The Smithsonian Institution’s (SI) Folklife Festival will be held on June 29-30 this year, featuring artists such as The Bright Siders, Jenna Camille, Kokayi, Elizabeth Mitchell and You Are My Flower, along with others.
“This year we celebrate the power of music to entertain, educate, inspire, preserve history, strengthen identity, and build community,” the event brief says.
The festival, which used to run for 10 days in previous years, is planned to last only two days this year due to the federal government shutdown affecting the preparations. However, its director Sabrina Lynn Motley said in an interview with WTOP:
“The things that people appreciate about the festival — the engagement, the exchange with artists and other cultural workers, music and food — will still be there.”
— CHOOSE DC (@CHOOSEDC) June 24, 2019
On Saturday, from 12:00 p.m.-10 p.m. there will be the D.C. Music Preservation Pop-Up on the National Mall, which will offer a local record label market, zine-making activities, and archiving demonstrations for attendees. You can buy drinks and delicacies from food trucks. In the evening, Ruby Ibarra, Quetzal, Alice Bag, La Marisoul, and Kokayi are scheduled to perform.
On Sunday from 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., the Smithsonian Folkways tribute to Pete Seeger will take place with The Bright Siders, Sonia De Los Santos, Dan & Claudia Zanes, and Elizabeth Mitchell and You Are My Flower, as well as instrument workshops. Hip-hop artist Grandmaster Flash will take the stage at the end of the festival.
Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter, MC producer & DC native @kokayi will bring his out-of-the-box sound to the #2019Folklife Festival. His work interprets the social nuances of race, religion & patriotism & their effects on the human psyche. Don’t miss Kokayi perform on June 29. pic.twitter.com/OQkoZbzeL0
— SmithsonianFolklife (@SmithsonianFolk) June 24, 2019
“The 2019 Festival will look a little different, with two days of concerts instead of our usual two weeks of craft demonstrations, narrative sessions, cooking demonstrations, and more. Visitors will still be able to enjoy live music, a variety of food and drink options from local food trucks, instrument workshops for all ages, and presentations about the D.C. music scene,” the event brief explains.
First organized in 1967, the festival “honors contemporary living cultural traditions and celebrates those who practice and sustain them.” It has been produced every year by the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage on the National Mall, welcoming people from every U.S. state, along with over 100 countries.