Smithsonian Folklife Festival Continues To Enhance Accessibility Services

Free Festival on the National Mall June 28–July 1, July 4–8 Welcomes Guests of All Abilities
June 19, 2018
News Release
Social Media Share Tools
Accessibility sign

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is committed to creating an accessible and inclusive environment for visitors of all abilities. This year’s programming focuses on cultural heritage enterprise and highlights two cultures who embody this theme, Armenia and Catalonia. From June 27–July 1 and July 4–8, visitors of all abilities are welcome to engage with hundreds of artisans and performers to share their stories and skills through workshops, demonstrations, discussions, performances and festivities.

The Festival site strives to facilitate safety and accessibility for visitors of all abilities and a number of accessibility services are provided including:

  • Wheelchair loans
  • Water stations for service animals
  • ASL interpretation and real-time captioning for selected events
  • Assistive listening devices
  • Sighted Guides services
  • Audio Description for selected events
  • Braille and Large Print programs and menus
  • “Morning on the Mall”—Saturday, July 7, at 10 a.m., designed for individuals with autism, sensory sensitivities or other cognitive disabilities who may benefit from a more relaxed and supported environment

“True accessibility and inclusion happens when it is part of structural and programmatic design from the beginning, rather than an add-on or afterthought, said Diane Nutting, accessibility coordinator for the Festival. “Our goal is to continually strive to foster a Festival community where everyone feels they have meaningful membership and belonging.”

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival works in partnership with the Smithsonian Accessibility Program to provide these services. Information about Festival accessibility and service schedules may be found at For more information on the 2018 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, visit and follow the festival on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

# # #


Media Only

Linda St. Thomas