The United States is home to a diverse
population that celebrates its cultural richness and variety through
local festivals, community events, and other grassroots activities.
These community gatherings demonstrate Americans' pride in where
they come from, who they are, and where they live. Local Legacies:
Celebrating Community Roots,
drawing on the Local Legacies project provides
a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed
in spring of 2000, in communities from every state in the nation.
The Local Legacies project was initiated by members of Congress and individuals across the nation to commemorate the Library of Congress Bicentennial and to celebrate America's richly diverse culture. For more than a year, Local Legacies teams documented the creative arts, crafts, and customs representing traditional community life; signature events such as festivals and parades; how communities observe local and national historical events; and the occupations that define a community's life. More than three-fourths of Congress and 4,000 Americans have been a part of this once-in-a-lifetime project.
Congress registered almost 1,300 Local
Legacies projects from all 50 states, the trusts, territories, and
the District of Columbia. Photographs, written reports, sound
and video recordings, newspaper clippings, posters, and other materials
over 1,000 Local Legacies projects have been sent to the Library
to become a permanent part of the collections of the American
Folklife Center. Like a century's-end time capsule, the scenes,
sights, and events
of everyday America featured in these projects are a testament
to the uniqueness of our nation and to the rich diversity of
culture and heritage
that makes us all "Americans."