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PUBLIC LAW 94-201
94th Congress, H. R. 6673, January 2, 1976

The Creation of the American Folklife Center

An Act

To provide for the establishment of an American Folklife Center in the Library of Congress, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That this Act may be cited as the "American Folklife Preservation Act".

DECLARATION OF FINDINGS AND PURPOSE

SEC. 2. (a) The Congress hereby finds and declares --

(1) that the diversity inherent in American folklife has contributed greatly to the cultural richness of the Nation and has fostered a sense if individuality and identity among the American people;

(2) that the history of the United States effectively demonstrates that building a strong nation does not require the sacrifice of cultural differences;

(3) that American folklife has a fundamental influence on the desires, beliefs, values, and character of the American people;

(4) that it is appropriate and necessary for the Federal Government to support research and scholarship in American folklife in order to contribute to an understanding of the complex problems of the basic desires, beliefs, and values of the American people in both rural and urban areas;

(5) that the encouragement and support of American folklife, while primarily a matter for private and local initiative, is also an appropriate matter of concern to the Federal Government; and

(6) that it is in the interest of the general welfare of the Nation to preserve, support, revitalize, and disseminate American folklife traditions and arts.

   (b) It is therefore the purpose of this Act to establish in the Library of Congress an American Folklife Center to preserve and present American folklife.

DEFINITIONS

SEC. 3. As used in this Act --

(1) the term "American folklife" means the traditional expressive culture shared within the various groups in the United States: familial, ethnic, occupational, religious, regional; expressive culture includes a wide range of creative and symbolic forms such as custom, belief, technical skill, language, literature, art, architecture, music, play, dance, drama, ritual, pageantry, handicraft; these expressions are mainly learned orally, by imitation, or in performance, and are generally maintained without benefit of formal instruction or institutional direction;

(2) the term "Board" means the Board of Trustees of the Center;

(3) the term "Center" means the American Folklife Center established under this Act;

(4) the term "group" includes any State or public agency or institution and any nonprofit society, institution, organization, association, or establishment in the United States;

(5) the term "Librarian" means the Librarian of Congress;

(6) the term "State" includes, in addition to the several States of the Union, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa, and the Virgin Islands; and

(7) the term "workshop" means an activity the primary purpose of which is to encourage the development of skills, appreciation, or enjoyment of American folklife among amateur, student, or nonprofessional participants, or to promote scholarship or teaching among the participants.

ESTABLISHMENT OF CENTER

SEC. 4.
(a) There is hereby established in the Library of Congress an American Folklife Center.
(b) The Center shall be under the direction of a Board of Trustees.
The Board shall be composed as follows-

(1) four members appointed by the President from among individuals who are officials of Federal departments and agencies concerned with some aspect of American folklife traditions and arts;

(2) four members appointed by the President pro tempore of the Senate from among individuals from private life who are widely recognized by virtue of their scholarship, experience, creativity, or interest in American folklife traditions and arts, and four members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives from among such individuals;

(3) the Librarian of Congress;

(4) the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution;

(5) the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts;

(6) the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities; and

(7) the Director of the Center.
In making appointments from private life under clause 2, the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall give due consideration to the appointment of individuals who collectively will provide appropriate regional balance on the Board. Not more than three of the members appointed by the President pro tempore of the Senate or by the Speaker of the House of Representatives may be affiliated with the same political party.

   (c) The term of office of each appointed member of the Board shall be six years; except that (1) (A) the members first appointed under clause (1) of subsection (b) shall serve as designated by the President, one for a term of two years, two for a term of four years, and one for a term of six years, and (B) the members first appointed under clause (2) of subsection (b) shall serve as jointly designated by the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, two for terms of two years, four for terms of four years, and two for terms of six years; and (2) any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term to which his predecessor was appointed shall be appointed for the remainder of such term.

   (d) Members of the Board who are not regular full-time employees of the United States shall be entitled, while serving on business of the Center, to receive compensation at rates fixed by the Librarian, but not exceeding $100 per diem, including traveltime; and while so serving away from their homes or regular places of business, they may be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, as authorized by section 5703 of title 5, United States Code, for persons in Government service employed intermittently.

   (e) (1) The Librarian shall call the first meeting of the Board, at which the first order of business shall be the election of a Chairman and a Vice Chairman, who shall serve for a term of one year. Thereafter each Chairman and Vice Chairman shall be elected for a term of two years. The Vice Chairman shall perform the duties of the Chairman in his absence. In case of a vacancy occurring in the chairmanship or vice-chairmanship, the Board shall elect a member to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term.

        (2) A majority of the members of the Board shall constitute a quorum.

   (f) After consultation with the Board, the Librarian shall appoint the Director of the Center. The basic pay of the Director shall be at a per year rate not to exceed GS-18 of the General Schedule under section 5332 of title 5, United States Code. The Librarian upon the recommendation of the Director shall appoint a Deputy Director of the Center. The basic pay of the Deputy Director shall be fixed at a rate not exceed GS-16 of the General Schedule under section 5332 of such title.

   (g) (1) The Director shall be the chief executive officer of the Center. Subject to the direction of the Board and the general supervision of the Librarian, the Director shall have responsibility for carrying out functions of the Center, and shall have the authority over all personnel and activities of the Center.

        (2) The Deputy Director shall perform such functions as the Director, with the approval of the Librarian, may prescribe, and shall serve as Acting Director during the absence or disability of the Director or in the event of a vacancy in the office of the Director.

FUNCTIONS OF THE CENTER

SEC. 5. (a) The Librarian is authorized to --

(1) enter into, in conformity with Federal procurement statues and regulations, contracts with individuals and groups for programs for the --

   (A) initiation, encouragement, support, organization, and promotion of research, scholarship, and training in American folklife;

   (B) initiation, promotion, support, organization, and production of live performances, festivals, exhibits, and workshops related to American folklife;

   (C) purchase, receipt, production, arrangement for, and support of the production of exhibitions, displays, publications, and presentations (including presentations by still and motion picture films, and audio and visual magnetic tape recordings) which represent or illustrate some aspect of American folklife; and

   (D) purchase, production, arrangement for, and support of the production of exhibitions, projects, presentations, and materials specially designed for classroom use representing or illustrating some aspect of American folklife;

(2) establish and maintain in conjunction with any Federal department, agency, or institution a national archive and center for American folklife;

(3) procure, receive, purchase, and collect for preservation or retention in an appropriate archive creative works, exhibitions, presentations, objects, materials, artifacts, manuscripts, publications, and audio and visual records (including still and motion picture film records, audio and visual magnetic tape recordings, written records, and manuscripts) which represent or illustrate some aspect of American folklife;

(4) loan, or otherwise make available, through Library of Congress procedures, any item in the archive established under this Act to any individual or group;

(5) present, display, exhibit, disseminate, communicate, and broadcast to local, regional, State, or National audiences any exhibition, display, or presentation referred to in clause (3) of this section or any item in the archive established pursuant to clause (2) of this section, by making appropriate arrangements, including contracts with public, nonprofit, and private radio and television broadcasters, museums, educational institutions, and such other individuals and organizations, including corporations, as the Board deems appropriate;

(6) loan, lease, or otherwise make available to public, private, and nonprofit educational institutions, and State arts councils established pursuant to the National Foundation of the Arts and Humanities Act of 1965, such exhibitions, programs, presentations, and material developed pursuant to clause (1) (D) of this subsection as the Board deems appropriate; and

(7) develop and implement other appropriate programs to preserve, support, revitalize, and disseminate American folklife.

   (b) The Librarian shall carry out his functions under this Act through the Center.

 

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