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Curatorial ConversationsCultural Representation and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival$
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Olivia Cadaval, Sojin Kim, and Diana Baird N'Diaye

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781496805980

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2017

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496805980.001.0001

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The Smithsonian Folklife Festival: Many Auspicious Doors

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival: Many Auspicious Doors

(p.217) The Smithsonian Folklife Festival: Many Auspicious Doors
Curatorial Conversations

Betty Belanus

University Press of Mississippi

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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