Folklife Director

Richard Kurin, of Falls Church, has been appointed director of the Smithsonian Institution's Office of Folklife Programs. Kurin has served as acting director since 1987.

The Office of Folklife Programs oversees the Smithsonian's annual Festival of American Folklife, Smithsonian Folkway Records, Smithsonian Folklife Studies and a variety of research, educational and documentary activities.

From 1984 to 1985, Kurin was program coordinator and consultant for two major elements in the Smithsonian's Festival of India. He joined the Office of Folklife Programs in 1985 as deputy director.

Kurin is a professor at John Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies. He received a bachelor's degree in anthropology from State University of New York and a master's degree and doctorate in anthropology from the University of Chicago. Business Counseling

To provide area residents with advice on starting a small business or maintaining an existing one, the Arlington Chamber of Commerce has appointed a retired business executive to offer free counseling.

Peter J. Pallesen, a Service Corps of Retired Executives counselor, is available on Mondays at the chamber office. Pallesen is a retired executive from U.S. West and has 23 years of management experience. Call 525-2400. Teacher Honored

Sherrill Neale, a reading specialist at Patrick Henry Elementary, has been nominated for an award as Outstanding Teacher of the Gifted. Awards will be presented in March at the Northern Virginia Conference on Gifted and Talented Education at Centreville High School.