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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Discover a few more ways to make your stay-at-home summer more interesting this week as we spotlight re-openings, reflections on history, and a virtual global choir whose music is out of this world.

They're all designed to make sure you continue to enjoy what you've come to value from Smithsonian Associates: programs and experiences that are entertaining, informative, eclectic, and insightful.

Udvar Hazy: Now Boarding

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center-the Chantilly, Virginia, adjunct of the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum-reopened to visitors last week. If you've never visited this 17-acre aviation and aerospace museum near Dulles Airport, now is the right time to discover it, guided by Smithsonian magazine's list of a dozen must-see attractions in the collection. They range from the model of the alien mother ship used in the filming of Close Encounters of the Third Kind to an Autogiro, a helicopter-and-automobile hybrid prototype that-to the disappointment of commuters ever since-was never developed after a 1936 test flight in which the craft landed in a downtown Washington park, folded its wings, and drove down Pennsylvania Avenue.

Review Smithsonian's Picks

How To Visit

Conversations in Context

In a new five-part web series, Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III and MTV News host Dometi Pongo reflect on significant events in black history on the anniversary of the day they occurred. Each 8-to-10 minute "Conversations in Context" episode focuses on a theme, exploring parallels between historical milestones and today's events in an intergenerational discussion. Among the anniversaries marked are the desegregation of the Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina on July 25, 1960; one of the first civil rights demonstrations, the Silent Protest Parade of July 28, 1917; and the August 9, 1961, departure of the Freedom Riders from Los Angeles. Episodes can be viewed on Smithsonian Channel's YouTube page.

Watch the Series

Magical Money

The Harry Potter novels may seem like an unlikely perspective from which to view economics. But even the Boy Who Lived has to come to grips with fiscal reality, says economist Brian O'Roark. In a Smithsonian Associates Streaming program on August 4, he reveals how economics pervades the Potterverse in plotlines that touch on monetary systems, black markets, corruption, labor issues, human capital, and other related topics. Tickets include a special student price, making the event the perfect way for wizards of all ages to entertainingly explore the power of economics.

Register for the Program

A World of Voices

Talk about raising your voice: Composer-conductor Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir 6 includes 17,562 of them. Learn how the Sydney-based Whitacre assembled his collection of singers from around the globe, and hear what they sound like in one of his compositions-which is as heavenly as you'd imagine.

Read the Article + Listen to the Virtual Choir

Art in the Open

If any art space was made for socially distanced viewing, it's Storm King Art Center. At the 500-acre outdoor museum in New Windsor, New York, visitors experience large-scale modern and contemporary sculpture and site-specific commissions in a rolling landscape under the sky. Storm King, one of the destinations on Smithsonian Associates' 2018 art-focused tour of the Hudson Valley, has begun to welcome visitors again. But there are plenty of online resources to experience its art from home, including an online exhibition that covers the museum's history; videos from sculpture installations, performances, and past exhibitions; and family activities that explore art and nature. You may not have room for an Alexander Calder or Mark di Suvero work in your back yard, but you can try your hand at creating a tabletop-friendly 3D sculpture model in cardboard.

Get Creative

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