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Wed, Jun 22



Smithsonian Folklife Festival Returns to the Mall!

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Smithsonian Folklife Festival Returns to the Mall!
Smithsonian Folklife Festival Returns to the Mall!

Time & Location

Jun 22, 2022, 11:00 AM EDT – Jul 04, 2022, 11:00 PM EDT

Washington, Washington, DC, USA

About the event

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival returns to the National Mall next week with programs designed to spark curiosity, understanding, and delight. We encourage you and your families to join us as we explore the cultural traditions of the United Arab Emirates and the Smithsonian’s Earth Optimism program through two weeks of workshops, demonstrations, performances, family activities, and discussion sessions highlighting the importance of culture and community in creating a sustainable future.

The Festival, which runs from June 22 to 27 and June 30 to July 4, will open with an evening concert Wednesday, June 22. Starting June 23, daytime programming will begin at 11 a.m. and run until 6 p.m. daily. Special evening events, including concerts and a film screening, begin shortly after the daytime programming concludes. For the first time, evening concerts and select daily conversations will be livestreamed on YouTube. Always free and open to the public, the Festival will be located on the National Mall between Seventh and 12th streets.

United Arab Emirates: Living Landscape | Living Memory highlights the skills, cultural practices and essential knowledge that arose from living in challenging landscapes that have served as a cultural crossroads for thousands of years. Through demonstrations and participatory sessions, you can learn about the region’s falconry tradition, maritime culture, musical instruments, classic and contemporary poetry, perfume, coffee, and much more. Explore Emirati traditions, past and present, as resources for connecting communities and envisioning a sustainable future.

Earth Optimism × Folklife: Inspiring Conservation Communities, a collaboration with the Smithsonian’s Earth Optimism initiative, celebrates what is working in conservation. By changing the narrative from despair and gloom to optimism and possibility, we shine a light on individuals and community efforts to address our most pressing challenges. You’ll encounter examples of practical solutions and positive change presented by community leaders, innovators, scientists, artists, and others working to create a sustainable planet.

After daytime activities wrap at 6 p.m., the Festival transforms into a lively music venue and outdoor movie theater. These concerts, featuring performances by musicians steeped in traditions that span the globe—many of them Smithsonian Folkways artists—are free and open to the public and will be presented on the Ralph Rinzler Main Stage, near the Smithsonian Metro entrance. If you can’t make it to the Mall, watch on the Folklife YouTube channel. View the evening event schedule.

This year’s Festival Marketplace takes its inspiration from an outdoor Arab souk and will highlight the creativity, cultural heritage, and masterful skills of artisans and participants. With products from the UAE and diverse locales representing the Earth Optimism program, you’ll find unique clothing, jewelry, home goods, art, food and wine, and more. Festival-branded merchandise and a selection of related Smithsonian Folkways recordings will also be available for purchase. Open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Marketplace will be located at the Freer Plaza between the National Mall and the National Museum of Asian Art. Show a valid Smithsonian staff, intern, fellow, or volunteer badge to receive a 20 percent discount.

The Festival strives to maintain an accessible and inclusive environment for visitors of all abilities. Accessible seating is available at all performance venues, and a limited number of wheelchairs are available for loan each day. Assistive listening devices are available, and American Sign Language interpretation, real-time captioning, and audio description services will be offered for a wide range of events. Additional resources and support will be available onsite, including Large-print and Braille materials and a sensory guide. Updated information, resources, and accessibility service schedules for the Folklife Festival are available.

We are grateful for the support of the Festival’s sponsors, donors, and partners. Visit for a full list. Check out for a host of information, including the latest daily schedule of events, the Festival map, the Festival Blog with longer articles about participants and programs, food and drink menus, and much more. Be sure to stop by and experience culture of, by, and for the people!

For further information about this message, contact Ginny Maycock at (VoIP) 3-3283, (non-VoIp) 202-633-3283 or

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