Gale Tenen Spak, associate vice president of Continuing and Distance Education at NJIT, is attending the Smithsonian Folklife Festival this week in Washington, DC. Spak will be part of “The Commons” Participants which will be discussing “The Next 150 years: Campus of the Future” and “The Next 150 Years: Expanding Community Engagement in the Future.”
The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is an international exposition of living cultural heritage annually produced outdoors on the National Mall of the United States in Washington, D.C., by the Smithsonian Institution's Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. The festival takes place for two weeks every summer overlapping the Fourth of July holiday. It is an educational presentation that features community-based cultural exemplars. Free to the public, like other Smithsonian museums, each festival typically draws more than one million visitors. The events this year are built around three themes: “Citified: Arts and Creativity East of the Anacostia River,” “Campus and Community” and “Creativity and Crisis.” Anniversaries and cultural movements inspire the festival’s lineup and tie the colorful mixed bag of events together.
The “Campus and Community” program will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the founding of land grant universities and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Civil War-era legislation led to the creation of the government agency and to 217 institutions of higher education including state university systems, the 1890s addition of historically black colleges and universities, and the 1994 addition of Native American tribal colleges.