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Smithsonian Associates Digital Digest

June's Digital Digest is ready to liven up your summer with stories of baseball history, nighttime adventures at a beloved museum, the inaugural exhibition at a Smithsonian gallery focused on Latino history and culture, stories from women who look to the stars-and the stars and co-creator of a hit comedy series.

As always, this lively monthly collection is 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.


What's Ahead for "Rutherford Falls"?

"Rutherford Falls," which returns on June 16 for a second season on Peacock, represents a breakthrough moment in Native representation in comedy television both in front of and behind the camera. There are six Native writers on staff-one of the largest Indigenous writers' rooms-including co-creator and executive producer Sierra Teller Ornelas (Navajo).

In a Wednesday, June 29 Smithsonian Associates online program, join Ornelas and series stars Ed Helms, Jana Schmieding (Cheyenne River Lakota Sioux), and Jesse Leigh in conversation with Paul Chaat Smith, curator at the National Museum of the American Indian, as they offer insights into how Native representation was made a priority in creating the hit show. They'll also share what loyal fans can expect from the second season as lifelong best buds Nathan Rutherford and Reagan Wells help each other tackle work, romance, and major changes to their small town and the Native American reservation it borders.

Register for the Program


Dinos and Discoveries After Hours

Next month, Smithsonian Associates debuts Smithsonian Nighttime Adventures, an after-hours experience for children at the National Museum of Natural History. When the crowds are gone, and the doors have closed, one of the world's most popular museums is their playground until nearly midnight. Young adventurers and their adult chaperones join other night owls as they immerse themselves in a unique Smithsonian experience.

As they wander through the museum's galleries, brushed by giant shadows cast by dinosaurs, they explore the Earth's past, discover the wonders of the ocean, and more. The night is filled with fun and activities, from making an underwater fossil and discovering whale ankle bones to picking a pollinator and building a dinosaur-and even learning how to eat like one.

Smithsonian Nighttime Adventures are designed for children ages 8 to 14 and their adult chaperones. The Friday-evening events are set for July 15, July 22, July 29, August 5, and August 12 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Registration opens soon. The museum and its creatures await-stay tuned!


Inside Baseball

From fan letters and post-office baseball teams to the worlds of stamp and baseball memorabilia collecting, the current exhibition Baseball: America's Home Run at the National Postal Museum explores our national pastime through a unique lens. Using material from the museum's collection; original stamp art from the United States Postal Service; and artifacts loaned by other Smithsonian museums, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and private collectors, the exhibition explores the surprising ways that baseball and postal history have been deeply intertwined since the early 20th century.

Visitors can view historic objects loaned from renowned private collections that have never before been on public display. These rare items showcase a treasure trove of historically significant uniforms, jackets, hats, bats, and other memorabilia from America's pastime. Artifacts from the stars of the major leagues ensure that this exhibition is a must-visit for anyone who loves the game.

A curator-guided visit to the Postal Museum's exhibition is part of the itinerary for a day-long Smithsonian Associates tour on Thursday, August 11 designed with D.C.-area baseball fans in mind and led by sports historian Fred Frommer. Participants also tour ¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues at the National Museum of American History, which documents the historic role that baseball has played as a social and cultural force within Latino communities. After lunch at a local restaurant, get ready for the day's biggest home run: a private tour of National's Park. Highlights include visiting the FIS Champions Club; a chance to walk the warning track and visit the dugout and bullpen; and stops at the media center and the private clubs within the stadium.

Register for the Tour


Reaching for the Stars

Scanning a starry sky is one of the delights of a summer night. But for women who aspired to a career in astronomy during much of the 20th century, the night sky held something more: a professional dream. Unfortunately for most, the opportunities to pursue it were as remote as the stars in their telescopes. But the 1960s saw the beginning of new era, one in which tough and determined women broke down barriers and changed the face of modern astronomy.

In a Wednesday, June 22 online Smithsonian Associates program, Virginia Trimble, co-editor of the new anthology The Sky Is for Everyone: Women Astronomers in Their Own Words, is joined by two of the book's contributors: France A. Córdova, an astrophysicist and the 14th director of the National Science Foundation; and Sara Seager, a professor of planetary science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Andrea Dupree, associate director of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, moderates the conversation, which examines how after decades of difficult struggles, women are closer to equality in astronomy than ever before.

Register for the Program


Spotlighting the Latino Legacy

On June 18, the National Museum of the American Latino opens the Molina Family Latino Gallery at the National Museum of American History with ¡Presente! A Latino History of the United States, which introduces visitors to key concepts, moments, and biographies that illuminate U.S. Latinos' historical and cultural legacies. It's the first of the exhibitions and programs to be presented in the gallery over the course of 10 years leading up to the opening of the National Museum of the American Latino's building.

¡Presente! also tells the stories of Latinas and Latinos who have shaped the United States. Indigenous freedom fighter Toypurina, Mexican American union leader César Chávez, Puerto Rican baseball player Roberto Clemente, Guatemalan labor organizer Luisa Moreno, Colombian American drag queen José Sarria, and Cuban American singer Celia Cruz are some of the historical and contemporary figures featured in the exhibition. A companion website highlights select oral histories, 3D objects, historical biographies, and objects on view and offers a virtual tour.

Learn More


Honoring a Smithsonian Music Man

The late James Weaver, who died at 82 in 2020, filled the Smithsonian with music during his more than 40 years at the National Museum of American History. As an esteemed harpsichordist and conductor, as the founding artistic director of what is now known as the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society (SCMS), as a producer and performer in a range of notable recordings, and in many more roles, the multitalented Weaver made music an essential element in the Smithsonian's identity as a cultural institution and enriched the lives of countless visitors and audiences-and those of his Smithsonian colleagues.

Several of his closest musician friends participated in a video that serves as musical tribute to Weaver, playing works with which he was closely associated during his Smithsonian career and using instruments on which he performed and recorded. Hosted by Kenneth Slowik, SCMS's current artistic director, and with an appreciation by Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch III, the recording celebrates Weaver's life in music and his legacy.

View the Video


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