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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Courses

Course

The Private Space Industry Revolution

Friday, September 30, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET

We’re living through a revolution in the private space industry, but with the potential for increased light pollution, satellite collisions, and the formation of “mega-constellations” of satellites in Earth’s orbit, do the pros outweigh the cons of this explosive growth? Leading astronomers and pioneers in the private space industry weigh in on the future in a fascinating four-part series presented in cooperation with George Mason University Observatory. This session showcases SpaceX and the commerical space industry.

Course

Lunchtime with a Curator: Decorative Arts Design Series

Monday, October 3, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Join curator Elizabeth Lay as she hosts an image-rich series on decorative arts and design topics with guests. In this fall lunchtime program, Lay's guest is decorative arts curator Amy McHugh, who traces how treasures from France’s Crown Jewels found their way into the wardrobes of America’s Gilded-Age heiresses.

Course

Write Into Art: Creative Writing Inspired by Visual Art

Tuesday, October 4, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Discover how visual art can inspire creative writing and how writing can offer a powerful way to experience art. Join Mary Hall Surface, the founding instructor of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon, for a series of five online workshops that explore essential elements of writing and styles through close looking, word-sketching, and imaginative response to prompts. This writing session is inspired by January Steen’s The Dancing Couple.

Course

More Stories from the American Songbook

Tuesday, October 4, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

For decades we’ve danced, romanced, and dreamed to songs like “As Time Goes By,” “Night and Day,” and other enduring gems. In an afternoon series, filmmaker and cultural historian Sara Lukinson traces how some of our favorite songs came to be and how different artists, unexpected arrangements, and changing times transformed them into something brand new, yet still the same. This session spotlights the following songs: "Night and Day" and "I've Got You Under My Skin."

Course

Write Into Art: Creative Writing Inspired by Visual Art

Tuesday, October 11, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Discover how visual art can inspire creative writing and how writing can offer a powerful way to experience art. Join Mary Hall Surface, the founding instructor of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon, for a series of five online workshops that explore essential elements of writing and styles through close looking, word-sketching, and imaginative response to prompts. This writing session is inspired by Paul Cadmus’s Bar Italia.

Course

Supernatural Classics: Musical Magic, Ghouls, and Ghosts

Thursday, October 13, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET

From “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” to Don Giovanni to the “Mephisto Waltz,” classical composers have long delighted in taking audiences on deliciously spooky excursions into the musical realms of the supernatural. In the perfect overture to Halloween, lecturer and concert pianist Rachel Franklin leads a hair-raising tour of some of the best-loved classical music haunts, spotlighting works that offer encounters with spectral creatures, ghost ships, demonic valets, trolls, devils, and necromancers.

Program

Smithsonian Boomers Chorus: Legends of Song

Thursday, October 13, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

If you love the music of the ’60s through the ’80s and want to sing some of the greatest hits from the top artists of that era, you're ready to join the Boomers Chorus under the direction of Ernest Johnson. It’s a program geared for people ages 55 and above who love to sing—and there’s no experience required.

Course

Lunchtime with a Curator: Decorative Arts Design Series

Monday, October 17, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Join curator Elizabeth Lay as she hosts an image-rich series on decorative arts and design topics with guests. In this fall lunchtime program, Lay's guest is period jewelry specialist Sheila Smithie, who offers insights into the creation of stunning, classically inspired pieces from Europe’s fabled 19th-century Revival jewelers.

Course

Write Into Art: Creative Writing Inspired by Visual Art

Tuesday, October 18, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Discover how visual art can inspire creative writing and how writing can offer a powerful way to experience art. Join Mary Hall Surface, the founding instructor of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon, for a series of five online workshops that explore essential elements of writing and styles through close looking, word-sketching, and imaginative response to prompts. This writing session is inspired by Scherezade García’s Day Dreaming/Soñando despierta.

Course

More Stories from the American Songbook

Tuesday, October 18, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

For decades we’ve danced, romanced, and dreamed to songs like “As Time Goes By,” “Night and Day,” and other enduring gems. In an afternoon series, filmmaker and cultural historian Sara Lukinson traces how some of our favorite songs came to be and how different artists, unexpected arrangements, and changing times transformed them into something brand new, yet still the same. This session spotlights the following songs: "As Time Goes By" and "These Foolish Things."

Course

Reading Faulkner: Chronicler of the Deep South in Literature

Thursday, October 20, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET

Mississippi-born William Faulkner stands as one of the greatest, and one of the most problematic, figures in American literature. Michael Gorra, professor of English language and literature at Smith College and author of The Saddest Words: William Faulkner’s Civil War, focuses on three of Faulkner’s greatest novels to uncover the complexities behind the man and the writer.

Course

Write Into Art: Creative Writing Inspired by Visual Art

Tuesday, October 25, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Discover how visual art can inspire creative writing and how writing can offer a powerful way to experience art. Join Mary Hall Surface, the founding instructor of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon, for a series of five online workshops that explore essential elements of writing and styles through close looking, word-sketching, and imaginative response to prompts. This writing session is inspired by Emma Amos’s Winning.

Course

Medieval History Through Artists’ Eyes

Tuesday, October 25, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Dazzling early Christian mosaics, sumptuous Carolingian illuminated manuscripts, sculpted Romanesque church facades, and soaring Gothic cathedrals give artistic expression to an astonishing variety of beliefs and practices linked by a vision of leading the human spirit toward eternal life. Art historian Judy Scott Feldman examines the art of the thousand-year period between classical antiquity and the Renaissance and its relationship to a diverse society infused with faith and spirituality. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

Course

Dances of the World With PBS’s Mickela Mallozzi

Wednesday, October 26, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

In a globe-trotting series, Mickela Mallozzi, the executive producer and host of the popular PBS series “Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi,” explores the history and evolution of dances from three distinctive regions and their role in linking communities and generations. This session showcases dances from Ireland.

Course

More Stories from the American Songbook

Tuesday, November 1, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

For decades we’ve danced, romanced, and dreamed to songs like “As Time Goes By,” “Night and Day,” and other enduring gems. In an afternoon series, filmmaker and cultural historian Sara Lukinson traces how some of our favorite songs came to be and how different artists, unexpected arrangements, and changing times transformed them into something brand new, yet still the same. This session spotlights the following songs: "The Lady Is a Tramp" and "Mack the Knife."

Course

Giacomo Puccini: Master of Operatic Lyricism

Tuesday, November 1, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Rarely absent from the opera stages of the world, La bohème, Madame Butterfly, Tosca, and Turandot are treasured for their powerfully expressive music and poignant depictions of human emotions. Musicologist Daniel E. Freeman surveys Puccini’s four most popular operas with an emphasis on the ways in which they reflect the composer’s approach to musical setting and character development.

Course

Dances of the World With PBS’s Mickela Mallozzi

Wednesday, November 2, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

In a globe-trotting series, Mickela Mallozzi, the executive producer and host of the popular PBS series “Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi,” explores the history and evolution of dances from three distinctive regions and their role in linking communities and generations. This session showcases dances from the Caribbean.

Course

Night and the Cities: Film Noir’s Suspense-Driven World

Thursday, November 3, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

A police detective down on his luck. A beautiful woman with a shady past. Dead bodies in dark corridors and dim light seeping through Venetian blinds. This is film noir: a world of chain-smoking deceivers, drifters, loners, con artists and killers—all double-dealing their way toward an uncertain and possibly fatal future. Film historian and author Max Alvarez examines the origins and achievements of the brilliant actors, directors, writers, and craftspeople behind this remarkably enduring genre.

Course

The History and Future of the Shopping Mall

Tuesday, November 8, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Consumers flocked to modern shopping malls when they were introduced soon after World War II and this new way of shopping came to quickly dominate the retail scene. In later years, though, the mall’s demise was equally as rapid and dramatic. In a two-part series, Bill Keene, a lecturer on architecture and urban studies, looks at the social and economic reasons that drew us to the mall, why we left, and what its future might hold.

Course

Dances of the World With PBS’s Mickela Mallozzi

Wednesday, November 9, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

In a globe-trotting series, Mickela Mallozzi, the executive producer and host of the popular PBS series “Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi,” explores the history and evolution of dances from three distinctive regions and their role in linking communities and generations. This session showcases dances from the Silk Road.

Course

Piano Concertos: Front and Center!

Monday, November 14, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET

A superb concerto performance is one of the great emotional highs of the concert experience. But how did this singularly theatrical art form evolve, and why does it remain as treasured as ever with audiences? In a 4-session course, popular speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin uses live piano demonstrations and historic and contemporary film clips to explore the birth of the solo concerto, glory in its great masterpieces, and consider its role in more modern times.

Course

Favorite Movies: Glamour, Mystery, Corruption, and Unexpected Love

Tuesday, November 15, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Our favorite moments in films never leave us. In a fall series, Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson revisits more of our favorite movies and characters, the people who dreamed them up, and the lasting memories they made in our lives and our myths. This session showcases these films: Chinatown and LA Confidential.

Course

Favorite Movies: Glamour, Mystery, Corruption, and Unexpected Love

Tuesday, November 29, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Our favorite moments in films never leave us. In a fall series, Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson revisits more of our favorite movies and characters, the people who dreamed them up, and the lasting memories they made in our lives and our myths. This session showcases these films: Broadcast News and Network.

Course

Enduring Themes in Western Art (Part III)

Wednesday, November 30, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Art historian Joseph Cassar examines important masterworks within selected genres and offers a new way to understand and appreciate the cultural norms that influenced artists’ choices. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

Course

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Wednesday, December 7, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

The 1,121 UNESCO World Heritage sites throughout the world provide fascinating glimpses into the evolution of complex civilizations, empires, and religions. In a lavishly illustrated series, historian Justin M. Jacobs offers an in-depth overview of the Great Wall of China.

Course

Favorite Movies: Glamour, Mystery, Corruption, and Unexpected Love

Tuesday, December 13, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Our favorite moments in films never leave us. In a fall series, Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson revisits more of our favorite movies and characters, the people who dreamed them up, and the lasting memories they made in our lives and our myths. This session showcases these films: Moonstruck and Notting Hill.

Course

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Wednesday, December 14, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

The 1,121 UNESCO World Heritage sites throughout the world provide fascinating glimpses into the evolution of complex civilizations, empires, and religions. In a lavishly illustrated series, historian Justin M. Jacobs offers an in-depth overview of the Sacred Buddhist Landscape of Bagan.