The American Folklife Center Mummers will present their annual mummers’ ; play in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress at 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday, December 11. It’s open to the public, so come on in and see us perform! This year’s play is called AFC Mums While Washington Burns: A Conservation Mumming. It’s 1814 and the Capitol has just been burned by the British, so James Madison throws Library collections in a dogsled and heads for the conservators at the North Pole Library.
I wish I knew how It would feel to be free I wish I could break All the chains holding me I wish I could say All the things that I should say Say ’em loud, say ’em clear For the whole round world to hear Nina Simone, I Wish I Knew How It Would […]
At this time of year we gather to give thanks, for many things that have been important to us during the year, but a common theme is thanks for our food. The holiday falls in the time of the harvest. Different cultural groups around the world also celebrate the harvest with a variety of customs […]
Episode Fourteen of the Folklife Today Podcast (or Season 2, Episode 2) is ready for listening! The episode presents a deep dive into a single song, known either as “The Candidate’s a Dodger” or simply as “The Dodger.” In the episode, Thea Austen, Jennifer Cutting, and I look at the classic folksong , discussing the song’s meanings in oral tradition, its use by Aaron Copland as an art song, and its involvement in political controversy in the 1930s, when Charles Seeger first published it. We examine the song’s history and lay out new evidence about its relationships to other folksongs and to a musical theater song from 1840s England. We also discuss the possibility that Charles Seeger, a founder of ethnomusicology and a pioneering federal folklorist, was himself a “dodger!” The episode includes performances by folksingers Pete Seeger, Mike Seeger, and Peggy Seeger, as well as baritone Thomas Hampson, and five field recordings from the Library of Congress.
The Folklife at the International Level series has set out on a winding road, tracing the concept of “intangible cultural heritage” (ICH) as developed through a series of international initiatives over the course of the late 20th century. As the signs posted throughout have indicated, this road leads to the global framework for ICH promotion and […]
On November 20th, the American Folklife Center participated in an event at the Library of Congress announcing the “next chapter” of the AIDS Memorial Quilt project. You can read about that event in a previous blog post that also includes a link to the livestream video of the event, and also view some photos by American […]
The NAMES Project Foundation (NPF) today announced that the National AIDS Memorial will become the new caretaker of the AIDS Memorial Quilt and NAMES Project programs. As part of the transition, the NAMES Project and the National AIDS Memorial have agreed to jointly gift care and stewardship of The Quilt’s archival collections to the prestigious American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, making this collection available through the world’s largest public library.
The following is a guest post by Jennifer Cutting. Continuing on the momentum set by the American Folklife Center’s symposium Women Documenting the World: Women as Folklorists, Ethnomusicologists & Fieldworkers (September 26, 2019), we’d like to showcase some women ethnographers who are very close to home. This blog post takes a scrapbook-style look at photographs […]
Today, the Veterans History Project (VHP) launches a new online exhibit to feature the stories of veteran artists. The online exhibit acts as a companion to VHP’s Veteran Art Showcase, a series of cultural events held at the Library of Congress from November 5-9, 2019. At first glance, artistic expression might seem an unlikely subject […]
Puppeteer Professor Horn, also known as Mark Walker, gave a talk on the history and art of Punch and Judy and puppet shows at the Library of Congress on May 2, 2018. He also talked about his art with folklorist Michelle Stefano. For professional reasons, Walker preferred not to have the puppet shows video recorded. But […]