Project Highlights

Smithsonian built on and contributed to Colombian efforts to craft a national intangible cultural heritage policy
Smithsonian Folkways Recordings curators and producers worked with Colombian counterparts to produce multiple award-winning albums, including: Sí, Soy Llanero: Joropo Music from the Orinoco plains of Colombia (2004), which was touted in the Colombian press as the first recording of Colombian music recorded in Colombia to earn a Grammy® nomination and 2007 Latin Grammy®-award-winning Un Fuego de Sangre Pura: Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto from Colombia (2006)
Smithsonian Curators spent more than 3 years working with Colombian partners, including the Erigaie Foundation, documenting living cultures across the country
Smithsonian’s 2011 Folklife Festival, "Colombia: the Nature of Culture," brought more than 100 artists, weavers, dancers, and other tradition practitioners to the National Mall
Colombia restaged the 2011 Folklife Festival 3 times in 2011-2012, in Bogotá, Medellín, and Cali
LOCATION(S): Colombia

Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (CFCH) produces the Smithsonian Folklife Festival as well as Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, exhibitions, documentary films and videos, symposia, publications, and educational materials. CFCH celebrates and promotes the understanding and sustainability of diverse cultures in the United States and around the world.

The Center provides leadership to international colleagues in demonstrating that cultural expression is essential to human well-being. Cultural practices enhance local economies and improve community health.  In the face of increased migration, globalization, and other challenges to cultural sustainability, protecting intercultural dialogue helps cultures continue to exist.  

For more than 10 years, CFCH has worked with musicians, artisans, local communities, and the Colombian government to document and celebrate the great diversity and beauty of Colombia’s intangible cultural heritage, or living culture. Building on these long-term relationships, Smithsonian contributed to Colombian efforts to create a national cultural heritage policy in Colombia based on principles of respect for cultural diversity, cultural democracy, and intercultural dialogue.