Smithsonian Folklife Festival Program To Highlight the Living Traditions of Indigenous Peoples of the Western Hemisphere

2024 Program Celebrates the National Museum of the American Indian
March 14, 2024
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This year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival will celebrate the National Museum of the American Indian and the people whose voices the museum amplifies. The program “Indigenous Voices of the Americas: Celebrating the National Museum of the American Indian” will highlight living traditions of Indigenous peoples. The program will honor contemporary and traditional creative expressions, celebrations and community connections that feed new possibilities for people’s shared future.

The festival will take place Wednesday, June 26, to Monday, July 1, on the National Mall between Third and Seventh streets. All events are free, and the festival will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. On select evenings, concerts will begin at 6 p.m. The festival is co-presented by the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, the National Museum of the American Indian and the National Park Service.

The festival program honors four major anniversaries for the museum in 2024:

  • 1989: Congress passed the National Museum of the American Indian Act (35th anniversary)
  • 1994: The George Gustav Heye Center opened in New York City (30th anniversary)
  • 1999: The Cultural Resources Center opened in Maryland, housing museum collections and research facilities and incorporating Indigenous practices into collections care (25th anniversary)
  • 2004: The National Museum of the American Indian opened on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. (20th anniversary)

The program will be organized around four themes: relevance, resistance, representation and reclamation. Indigenous artists and makers, professional chefs and home cooks, musicians, dancers, athletes and storytellers will demonstrate multigenerational traditions as well as new, innovative approaches to cultural expression. Visitors will have the opportunity to hear stories and songs, learn traditional dances, experience Indigenous foodways and learn about Indigenous sports and games such as lacrosse. Festival visitors can also engage with participants on important matters of social justice, cultural equity and youth leadership.

More information about the festival can be found by visiting the website.

“Indigenous Voices of the Americas” is made possible by support from Bank of America. The program also received federal support from the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative Pool and the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. Promotional support for the festival is provided by Dulles International and Reagan National Airports, Outfront Media and WMATA: Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

About the National Museum of the American Indian

In partnership with Native peoples and their allies, the National Museum of the American Indian fosters a richer shared human experience through a more informed understanding of Native peoples. The museum strives toward equity and social justice for the Native peoples of the Western Hemisphere through education, inspiration and empowerment. Through two locations, it features exhibitions and programs in New York City and the National Mall in Washington, D.C. For additional information, including hours and directions, visit Follow the museum via social media on FacebookXInstagram, YouTube, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

About the Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Inaugurated in 1967, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival honors living cultural traditions and celebrates those who practice and sustain them. Produced annually by the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and presented in association with the National Park Service, the festival has featured participants from all 50 states, every U.S. territory and more than 100 countries. Follow the festival on FacebookXInstagram and YouTube.

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