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MSU Provost Frank Einhellig announces the partnership during a news conference on Wednesday.
Provided by Missouri State University
MSU Provost Frank Einhellig announces the partnership during a news conference on Wednesday.

Ozarks programming headed to Smithsonian via MSU partnership

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In partnership with Missouri State University, the Smithsonian Institution is bringing the Ozarks to Washington, D.C.

The MSU Libraries, led by Dean Tom Peters, will work with regional partners, including the Ozarks Alive blog about Ozarks history, to develop programming for the 2023 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, according to a news release. The agreement between MSU and the institution's Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, was announced yesterday at a news conference.

"By engaging with community partners and promoting culture and heritage, we’ll introduce Missouri State and the Ozarks region to a large audience in D.C.," MSU President Clif Smart said in the release. "It’s also a great opportunity to showcase our public affairs mission."

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is scheduled June 27-July 8, 2023. The event typically draws hundreds of thousands of on-site visitors and millions more online.

The festival in partnership with MSU will feature Ozarks-based musicians, artisans, cooks and performers at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., according to the release.

“Expansive collaboration is key in these early stages of research and outreach,” said Richard Kurin, interim director of the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, which produces the festival, in the release. “Together, these advisory groups and curatorial teams will determine what Ozarks’ themes and stories are shared on the National Mall with festival audiences.”

Peters this morning said the effort will require MSU and regional partners to raise at least $1.5 million, with sponsorships available via corporate donors. Congress annually appropriates funding to the festival, as well, he said.

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