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 You are in: Under Secretary for Political Affairs > Bureau of International Organization Affairs > U.S. National Commission for UNESCO > Members > Members and Organizations

Richard Kurin

Richard Kurin has directed the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage since 1988, where he oversees the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, and a variety of cultural education programs that have won Academy, Emmy and Grammy awards. He also serves as the acting director of Smithsonian National Programs responsible for the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, The Smithsonian Associates, Smithsonian Affiliates -- a network of 138 museums across the U.S., and the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies. Kurin has produced numerous national cultural events including the National World War II Reunion on the Mall and the grand opening of the National Museum of the American Indian. In 2002, he worked with Yo-Yo Ma, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, and organizations in 28 nations to produce the Silk Road at the Festival. He has produced major programs for America’s Millennium, the Smithsonian’s 150th Anniversary, Presidential Inaugural festivals, the Black Family Reunion, and the Atlanta Olympics. Kurin created Save Our Sounds -- a Save America’s Treasures program to preserve historic sound recording collections at the Smithsonian and Library of Congress, and developed Smithsonian Global Sound -- a digital music download website with archives around the world. A Fulbright-Hays fellow with a PhD in cultural anthropology from the University of Chicago, Kurin has taught at The Johns Hopkins University Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, authored Reflections of A Culture Broker: A View from the Smithsonian and been a keynote speaker for the International Council of Museums. He served on the first established UNESCO Jury for the Masterpieces of Intangible Cultural Heritage.


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