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Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage wants your stories

Special thanks for this guest post to Angelica Aboulhosn, Public Affairs Specialist with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.

The Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage invites partners, artists, and others from across the Smithsonian Affiliations network to showcase their work on the new CFCH digital magazine, Folklife. In doing so, contributors can spotlight their work, as well as the work of those individuals and communities they interpret or champion, to a combined audience of over one million viewers.

2011 Heritage Fellows

Photo credit: Roy (left) and PJ Hirabayashi, 2011 NEA National Heritage Fellows. Photo by Tom Pich, National Endowment for the Arts

The website, which launched last month, tells unforgettable stories of music, food, crafts, and culture that help us explore where we have come from and where we are going. Folklife showcases stories of place, history, language and cultural identity as well as the complex lives of individuals and communities—all with focus on the animating questions at the center of contemporary life, such as: How and when do we come together at a time when so much history and so many issues pull us apart? The Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage encompasses the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, and a series of cultural sustainability and research projects that together promote greater understanding and sustainability of cultural heritage across the United States and around the world.

Folklife features include short- and long-form pieces, which range in length from 500 to 1,500 words. Short-form work tends to personal, essay-style pieces, while our longer-form features explores a single issue in depth, often drawing connections between media of various kinds. Folklife also features photo and video essays, in case that better aligns with your work. Ours is an educated, culturally attuned audience looking for authentic, first-person perspectives rather than academic pieces. For the time being, all contributions are unpaid, but if your piece is accepted, it will be posted to the Folklife site and cross-promoted on our web and social media channels.

Turquoise Mountain calligrapher

Over half of Turquoise Mountain’s calligraphy and jewelry students are women, as the organization is committed to provided them with a sustainable source of income. Photo courtesy of Turquoise Mountain

Featured work can include a link to relevant museum websites, online exhibitions, and more. That said, these pieces are distinct from press releases in that they focus squarely on artists, communities, and the stories they have to tell, rather than on the details of one exhibition or another, thereby extending the life of the piece online.

We encourage you to reach out to Charlie Weber (WeberC@si.edu) on our editorial team with any new story ideas. For more information, see the examples below.

Long-form example: Radio Jarochelo: Connecting Communities
Short-form example: On Ink, Tradition, and the Handwritten Word: Learning Chinese Calligraphy

Coming up in Affiliateland in March 2017

Spring is stirring, and so are Affiliates with fresh activity!

NEBRASKA
National Museum of American History curator Shannon Perich will give a lecture on popular culture in the 1970s at the Durham Museum to complement the SITES exhibition currently on view, Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project, in Omaha, 3.21.                       

Dolores Huerta / by Barbara Carrasco / Silkscreen 1999 / National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, © 1999 Barbara Carrasco

RHODE ISLAND

National Portrait Gallery curator Taína Caragol will lecture on Dolores Huerta for Women’s History Month at the Rhode Island Historical Society in Providence, 3.23.                          

NEW YORK
The Rockwell Museum continues with its Smithsonian Speaker Series with a talk by Adriel Luis of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, in Corning, 3.23.

National Museum of American History conservator Sunae Park Evans will speak on conserving First Ladies gowns at the Long Island Museum to complement the exhibition Brilliant Partners: Judith Leiber’s Handbags and the Art of Gerson Leiber, featuring the loan of Mamie Eisenhower’s purse from the Smithsonian, in Stony Brook, 3.26.

MICHIGAN
Rahim Al Haj, Smithsonian Folkways performer and oud player, presents Letters from Iraq at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, 3.24.

The Michigan State University Museum will host a workshop on the Will to Adorn initiative of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage in East Lansing, 3.30.

MARYLAND
Members of the Smithsonian will enjoy lunch and tours at the B & O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, 3.30.

 

Plan Ahead- 2014 Jazz Appreciation Month

Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM)–April 2014–is just around the corner. Affiliates have the opportunity to participate in FREE Media Training/Networking webinars organized by The Jazz Journalists Association (JJA). The JJA program will help Affiliate organizations use JAM as an opportunity to broaden their outreach to local communities and media outlets and to network with local jazz influencers.

Poster art designed by Fritz Klaetke, art director for JAZZ: The Smithsonian Anthology.

Poster art designed by Fritz Klaetke, art director for JAZZ: The Smithsonian Anthology.

Three online webinars will discuss the use of social media and on working with local online and traditional media to

  • Increase local awareness of JAM and the institution’s JAM-related events.
  • Build the institution’s ongoing social media presence.
  • Reach under-served local communities.
  • Connect with other local institutions and individuals involved in jazz and related cultural production.

The exact content of the interactive webinars will be determined by survey results. Click here to take the survey!

Follow Jazz Appreciation Month on Facebook for updates and tweet your activities to @CelebrateJAM #CelebrateJAM.