Press Release

NASA To Be the Featured Agency in 2008 Smithsonian Folklife Festival

By SpaceRef Editor
October 11, 2007
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WASHINGTON – NASA and the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage are partnering for the 2008 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. The festival showcasing NASA will run on the National Mall from June 25 to July 6, 2008.

NASA will be only the second featured federal agency in the history of the festival, which annually attracts an audience of more than a million people. The Folklife Festival also will highlight the food and music of the state of Texas and the mountainous Asian nation of Bhutan. An annual survey of tourism agencies and convention and tourism bureaus around the country labeled the Folklife Festival as America’s No. 1 tourism event.

“We are excited that NASA’s participation will give people from throughout our country and the world the opportunity to learn from and interact with our engineers, scientists, astronauts and skilled craftspeople,” said Robert Hopkins, NASA chief of Strategic Communications, Headquarters, Washington. “The Folklife Festival’s purpose is to introduce visitors to ‘the immense breadth of community-based art, skill, knowledge, and wisdom,’ and NASA is proud to be one of the few federal agencies in the history of the festival to be celebrated. This will be a tremendous event to showcase NASA’s past accomplishments and plans to extend humanity’s reach throughout the solar system during our 50th anniversary year.”

“The Festival looks forward to the opportunity to give the public a glimpse behind the scenes at the agency that literally broadens our horizons,” said Diana Parker, director of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

With an emphasis on audience participation, the festival program will encourage visitors to engage one on one with NASA experts in presentation areas on the Mall. The presentations are tied to NASA’s mission goals in aeronautics, space exploration, science and human spaceflight.

The NASA program will include live presentations, hands-on educational activities, narrative oral history sessions and demonstrations of the skills, techniques and knowledge of real rocket scientists. Exhibits will explore the spirit of inspiration, innovation, discovery and public service embodied by the agency and its personnel.

For more information about NASA and agency programs, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.