Press Release

NASA Announces Smithsonian Folklife Festival Activities

By SpaceRef Editor
June 24, 2008
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WASHINGTON — In honor of NASA’s 50th anniversary, the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and NASA are partnering on this year’s Folklife Festival. The festival will be held Wednesday, June 25 through Sunday, June 29, and Wednesday, July 2 through Sunday, July 6, outdoors on the National Mall between Seventh and 14th Streets. Festival hours are from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EDT each day, with special evening events including concerts and movie screenings beginning at 6 p.m.

The program “NASA: 50 Years and Beyond,” will include presentations, hands-on educational activities, demonstrations and exhibits that will highlight the agency’s activities over the past fifty years, while looking forward to the exploration missions ahead.

NASA presenters at the festival include Deputy Administrator Shana Dale, Johnson Space Center Director and astronaut Michael Coats, Associate Administrator for Space Operations Bill Gerstenmaier, “Rocket Boys” author Homer Hickam, NASA Chief Historian Steven Dick, Goddard Space Flight Center Chief Scientist James Garvin, current astronauts Frederick (Rick) Sturckow, Carl Walz, Pat Forester, Sunita Williams and former astronauts Ken Reightler, Pierre Thuot, Jan Davis, Tom Jones, Joe Edwards, Charlie Walker, William Readdy, Brian O’Connor and Loren Shriver.

On June 25 at 6 p.m., the Space Philharmonic under the direction of Emil de Cou, will perform “The Planets” by Gustav Holst at the National Museum of the American Indian. Former astronaut Mae Jemison will narrate the concert. The event will include NASA imagery projected onto the museum’s walls. The concert is free and open to the public.

On June 26 at 2:15 p.m. on the Galaxy stage, scientists from NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander mission will participate in a Science Update on the activities of the Phoenix Mars Lander, including the lander’s recent discovery of water ice.

Other events include the NASA Film Festival June 27-29 at the Baird Auditorium in the National Museum of Natural History. Jeannie Kranz, daughter of former NASA flight director Gene Kranz, will host a film festival devoted to space exploration. Films include, “In the Shadow of the Moon,” with participation of producer Duncan Copp, “Apollo 13” with remarks from Jeannie Kranz and “2001: A Space Odyssey,” with a greeting from astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

The National Air and Space Museum Art Gallery preview show will display works from the art collections of NASA and the National Air and Space Museum by several artists, including Norman Rockwell, Annie Leibovitz and Robert Rauschenberg. This exhibit during the Folklife Festival is a preview of a larger show, “NASA Art,” which is being organized by the Smithsonian Institution’s Traveling Exhibition Service. The “NASA Art” show will travel nationwide beginning this October, through 2011.

Media planning to attend the Folklife Festival should check in at the press tent, located in the Festival Services area, near the Smithsonian Metro stop.

For a complete schedule of all NASA activities at the Folklife Festival, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.