The Smithsonian Folklife Festival, launched in 1967 is an international exhibition of living cultural heritage presented annually for two weeks in the summer at The National Mall in Washington, D.C. It is the largest annual cultural festival held in the nation’s capital and attracts over one million people annually. Every year the festival chooses a different culture and living heritage to celebrate and in 2016 the selected culture is Basque! The festival, which is free to the public, will be celebrated in two parts: from June 29th to July 4th and from July 7th to July 10th. Here is an overview of the event put out by The Smithsonian.
The corresponding theme will be “Innovation by Culture” To this end they are gathering together musicians, dantzaris, boat builders, bertzolaris, cooks and anyone who is an expert or has knowledge of a traditional Basque craft to share their expertise. This is open to people from the Basque Country or Basque people around the world. Here is a link to their announcement for prospective participants and presenters. Here you can find the guide for people interested in vending at the festival. Finally here is some general information for anyone who would like to start planning their visit.
The selection of Basque culture as this years protagonist is a very powerful acknowledgement of our culture and traditions and a special opportunity to showcase our heritage to the world. We are very excited about this and would encourage everyone to come check it out this summer!