Smithsonian Folklife Festival’s Armenia Program to highlight the role of culture in preserving identity

This summer’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival’s landmark Armenia: Creating Home program will feature a robust focus on the theme of Cultures of Survival: From Displacement to Resilience, highlighting the central role of culture in preserving identity and promoting resilience for tens of millions worldwide displaced by genocide, war crimes, and other violence.

The ANCA Endowment Fund #KeepThePromise initiative serves as a major sponsor of the Folklife Festival and, along with the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, is supporting narrative sessions, presentations, and film screenings around the theme of food, music, crafts, and the arts contributing to cultural resilience and survival.  Among the themes that will be explored are: Making Meaning: Economic and Healing Power of Crafts, Giving Voice: Language and Cultural Survival, Tastes of Home: Food Enterprises,  and  Storytelling: History, Healing, and Hope. Two films screenings will explore the role of culture in preserving cultural identity and national survival in the face of genocide, The Promise and Intent to Destroy.

“The ANCA Endowment Fund is pleased to serve as a major sponsor of this summer’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival’s Armenia: Creating Home programs exploring the global role of cultural heritage, remembrance, and rebirth in building resilience and ensuring survival in the wake of genocide, war, and forced displacement,” said the ANCA Endowment’s Aram Hamparian. “These universal themes speak powerfully to all those around our world who – like the Armenians – have drawn heavily upon cultural traditions to survive and thrive in new homes.”

Armenia: Creating Home is partnering with On the Move – a series of Folklife Festival programs exploring how American culture has been shaped by the movement of people to and within the United States – and the American Anthropological Association to explore the role of cultural heritage during forced displacement, with a focus on the ways it builds resilience and ensures survival. The collaboration, Cultures of Survival, is a series of narrative sessions featuring Armenian participants and others with similar histories of forced displacement to share their stories and discuss how they’ve drawn on their heritage – specifically language, music, craft and food – not only to survive, but also to thrive in new communities.

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