2006). She was co-curator of the 2013 program One World, Many Voices: Endangered Languages and Cultural Heritage. Her publications include The Grand Generation: Memory, Mastery Legacy and The Stone Carvers: Masters Craftsmen of Washington National Cathedral. She is the author of The Smithsonian Folklife and Oral History Interviewing Guide. Marjorie is the co-producer and director of the documentary films The Stone Carvers, The Grand Generation, Workers at the White House, and Good Work: Masters of the Building Arts.

202.633.0434, KellerSR@si.edu

Sloane Keller provides program management support to the Center’s Cultural Industries initiatives, spanning projects across Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa, and South America. Specializing in entrepreneurship, international development, and gender, she has worked for over ten years designing and implementing sustainable management and operations solutions for small businesses and nonprofits both domestically and internationally. She has had the opportunity to organize and lead entrepreneurship, gender, and human rights training programs, and design and coordinate workshops, conferences, and public programming events. Sloane also served in the Peace Corps in Paraguay. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international security and conflict resolution from San Diego State University and a master’s degree in peace and justice studies, human rights from the University of San Diego.

KhudaverdyanA@si.edu

Ashkhen Khudaverdyan provides program management support for Cultural Vitality Program initiatives in West and Central Asia, including Kazakhstan, Georgia, and Armenia. In 2016, she joined the Smithsonian as a senior enterprise specialist for the My Armenia Program, a cultural tourism development program implemented by Smithsonian Institution and funded by USAID. There, she oversaw the My Handmade Armenia Initiative, which supported the growth and development of Armenian craft traditions in the country’s rural communities. She is the co-founder of the Union of Artisans in Armenia and holds a MA in business administration from the American University of Armenia.

202.633.6468, KimSo@si.edu

Sojin Kim joined the Center in 2011. She previously worked as a public historian in Los Angeles, collaborating with diverse local communities on exhibitions, documentation and media projects, and public programs. From 2008 to 2010, she was curator of history at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. From 1998 to 2008, she was curator at the Japanese American National Museum. Sojin holds a PhD in folklore and mythology from University of California, Los Angeles. She serves on the board of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts.

202.633.6462, LindsayH@si.edu

Helen Lindsay has worked in the mail order department of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings since 1999. Her duties include artist relations, quality control for artists and domestic accounts orders, and overall customer service.

202.633.7933, LinnM@si.edu

Mary S. Linn is curator of cultural and linguistic revitalization at the Center. Her primary research is in effective grassroots strategies in language and cultural sustainability, especially in small language communities. She directs the Language Vitality Initiative, including the Sustaining Minoritized Languages of Europe (SMiLE) research project, and serves on the curatorial committee of the Smithsonian’s Mother Tongue Film Festival and the steering committee of the National Breath of Life Institute. She co-founded the Sino-Tibetan Language Research Methodology Workshop (2016–present) and teaches at the Institute on Collaborative Language Research (CoLang). Before coming to the Smithsonian, she initiated the Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair and was the founding curator of the Native American Languages Collection at the University of Oklahoma’s Sam Noble Museum. She holds a BA in American studies from Wichita State University and an MA and PhD in linguistics from the University of Kansas.

202.633.6455, LoughranME@si.edu

Maureen Loughran joined Smithsonian Folkways Recordings as director and curator in 2023. A public ethnomusicologist by training, she was the senior producer for the nationally broadcast public radio program American Routes in New Orleans, where she wrote and edited segments on vernacular American music. She served as deputy director of the Center for Traditional Music and Dance in New York, where she oversaw grants, managed artist relations, and produced public programs. Loughran’s experience includes work in archives, both internationally at the Irish Traditional Music Archive in Dublin, Ireland, and nationally at the Archive of Folk Culture at the Library of Congress. As a researcher, Loughran documented the sacred and secular music traditions of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for the Louisiana Folklife Program, while her doctoral research explored underground radio, soundscape gentrification, and cultural community organizing in her hometown of Washington, D.C. Loughran holds a PhD in ethnomusicology from Brown University.

202.633.0641, LynchA@si.edu

Asia Lynch joined the Center as management support specialist in 2023, after five years as a management support assistant at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Her career in the federal government began in 2012 at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; as a correspondent control specialist, she prepared correspondence for the director and nine regional offices.

202.633.6454, Monseur@si.edu

Mary Monseur joined the Center in 1993. Together with her colleagues at Smithsonian Folkways, she has worked with scholars and artists worldwide to produce more than three hundred recordings. She received a BA in cultural anthropology from the University of Arizona and an MA in English with a folklore concentration from George Mason University.

202.633.0653, MotleyS@si.edu

Sabrina Lynn Motley joined the Center in 2013 as director of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Previously, she was senior director of programs and exhibitions at Asia Society Texas Center, overseeing content-rich public programs and exhibitions highlighting Houston’s expanding connections with Asia. Before the Texas Center, Sabrina was vice president of Vesper Society, a social justice foundation, and program and education director at the Japanese American National Museum (a Smithsonian affiliate). She curated public programs for the Getty Museum and community-based exhibitions for the California Endowment. Sabrina taught anthropology at Art Center College of Design and Otis Institute for Art and Design. She also hosted The Global Village on KPFK in Los Angeles. Sabrina earned a BA in world arts and cultures and an MA in African studies, both from UCLA. Currently she is a doctoral candidate in anthropology, conducting research on the interplay between religious faith, doubt, and social activism.

202.633.1141, MurphyCR@si.edu

Clifford Murphy was named director of the Center in April 2023. He previously served as the director of Folk & Traditional Arts and as the point person for tribal consultation at the National Endowment for the Arts (2015–2023) and as the director of Maryland Traditions, the state folklife program of the Maryland State Arts Council (2008-2015). He has co-produced public radio features about Maryland folklife and published books and articles on American vernacular music, public folklore, and applied ethnomusicology. Raised on the New Hampshire seacoast, he holds a BA in history and English from Gettysburg College and an MA and PhD in ethnomusicology from Brown University. A songwriter, Americana musician, and home coffee roaster, Cliff lives in Maryland with his wife and their four rambunctious kids.

202.633.6452, NainiS@si.edu

Sahara Naini joined the Smithsonian Folkways staff in August 2021 after interning with the royalties team. She studied ethnomusicology and law, societies, and justice at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she performed with internationally recognized musicians in various genres from around the world. In her free time, she enjoys teaching piano and discovering new local bands at small venues.

202.633.0658, NelsonTL@si.edu

Tyler Nelson began working on the Folklife Festival technical crew in 2009, serving as exhibit worker, master carpenter, and shop foreman over the following four years. He returned in 2015 as technical director after two years in Lititz, Pennsylvania, working for the Tait Towers touring staging company. Born and raised in Middle Tennessee, he graduated from Western Kentucky University in 2010 with a BFA in technical theatre.

202.633.7931, PetersonC@si.edu

Cecilia Peterson is the digital projects archivist in the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections. Her work focuses on making collections more accessible to diverse audiences through digitization, description, and online resources. She manages photographic documentation at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, collaborates with the audiovisual archivist to process born-digital fieldwork and cultural sustainability projects, and oversees rights and reproductions of the collections. She also serves on the editorial board for Folklife Magazine and co-produces the FORKLIFE web series. She holds a BA in English from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and a master’s in library science from University of Maryland, College Park.

202.633.6438, PlaceJ1@si.edu

Jeff Place has been at the Center’s Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections since 1988. He holds an MLS from the University of Maryland and specializes in sound archives. He oversees the cataloging of the Center's collections and has been involved in the compilation of almost sixty CDs of American music for Smithsonian Folkways Recordings including the Lead Belly Legacy Series, Lead Belly Sings for Children; the Pete Seeger American Favorite Ballads series; and The Asch Recordings (Woody Guthrie). Place has been nominated for six GRAMMY Awards and twelve Indie Awards, winning two GRAMMYs and six Indies. He was one of the producers and writers of the acclaimed 1997 edition of the Anthology of American Folk Music and The Best of Broadside, 1962–1988 (2000). He has served on the curatorial team for a number of exhibitions including the traveling Woody Guthrie exhibition This Land is Your Land. In 2003, he co-curated the Smithsonian Folklife Festival program on Appalachian culture. In 2012, he produced and co-authored (with Robert Santelli) the publication and CD box set Woody at 100 and the Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Collection in 2014.

202.633.6154, ProctorLE@si.edu

Linda Proctor joined the Center in 2023 after twelve years as management support at the National Museum of the American Indian’s Cultural Resources Center and four years as a procurement technician at the National Portrait Gallery. As an administrative assistant, she facilitates vendor enrollment and payments.

202.633.1141, RadachiL@si.edu

Liska Radachi brings over a decade of experience to her role as associate director of advancement. Prior to joining the Center in 2023, she served as the U.S. director at the American Research Center in Egypt, where she redirected the organization’s fundraising strategy to encompass cultural heritage preservation within broader contexts. Liska previously served as the Smithsonian’s director of advancement for the Southeast region from 2016 to 2020, laying the foundation for regional councils in Florida, Atlanta, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. During her tenure, Liska expanded the Smithsonian’s outreach, forging connections and securing philanthropic funds from first-time major donors. She holds a BA in art history from the University of Arizona and an MA in arts administration from Indiana University.

202.633.6443, ReinigerA@si.edu

Arlene Reiniger has been with the Center since 1982, when she worked with the participant staff for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. As program specialist, some of the projects she has coordinated have included the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings benefit album A Vision Shared: A Tribute to Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly, a lecture series on contemporary South African society, and a multimedia education kit on Iowa folklife. As a Festival program coordinator, Arlene has worked on many music, state, regional, national, international, and thematic programs. In 2012, she curated the Festival program Creativity and Crisis: Unfolding the AIDS Memorial Quilt. As intern coordinator, she has overseen the internships of hundreds of people with the Center, many of whom have continued work in the field. Arlene received her BA in anthropology from George Washington University in 1979.

202.633.6446, SharifS@si.edu

Sayem Sharif joined Smithsonian Folkways in February 2014 with over ten years of corporate accounting and business management experience. Prior to joining Folkways, Sayem worked in an outsourcing accounting firm as financial controller. His expertise includes management of staff, strategic planning, budget preparation, financial statement presentation, and tax preparation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s in accounting. He is a member of the American Institute of CPA, Maryland CPA, and Project Management Institute. Sayem is actively engaged with the Bangladeshi community of the D.C. metro area. He was involved in forming a nonprofit organization called Ektara, Inc., which provides a platform for upcoming talent through various folk-based cultural programs.

202.633.6445, Ronnie@si.edu

Ronnie Simpkins joined Smithsonian Folkways Recordings in 1996, serving in mail order before taking over duties as dubbing engineer for the archival collection.

202.633.6458, SmithJM@si.edu

John brings nearly three decades of music industry experience and over eighteen years of service at the Smithsonian. In his first tour of duty from 1999 to 2014, he served countless roles in the organization, including head of the sales department, international distribution manager, and manager of operations for the Sales & Mail Order division. Over the years, John produced and compiled numerous albums released on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and has worked under all three directors of the organization since Folkways Records was acquired by Smithsonian in 1987. Outside of his time at Smithsonian Folkways, Smith applied his skills at numerous record labels and radio stations, in addition to co-founding Free Dirt Records in 2006, home to internationally known artists and multiple GRAMMY-nominated albums.

202.633.1240, SolisN@si.edu

Natalie Amador Solis joined the Center in 2022 as a Latinx curatorial assistant for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, a position federally funded by the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the National Museum of the American Latino. An alumna of the Smithsonian’s Latino Museum Studies Program, she holds a BA in religion and Latin American studies from the University of Southern California and a master of theological studies in Latinx and Latin American art and culture from Harvard Divinity School.

202.633.6516, SuarezA2@si.edu

Armando Suárez is the archivist of Latina/o history and culture in the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, a position federally funded by the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the National Museum of the American Latino. His work focuses on processing collections to foreground and increase accessibility of Latina/o, Afro-Latina/o, and Mestiza/o archival documentation in the Rinzler Archives. He holds a BA in anthropology/sociology from Florida International University and master’s degrees in art history and information and library science from the University of Florida and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, respectively.

202.633.0663, WalkerDM@si.edu

Dave Walker joined the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections in 2014 as an audio preservation specialist after moving from Nashville, Tennessee. He holds a BS in audio engineering technology and BA in art history from Belmont University and an MA in museum studies from The George Washington University. His primary focus is the preservation, conservation, and digitization of historic audiovisual media such as open-reel tapes and instantaneous discs. He has also performed audio mastering on commercially released albums and independent films.

202.633.6441, WeberC@si.edu

Charles Weber joined the Center in 1996. He produces, directs, and edits educational, documentary, web, and exhibit films. As a workshop instructor, he teaches field research documentation methods and history. His work has won numerous awards, appeared in film festivals the world over, and has been broadcast regionally on public broadcasting stations, internationally, and via networks such as the Smithsonian Channel. He has covered the Smithsonian Folklife Festival extensively since 1996 and produced video projects in locations across the United States and the globe. He holds a BA in television and radio with a minor in cinematography from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and an MA in creative writing from George Mason University.

202.633.0212, WilligerJ@si.edu

Jonathan Williger joined the Smithsonian Folkways team in November 2018 to expand the label’s digital marketing initiatives and reimagine how fans discover its music. He previously worked in New York and Los Angeles as a senior music publicist at Motormouthmedia, where he led campaigns for a diverse array of artists and music festivals. In Chicago, he worked at the pioneering independent label Thrill Jockey Records. He has been a regular DJ on WNYU and WFMU, and his writing on music has been published by Pitchfork, Noisey, Bandcamp, Resident Advisor, and Tiny Mix Tapes.

202.633.6450, ZimmermanBr@si.edu

Brian Zimmerman joined Smithsonian Folkways in September 2015. He holds a BS in business marketing from Virginia Commonwealth University and has spent several years working in various facets of the music industry, including independent radio, music marketing and PR, and venue management.


Emeritus Staff

CadavalO@si.edu

Olivia Cadaval served as a curator at the Center from 1988 to 2017. She curated numerous Festival programs including El Rio (2000), México (2010), Colombia: The Nature of Culture (2011), and Perú: Pachamama (2015). She also produced curriculum enrichment materials, exhibitions, and web resources. She continues to work on documentation, public programs, and education projects in the Latino community of Washington, D.C. She published a book, Creating a Latino Identity in the Nation’s Capital: The Latino Festival (1998), and has contributed to such publications as Urban Odyssey, Creative Ethnicity, Washington at Home, New York Folklore, the Journal of Folklore Research, and The Public Historian. She holds a PhD in American studies and folklife from George Washington University.

Rich@si.edu

Richard Kennedy was deputy director of the Center from 1994 to 2008 and served as acting director until April 2009. He co-curated Smithsonian Folklife Festival programs Hawai'i, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Russian Music, Tibetan Culture, Silk Road, Oman, and the Mekong River and coordinated larger institutional efforts such the Smithsonian’s 150th Birthday Party. Previously he was assistant director of the National Council for the Traditional Arts. His film on Cambodian refugees won Best Documentary at the San Francisco Film Festival. For twelve years he was chair of South Asian Area Studies at the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Service Institute. Kennedy earned a PhD in South and Southeast Asian studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and was given an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Connecticut College. He has taught courses at the UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz and has been on the boards of several nonprofit organizations.

Diana Parker was director of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival from 1985 until 2010. She had worked on the Festival since 1975, prior to which she worked in various public program positions at the Smithsonian and the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. She served as a consultant on several Cultural Olympiads and an array of public events, including the Smithsonian 150th Birthday Party, the Los Angeles Festival, and every public presidential inaugural celebration since Carter’s in 1976. She served as producer for the World War II Reunion on the Mall and The First Americans Festival celebrating the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian. She worked closely with sponsors, public officials, and educational, cultural, and arts organizations in numerous states and over forty nations. Diana graduated with distinction from George Washington University and received a Rotary Fellowship to study anthropology at the University of Cape Town in South Africa.

ASeeger@ucla.edu

Anthony Seeger is an anthropologist, ethnomusicologist, archivist, and musician. He received his BA from Harvard University and his MA and PhD in anthropology from the University of Chicago. His research has concentrated on the music of Amazonian Indians in Brazil, where he lived for nearly ten years. In 1982 he returned to the United States as associate professor of anthropology and director of the Indiana University Archives of Traditional Music. In 1988 he moved to the Smithsonian to assume the direction of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and to become the curator of the archival collections of the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. In 2000 he accepted a position as professor in the department of ethnomusicology at the UCLA. Anthony is the author of four books and over fifty articles on anthropological, ethnomusicological, archival, intellectual property, and Indian rights issues.

SeitelP@si.edu

Peter Seitel joined the Center’s staff in 1978 and served as senior folklorist, webmaster, acting director, and director. Prior to service at the Smithsonian, Peter was an assistant professor of anthropology at Princeton University. He earned his PhD in folklore and folklife at the University of Pennsylvania, writing a dissertation based on eighteen months of fieldwork in northwestern Tanzania on the conversational use of proverbs and logical structures in metaphor. He has written on metaphor, narrative, and the concept of genre as a method in interpreting oral literature. He was project co-coordinator for the UNESCO/Smithsonian World Conference on the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage.

SheehyD@si.edu

Daniel Sheehy joined the Smithsonian in 2000 after serving as director of Folk & Traditional Arts at the National Endowment for the Arts (1992–2000) and staff ethnomusicologist and assistant director (1978-1992). A Fulbright-Hays scholar in Veracruz, Mexico, he earned his PhD in ethnomusicology from UCLA. The American Folklore Society honored him with the Américo Paredes award in 2010, recognizing a career of excellence in integrating scholarship and engagement with the people and communities one studies, and the Benjamin A. Botkin prize in 1997, recognizing major impact on the field of public folklore. In 2015 he received the Bess Lomax Hawes National Heritage Fellowship award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Research Associates

Camila Bryce-LaPorte
Rodrigo Chocano
Meredith Holmgren
Edward Liebow
Julien Olsen
Sabrina Papazian
Frank Proschan
Ruth Stolk
Erin Younger


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