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The Smithsonian Folklife Festival: Many Auspicious Doors

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival: Many Auspicious Doors

Chapter:
(p.217) The Smithsonian Folklife Festival: Many Auspicious Doors
Source:
Curatorial Conversations
Author(s):
Betty Belanus
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496805980.003.0013

This chapter uses the 2008 Bhutan program to examine visitor experience and the role of curators in crafting these experiences. Using the suggestive possibilities of a portable Buddhist shrine featured in the program and basing the analysis on 20 years of experience working with the Festival and its evaluation, the author lays out a framework for analyzing four levels of Festival visitor engagement: Level 1—Sensory Cultural Enlightenment/Being Present; Level 2—Choosing a Route/Moving Through; Level 3—Viewing and Taking part in the Live Performance/Active Experiencing; and Level 4—Revealing the Deeper Layers/Discovering More. The chapter concludes with observations about visitor studies relevant to museums as well as festivals.

Keywords:   Bhutan Folklife Festival Program, Museums (visitor studies and experiences), Sensory Experience (and engagement), Visitors Experience, Visitor Engagement

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