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.
Olivia Cadaval is Curator and Chair of Cultural Research and Education at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Since joining the Center in 1988, she has curated numerous Smithsonian Folklife Festival programs including El Rio (2000), México (2010), Colombia: The Nature of Culture (2011), and PERÚ: Pachamama (2015).
Dan Sheehy was Director and Curator of the nonprofit record label Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and oversaw the Folkways collections of the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections.
Cristina Diaz-Carrera is Curator at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Since joining the Center in 2007, she has worked on several Folklife Festival programs, including México (2010), Campus and Community: Public and Land-grant Universities and the USDA at 150 (2012), Colombia: The Nature of Culture (2011), and PERÚ: Pachamama (2015). In early 2013, Cristina became the Folklife Festival production manager.