Skip to main content
Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

What's new this month?

Performance

Music from the Heart: A Tribute to Ignacy Jan Paderewski 

Sunday, October 16, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET

Under the direction of Kenneth Slowik, the Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra performs five iconic works by Polish and American composers including Bacewicz, Barber, Górecki, Paderewski, and Copland.

Performance

Themes from Stage, Radio, TV, and Film

Saturday, October 22, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET

Under the artistic direction of maestro Charlie Young, enjoy outstanding live performances of great jazz music by the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. This in-person concert salutes the National Museum of American History's collections and the diverse forms of entertainment in America over the last 100 years.

Lecture/Seminar

Christina Tosi: All About Cookies

Saturday, November 5, 2022 - 4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. ET

Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi—famous for sweet inventions like the Compost Cookie—is ready to turn both experienced home bakers and novices into cookie wizards. Join her as she discusses the recipes in her new book All About Cookies and the delicious inspirations behind them.

Performance

Music of Johann Sebastian Bach

Saturday, November 5, 2022 - 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

In this in-person concert, the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society performs five contrapuntal masterpieces by Baroque composer, Johann Sebastian Bach. Featured instruments include harpsichords and viola de gamba.

Performance

Music of Johann Sebastian Bach

Sunday, November 6, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

In this in-person concert, the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society performs five contrapuntal masterpieces by Baroque composer, Johann Sebastian Bach. Featured instruments include harpsichords and viola de gamba.

Lecture/Seminar

Christopher Kimball: Cook What You Have

Monday, November 7, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

Not only is cooking with the ingredients you already have in your kitchen delicious and more economical, it makes meal planning easy. Christopher Kimball serves up plenty of tips from the new cookbook Milk Street: Cook What You Have that bring new life to easy-to-find staples like canned tomatoes, pasta, and chicken breasts—and that can transform mealtime from stressful to simple

Lecture/Seminar

Misty Copeland: Honoring a Trailblazing Black Ballerina

Friday, November 18, 2022 - 6:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. ET

In-Person and Online Program: Misty Copeland made history as the first African American principal ballerina at American Ballet Theatre, an achievement in which another trailblazing Black ballerina—her mentor, the late Raven Wilkinson—played a key role. Drawing on her new book, The Wind at My Back, Copeland tells the story of two unapologetically Black ballerinas, their friendship, and how they changed each other—and the dance world—forever. online options.

Lecture/Seminar

The Year of the Puppy

Monday, November 28, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Noted dog researcher and author Alexandra Horowitz spent a year scrutinizing the daily existence of her new puppy Quiddity and poring over the science of early dog development—an experience recounted in her newest book, The Year of the Puppy. Horowitz draws on it in a conversation with science journalist Ed Yong in which she dives into the most important and challenging phases for dog owners: the first year with a puppy.

Performance

An Intimate Evening with Brahms and Dvorák

Tuesday, November 29, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET

Join the Smithsonian Chamber Players in an open rehearsal of two about-to-be-recorded works: Antonin Dvorák’s delightful Bagatelles, Op. 47 for two violins, cello, and harmonium, and Artistic Director Kenneth Slowik’s new reconstruction of the now-lost original nonet version of the bucolic Serenade in D Major, Op. 11 by Johannes Brahms.

Lecture/Seminar

Quintessential Québec City

Thursday, December 1, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Québec City is the only walled metropolis north of Mexico, but there are many other distinctions that make it a must-visit place for visitors in search of history, great eating, and a uniquely European atmosphere. Emmy Award–nominated PBS television host Darley Newman is ready to tell you why you should make the trip.

Lecture/Seminar

Along the C&O Canal

Friday, December 2, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal covers over 20,000 acres along the Potomac and is one of the nation’s most diverse national parks in terms of both natural species and historical significance. Aidan Barnes of the C&O Canal Trust surveys its colorful history, near demise and rescue, and its emergence as a true national treasure.

Tour

The Holidays in Old Town Alexandria

Sunday, December 4, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET

Step back in time as you stroll along Old Town Alexandria’s red-brick sidewalks to explore how Christmases of yesteryear were celebrated here. The rich history shared by guide Lynn O’Connell covers the people, places, and traditions that make Old Town a picture-perfect spot during the holiday season.

Lecture/Seminar

An American Ambassador in Prewar Japan: The Countdown to Pearl Harbor

Monday, December 5, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

As America’s ambassador to Japan in the decade that led up to WWII, Joseph C. Grew’s prescient warnings to American leaders about the risks of Japan’s raging nationalism and ambitious militarism were often disregarded in Washington. Author Steve Kemper examines Grew’s tenure in Japan, offering a backstage glimpse at these explosive years from vantage points including the Imperial Palace, the Japanese cabinet, and Grew’s own perspective from the American embassy in Tokyo.

Lecture/Seminar

Winter Wisdom: A Reflective Writing Workshop

Tuesday, December 6, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Discover the power of reflective writing guided by the founding instructor of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon, Mary Hall Surface. Inspired by Claude Monet’s The Magpie and two winter poems by Mary Oliver, you’ll explore the lessons that the season offers us when we slow down, look closely, and reflect.

Lecture/Seminar

Gulliver's Travels: A Satire Not Just for Children

Tuesday, December 6, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Though often regarded as a children’s book, Gulliver's Travels is filled with Jonathan Swift’s “savage indignation” at the problems in the human character and offers a witty, enchanting, and unrelenting critique of the optimism of the Enlightenment. Learn why humanities scholar Clay Jenkinson considers it a work of genius as he leads a journey into the dark recesses of the severest satirist in the English language.

Lecture/Seminar

Yuletide in Dixie: Slavery, Christmas, and Southern Memory

Tuesday, December 6, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

The conventional wisdom that Christmas provided enslaved African Americans in the Civil War era with a respite from labor and punishment is wrong, says historian Robert E. May. He examines how slavery’s most punitive features persisted at holiday time and how false assumptions about slave Christmases later became harnessed to cultural myths that undergirded white supremacy in the United States.

Program

Candlelight Day Dinner at Elcielo

Wednesday, December 7, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

In Colombia, the Christmas season gets its unofficial start on December 7 with the celebration of Candlelight Day, and food naturally play a major part in the holiday. Get a taste of those delectable traditions at Elcielo—Washington, D.C.’s only Michelin-starred Colombian fine-dining restaurant—as you enjoy a special multicourse tasting menu created for the holiday season and learn about Candlelight Day from representatives of the Embassy of Colombia.

Lecture/Seminar

Birding in a Winter Wonderland

Wednesday, December 7, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Not all birds fly south for the winter: Many species find their way to homes in temperate North America. Naturalist Matt Felperin shares valuable tips on how to the make the most of winter birding in the mid-Atlantic region and why it’s one of the most rewarding and magical times for spotting seasonal visitors from ducks and geese to songbirds and raptors.

Lecture/Seminar

The Escape Artist: A Warning from Auschwitz

Thursday, December 8, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

In April 1944, Rudolf Vrba became the first Jew to break out of Auschwitz, driven to reveal the truth of the death camp to the world and to warn the last Jews of Europe what fate awaited them. Though too few—including world leaders—heeded his warning, Vrba helped save 200,000 Jewish lives. Author Jonathan Freedland recounts the extraordinary story of a man he feels deserves to take his place as one of a handful of individuals whose experiences define our understanding of the Holocaust.

Tour

The Holidays in Old Town Alexandria

Friday, December 9, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET

Step back in time as you stroll along Old Town Alexandria’s red-brick sidewalks to explore how Christmases of yesteryear were celebrated here. The rich history shared by guide Lynn O’Connell covers the people, places, and traditions that make Old Town a picture-perfect spot during the holiday season.

Lecture/Seminar

The Barnes Foundation Philadelphia

Friday, December 9, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

The Barnes is often considered the greatest post-impressionist and early-modern art collection in the world. Join Barnes Foundation educator Penny Hansen as she covers its history and uses unique high-definition Deep Zoom technology to offer closeup looks at masterpieces that reveal their surfaces and details in ways that bring the art and the artists to vivid life. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Tour

Holidays at Winterthur and Longwood Gardens: Featuring Jacqueline Kennedy and H. F. du Pont: From Winterthur to the White House

Sunday, December 11, 2022 - 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

Kick off your holidays in grand style with a day spent visiting two special destinations. Begin at Winterthur to view the opulent holiday décor and take in the exhibition Jacqueline Kennedy and H. F. du Pont: From Winterthur to the White House. An evening visit to nearby Longwood Gardens offers time on your own to relax, wander the grounds, and take in the spectacular seasonal decorations.

Lecture/Seminar

Decking the Halls at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Sunday, December 11, 2022 - 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Author and historian Coleen Christian Burke, a 2014 White House design partner, leads a journey through Christmas history as she reveals how the annual decorating themes developed by first ladies are turned into sparkling realities. She also discusses how the holiday White House functions as both a private home and public space and offers views of some of the most memorable seasonal settings created at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Performance

Cannonball

Sunday, December 11, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET

Under the artistic direction of maestro Charlie Young, enjoy outstanding live performances of great jazz music by the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. This in-person concert highlights the legacy and music of gifted alto saxophonist Julian “Cannonball” Adderley.

Lecture/Seminar

Los Angeles: Portrait of a Mature Metropolis

Wednesday, December 14, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

In the decades following World War II, a myriad of factors shaped modern Los Angeles, including the growth of industry, the evolution of the entertainment business, and the city’s transformation into the home of notable cultural and educational institutions. Bill Keene, a lecturer in history, urban studies, and architecture, examines the social and economic forces that made Los Angeles the powerhouse it is today.

Lecture/Seminar

Spices 101: Cinnamon

Thursday, December 15, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

The spice we love in apple pie, tagines, and churros has been treasured across cultures since ancient times, and used for culinary, medicinal, and spiritual purposes—even including ancient Egyptian embalming methods. Christine Rai explores cinnamon’s fascinating origins, history, and variety, and shares tips on using the spice in your own kitchen.

Tour

The Holidays in Old Town Alexandria

Saturday, December 17, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET

Step back in time as you stroll along Old Town Alexandria’s red-brick sidewalks to explore how Christmases of yesteryear were celebrated here. The rich history shared by guide Lynn O’Connell covers the people, places, and traditions that make Old Town a picture-perfect spot during the holiday season.

Lecture/Seminar

From Carson to Oprah to Stephen Colbert: A History of the TV Talk Show

Thursday, January 5, 2023 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

From its start in the early 1950s, the talk show has been one of television’s most versatile and durable formats. Media expert Brian Rose surveys its changing appeal from decade to decade and examines how the talk show—and its hosts—continue to provide viewers with a lively mix of entertainment, information, and compelling conversation.

Lecture/Seminar

Adam Smith's America

Thursday, January 19, 2023 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Originally published in 1776, Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations was lauded by America’s founders as a landmark work of Enlightenment thinking about national wealth, statecraft, and moral virtue. Harvard University lecturer and author Glory Liu traces how generations of Americans have read, reinterpreted, and weaponized Smith’s ideas over time.