Smithsonian Folklife Festival Accessible to All

May 8, 2009
News Release
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The Smithsonian Institution is committed to making the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival accessible and enjoyable for all visitors. The 2009 Festival features “Giving Voice: The Power of Words in African American Culture,” “Las Americas: Un mundo musical/The Americas: A Musical World” and “Wales Smithsonian Cymru.”

The 10-day Festival, held outdoors on the National Mall between Seventh and 14th streets, will be from Wednesday, June 24, through Sunday, June 28, and Wednesday, July 1, through Sunday, July 5. Admission is free. Festival hours are from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day, with concerts, special events and dance parties extending into most evenings.

Visitors with disabilities who need assistance are advised to report to the Information kiosks located at various points around the Festival site or to the Volunteer tent located in the Festival Services area near the Smithsonian Metrorail station’s Mall exit. A large-print version of the Festival’s daily schedule and food concession menus will be available. The Festival program book is available on CD and in other formats upon request. A limited number of wheelchairs will be available at the Volunteer tent for loan.

American Sign Language interpreters will be on site and may be requested in the Volunteer tent. The Festival schedule indicates which performances and presentations are interpreted. A verbal-description and tactile tour is scheduled for June 25 at 11 a.m. for visitors who are blind or have low vision; reservations may be made by e-mailing Other modes of interpretation may be provided if a reservation is made at least two weeks in advance by calling (202) 633-2921 (voice) or by e-mailing All music-stage locations are equipped with audio loops. The Smithsonian Folklife Festival welcomes all service animals.

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival, inaugurated in 1967, honors people from across the United States and around the world. With approximately 1 million visitors each year, 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 and co-sponsored by the National Park Service. The Festival’s Web site is

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Amy Kehs