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NH at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival

The Festival was organized into themes – just like chapters in a book-each one representing an important way of exploring traditional culture in New Hampshire.

Overview | A Day at the Festival | Program Book | Image Gallery | Themes | Participants, Presenters & Staff

Themes for the Two Day Event

  • Old Home Day
  • Franco-American Day
  • Loving and skilled hands bring traditional arts to life.
hands playing piano

Contra dance piano playing

rug braiding

Rug braiding.

The themes helped organize the ideas and tradition bearers so that visitors to the festival could learn about New Hampshire in an interesting and fun way. The themes also helped to determine how the festival would be set up.

In 2000, two new themes were added to accommodate the added organizations, state agencies, and individuals that contribute to the cultural life of New Hampshire.

The new themes were:

Did You Know?

When viewing images of the festival and publications, you will notice the use of purple, green and gray for banners, publications, and other things. These colors were chosen to symbolize New Hampshire and continue now as the official colors of the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts.

Here's why they were selected:

  • Green symbolizes New Hampshire's commitment to land stewardship and a sustainable working forest that today covers approximately 83% of the state.
  • Purple represents two of our official symbols.
    • The purple lilac –New Hampshire's state flower.
    • The purple finch –New Hampshire's state bird.
  • Gray represents the enduring strength of New Hampshire's granite bedrock and our nickname, "The Granite State."
lilacs in bloom
water running down river at franconia notch

Photo credit: Lynn Martin Graton

New Hampshire State Council on the Arts
19 Pillsbury Street - 1st Floor, Concord, NH 03301