Folklife Festival Narrative Session: Art and Urban Life

About the Project

The 2001 Smithsonian Folklife Festival celebrated just a few of the innumerable manifestations of traditional culture in New York City. In addition to a shared urban culture, most New Yorkers also have one or more reservoirs of specialized traditional knowledge, which they have acquired from their ethnic and/or religious upbringing, working in a particular occupation, or living in a specific area of the city. The innumerable, multifaceted ways in which these factors interact are what make New York and New Yorkers so fascinating. Festival participants, Robbie Inqui, Hector Nazario, Gaspar Ingui, Wilfredo Feliciano discuss the evolution of street art from graffiti to a respected artistic expression. The artists speak of a shift in respectability and how community members further elevated street art as a respected art form by actively seeking these artists due to their ability to infuse these art forms with a distinct aesthetic that resonated with community members. See the finding aid for this program here.

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Difficulty

(5 out of 5)
(details)

Level 1 --- BEGINNER

Content: all typed
Language: English
Format: letters, diaries, flyers, pamphlets, and one-page documents
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: none required

Level 2

Content: mostly typed, handwritten in print, or otherwise very clearly written/readable
Language: English
Format: memorabilia, advertisements, image captions, telegrams, diaries, letters, notes
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: none required

Level 3 --- INTERMEDIATE

Content: typed and handwritten materials in cursive or print
Language: English
Format: newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, letters/diaries/notes that may include annotations or margin notes
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: experience reading cursive writing may be useful

Level 4

Content: handwritten materials, primarily in cursive or somewhat difficult to read (predominantly from the 19th and 20th centuries) , audio recordings that are relatively easy to hear/decipher, and scientific materials
Language: English and/or other languages that use Roman script but may require the use of diacritics (French, Spanish, German, Italian, etc.)
Format: audio recordings, letters, diaries, notes and other written materials, projects with templated fields and special instructions
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: some knowledge of non-English Roman-character/script languages and diacritics may be useful, as well as experience reading cursive handwriting. A general knowledge or familiarity with scientific terminology.

Level 5 --- ADVANCED

Content: handwritten materials in cursive (from the 19th century or earlier) or in a non-Roman script language, audio recordings that are difficult to hear or are not in English, specialty materials/projects such as numismatics projects and the Project Phaedra notebooks 
Language: foreign languages that use non-Roman characters (Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Greek/Cyrillic, Native American and Indigenous languages, etc.) and English 
Format: audio recordings, columned data/tables, manuscripts, letters, diaries, notes, currency sheets, coins
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: knowledge of a specific language and access to a keyboard with the characters in that language may be required for certain projects. Experience reading cursive handwriting and familiarity with 19th century (or prior) handwriting and conventions/abbreviations may be useful, as well as knowledge of scientific terminology, astrophysics data, or linguistics.

Project Progress (details)
14pages completed

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