History of the Festival
The Texas Folklife Festival was modeled after the Smithsonian’s Folklife Festival, which was held in Washington, D.C. in 1968. On behalf of the Institute of Texan Cultures (which was built as part of the Texan Pavilion for the 1968 World’s Fair), O.T. Baker attended the first Smithsonian Folklife Festival and returned home with big plans—to replicate the event in San Antonio. And the wheels were set in motion.
The first Texas Folklife Festival was held from September 7-10, 1972, on the grounds of the institute at Hemisfair. O.T. Baker (1910-2006), the Festival's founder and director from 1972-75, was a dedicated and inspirational leader in constructing this phenomenal event that has received countless international, regional and local awards.
J.T. Neal Jr.
Johnny Neal, Jr.
Nancy Lou Webster
Elgin Treenware Family
Fire-on-the-Mountain Cloggers, Performer Linda Carolan
Heart of Texas ATHA Rug Hooking Assn., Catherine Hickman
ZORYA, Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, Performer Andrew Chobany
Basketmaker, Dale Dorsey
Men's Garden Club of San Antonio Frank Rios
Folk Toys, Karen Haile
Panamanian Folklore Dancers of Killeen
Chilean Folklife, Performer Jaime Riveros
Herman Davis Woodcarving, Herman Davis
GEK Company, Gale and Kay Kloesel
San Antonio Lion Dance Association, Performer Margaret Lew
Emcee Terry Rodriguez
The Tailpipes Performer Frank Berlingis
Tusuy Kusun Peru, Performer Maria Linan
Conjunto Heritage Taller, Performer Yadhira Lozano
Guillermo Serpas, Performer Guillermo Serpas
Alamo Coin Club Demo, David W. Astwood
Ballet Folklorico de NavarroPerformer Adrian Herrera
Emcee Nicki A. Roberson
EF Foundation High School Exchange Year, Jesusita Guzman
Conjunto Puro Corazon, Performer Andy G. Cardenas
Emcee Susan Chambers
Emcee Steve Ogden
Pecos Pete’s Soda Company, Rich Bradley