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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

About Performing Arts

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, August 3, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Media and communications expert Brian Rose surveys the extraordinary landscape of American TV comedy, examining how it has evolved since the 1950s. 

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, August 5, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Artists, activists, and radio DJs transformed music into a political weapon and unifying force in the Civil Rights Movement, delivering powerful messages of hope to the Black community and beyond. Historian Leon Burnette explores how the music that grew out of a seminal era became an indelible part of America’s social and cultural heritage.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, August 12, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Tudor and Renaissance scholar Carol Ann Lloyd-Stanger explores how London served as a backdrop and inspiration for William Shakespeare. She reveals how he was inspired by the humanity he observed in the city to create the unforgettable worlds of his plays.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, September 2, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

For more than seven decades, Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks made America laugh—either through their remarkable solo careers or their legendary partnership. Discover the extraordinary comic talents of these giants of American comedy who conquered every medium they took on: television, films, Broadway, recordings.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, September 8, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

In a recital with commentary, popular speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin serves as tour guide to the England that Haydn, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Liszt, and Chopin experienced. Through delightful music plus contemporary letters and newspaper articles, she follows the musical travelers as they hobnob with royalty, dazzle the critics, complain about the weather, and admire the ladies.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, September 13, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Some moments in movies never leave us: the piercing eyes of a private eye, a raft hurtling down the rapids, that little black dress, the close-up of a fading movie star. In a 5-session film discussion series, documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson revisits some of our favorite movies and characters, setting them against the backdrop of their times, the people who dreamed them up, and the America they reflected—or asked us to imagine. This session focuses on Katharine Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor.

Course
Wednesday, September 15, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

In this introductory course, music educator and conductor Ernest Johnson offers the perfect opportunities to gain or expand your knowledge of music theory, the essential language and elements of musical notation and composition for singers or instrumentalists.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, September 21, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

With a story that ranges from Louis Armstrong to Wynton Marsalis, educators and documentary filmmakers Darroch Greer and Paul Glenshaw share great moments, characters, and incredible music from the ongoing love affair between Paris and jazz.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, September 27, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Some moments in movies never leave us: the piercing eyes of a private eye, a raft hurtling down the rapids, that little black dress, the close-up of a fading movie star. In a 5-session film discussion series, documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson revisits some of our favorite movies and characters, setting them against the backdrop of their times, the people who dreamed them up, and the America they reflected—or asked us to imagine. This session focuses on Humphrey Bogart and Paul Newman.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, September 30, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

He went from bobby-soxers’ dreamboat to the Chairman of the Board—and he did it his way. Music historian John Edward Hasse toasts the unmistakable voice that defined Sinatra’s stardom.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, October 4, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Some moments in movies never leave us: the piercing eyes of a private eye, a raft hurtling down the rapids, that little black dress, the close-up of a fading movie star. In a 5-session film discussion series, documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson revisits some of our favorite movies and characters, setting them against the backdrop of their times, the people who dreamed them up, and the America they reflected—or asked us to imagine. This session focuses on Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Charade.

Course
Tuesday, October 5, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

In an advanced series, music educator and conductor Ernest Johnson offers a more detailed analysis of melody and harmony and weekly assignments in ear-training, sight-reading, composition, and musical dictation.

Course
Thursday, October 7, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Join popular speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin for a fascinating exploration into the intimate relationship between the visible and invisible arts, and how music can literally bind the arts together in this fall series. This session focuses on Marc Chagall and opera. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Course
Tuesday, October 12, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Powerful, thrilling, epic, and eloquent, choral music embodies a glorious musical tradition. Saul Lilienstein leads an insightful survey of great works and their composers from the Renaissance through the 20th century.

Course
Thursday, October 14, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Join popular speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin for a fascinating exploration into the intimate relationship between the visible and invisible arts, and how music can literally bind the arts together in this fall series. This session focuses on symbols and allegories. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Sunday, October 17, 2021 - 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET

Film music can inspire and romance us, salvage a bad movie and make a good one great. In this weekend series, speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin explores the many elements that go into creating an effective score and showcase the memorable work of some of the leading masters of the form. Fasten your seatbelts…it’s going to be a fabulous ride! This session focuses on film music from Jaws, Laura, and The Third Man.

Course
Thursday, October 21, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Join popular speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin for a fascinating exploration into the intimate relationship between the visible and invisible arts, and how music can literally bind the arts together in this fall series. This session focuses on The Sharp Family. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Sunday, October 24, 2021 - 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET

Film music can inspire and romance us, salvage a bad movie and make a good one great. In this weekend series, speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin explores the many elements that go into creating an effective score and showcase the memorable work of some of the leading masters of the form. Fasten your seatbelts…it’s going to be a fabulous ride! This session focuses on film music from The Madness of King George, Chicken Run, and Dr. Zhivago.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, October 25, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Some moments in movies never leave us: the piercing eyes of a private eye, a raft hurtling down the rapids, that little black dress, the close-up of a fading movie star. In a 5-session film discussion series, documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson revisits some of our favorite movies and characters, setting them against the backdrop of their times, the people who dreamed them up, and the America they reflected—or asked us to imagine. This session focuses on Billy Wilder.

Course
Thursday, October 28, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Join popular speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin for a fascinating exploration into the intimate relationship between the visible and invisible arts, and how music can literally bind the arts together in this fall series. This session focuses on The Artist as Musician, the Composer as Model. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, October 28, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Like a select few in music—Hoagy, Duke, Elvis, Wynton, Dolly—you recognize her by her first name alone. Join John Edward Hasse, co-curator of the long-running Smithsonian exhibition Ella Fitzgerald: First Lady of Song, as he draws on film and video clips, rare photographs, and original recordings to provide insights into her extraordinary journey from shy orphan to beloved international celebrity.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, November 1, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Washington, D.C., has given much to the musical world beyond its best-known export, Duke Ellington. In a new series of programs, musician, broadcaster, and historian Ken Avis spotlights the city’s music traditions and how social change, technology, and business innovations shaped the sounds that emerged from D.C.—a political town with a serious music habit. This session focuses on D.C.'s acoustic folk and blues traditions.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, November 2, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Since its very beginning, Hollywood has made audiences laugh in forms from slapstick to screwball, romance to social satire, musicals to gross-out teen films. Media expert Brian Rose looks at major highlights of screen comedy over the last 125 years, drawing on more than 40 examples from Hollywood’s funniest films. Prepare to LOL.

Lecture/Seminar
Sunday, November 7, 2021 - 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET

Film music can inspire and romance us, salvage a bad movie and make a good one great. In this weekend series, speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin explores the many elements that go into creating an effective score and showcase the memorable work of some of the leading masters of the form. Fasten your seatbelts…it’s going to be a fabulous ride! This session focuses on film music from The Red Pony, High Noon, and The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, November 8, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Some moments in movies never leave us: the piercing eyes of a private eye, a raft hurtling down the rapids, that little black dress, the close-up of a fading movie star. In a 5-session film discussion series, documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson revisits some of our favorite movies and characters, setting them against the backdrop of their times, the people who dreamed them up, and the America they reflected—or asked us to imagine. This session focuses on Anatomy of a Murder and 12 Angry Men.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, November 8, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

In the 1890s, the first great American musical craze, ragtime, swept the nation—and the sounds of the parlor piano would never be the same. Composer and pianist Orrin Grossman traces the form from its beginnings to the more complex styles of stride and “novelty” piano in a lively and entertaining program that includes Joplin’s wonderful rags and a few of his own arrangements of favorite Gershwin’s songs.

Lecture/Seminar
Sunday, November 14, 2021 - 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET

Film music can inspire and romance us, salvage a bad movie and make a good one great. In this weekend series, speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin explores the many elements that go into creating an effective score and showcase the memorable work of some of the leading masters of the form. Fasten your seatbelts…it’s going to be a fabulous ride! This session focuses on film music from To Kill a Mockingbird, Psycho, and Planet of the Apes.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, November 15, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Washington, D.C., has given much to the musical world beyond its best-known export, Duke Ellington. In a new series of programs, musician, broadcaster, and historian Ken Avis spotlights the city’s music traditions and how social change, technology, and business innovations shaped the sounds that emerged from D.C.—a political town with a serious music habit. This session focuses on D.C.'s soul, funk, and go-go traditions.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, November 29, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Washington, D.C., has given much to the musical world beyond its best-known export, Duke Ellington. In a new series of programs, musician, broadcaster, and historian Ken Avis spotlights the city’s music traditions and how social change, technology, and business innovations shaped the sounds that emerged from D.C.—a political town with a serious music habit. This session focuses on D.C.'s 21st century music scene.