Online Demonstrations, Conversation at “Making Matters” Festival

Smithsonian Folklife Festival Celebrates Masters and Everyday Makers --Online

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Metalsmith Karen Smith will participate in the Saturday story circile, "Passing the Torch: Senegalese Metalsmithing Across Geography and Gender". Courtesy: Smithsonian/Karen Smith

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival presents “Beyond the Mall: Making Matters” June 25 to 27, a series of online events featuring master and everyday makers who find solace and connection in creativity.

The weekend’s programs will include craft workshops, cooking demonstrations and conversations. The schedule and list of participants are available at s.si.edu/makingmatters.

“‘Beyond the Mall: Making Matters’ was inspired by the scores of artisans, cooks, wordsmiths and cultural advocates we’ve encountered throughout the Folklife Festival’s history,” said Sabrina Lynn Motley, Director of the Folklife Festival. “During these complex and difficult times, it is in their creativity and commitment to community that we have taken refuge and found hope.”

“This weekend is best viewed within the context of months of previous digital programs as well as the festival’s rich history on the National Mall,” Motley added. “Ultimately, ‘Making Matters’ speaks to the things that connect us to one another and to the Earth on which we live.”

With a mix of free and paid programming all open to the public, events are as varied as an exploration of metalsmithing in Senegal, a conversation with a groundbreaking Cuban hip-hop artist and a cooking demonstration of Korean ginseng chicken soup. The weekend also includes family-orientated activities and two intensive workshops led by internationally respected master artisans from Mexico and Peru.

Real-time captioning and ASL interpretation will be available for all events. Just as on the National Mall, visitors are encouraged to ask questions and share their own experiences in the comments section of each program.

Visitors can experience “Beyond the Mall: Making Matters” online on FacebookYouTube or the Folklife Festival website, festival.si.edu. They can also purchase the work of artisans in the Festival Marketplace. The Folklife Festival will return to presenting live programming on the National Mall and beyond in 2022. Occasional digital programming will remain an integral part of the festival experience.

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival, inaugurated in 1967, honors contemporary living cultural traditions and celebrates those who practice and sustain them. Produced annually by the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage in partnership with the National Park Service, the festival has welcomed participants from all 50 states and more than 120 countries. Follow the festival on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.