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Visitors to the 49th annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival can explore the stories and traditions behind the beautiful crafts, music and art of Peru at the Festival Marketplace. The 2015 Festival will feature a 4,000-square-foot Marketplace that will showcase crafts handmade by Festival participants and other Peruvian master artists, musical recordings from Smithsonian Folkways, specialty foods and Festival merchandise. Proceeds from purchases directly support Festival participants and the Folklife Festival.
The Marketplace will be located inside the Potomac Atrium of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, June 24 through July 12, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. The Marketplace will occasionally have extended shopping hours, and, for the first year ever, the Marketplace will continue to run for an extra week after the Festival closes on the National Mall. In addition, the Marketplace will host special demonstrations and events throughout the Festival, including book signings, weaving demonstrations, trunk shows, storytelling, pottery demonstrations and children’s crafts. More information about special events and extended hours at the Marketplace will be made available on the Marketplace website.
The Festival Marketplace highlights the people and traditions behind the objects available for sale. At special presentations at the Marketplace, visitors will be able to hear the stories behind many of the Peruvian specialties available, including that of Festival participant Alfredo Lopez Morales, a sculptor from Ayacucho who makes retablos, handcrafted wood and clay sculptures originally built as portable altars. The tradition of this craft has been passed down across generations in Lopez’s family. At the Marketplace, visitors can meet Lopez, hear his story and purchase one of his beautiful small retablos ($88) or a small plaster doll ($25). Visitors will also meet Festival participant Nilda Callanaupa Alvares, who weaves colorful belts ($25), tote bags ($95) and more using traditional techniques and designs inspired by Peruvian cultures and landscapes.
Additional items for sale in the Festival Marketplace will include paintings, tapestries, jewelry, décor for house and home, instruments and packaged Peruvian food and beverages. Items in the marketplace will range from $2 to $2,000.
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.
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