smithsonian institution websites


The mission of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage’s mission is to preserve and document Americana and World culture. They host the Folklife Festival on the National Mall each summer and house Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, the record label of the national museum. While each organization contains a wealth of information and important archival documentation for both cultural scholars and the general public, their previous websites were difficult to navigate and update and didn’t present their content (or inter-connectivity) in an engaging way.


Working closely with the Smithsonian team, Visual Dialogue created interrelated designs for the three sites that highlight their distinct content while also presenting a familial connection. We also developed CSS-based page templates to integrate with the existing Smithsonian database as well as dynamic components for features, videos, and photo galleries. In the words of Toby Dodds, Smithsonian Institution Technology Director, “the staff applauded (literally) the new sites.” (The Folkways site was also a Webby Awards honoree.)