2015 Smithsonian Folklife Festival Features Hands-On Activities for Families

Note new location: The 2015 Festival will be on the National Mall between Third and Fourth streets S.W., adjacent to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.
June 8, 2015
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The 2015 Smithsonian Folklife Festival will include a variety of activities for children and families, including crafts, games, musical performances and dance workshops. This year’s program, “Perú: Pachamama,” offers them the opportunity to experience the vibrant culture and traditions of Peru firsthand.

The Folklife Festival will take place Wednesday, June 24, through Sunday, June 28, and Wednesday, July 1, through Sunday, July 5. Festival hours are from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day, and admission is free.

“Perú: Pachamama” will feature more than 150 participants highlighting the diversity and vitality of Peruvian and Peruvian American communities. Families can meet musicians, dancers, craftspeople, farmers, fishermen, storytellers and cooks who will share their stories and experiences. At the 2015 Folklife Festival, families can:

  • Weave simple woolen textiles with vibrant Peruvian designs
  • Learn greetings in Quechua, a native language spoken by about 13 percent of Peruvians
  • Discover which animals climbed the Tree of Life in a story from the Wachiperi, indigenous communities from the Amazon River basin
  • Dance the lively Marinera, considered by many the national dance of Peru
  • Try playing a cajón, a wooden box transformed into a percussion instrument by Afro Peruvian musicians
  • Write their names in the style of a brightly colored chicha poster, used in many Peruvians cities to advertise upcoming musical events

Hands-on activities for families and children will take place at the El Wawawasi Kids Corner tent—wawawasi is a Quechua word for nursery or kids place—and at the program areas for several Festival participants. Additional programming includes Kukama and Wachiperi language lessons, drumming workshops, Sarawja dance classes, masquerade dance workshops, a scavenger hunt and games.

Peru at the Smithsonian

This year the Smithsonian is bringing the vibrancy, history and biodiversity of Peru and the Andes mountain region of South America to the nation’s capital. Through the public debut of the newest Andean bear cubs at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, the opening of “The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire” exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian and the Folklife Festival, visitors will learn about the rich history, culture and biodiversity of Peru.

About the Festival

The Folklife Festival, inaugurated in 1967, honors people from across the United States and around the world. The Festival unites presenters and performers in the nation’s capital to celebrate the diversity of cultural traditions. It is produced by the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.    

Follow the Festival on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube. Festival fans can also keep up with each day’s events through the Festival Blog.

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