Smithsonian Folkways has launched a new program, dubbed “Friends of Folkways,” whereby fans can choose to donate to the nonprofit label in monthly increments as low as $5. In return, donors will have unlimited access to its full digital catalog—an archive of more than 60,000 recordings that includes Folkways titles, as well as those released on Arhoolie, Paredon, and others. According to a press release, the money raised from the program will be used to support the label and pay out artist royalties. Find more information here.
Moses Asch and Marian Distler founded Folkways in 1948, and the Smithsonian absorbed it in 1987 after Asch’s death. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the original label, which the institution has so far celebrated with reissues and new merchandise. Among these efforts is Matmos’ Return to Archive, arriving in November, which the duo made from Smithsonian Folkways’ non-musical collections of sounds from the animal world, the office, and everyday life.