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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

About Performing Arts

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 Certificate Program 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.

Members-Only Program
Friday, November 5, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET

In this members-only series led by veteran arts educator Roberta Gasbarre, go behind the scenes and into the working lives of some of the most intriguing people from all across the Smithsonian and Washington’s worlds of culture, science, and education. This program features Mandy Van Heuvelen, cultural interpreter manager at the National Museum of the American Indian, and film director Kelly Gardner discuss creating the multimedia museum theatre project Hear Me Say My Name.

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 showcases 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 Orin 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.

Course
Wednesday, November 10, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Pop music would not be the same without Carole King, Tina Turner, Billy Joel, and Neil Diamond. Their music defined the summer of a generation’s youth, and now the whole world still sings their songs. In this 2-session daytime series, join Sara Lukinson, filmmaker and writer for the Kennedy Center Honors for 38 years, to talk about the lives of these performing arts legends, enjoy clips of their performances, and explore what made them so moving, memorable, and exciting. This session focuses on Carole King and Tina Turner.

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 showcases 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.

Course
Wednesday, November 17, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Pop music would not be the same without Carole King, Tina Turner, Billy Joel, and Neil Diamond. Their music defined the summer of a generation’s youth, and now the whole world still sings their songs. In this 2-session daytime series, join Sara Lukinson, filmmaker and writer for the Kennedy Center Honors for 38 years, to talk about the lives of these performing arts legends, enjoy clips of their performances, and explore what made them so moving, memorable, and exciting. This session focuses on Billy Joel and Neil Diamond.

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.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, December 1, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Hollywood is an industry that has always depended on blockbusters. But beginning in 1974, two young filmmakers, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, would together change the way the movie industry made movies, introducing the age of the “modern blockbuster,” which featured elaborate special effects and thrilling spectacle. Brian Rose, professor emeritus at Fordham University, looks at their four decades of filmmaking and discusses how they changed the movies.

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

The sound of their music for Broadway, films, and television defined the spirit and mood of mid-century America—and continues to captivate us. In a lively evening, pianist, raconteur, and American music specialist Robert Wyatt celebrates the lives and works of Rodgers and Hammerstein, icons of the American musical whose songs elevated the human spirit.

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

It was a startling, unheard-of idea: to remake Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy into a musical set in the streets of New York City. Filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson looks at West Side Story’s creators who risked everything, broke all rules, reshaped the American theater, and gave us a contemporary masterpiece, as well as how new interpretations are re-making the show for our times.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, December 9, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

The tumultuous friendship between George Harrison and Eric Clapton shaped not only their lives and careers but the shifting face of rock music in the early 1970s. Beatles expert Ken Womack and music historian Jason Kruppa explore the rock legends’ musical and personal collaboration, friendship, and rivalry—and a love triangle for the ages, involving Clapton, Harrison, and Harrison’s wife Pattie Boyd.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, December 20, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Everyone loves a holiday visit to Bedford Falls. But it took years for Frank Capra’s now-beloved film—a flop in its 1946 release—to become a Christmas classic. Lecturer Brian Rose examines the fascinating story of It’s a Wonderful Life, looking at the challenges of how it was made, its surprisingly dark portrait of small-town life, and how it evolved into the ultimate portrayal of holiday goodwill and cheer.

Course
Wednesday, January 5, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

In a 4-session course, popular speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin uses her unique live piano demonstrations and both historic and contemporary film clips to illustrate how the music from such ballet masterpieces as Giselle, Swan Lake, Daphnis and Chloë, Le Sacre du Printemps, and Appalachian Spring became a treasured part of our cultural landscape.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, January 13, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

From the late 1920s through the end of World War II, Hollywood studios dominated film production both in America and throughout the world, producing some the best-loved and most significant movies ever made. Brian Rose, a professor emeritus at Fordham University, examines the forces that shaped this giant of global filmmaking and the special nature of its achievements during its golden age—as well as the factors that brought this short-lived period to a final fadeout.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, January 19, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

Biographer Bob Spitz tells the story of how Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Robert Plant, and John Bonham came together to form the legendary rock band Led Zeppelin—one of the most successful (and certainly one of the most notorious) bands of all time.

Course
Thursday, January 20, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Using a medley of filmed performances, documentary filmmaker and cultural historian Sara Lukinson traces how some of our favorite love songs from the American songbook came to be in a 3-session winter series and how re-imaginings by different artists, unexpected arrangements, and changing times transformed them into something more. This session focuses on “My Funny Valentine” and “Someone to Watch Over Me.”

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, February 2, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET

Why are William Shakespeare’s plays still considered essential reading? How can lessons from his Elizabethan theatrical universe help us to better understand social and political conflicts we confront today? Explore three of the Bard’s great tragedies to discover why Shakespeare remains vital and relevant.

Course
Thursday, February 3, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Using a medley of filmed performances, documentary filmmaker and cultural historian Sara Lukinson traces how some of our favorite love songs from the American songbook came to be in a 3-session winter series and how re-imaginings by different artists, unexpected arrangements, and changing times transformed them into something more. This session focuses on "Autumn Leaves," "Send in the Clowns," and "This Nearly Was Mine."

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, February 15, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

His unique voice and passionate style made Ray Charles one of the most beloved and influential musicians of our time. Music curator John Edward Hasse of the American History Museum celebrates the music, the man, and his place in our country’s cultural history.

Course
Thursday, February 17, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Using a medley of filmed performances, documentary filmmaker and cultural historian Sara Lukinson traces how some of our favorite love songs from the American songbook came to be in a 3-session winter series and how re-imaginings by different artists, unexpected arrangements, and changing times transformed them into something more. This session focuses on "What a Wonderful World" and "Smile."