Following a two-year hiatus, the 2022 Smithsonian Folklife Festival has returned to the National Mall for two separate runs, June 22–27 and June 30–July 4 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Presented by the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage in partnership with the National Park Service, this year the free festival is hosting two programs: one exploring the cultural traditions of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the other focused on “highlighting the importance of culture and community in creating a sustainable future.”
The 2022 Smithsonian Folklife Festival will include workshops, discussions, concerts and performances, and family-friendly activities! Some select evening concerts and conversations — including the Wednesday, June 22 concert with Yo-Yo Ma — will be livestreamed for free online.
UAE: Living Landscape | Living Memory
This year’s festival will highlight the rich and diverse culture of the UAE, where nearly 90% of its population are transplants from other countries around the world. Through performances and demonstrations, you will learn about specific standouts from the UAE’s culture, including falconry, delicious coffee, poetry, and more!
“In the UAE, it’s possible to encounter dynamic links between past, present and future in everything from green technologies to extraordinary poetry,” Folklife Festival Director Sabrina Lynn Motley said in a press release. “As the festival has done since its inception, curators are creating a program that draws from diverse voices on the ground, challenging us to look beyond headlines, generalizations and stereotypes.”
Earth Optimism × Folklife: Inspiring Conservation Communities
Folklife’s Earth Optimism effort hopes to accent the strides made in the conservation community to invoke positivity and encourage others to become involved. “Earth Optimism × Folklife is a unique opportunity to share stories and learn from conservation successes,” Earth Optimism Co-Founder Ruth Anna Stolk said. “When the focus is on solutions rather than problems, we empower people to replicate and scale up these activities in their own communities.”
Focusing not only on scientific strides, but also highlighting those in the arts, such as filmmaking, cooking, and gardening, demonstrations and performances will aim to inspired others to work toward “creat[ing] a sustainable planet.”
Location: The National Mall between 7th and 12th Streets.