Smithsonian Folkways Festival
Remembering Friends: “Creativity and Crisis – Day 3
Jul 07, 2012 by Victoria Noe
I’d intended to get to the Smithsonian Folkways Festival on the National Mall early today, to help unfold the Quilt. But 9:00am came and went, as the organizers discussed the advisability of displaying the Quilt in ever more oppressive heat. While they did, someone suggested I go to the Quilting Bee tent. That’s where panels were being made by volunteer quilters during the Festival. I was welcomed into the tent, and I did indeed unfold Quilt panels. But these were panels in various stages of completion.Each was different, as unique as the person they memorialized: Bible verses, song lyrics, photos, messages. The quilters used scraps of fabric, pens, colored thread and other materials to create each panel. I unfolded...
Remembering Friends: “Creativity and Crisis” – Day 2
Jul 07, 2012 by Victoria Noe
Names PerformersThe weather has certainly affected the crowds at the Smithsonian Folkways Festival. It bothered me to see such small audiences in the Red Hot tent when the Names Performers sang their hearts out. They were very, very good, and their rendition of “Rainbow Connection” made me tear up. Many people seemed to find the performances by accident, drawn by the music as they walked around the tent. But once there, they stayed, and applauded enthusiastically. The performers came from Atlanta and Chicago, some from Northwestern University, lured not just by the opportunity to be paid for their efforts, but to be part of something that is important to them all. Their director, David Bell, has been involved with...
Remembering Friends: “Creativity and Crisis” - Day 1
Jul 06, 2012 by Victoria Noe
I arrived in Washington, DC late Thursday afternoon, behind schedule. But I still managed to take a cursory tour of the National Mall, where the Smithsonian Folkways Festival is in full swing.It’s no cooler here than anywhere else in the US right now, but the triple-digit heat didn’t stop people from strolling the Mall, although I assume the crowd was smaller than anticipated.One of three themes in the Festival is “Creativity and Crisis”, the arts community response to the AIDS epidemic. Tomorrow I’ll be attending a number of performances and presentations by artists from around the world, and will report on it hereI went to one of the tents to check the list of names. Because of the size of...
Honoring Your Friends in a Big Way
Jul 03, 2012 by Victoria Noe
Tomorrow I’m off to Washington, DC for the Smithsonian Folkways Festival. Held on the National Mall (even in this heat wave), one of the three themes of the Festival is “Creativity and Crisis”. It’s a look at the global response by the arts community to the AIDS epidemic. There will be performances by people from Chicago to South Africa. There will be presentations by those who have made it their life’s work to use the arts to educate the world about AIDS.And the 25th anniversary of the Names Project’s AIDS Quilt will be observed.Between now and the end of the International AIDS Conference later this month, 55 locations in the Washington, DC area will display some of the 48,000...