Smithsonian Folklife Festival Marketplace Features Crafts, Textiles and Music
The 2009 Folklife Festival will offer a variety of items for purchase from this year’s three programs: “Giving Voice: The Power of Words in African American Culture,” “Las Américas: Un mundo musical/The Americas: A Musical World” and “Wales Smithsonian Cymru.”
The Festival will be held Wednesday, June 24, through Sunday, June 28, and Wednesday, July 1, through Sunday, July 5, outdoors on the National Mall between Seventh and 14th streets. Admission is free. Festival hours are from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day, with special evening events such as concerts and dance parties beginning at 6 p.m. The Festival is co-sponsored by the National Park Service.
“Giving Voice: The Power of Words in African American Culture” will sell traditional African American dolls ($30-$112), sweetgrass baskets ($52-$750) and large, intricate quilts ($165-$1,695). Jewelry such as pendants with luminous blue chalcedony stones ($90) and rings in several kinds of wood and silver also will be for sale ($7-$90), as well as a selection of books from the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
“Las Américas: Un mundo musical/The Americas: A Musical World” will feature an array of products from Mexico and Colombia, which will have Festival programs in the future. There will be a large selection of jewelry, including fish-scale earrings ($4.50), shell necklaces ($9.75), coconut-shell rings ($.75), tagua-nut earrings ($16.50) and silver and turquoise earrings ($50). Items from Mexico will include bright, lacquered boxes ($5.34-$188), painted chairs ($28.05), hand-woven animal dolls ($3.35-$8.36) and delicate, tin butterflies ($5.01-$11.69). Colombian musical instruments in the shape of pigs and elephants (approximately $15) will be for sale, as well as vibrant, patterned textiles from Guatemala ($24-$279).
The “Wales Smithsonian Cymru” section of the Marketplace will feature traditional Welsh crafts, textiles and food. Visitors may purchase soft, colorful Melin Tregwynt textiles ($5.67-$225) used to make patterned woolen blankets (throws $125) and cushions ($50), as well as other fabrics used for bags ($25-$225) and wallets ($9.50-$20.30). Tapestries by Welsh artist Cefyn Burgess also will be for sale ($110-$385). Burgess’ fabric designs are inspired by the chapels of Wales and the floral motifs and geometric patterns engraved on slate fireplaces in his hometown. Corgi Socks will sell their colorful, imaginatively patterned socks ($16.50). Should visitors wish to create fabrics of their own, knitting needles ($20) and yarn ($22-$35) will be available for purchase.
The Marketplace also will feature a variety of Welsh crafts. Lowri Davies ($40-$215) and Ewenny Pottery ($13-$95) will be offering pottery and ceramics for sale. Davies draws on her Welsh heritage as a source of inspiration for her porcelains and earthenware, which are patterned with traditional Welsh imagery. Ewenny Pottery, located near the town of Bridgend, South Wales, was established in the early 1600s, making it the oldest family-run pottery in Wales. The current owners are the eighth and ninth generations of potters in this well-known workshop, which produces a variety of handmade glazed pots.
Other items for sale from Wales include love spoons ($50-$100), daffodil bulbs ($6) and a rocking sheep ($500). Visitors wishing to recreate the culinary tastes of Wales at home may purchase Halen Mon sea salt ($10-20), several varieties of Welsh preserves (such as leek and blackberry chutney) ($5) and traditional Welsh tea ($10).
In addition to selling recordings of music from the three programs, the Marketplace also is the only place where visitors will have the opportunity to browse the entire collection of Smithsonian Folkways recordings outside of the online catalog.
Proceeds from purchases directly support Festival artists and musicians, as well as the Festival itself. The Marketplace is located on the National Mall-side lawn of the Freer Gallery of Art. It will be open during Festival hours.
About the Festival
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 performers and visitors 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. The Festival’s Web site is http://www.festival.si.edu.
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