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Smithsonian Folklife Festival Launches Beyond the Mall

Monday, June 22, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Alexandra Sanchez

Since 1967, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival has celebrated the power of culture, creativity, and community on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Although this year’s plans were upended by the global pandemic, Festival organizers remain committed to making space for sharing ideas, food, and music.

 This year, it will happen online through a series of digital “Story Circles” in the form of discussions, workshops, and performances. Called “Smithsonian Folklife Festival: Beyond the Mall,” this programming has been collaboratively created with partners from the United Arab Emirates; the Brazilian states of Bahia, Maranhão, and Pernambuco; the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon; and Smithsonian Conservation Commons.

In keeping with the overall theme for 2020, many of these sessions will explore how communities draw upon their cultural practices to address and adapt to environmental challenges.“Beyond the Mall” will also add to the national conversation about racism and intersectional discrimination. True to its purpose, the Festival will host artisans, artists, educators, and others to discuss the role culture can play in fostering empathy, deepening understanding, and creating a just, equitable world. Real-time captioning and ASL interpretation will be available for all events.

Just like on the National Mall, visitors are encouraged to participate actively in the live comments section of each program. Visitors can experience the Folklife Festival online on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, or on Beyond the Mall

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