Smithsonian Folklife Festival Starts June 29th featuring “Sounds of California” and “Basque: Innovation by Culture.”

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courtesy 2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival

From a press release:

“Visitors to the 2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival can explore the stories and traditions behind the crafts, music, art and food of the Basque country and California at the Festival Marketplace. The 2016 Festival will feature a 4,500-square-foot Marketplace that will showcase crafts handmade by Festival participants and other master artists, musical recordings from participants and Smithsonian Folkways, specialty foods and Festival merchandise. Proceeds from purchases directly support Festival participants and the Folklife Festival.

The Marketplace will be located, for the first time, inside the Smithsonian’s newly renovated Arts and Industries Building and will be open Wednesday, June 29, through Monday, July 4, and Thursday, July 7, through Sunday, July 10. Marketplace hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. The Marketplace will host special demonstrations and events, including artist signings, stone-carving demonstrations, pottery demonstrations and salt tastings. More information about special events at the Marketplace will be announced on the Festival website.

The Festival Marketplace is a curated collection of items that highlight the people and traditions featured in the Folklife Festival. Not only can visitors purchase these items, they will also be able to hear the stories behind many of the crafts available. Featured Festival participants include ironworker César Alcoz, potter Blanca Gómez de Segura, painter Jesus Mari Lazkano, espadrille makers Les Espadrilles de Mauléon and master stone carver Bernat Vidal from the “Basque: Innovation by Culture” program. Participants from the “Sounds of California” program will also have their items available for purchase in the Marketplace, including music from the band Quetzal and master rubâb player Homayoun Sakhi, as well as crafts from Grupo Nuu Yuku de San Miguel Cuevas. Other items for sale include sunglasses innovatively crafted from wood ($155-170), Basque soaps ($8.50), sustainably harvested gourmet salt from Alava ($8), Rioja Alavesa wine ($27) and Basque cider ($11).

About the Festival

The 2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival will feature two programs: “Sounds of California” and “Basque: Innovation by Culture.” 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, the Festival has featured participants from all 50 states and more than 100 countries.”

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