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 […]

Library in the News: April 2016 Edition

April headlines covered a wide range of stories about the Library of Congress. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera continues to make the news, especially with the April announcement of his returning for a second term. Herrera told Sara Catania of Reuters that poetry fans provided an “inspiration tsunami” during his first year in which he […]

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 […]

Pic of the Week: Happy 216th Library of Congress!

The Library of Congress celebrates its 216th birthday on Sunday. Founded on April 24, 1800, thanks to an appropriation approved by Pres. John Adams of $5,000 for the purchase of “such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress.” What started with a whopping 740 books and three maps has evolved to more […]

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. […]

Pic of the Week: Alice’s Adventures in the Library

In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s classic “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” the Young Readers Center in the Library of Congress hosted Alice herself, who read from her adventures and led a parade through the halls of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building. The Library of Congress has multiple illustrated editions of Carroll’s noted […]

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 […]

Pic of the Week: Read Across America

“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child.” ~ Dr. Seuss On Wednesday, children gathered at the Library’s Young Readers Center for “Read Across America” day, which also coincides with the birthday of Dr. Seuss. The National Education Association’s signature program is now in its […]