Pic of the Week: AFC Celebrates 40

Nakotah LaRance gives a hoop dance performance during AFC's 40th anniversary celebration. Photo by Amanda Reynolds.

Nakotah LaRance gives a hoop dance performance during AFC’s 40th anniversary celebration. Photo by Amanda Reynolds.

The American Folklife Center (AFC) hosted a reception in celebration of its 40th anniversary last Wednesday. Special guests giving remarks were David Mao, acting Librarian of Congress; Kurt Dewhurst, chairman of AFC’s board of trustees; Betsy Peterson, AFC’s current director; and David Isay, founder of StoryCorps.

The reception included a special performance by Nakotah LaRance, the 2015 and 2016 World Hoop Dance Champion. LaRance comes from Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, New Mexico. He is well known as an actor for roles in Steven Spielberg’s “Into the West” miniseries, HBO’s “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” and AMC’s “Longmire.” He was also a principal dancer in the Cirque Du Soleil show “Totem” and is currently the master instructor for the Pueblo of Pojoaque Youth Hoop Dancers.

The American Folklife Center was created by Public Law 94-201, The American Folklife Preservation Act, which was signed into law by President Gerald Ford on Jan. 2, 1976. The law placed AFC at the Library of Congress to “preserve and present American Folklife” through programs of research, documentation, archival preservation, reference service, live performance, exhibition, public programs and training. The center includes the American Folklife Center Archive of Folk Culture, which was established in 1928 and has become one of the largest collections of ethnographic material from the U.S. and around the world. The archive includes about 6 million sound recordings, manuscripts, photographs and other items — 5 million of which have been acquired in the last 40 years.

More information on AFC’s 40th anniversary programming and plans can be found here.

Pic of the Week: Music Makers

On Tuesday, the Library hosted the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Foundation for its annual “We Write the Songs” concert, featuring the songwriters performing and telling the stories behind their own music. Featured performances were by Brian McKnight, Monica, Brett James, MoZella, Priscilla Renea, Randy Goodrum, Desmond Child and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon.   […]

Pic of the Week: American Artists View WWI

On Saturday, the Library of Congress opened the new exhibition, “World War I: American Artists View the Great War,” highlighting how American artists galvanized public interest in World War I. Drawn from the Library’s Prints and Photographs Collections, the works on display reflect the focus of wartime art on patriotic and propaganda messages—by government-supported as well as independent […]

Trending: The Mother of Mother’s Day

(The following article by Audrey Fischer is from the May/June 2016 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM, soon to be available here. In the meantime, make sure to catch up on all our editions!) One West Virginia daughter succeeded in memorializing mothers everywhere. Greeting cards, flowers, candy, dining out—Mother’s Day is big business. Sales […]

Pic of the Week: StoryCorps Makes a Stop

In May 2005, two StoryCorps MobileBooths left the Library of Congress to travel across the United States—one taking an Eastern route and the other covering the Western states. This inaugural tour stopped at 34 cities, and visits lasted two and three weeks, with about 100 interviews collected at each location. The MobileBooth returned to the […]

WWI Exhibit Opens Next Month

An exhibition showing how American artists galvanized public interest in World War I will open Saturday, May 7 at the Library of Congress. “World War I: American Artists View the Great War” opens in the Graphic Arts Galleries featuring 25 fine prints, drawings, cartoons, posters and photographs drawn from the Library’s Prints and Photographs Division. An additional 70 photographs will […]

Pic of the Week: An Encore for the Poet Laureate

Juan Felipe Herrera, U.S. poet laureate consultant in poetry, has been appointed a second term – an appointment announced, then celebrated in the Coolidge Auditorium on Wednesday night. “What a great joy, what a great joy this is,” Herrera, the 21st laureate, told the audience. “How beautiful it is to be here. How beautiful the Library of Congress is. […]

Jacob Riis Exhibition Opens Today

(The following story, written by Mark Hartsell, is featured in the Library of Congress staff newsletter, The Gazette.) Half the world, journalist Jacob Riis once said, doesn’t know how the other half lives, and it doesn’t know because it doesn’t care. Riis, a social reformer, author and newspaper reporter, used his work to make society […]

Pic of the Week: Ask Us Anything on Rosa Parks

Library experts involved in making the papers of Rosa Parks available online answered questions in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session on Tuesday. During the Reddit AMA, experts from the Library of Congress Manuscripts Division, the Prints and Photographs Division and Educational Outreach took questions about Rosa Parks and about how the Library cataloged, preserved, digitized, and […]

Pic of the Week: It’s Bloomin’ Time

This week marks the beginning of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, an annual event held in Washington, D.C. to commemorate the gift of some 3,000 Yoshino cherry trees given to the city in 1912 as a symbol of friendship between Japan and the United States. The grounds of the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building are home […]