Wales has been chosen as the featured nation for the 10-day event, which regularly attracts over one million visitors.
Representatives from the Smithsonian Institution will be in Cardiff today [ 5 November] to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Assembly Government to confirm the Welsh presence at the 2009 Festival. They will also meet First Minister Rhodri Morgan to discuss plans for the event. .
The event celebrates the cultural traditions of communities across the United States and around the world. It showcases the best of community-based arts and highlights the importance of heritage to communities.
The Welsh Assembly Government will lead the development of in building of the programme for Wales, which will demonstrate the wealth of cultural history and traditions in Wales. As well as the cultural activities, the Welsh Assembly Government will use this festival to target its international audience to maximise economic opportunities for Wales.
The Welsh Assembly Government will be working closely with partners throughout Wales to build a dynamic programme of performance, demonstration, and discussion events.
First Minister Rhodri Morgan said:
There is so much Welsh culture and heritage to be proud of and I’m sure that everyone who visits the festival will be impressed by what we have to offer. It’s a real feather in our cap to have been chosen as the feature nation and this shows the Welsh word is spreading around the world.
I have no doubt that the Welsh effort will prove to be one of the stand-out attractions at this very interesting and colourful event. I’d hope that visitors to the festival impressed by the Welsh culture will then be looking to book their holidays here to sample more of our delights.
Note to editors
The Memorandum of Understanding will be signed between Richard Kurin, Acting Under Secretary for History and Culture at the Smithsonian Institution and Diana Parker, Director of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and Welsh Assembly Government officials. Later in the day, they will meet with First Minister Rhodri Morgan.
The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is due to take place 24 – 28 June and 1 – 5 July 2009.
Further details on the Smithsonian Folklife Festival can be found at
5 November 2007