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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Nature, art, masters of the art of conversation, and lots of appealing animals. Could you ask for any better ways to brighten your Wednesday?

It's 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.

Natural Colors

Smithsonian Libraries is one of the collaborating partners in the Biodiversity Heritage Library, a worldwide consortium of natural history, botanical, research, and national libraries working together to digitize the natural history literature in their collections and make it available for open access. The BHL's recent Women's History Month initiative, Her Natural History: A Celebration of Women in Natural History, included the creation of a Flickr collection of nearly 10,000 images that span more than 300 years of botanical and related illustrations. After you've sampled these stunning works by women artists, download a coloring book with illustrations from the collection, one of several available.

Browse the Gallery

Color the Collection

A Conversation with Katie

When Smithsonian Associates conferred the John P. McGovern Medal to journalist, author, producer, and hometown girl Katie Couric (who grew up in Arlington) last November, her conversation with White House correspondent April Ryan at the Forum for Ideas was electric, moving, intimate, and at times hilarious. Want to know what it was like to report the fall of the Twin Towers, how women journalists meet the challenges of sexism in the news business, and what Couric really felt about donning ridiculous Halloween costumes for the "Today" show again, and again, and then again? Take your front-row seat for a replay of this memorable and wide-ranging interview.

Watch the Program

Zen at the Zoo

Beyond providing some totally adorable moments of calm (we should all be as laid-back as Echo the cheetah and her four brand-new cubs), the #NatZooZen webcam is capturing glimpses of animal life at the National Zoo that provide a few timely models for human viewers. Among the clips on the Zoo's Twitter feed, a small hedgehog-like tenrec demonstrates that he's a pro at self-care as he enjoys a dust bath, and it's clear Athena the two-toed sloth is a big fan of healthy eating as she digs into her kale. And though you might not be tempted to whip up a cake with ingredients including sweet potatoes and leafeater biscuits, one was a hit with 2-year-old birthday boy Moke, a western lowland gorilla.

Enjoy a Moment of #NatZooZen

The Rijks Stuff

Vermeer, Rembrandt, and other masters of Dutch art are often spotlighted in the offerings of Smithsonian Associates' World Art History Certificate program. Their works are among the treasures of Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum, which offers a whole gallery of fascinating ways to digitally experience a visit. From close-up examinations of some the collection's best-known works to 360-degree virtual strolls though the museum, the website is the ticket to a perfect (and socially distanced) excursion for art lovers.

Tour the Museum

Artists at (Home) Work

Young artists can extend the spirit of Earth Day’s 50th anniversary by creating their own work inspired by Washington Color School painter Alma Thomas’s Earth Sermon—Beauty, Love and Peace. Hirshhorn Kids at Home offers instructions on using household objects as stamps to recreate the repetitive shapes found in painting’s vibrantly colored patterns. The project is one of several based on works in the museum’s collection, and each offers an introduction to the artist behind them as well as plenty of creative fun.

Get Creative