June 24, 2011
An annual rite of summer in Washington, DC is the Smithsonian Folklife Festival held outdoors on the Mall. The Festival is an international exposition of living cultural heritage annually produced by the Smithsonian Institution's Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. It begins next Thursday, 30 June through the 4th of July and continues on Thursday, 7 July through 11 July.
Initiated in 1967, the Festival has brought more than 23,000 musicians, artists, performers, craftspeople, workers, cooks, storytellers, and others to demonstrate the skills, knowledge and aesthetics that embody the creative vitality of community-based traditions.
Usually divided into programs featuring a nation, region, state or theme, this year's Festival will feature Colombia, the Peace Corp and Rhythm & Blues. The Festival generally includes daily and evening programs of music, song, dance, celebratory performances, crafts and cooking demonstrations, storytelling, illustrations of workers' culture and narrative sessions for discussing cultural issues.
Colombia: The Nature of Culture
The Festival program celebrates the rich bio-cultural diversity of Colombia and explores how Colombian cultural expressions are inextricably connected to their distinctive environments. Colombia leads the world in the number of bird species; has the second highest number of varieties of amphibians and plants, and is third in the diversity of its reptiles. Because of its biological and environmental diversity. Colombia is home to some of the world's most distinctive culture and traditions.
The program highlights six ecosystems, from the Andes Mountains to the Amazon Rainforests, Andean Savannah, Southeastern Plains, the hilly coffee region of Caldas, and the urban centers of Bogata, Medellin and Cali. Roughly one hundred Colombian artists will sing, dance, prepare food, tell stories, celebrate the harvest, and demonstrate religious ceremonies, traditional medicine practices, and agricultural sustainability at the Festival.
Colombia: The Nature of Culture offers a window into the country's unique cultural traditions and an opportunity to learn more about the creativity and vitality of Colombia's diverse population.
Next Post -- VirtuArte Artists From Colombia
In honor of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival our next blog post will feature three artists who work with artisans from Colombia to preserve traditional craftsmanship that otherwise will disappear.