College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Folklore Graduate Student Travels to India with Smithsonian Communities Connecting Heritage Program

Patachitra photo

The Smithsonian Institution has selected Violeta Palchik, a graduate student in the Folklore Program, as one of three participants in the United States for their Communities Connecting Heritage program. This program was designed in partnership with the Department of State to create an exchange between cultural heritage students in the United States and India. 

The participants will travel to Kolkata in West Bengal to attend an international music festival, Sur Jahan, and then will travel to several villages to meet artisans with special skills. When they return, the participants will maintain a virtual exchange with their partners in India. At the end of the program, the Indian partners will come to Washington, D.C. to participate in the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. 

This project will explore the role of community-based cultural enterprises in fostering social inclusion and empowerment. The overall objectives are to engage youth in heritage promotion and conservation, to enhance knowledge of storytelling and folk music traditions in both countries, to increase use of digital platforms for Indian artists, and to share good practices in sustaining cultural traditions and developing cultural enterprises. The exchange will culminate in a webcast broadcast to cultural preservation educators and students to share best practices on connecting traditional artists with young professionals.




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