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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Popular Culture Programs


Inside "Rutherford Falls" Season 2

Wednesday, June 29, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

“Rutherford Falls” represents a breakthrough moment in Native representation in comedy television both in front of and behind the camera. Join co-creator and executive producer Sierra Teller Ornelas and actors Ed Helms, Jana Schmieding, and Jesse Leigh as they discuss season 2 of the hit comedy, in which lifelong best buds help each other tackle work, romance, and the major changes to their small town and the Native American reservation it borders. Note: This program is now free, but registration is required.


60 Years of Bond, James Bond

Thursday, July 14, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

You’ll be shaken, if not stirred, by this multimedia presentation—unredacted and for your eyes only!—where the mission is to crack the code behind the high-tech glamour, globetrotting excitement, and enduring popularity of the 007 film cycle.


All Shook Up: Hollywood Learns To Rock

Tuesday, July 19, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Rock music exploded on the big screen in 1955 when Bill Haley & His Comets’ “Rock Around the Clock” played behind the opening credits of Blackboard Jungle. Brian Rose, professor emeritus at Fordham University, looks at rock movies’ first decade and how Hollywood benefited from the power of this music—and its target audience—around the world.


Hopper and Hitchcock: Spectatorship and Voyeurism in Art and Film

Sunday, August 7, 2022 - 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET

Alfred Hitchcock and American painter Edward Hopper, an unlikely artistic pair, shared a rich and complex vision deeply affected by the traditions of film noir. Using film stills and paintings, David Gariff, senior lecturer at the National Gallery of Art, explores the formal and thematic links between these artists. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)


Take Me Out to the Ballgame: America’s Pastime in the Nation’s Capital

Thursday, August 11, 2022 - 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET

Spend a day with sports historian Fred Frommer that celebrates the glory of the game D.C. style. Warm up with visits to two Smithsonian museums featuring baseball-themed exhibitions before the big home run, a private tour of Nationals Park.


Jazz: Modern Soundscapes in Film

Tuesday, August 23, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Some of the world’s greatest movie scores were composed by some of the world’s greatest jazz musicians. With film clips, commentary, and live piano demonstrations, concert musician and movie fanatic Rachel Franklin delves into the hidden magic of some of the finest jazz-inspired music from films including A Streetcar Named Desire, The Sweet Smell of Success, Alfie, and Birdman.


Rockin' TV: From Elvis to the Monkees

Wednesday, September 14, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Though rock music found a surprising home on mainstream TV in the mid-1950s, the 1964 appearance of the Beatles on “The Ed Sullivan Show” would change the face of pop culture, leading to an explosion of televised rock. Media expert Brian Rose offers a lively survey of the fascinating history of how rock and television grew up together.


Jim Thorpe: Outracing the Odds

Thursday, October 6, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

In-Person and Online Program: Jim Thorpe rose to world fame as a mythic talent who excelled at every sport, but despite his colossal skills, his life was a struggle against the odds. Biographer David Maraniss discusses America’s greatest all-around athlete, a man who endured in the face of racism, alcohol abuse, broken marriages, and financial distress—and so did his myth.


Jacques Pépin on the Art of the Chicken

Thursday, October 6, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

Legendary chef Jacques Pepin celebrates his love of chickens as he reminisces on his life through the lens of the humble bird. Spend a delightful evening listening to the chef recall his childhood and career, and his celebrated paintings of chickens (of course!). He also shares recipes, along with poignant memories and the stories behind them.


The Films of Alfred Hitchcock

Wednesday, October 19, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

In a career spanning 5 decades, film director Alfred Hitchcock made 54 films, including such classics as The 39 Steps, Rebecca, Notorious, Rear Window, North by Northwest, Vertigo, and Psycho. Brian Rose, professor emeritus at Fordham University, looks at Hitchcock’s achievements as the Master of Suspense and through dozens of film clips, examines his extraordinary creativity as one of the 20th century’s greatest filmmakers.