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The American Folklife Center
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What's Happening at the American Folklife Center

Throughout the year, the Center sponsors workshops, lectures, exhibits, concerts, and conferences (on its own and in cooperation with other Library of Congress offices and outside agencies) in order to educate the American people about the importance of their own cultural traditions and the traditions of others. All events are free and do not require tickets unless otherwise noted.

Request ADA accommodations five days in advance at 202-707-6362 or

Homegrown 2014 concert series flyerPerformances - 2015 Homegrown Concert Series
To be held in the Whittall Pavilion or the Coolidge Auditorium (see listing). Both venues are in the Thomas Jefferson Building, Ground Floor

May 21: Bing Xia: Traditional Chinese Guzheng Music. Noon, Whittall Pavilion

May 28: Ara Dinkjian and Zulal -- Traditional Armenian Music and Song Noon, Coolidge Auditorium

June 29: A film on Peruvian marinara dance, often called "the national dance of Peru": Marinera, testimonio de diversidad y tradición, directed and produced by Alfredo DiNatale who will introduce the film and answer questions. Noon, Pickford Theatre, Third Floor, James Madison Building.

June 30: Marinera Viva!!! Peruvian Dance. Noon, Coolidge Auditorium.

Past Homegrown Concerts (2005-2014) - View descriptions, flyer essays, and webcasts

Lectures - 2015 Benjamin A. Botkin Folklife Lecture Series
Pickford Auditorium, Third Floor, James Madison Building unless otherwise noted

April 16: Dancing Ireni: Reimaging and Reimagining Alan Lomax’s Choreometrics Project, presented by Forrestine Paulay and Meriam Lobel interviewed by Miriam Phillips. Note the time: 2:00 to 5:00 PM, including an exhibit, a talk, and a short reception.

April 24: “A Bourgeois Town”: Lead Belly in Washington, D.C., presented by Terika Dean, Lead Belly Estate and Alvin Singh, Lead Belly Archive.

May 5: Alan Lomax in Italy, 1954-1955, presented by Goffredo Plastino, Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK.

June 10: "Listen to Our Story": Alan Lomax, Folk Producer / Folk Promoter, presented by Nathan Salsburg, Association for Cultural Equity. (Rescheduled)

Past Botkin Lectures (2004 - 2014) - View descriptions, flyer essays, and webcasts

Civil Rights History Public Programs: Many Paths to Freedom

This series of public educational programs features scholars, activists, and artists who will address a range of topics on the theme of the Civil Rights Movement and the struggle for freedom, social justice and equality for African Americans. View the complete schedule of events

[Check back for future events]


Documenting and Collecting Culture in the Twenty-First Century

American Folklore Center
June 4, 2015. 1:30-5:00
Montpelier Room, Madison Building, Library of Congress

Documenting and archiving traditional culture today encompasses technologies, methodologies, ethnical challenges and creative possibilities undreamed of when Alan Lomax and other early collectors took what was then state-of-the art recording equipment and theoretical approaches into the field. This symposium presents a "sampler" of innovative contemporary approaches to fieldwork — some of them directly related to more traditional ethnological documentation, archiving, and presentation practices and others a little further afield. Speakers will consider how evolving approaches to ethics, ownership rights, copyright law, and privacy are impacting the acquisition and stewardship of materials at repositories like the Library of Congress.

Free and open to the public. Check back for more information.

Past Symposia Updates

Cultural Heritage Archives: Networks, Innovation & Collaboration September 26-27, 2013: Webcasts are now available on the schedule page (or via the Library's webcast site).

Past Symposia (2000 - 2013) - View descriptions, flyer essays, and webcasts


The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America

The Songs of America presentation allows you to explore American history as documented in the work of some of our country's greatest composers, poets, scholars, and performers. From popular and traditional songs, to poetic art songs and sacred music, the relationship of song to historical events from the nation's founding to the present is highlighted through more than 80,000 online items. Contributing divisions include Music, Recorded Sound, and the American Folklife Center. View the press release

RSS Feed, Email Subscription, and Podcasts

If you would like to receive information about Folklife Center events and programs via the AFC RSS feed, or to subscribe to AFC podcasts, go to the RSS page and select the option you prefer: ""



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   April 16, 2015
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