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The Will to Adorn

The 2013 Will to Adorn Festival program showcased the distinctive ways in which diverse African American identities are expressed through attire and adornment.

The program featured demonstrations and workshops by artisans, such as milliners, hairdressers, jewelers, tailors, and ceremonial regalia makers. It presented performances by exemplars of styles such as musicians, dancers, activists, poets, athletes, and others.

The Will to Adorn

The Festival program was an outgrowth of a larger ongoing research project, The Will to Adorn: African-American Dress and the Aesthetics of Identity. Initiated in 2010, this is built upon collaboration among museum, community, and academic-based researchers, educators, and cultural practitioners. The involvement of partners who represent different regions, cultural communities, and age groups is critical to the project’s commitment to identifying, documenting, and representing a range of perspectives and approaches related to dress and adornment.