Click on the names below for biographies and contact info of staff members.
- Greg Adams
Greg C. Adams is a processing archivist in the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections. His work focuses on the preservation processing of archival collections and is supported through the Collections Care and Preservation Fund (CCPF) administered by the Smithsonian National Collections Program. He holds a B.A. in music history from Youngstown State University (2001), a master's degree in library and information sciences from the University of Maryland, College Park (2004), and an M.A. in ethnomusicology, also from University of Maryland (2012). His research, covering the multicultural history of the banjo, includes fieldwork in Senegal and The Gambia with Jola ekonting players (2006, 2008), developing a formal work plan for maintaining data about banjo-related material culture through an NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant (2009), and serving as an apprentice to noted Malian master ngoni player and griot Cheick Hamala Diabate through an FY09 Maryland State Arts Council Apprenticeship award.
- Betty Belanus
Betty Belanus joined the Center in 1987 and has curated many Smithsonian Folklife Festival programs including Massachusetts (1988), Family Farms (1991), Working at the Smithsonian (1996), African Immigrants (1997), New Hampshire (1999), Water Ways (2004); The Roots of Virginia Culture (2007); Wales Smithsonian Cymru (2009); Smithsonian Inside-Out (2010); and Campus and Community (2012). She is currently developing programs on traditional medicine and occupations of the film industry. Other past work includes the Folklore Summer Institute for Community Scholars (1989, 1990); teacher seminars during the Festival; education kits such as Borders and Identity and Discovering Our Delta; an on-line Water Ways exhibition; and educational features for Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. Publications include the novel Seasonal (2002), and co-authorship of the children's book Caravan to America: The Living Arts of the Silk Road (2002). Betty was formerly the state folk arts coordinator for the Indiana Arts Commission. She holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in folklore from Indiana University.
- Marquinta Bell
Marquinta Bell joined the Center in January 2004, serving as an administrative specialist. She assists the Associate Director for Administration and Finance in the areas of accounting, budget, and finance. Her financial background includes positions at the Smithsonian's Office of the Comptroller, Cellular One, and AT&T Wireless.
- Richard James Burgess
Director Marketing and Sales, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
Richard James Burgess brings more than forty years of international music business experience to Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. As a music producer and recording artist he has many gold and platinum recordings to his name. He has worked as a studio musician, audio engineer, artist manager, and major label consultant, and has owned record labels and booking agencies. Richard authored the book The Art of Music Production (currently being updated for a 4th ed.), and he lectures internationally on the subject of music production and the music business. Educated at Berklee College of Music, Boston; Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, he earned his Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Glamorgan. He played with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Great Britain and has won awards from Music Week (UK Producers Award), British Arts Council, Park Lane Group, and the Greater London Arts Association.
- Olivia Cadaval
Curator and Chair, Cultural Research and Education
Olivia Cadaval holds a Ph.D. in American studies and folklife from George Washington University. Since joining the Center in 1988, she has curated numerous Festival programs including El Rio (2000), México (2010), and Colombia: The Nature of Culture (2011). She has also produced curriculum enrichment materials, exhibitions, and Web sites, such as the bilingual site “Assembling the Festival Program: Colombia.” She has worked extensively on documentation, public programs, and education projects in the Latino community of Washington, D.C. She published a book Creating a Latino Identity in the Nation's Capital: The Latino Festival (1998) and has contributed to such publications as Urban Odyssey, Creative Ethnicity, Washington at Home, New York Folklore, the Journal of Folklore Research, and The Public Historian.
- Cynthia Jacobs Carter
Chief Development Officer
Cynthia Jacobs Carter leads the Center’s unrestricted fundraising efforts, which include events, campaigns, planned giving, direct mail, social media fund raising, cause marketing, and the growing of the endowment. In addition, she raises funds, largely through sponsorships, for the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Prior to joining the Center in 2012, she served at Africare as chief development/external affairs officer. Before this, she was director of development at InterAction, as well as at Howard University. She has also served as director in institutional advancement at The George Washington University. Dr. Carter has taught at Georgetown University and at The George Washington University, both in Africana women's studies. She is a National Geographic author of two books: Freedom In My Heart and Africana Woman. Cynthia earned an Ed.D. in educational leadership and an M.A. in international education from The George Washington University. Her undergraduate degree is from Virginia State University.
- Josué Castilleja
Josué Castilleja establishes and designs the visual branding for the Center and provides art direction for the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival. A graduate of the Corcoran College of Art + Design, he joined the Center as senior designer in 2009 and became the art director in 2012. He brings to this position twelve years of design and art direction experience with Scholastic Publishing, Inc., Bussolati Associates, and the U.S. Department of State. He has designed graphics for the 2009 Wales Smithsonian Cymru, Giving Voice, and Las Américas programs; the 2010 Mexico, Asian Pacific Americans, and Smithsonian Inside Out programs, and the 2011 Peace Corps and Rhythm and Blues programs; and he was art director for the 2012 Creativity and Crisis, Campus and Community, and Citified programs.
- Daniel P. Charette
Audio Archives Technician
Dan Charette is an audio archives technician for the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, a position supported by a Save America's Treasures grant awarded by the National Trust for Historical Preservation. His work focuses on audio digitization for preservation, embedded metadata, and digital asset management. In addition, Dan develops standards for embedded metadata in broadcast wave files, ensures digitization procedures are current, and trains interns and volunteers interested in audio digitization. Prior to joining the Smithsonian Institution, Dan managed a media conversion laboratory at the University of Michigan, owned a live production company, served as an engineer and consultant for numerous recording studios and media production facilities, and taught percussion. Dan holds a B.F.A. in music technology from the University of Michigan, and is a voting member of the Audio Engineering Society.
- Betty Derbyshire
Director of Financial Operations, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
Betty Derbyshire has over thirty years of experience at the Smithsonian, the last twelve as director of financial operations for Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. During her career at the Smithsonian she has held various positions including deputy assistant secretary for administration, associate director of the Office of Information Resource Management (now Office of the Chief Information Officer), administrative specialist for the Office of Folklife Programs, and logistics specialist and theater manager for the Division of Performing Arts. She has been recognized throughout her tenure with a variety of awards, most notably the Robert A. Brooks Award for Excellence in Administration and a James Webb Fellowship that led to her M.P.A. degree. She has served as acting ombudsman for the Smithsonian and was a charter member of the board of directors of the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center. She also has worked at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the American Film Institute, and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
- James Deutsch
Jim Deutsch has curated several Smithsonian Folklife Festival programs, including National World War II Reunion (2004), Forest Service (2005), (as co-curator) Mekong River (2007), NASA (2008), and Peace Corps (2011). He has worked in many other capacities—including foodways coordinator, accessibility coordinator, program coordinator, researcher/presenter, and sound engineer—on other Festivals dating back to 1991. At other times, Deutsch has worked overseas (including three stints as a Fulbright Scholar), teaching classes on American folklore, film, history, and literature at universities in Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Germany, Kyrgyzstan, Norway, Poland, and Turkey. He is currently adjunct faculty in George Washington University's American Studies Department (where he received his Ph.D. in 1991). Overall, he has held more than sixty different jobs, including: newspaper reporter (Indiana and Mississippi); librarian (Alaska, Georgia, Mississippi, Montana, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.); park ranger/forest ranger (Alaska, Arizona, and Mississippi); census enumerator (Washington, D.C.); and Monorail operator (Walt Disney World).
- Cristina Díaz-Carrera
Program Coordinator and Curatorial Assistant
Cristina Díaz-Carrera has been on staff at the Center as a program coordinator/curatorial assistant since May of 2007. Among the programs she has worked on are Campus and Community: Public and Land-grant Universities and the USDA at 150 (2012), Colombia: The Nature of Culture (2011), and México (2010). Prior to becoming staff, she worked various stints as a Center intern and contractor on Latino music recordings and programs. She holds a B.A. in ethnomusicology from Barnard College, Columbia University and an M.A. in Caribbean/Latin American studies from New York University. She enjoys producing video pieces, content-rich Web sites, and Smithsonian Folklife Festival programs, and she moonlights as a photographer and video production assistant in her spare time.
- Laura Dion
Sales and Marketing Specialist, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
- Toby Dodds
Toby Dodds came to the Center in April 2001. Since that time he has helped introduce many technology innovations including the launch of Smithsonian Global Sound and the digitization of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. Prior to coming to the Smithsonian, he was employed by the Experience Music Project, a music museum in Seattle. He holds an undergraduate degree in philosophy from the University of Washington in Seattle, and a master's degree in library and information science from Catholic University in Washington, D.C.
- James Counts Early
Director, Cultural Heritage Policy
James Counts Early has served in various positions at the Smithsonian since first coming on board in 1972 as a researcher in Brazil and the Caribbean for the African Diaspora Folklife Festival. He has served as assistant provost for educational and cultural programs, assistant secretary for education and public service, and interim director of the Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum. A long-time advocate for cultural diversity and equity issues in national and international cultural and educational institutions, his applied research explores participatory museology, cultural democracy statecraft policy, capitalist and socialist discourses in cultural policy, and Afro-Latin politics, history, and cultural democracy. He has curated several Folklife Festival programs including South Africa: Crafting the Economic Renaissance of the Rainbow Nation (1999) and Sacred Sounds: Belief and Society (1997). James holds a B.A. in Spanish from Morehouse College and completed graduate work (A.B.D.) in Latin American and Caribbean history, with a minor in African and African American history, at Howard University.
- Claudia Foronda
Customer Service Representative, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
Claudia Foronda joined the staff of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings in October 2012. She works with the mail order and marketing teams and brings to this an extensive background in customer relations. She previously worked in the Graphics and Customer Service departments for the Ecommerce site “Birthday in a Box.” She graduated from Pennsylvania State University with an integrative arts degree; and she is overjoyed to incorporate the Folklife Center into her life and art.
- Henri Goodson
Financial Assistant, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
- William Griffin
Licensing & Marketing Specialist
William Griffin joined Smithsonian Folkways in January 2013 as a licensing and marketing specialist. Previously William worked for nearly a decade in a variety of roles such as A&R, production management, and as director of music licensing at ESL Music — the independent Washington DC record label founded by electronic dance music group Thievery Corporation. William earned a BA in English from The George Washington University, and has worked as a political media analyst and as a professional club DJ playing venues nationwide, including a longtime weekly residency at DC's Eighteenth Street Lounge.
- Emily Hilliard
Customer Service Representative, Smithsonian Folkways
- Meredith Holmgren
Web Producer and Education Specialist, Smithsonian Folkways
Meredith Holmgren joined the Center in 2012 after seven years of professional and academic experience overseas, primarily in Europe and Asia. She holds an M.Phil. (Leiden) in Asian & Middle Eastern area studies, an M.A. (Leiden) in cultural anthropology and development sociology, a PGCert. (East-West Center/University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa) in Asia-Pacific Leadership, and a B.A. (UCLA) in ethnomusicology. Her research, editing, coordination, and administrative skills have contributed to the work of the International Institute for Asian Studies, Europe-Asia Policy Forum, United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), International Council for Traditional Music, Freemuse, and the University of California at Los Angeles’s Center for Intercultural Performance, among others. She is a current member of the Society for Ethnomusicology, the American Anthropological Association, the International Council for Traditional Music, and the Association for Critical Heritage Studies. She also serves as a board member of the East-West Center’s Asia-Pacific Leadership Program Alumni Association.
- David Horgan
David Horgan joined Smithsonian Folkways in April 2008 to manage online marketing and sales of the collection via Smithsonian websites, distributors such as iTunes and eMusic, and other outlets. Prior to joining Smithsonian Folkways, David was the director of marketing & analytics for Musictoday, an online music services company based in Charlottesville, Virginia, and was an associate for Dean & Company, a strategy consulting firm located in Tysons Corner, Virginia. David holds a B.S. in finance and marketing from the University of Virginia, and was the lead vocalist/guitarist for Southwater, a Charlottesville-based bluegrass band.
- Marjorie Hunt
Education Specialist/Folklife Curator
Marjorie Hunt holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in folklore and folklife from the University of Pennsylvania. Since joining the Center in 1982, she has curated numerous Folklife Festival programs including The Grand Generation: Memory, Mastery and Legacy (1984), White House Workers (1992), Masters of Traditional Arts (1994), Working at the Smithsonian (1996), Masters of the Building Arts (2001), and Carriers of Culture: Living Native Basket Traditions (2006). She is co-curator of the 2013 Festival program One World, Many Voices: Endangered Languages and Cultural Heritage.Her publications include The Grand Generation: Memory, Mastery Legacy and The Stone Carvers: Masters Craftsmen of Washington National Cathedral. She is the author of The Smithsonian Folklife and Oral History Interviewing Guide. Marjorie is the co-producer and director of the documentary films The Stone Carvers, The Grand Generation, and Workers at the White House. She is currently working on a documentary film entitled Masters of the Building Arts.
- Jesse A. Johnston
Jesse Johnston is a contractor at the Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, where he works on metadata, electronic description, and cataloging for archival sound materials. He holds a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology and an M.S.I. in archives and library science, both from the University of Michigan, as well as a certificate in Czech language and Slavic studies from Masaryk University. Prior to joining the Center, he taught world music and music appreciation courses at Bowling Green State University and the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He researches traditional music in Moravia and among Czech-Americans, and received recognition as a Fulbright fellow and a Kohn Doctoral Fellow. He is a member of the Society for Ethnomusicology, the International Council on Traditional Music, and the Society of American Archivists, where he serves on the steering committee of the Recorded Sound Roundtable.
- Sojin Kim
Curator and Special Assistant to the Director
Sojin Kim joined the Center in 2011. She previously worked as a public historian in Los Angeles, collaborating with diverse local communities on exhibitions, documentation and media projects, and public programs. From 2008 to 2010, she was curator of history at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. From 1998 to 2008, she was curator at the Japanese American National Museum. Sojin holds a Ph.D. in folklore and mythology from University of California, Los Angeles. She serves on the board of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts.
- Helen Lindsay
Lead Customer Service Representative, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
Helen Lindsay has worked in the mail order department of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings since November 1999. Her duties include artist relations, quality control for artists and domestic accounts orders, and overall customer service for any customer.
- Keisha Martin
Manufacturing and Inventory Coordinator, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
Keisha Martin joined Smithsonian Folkways Recordings in 2005 after volunteering at the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian. Originally from Jamaica, Keisha has also lived in New York City and North Carolina, where she received a B.A. in art from the University of North Carolina.
- Eddie Mendoza
Festival Services Manager
Eddie Mendoza started working at the Center as a cashier in the Marketplace at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival from 1993 to 1999. In 2000, he took on the role of food concessions coordinator, working closely with food vendors at the Festival, and since 2006 he has also served as festival services manager. His responsibilities include making sure Festival food vendors meet the requirements of the National Park Service and the Public Health Inspector while they feed thousands of people daily during the event.
- Mary Monseur
Production Manager, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
Mary Monseur joined the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage in 1993. Together with her colleagues at Smithsonian Folkways, she has worked with scholars and artists worldwide to produce more than 300 recordings. She received a B.A. in cultural anthropology from the University of Arizona and an M.A. in English with a folklore concentration from George Mason University.
- Diana Baird N'Diaye
Cultural Specialist and Curator
Diana Baird N’Diaye developed and leads The Will to Adorn: African American Dress and the Aesthetics of Identity, a pan-institutional, multi-sited research project that includes a 2013 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Her training in anthropology, folklore, visual studies and her experience as a studio craft artist support over thirty years of fieldwork, exhibitions, programs, and publications focusing on expressive culture in Africa, the Caribbean, and their diasporas in the United States, children’s play and performance, and dress traditions and fashion in Oman, Mali, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Japan. After the Haiti earthquake in 2010, she led the Smithsonian’s support of Haitian traditional artists at the Folklife Festival. She has served on national and international juries, advisory, policy and funding panels including UNESCO, the NEA, and the American Folklore Society. She is a graduate of the 2010 Smithsonian Leadership Development Program. She holds a Ph.D. in anthropology and visual studies from The Union Institute.
- Cecilia Peterson
Cecilia Peterson is a project archivist in the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, a position funded by a Save America’s Treasures grant awarded by the National Trust for Historical Preservation. While her primary focus is to organize the digitization of the Moses and Frances Asch Collection papers, she has also developed and implemented the archives’ digitization standards. Cecilia came to the Center as an intern in 2009, when she began doing archival processing on the Asch Collection. She continued her work with the Asch collection as a contractor, thanks to the Smithsonian National Collections Program’s Collections Care and Preservation Fund (CCPF) before transitioning to her current position in 2011. In addition to her work in the archives, she is co-manager of the Smithsonian Collections Blog. Cecilia has a B.A. in English from St. Mary’s College of Maryland (2007) and a master’s degree in library science from University of Maryland, College Park (2009). Her professional interests include archival outreach and access. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, cooking, yoga, and fermenting all things edible.
- Jeff Place
Jeff Place has been at the Center’s Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections since 1988. He holds a master's of library science degree from the University of Maryland and specializes in sound archives. He oversees the cataloging of the Center's collections and has been involved in the compilation of over fifty CDs of American music for Smithsonian Folkways Recordings including the Lead Belly Legacy Series, Lead Belly Sings for Children; the Pete Seeger American Favorite Ballads series; and The Asch Recordings (Woody Guthrie). Place has been nominated for five GRAMMY Awards and eleven Indie Awards, winning two GRAMMYs and five Indies. He was one of the producers and writers of the acclaimed 1997 edition of the Anthology of American Folk Music and The Best of Broadside, 1962-1988 (2000). He has served on the curatorial team for a number of exhibitions including the traveling Woody Guthrie exhibition This Land is Your Land. In 2003, he co-curated the Smithsonian Folklife Festival program on Appalachian culture. In 2012, he is produced and co-authored (with Robert Santelli) the publication and CD-box set Woody at 100.
- Arlene Reiniger
Program Specialist and Intern Coordinator
Arlene Reiniger has been with the Center since 1982, when she worked with the participant staff for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. As program specialist, some of the projects she has coordinated have included the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings benefit album A Vision Shared: A Tribute to Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly, a lecture series on contemporary South African society, and a multimedia education kit on Iowa folklife. As a Festival program coordinator, Arlene has worked on many music, state, regional, national, international, and thematic programs. In 2012, she curated the Festival program Creativity and Crisis: Unfolding The AIDS Memorial Quilt. As intern coordinator, she has overseen the internships of hundreds of people with the Center, many of whom have continued work in the field. Arlene received her B.A. in anthropology from George Washington University in 1979.
- Pete Reiniger
Sound Production Supervisor, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
Pete Reiniger is sound production supervisor and chief engineer for Smithsonian Folkways. He has been involved in numerous award-winning recordings and received two GRAMMYs. His professional affiliations include the Audio Engineering Society (AES), the Washington Area Music Association (WAMA), and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). He is currently on the Board of Governors for the Washington, D.C. Chapter of NARAS. Pete also served for many years as technical director for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.
- Rob Schneider
Festival Technical Director
Rob Schneider holds a master of fine arts degree from Indiana University. Prior to joining the Center in 2000, his work was primarily in the theater where he produced, designed, directed, and served in just about every other position short of wigs and makeup. He has taught in the theatre departments of Arizona State University and the University of Arizona as well as Chicago public schools. He has worked on several feature films, television programs, commercial /industrial events, music festivals, for such events as World Cup Soccer and the 1996 Olympic Games Cultural Olympiad in Atlanta. In addition to his work on the Folklife Festival, Rob has directed production on the dedication of The National Museum of the American Indian, the National World War II Reunion, and two national Pow Wows. He has also provided technical support on two presidential inaugurals as well as providing production consulting to other agencies and organizations.
- Daniel Sheehy
Director, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Director, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and the Folkways Collections
Daniel Sheehy joined the Smithsonian in 2000. Prior to this, he served as director of Folk & Traditional Arts at the National Endowment for the Arts (1992-2000) and staff ethnomusicologist and assistant director (1978-1992). A Fulbright-Hays scholar in Veracruz, Mexico, he earned his Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from UCLA. He co-edited the South America, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean (1998) volume of the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. His book Mariachi Music in America: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture was published by Oxford University Press in 2006. The American Folklore Society honored him with the Américo Paredes award (2010), recognizing a career of excellence in integrating scholarship and engagement with the people and communities one studies, and the Benjamin A. Botkin prize (1997), recognizing major impact on the field of public folklore.
- Ronnie Simpkins
Audio Recording Specialist, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
Ronnie Simpkins joined Smithsonian Folkways Recordings in 1996, serving in Mail Order before taking over duties as dubbing engineer for the archival collection.
- Reshma Sinanan-Hill
Reshma Sinanan-Hill has served as production manager for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival since January 2011, helping to coordinate the Festival’s curatorial, technical, design, and logistical elements. In this position, she also oversees scheduling—both for programming and for production. Before coming to the Smithsonian in 2010, when she served as the Festival’s volunteer coordinator, Reshma worked in a variety of event management and consultancy positions for the Downtown DC Business Improvement District, The MARPAT Foundation, National Association for Olmsted Parks, and National Cherry Blossom Festival. Previously she worked six years for Cultural Tourism DC (as assistant director of tourism initiatives, marketing and membership director, and director of membership initiatives) and five years for The Phillips Collection (in marketing, programming, and group sales). Reshma has also served as a board member for the National Cherry Blossom Festival and officer for Historic Dupont Circle Main Street.
- John Smith
Sales and Marketing Specialist, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
John Smith joined the Smithsonian Folkways staff in May 1999. He brings over fifteen years of music industry experience to the Center, as his previous work in Seattle included music buyer for an independent music store, account service representative for KOCH International, a nightclub DJ, and Music Director at KBCS 91.3 FM Bellevue/Seattle, WA. Smith also ran his own promotions company, whose clients included Capitol Records and Almo Records.
- Stephanie Smith
Assistant Archivist Stephanie Smith came to the Center in 1995, and has served as the Center's visual materials archivist since then. Smith earned master's and Ph.D. degrees in Scottish ethnology from the University of Edinburgh, and a master's degree in library science from the University of North Carolina. Her research specialties are English country dance; Scottish, English, and Appalachian folk music and dance traditions; and the British and American folk revival. Stephanie's current project is a documentary film about English country dance co-produced with the Center's video producer Charles Weber, and colleague Daniel Walkowitz of New York University, due for completion in 2013. Stephanie is an active member of the International Council for Traditional Music Ethnochoreology Study Group and presents her research at biennial study group symposia. In her spare time, Stephanie is a community dance caller and organizer, a photographer, a meditator, and an avid traveler.
- D. A. Sonneborn
Associate Director, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
Before coming to the Smithsonian, Atesh Sonneborn wrote new music for theater, film, and dance in the United States and Western Europe, taught piano to children and adults, managed and produced concerts, festivals, recordings and artists. His articles, reviews, and photos appear in The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music and other scholarly publications, and he co-authored Planet Drum (1991) with drummer Mickey Hart and Professor Fredric Lieberman. He lectures internationally on applied ethnomusicology topics, and has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at UCLA and University of Maryland. He is chair of the Society for Ethnomusicology's Audio-Visual Publication Committee and a founding member of its Applied Ethnomusicology Section. Current research interests include Garifuna and other Caribbean percussion traditions, folk music of the Veneto (Italy), music in Sufism, intentionality in music performance, digital music distribution, and arts management methodology. He holds a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from UCLA.
- Barbara Strickland
Associate Director, Finance and Administration
Barbara Strickland has been with the Center for over three decades, one of seven current staff who came to the Center in 1975 to work on the bicentennial Festival (She was hired to work on the Native American Program). In 1987 she was awarded the James E. Webb Fellowship to pursue an associate degree in business. In 1996 she received the Unsung Hero Award for her outstanding service. And in 2004 she was awarded a certification of recognition for her extraordinary administrative work for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in helping people from all over the world represent themselves. She is one of the longest-serving Smithsonian employees of Native American heritage. She is a native of North Carolina and a member of the Lumbee tribe.
- Claudia Telliho
Claudia Telliho began her long relationship with the Smithsonian and the Center when she served as a participant coordinator for the Massachusetts program at the 1988 Folklife Festival. She spent four years with the National Council for the Traditional Arts as director of National Touring Programs before returning to the Smithsonian as an international program coordinator at The Smithsonian Associates. She has been at the Center as administrative specialist since October 2003.
- Sandy Wang
Web Designer and Developer
Sandy Wang joined the Center in 2011 as a Web designer and developer. She holds a degree in communication and interactive design from Northern Virginia Community College as well as a master's degree in economic sciences from Université d’Orléans, France.
- Charles Weber
Charles Weber joined the Center in 1996. He produces, directs and edits educational, documentary, web and exhibit films. As a workshop instructor, he teaches field research documentation methods and history. His work has won numerous awards, appeared in film festivals the world over, and has been broadcast regionally on Public Broadcasting stations, internationally, and via networks such as the Smithsonian Channel. He has covered the Smithsonian Folklife Festival extensively since 1996 and produced video projects in locations across the U.S. and the globe. He holds a B.A. in television and radio with a minor in cinematography from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and an M.A. in creative writing from George Mason University.
- Jonathan Wright
Customer Service Representative, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
- Richard Kennedy
Richard Kennedy was deputy director of the Center from 1994 to 2008 and served as acting director until April 2009. He co-curated Smithsonian Folklife Festival programs: Hawai'i, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Russian Music, Tibetan Culture, Silk Road, Oman, and the Mekong River and coordinated larger institutional efforts such the Smithsonian's 150th Birthday Party. Previously he was Assistant Director of the National Council for the Traditional Arts. At the Council his film on Cambodian refugees won "Best Documentary" at the San Francisco Film Festival. For twelve years he was chair of South Asian Area Studies at the U.S. State Department's Foreign Service Institute. Kennedy earned a Ph.D. in South and Southeast Asian studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and was given an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Connecticut College. He has taught courses at the Berkeley and Santa Cruz campuses of the University of California and has been on the boards of several non-profit organizations.
- Richard Kurin
Director Emeritus, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage;
Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture
Richard Kurin is the Smithsonian Institution's under secretary for history, art, and culture. For over two decades, Richard Kurin served as the director of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Kurin is a former Fulbright fellow with a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of Chicago. He is the author of several books including Hope Diamond: The Legendary History of a Cursed Gem, Reflections of a Cultural Broker: A View from the Smithsonian, and Smithsonian Folklife Festival: Culture Of, By, and For the People as well as scores of scholarly chapters and articles. He was a keynote speaker for International Council of Museums at its triennial meeting in 2004 and gave the Founders Lecture at Harvard's Peabody Museum in 2007. He has been awarded the Smithsonian Secretary's Gold Medal for Exceptional Service and the American Folklore Society's Botkin Prize for lifetime achievement in public sector folklore.
- Diana Parker
Director Emeritus, Smithsonian Folklife Festival
Diana Parker was director of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival from 1985 until 2010. She had worked on the Festival since 1975, prior to which she worked in various public program positions at the Smithsonian and the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. She served as a consultant on several Cultural Olympiads, and an array of public events including the Smithsonian 150th Birthday Party, the Los Angeles Festival, and every public presidential inaugural celebration since Carter's in l976. She served as producer for the WWII Reunion on the Mall, held in conjunction with the dedication of the WWII Memorial, and The First Americans Festival, held to celebrate the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian. She worked closely with sponsors, public officials, educational, cultural and arts organizations in numerous states and over forty nations. Parker graduated with distinction from the George Washington University, and received a Rotary Fellowship to study anthropology at the University of Cape Town in South Africa.
- Anthony Seeger
Curator Emeritus, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
Anthony Seeger is an anthropologist, ethnomusicologist, archivist, and musician. He received his B.A. from Harvard University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Chicago. His research has concentrated on the music of Amazonian Indians in Brazil, where he lived for nearly ten years between. In 1982 he returned to the United States as associate professor of anthropology and director of the Indiana University Archives of Traditional Music. In 1988 he moved to the Smithsonian Institution to assume the direction of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and to become the curator of the archival collections of the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. In 2000 he accepted a position as professor in the department of ethnomusicology at the University of California at Los Angeles, and was appointed curator emeritus at the Smithsonian. Seeger is the author of four books and over fifty articles on anthropological, ethnomusicological, archival, intellectual property, and Indian rights issues.
- Peter Seitel
Peter Seitel joined the Center’s permanent staff in 1978 and has served as senior folklorist, Webmaster, acting director, and director. Prior to service at the Smithsonian, Seitel was an assistant professor of anthropology at Princeton University. He earned his Ph.D. in folklore and folklife at the University of Pennsylvania, writing a dissertation based on eighteen months of fieldwork in northwestern Tanzania on the conversational use of proverbs and logical structures in metaphor. He has written on metaphor, on narrative, and on the concept of genre as a method in interpreting oral literature. He was project co-coordinator (with James Early) for the UNESCO/Smithsonian World Conference on the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage.
- Tom Vennum, Jr.
Senior Ethnomusicologist Emeritus
Tom Vennum is a graduate of Yale and holds graduate degrees from Harvard and the New England Conservatory of Music. He has specialized in the music of American Indian peoples of the Western Great Lakes and is the author of a classic study on wild rice in Indian culture and a book on American Indian lacrosse. He has been active in promoting the revival of lacrosse on Wisconsin reservations.