The 2002 Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington DC. The Festival celebrated the traditional arts of peoples of the Silk Road lands. For the first time in its 36-year history, the Smithsonian dedicated the festival to a single theme: “The Silk Road: Connecting Cultures, Creating Trust.” Mawlana Hazar Imam and former U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell, inaugurated the Festival.
The Festival presented 350 international artists whose stories and history were linked to the cultural mosaic of the Silk Road, an enduring symbol of cultural discovery and exchange. The Festival was sponsored largely by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. Yo-Yo Ma and an international group of musicians known as the Silk Road Ensemble performed compositions which the Silk Road Project commissioned from composers from Silk Road countries – China, Mongolia, Korea, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, and Turkey.
Researched by Nimira Dewji