Thursday, January 28, 2010
Diana Parker has retired as Festival Director after 35 years of leadership at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. During her tenure she hosted many memorable festival programs featuring the cultures of foreign lands such as Mali, Bhutan, Scotland; the diverse cultures within our own borders from Texas border music to the watermen of the Chesapeake to New York fashion designers and U.S. Forest Service rangers. Though most of the festivals, which falls annually for two weeks over fourth of July, were hot and humid, they were also memorable, moving, exciting and informative. Through it all Diana's hair never seemed to frizz and she kept the show going, despite electrical storms, escaped camels, and the inevitable malfunctions and miscommunications that come with such a big event. In the midst of the crowds and the craziness, Diana was always cool.