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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

What's new this month?

Program

Smithsonian Nighttime Adventures

Friday, July 15, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. ET

In-person Program: Join other night owls as you immerse yourself in a unique Smithsonian evening experience at the Natural History Museum. Wander through the museum's galleries and enjoy special activities related to fossils, dinosaurs, and the ocean. Geared for children ages 8 to 14 years old, accompanied by an adult.

Program

Smithsonian Nighttime Adventures

Friday, July 22, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. ET

In-person Program: Join other night owls as you immerse yourself in a unique Smithsonian evening experience at the Natural History Museum. Wander through the museum's galleries and enjoy special activities related to fossils, dinosaurs, and the ocean. Geared for children ages 8 to 14 years old, accompanied by an adult.

Program

Smithsonian Nighttime Adventures

Friday, July 29, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. ET

In-person Program: Join other night owls as you immerse yourself in a unique Smithsonian evening experience at the Natural History Museum. Wander through the museum's galleries and enjoy special activities related to fossils, dinosaurs, and the ocean. Geared for children ages 8 to 14 years old, accompanied by an adult.

Program

Smithsonian Nighttime Adventures

Friday, August 5, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. ET

In-person Program: Join other night owls as you immerse yourself in a unique Smithsonian evening experience at the Natural History Museum. Wander through the museum's galleries and enjoy special activities related to fossils, dinosaurs, and the ocean. Geared for children ages 8 to 14 years old, accompanied by an adult.

Program

Smithsonian Nighttime Adventures

Friday, August 12, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. ET

In-person Program: Join other night owls as you immerse yourself in a unique Smithsonian evening experience at the Natural History Museum. Wander through the museum's galleries and enjoy special activities related to fossils, dinosaurs, and the ocean. Geared for children ages 8 to 14 years old, accompanied by an adult.

Tour

Sunrise Hikes at Great Falls, Virginia

Saturday, August 20, 2022 - 6:15 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. ET

The Great Falls of the Potomac is the most magnificent natural landmark in the metropolitan Washington area. Rise early on a late summer morning, avoid the crowds, and enjoy a socially distanced, small-group experience in the great outdoors with naturalist Keith Tomlinson.

Tour

Sunrise Hikes at Great Falls, Virginia

Sunday, August 21, 2022 - 6:15 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. ET

The Great Falls of the Potomac is the most magnificent natural landmark in the metropolitan Washington area. Rise early on a late summer morning, avoid the crowds, and enjoy a socially distanced, small-group experience in the great outdoors with naturalist Keith Tomlinson.

Lecture/Seminar

The ENIAC Programmers: The Women Behind the First Modern Computer

Wednesday, August 24, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

After the end of World War II, six pioneering women were assigned to program the new Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer—for which there were no instructional codes or programming languages to guide them. They succeeded, but their story was never told to the public. Author and documentary filmmaker Kathy Kleiman brings it—and these technological revolutionaries—out of the shadows.

Tour

Sunrise Hikes at Great Falls, Virginia

Friday, August 26, 2022 - 6:15 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. ET

The Great Falls of the Potomac is the most magnificent natural landmark in the metropolitan Washington area. Rise early on a late summer morning, avoid the crowds, and enjoy a socially distanced, small-group experience in the great outdoors with naturalist Keith Tomlinson.

Lecture/Seminar

How To Be a Conscious Eater

Wednesday, August 31, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Bewildered by navigating a food world full of fads, conflicting news, and marketing hype? You can still make smart, thoughtful choices amid the chaos. Sophie Egan, an expert on food’s impact on human and environmental health, offers a practical guide to everyday eating that’s good for you, good for others, and good for the planet.

Lecture/Seminar

Tangier and Smith Island: Beauty and Peril

Wednesday, August 31, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Tangier Island, Virginia, and Smith Island, Maryland, are communities inextricably connected to the Chesapeake Bay. Enjoy a visual narrative by author and photographer Jay Fleming that explores their environment, communities, and commercial fisheries.

Tour

Historic Homes of Washington Series: The Arts Club of Washington and the Perry Belmont House

Wednesday, September 7, 2022 - 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET

Washington, D.C., is filled with public spaces, monuments, and buildings that define its architectural history and its essence as a city. But much of that character is also shaped by its distinctive residences. Discover two such houses—the Arts Club of Washington and the Perry Belmont House—on an intimately scaled tour that immerses you in the elegance of the early 19th-century and the extravagance of the Gilded Age.

Lecture/Seminar

Spice 101: Cumin

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

Take a gastronomical journey to explore one of the world's most widely used and oldest spices, cumin. Christine Rai discusses its origins and history, flavor profile and composition, and presence in global cuisines, and offers tips for using this internationally beloved spice in your own kitchen.

Tour

Old Town’s African American History

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

Founded in 1749, Alexandria, Virginia, was a major American port that was home to both the country’s largest slave-trading firm and to a large free Black community. Local guide and historian John Chapman leads a walking tour of the city’s OId Town neighborhood that takes in significant sites connected to this history.

Course

The Private Space Industry Revolution

Friday, September 9, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET

We’re living through a revolution in the private space industry, but with the potential for increased light pollution, satellite collisions, and the formation of “mega-constellations” of satellites in Earth’s orbit, do the pros outweigh the cons of this explosive growth? Leading astronomers and pioneers in the private space industry weigh in on the future in a fascinating four-part series presented in cooperation with George Mason University Observatory. This session showcases space policy issues.

Tour

Historic Chestertown with a Cruise on the Schooner Sultana

Sunday, September 11, 2022 - 7:45 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. ET

Regional historian Hayden Mathews explores the rich heritage of this Eastern Shore town, focusing on both land and sea. The day includes a cruise on a replica of an 18th-century vessel, as well as an historic-district walking tour guided by Chestertown’s mayor.

Lecture/Seminar

Senator Patrick Leahy: The Road Taken

Monday, September 12, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

In-Person and Online Program: Drawing on his new memoir, The Road Taken, Patrick Leahy recalls pivotal moments in our nation’s history, from the post-Watergate reform era to ground-breaking Supreme Court confirmations and stress tests like 9/11, the war in Iraq, January 6, and Donald Trump’s impeachment trials.

Lecture/Seminar

The Age of Elegance: Fashion in the 1930s

Tuesday, September 13, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Despite the hardships of the Depression, anyone with a quarter could dream about the glamorous world conjured up by Hollywood—and the era’s innovative fashion designers. Design historian Elizabeth Lay shares the stories and images of the age, one in which film royalty and actual royalty shaped how women and men yearned to dress.

Tour

Historic Homes of Washington Series: The Arts Club of Washington and the Perry Belmont House

Wednesday, September 14, 2022 - 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET

Washington, D.C., is filled with public spaces, monuments, and buildings that define its architectural history and its essence as a city. But much of that character is also shaped by its distinctive residences. Discover two such houses—the Arts Club of Washington and the Perry Belmont House—on an intimately scaled tour that immerses you in the elegance of the early 19th-century and the extravagance of the Gilded Age.

Lecture/Seminar

Taking Control of Your Cancer Risk with WebMD’s John Whyte

Wednesday, September 14, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

In-Person and Online Program: Despite what many people think, says physician John Whyte, chief medical officer of WebMD, most cancer is not caused by genetics, but rather lifestyle. He offers guidelines on factors including food, exercise, and stress management that can reduce your cancer risk and help you on a journey to better health.

Lecture/Seminar

Rick Martínez: Mi Cocina - A Culinary Journey of Self-discovery

Thursday, September 15, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

In 2019, food writer Rick Martínez undertook a culinary journey that covered Mexico, 32 states, 56 cities, and 20,000 miles. He wanted more than to experience new tastes: It was a chance to find and embrace his identity as a third-generation Mexican American. Join Martínez as he discusses the recipes in his new cookbook Mi Cocina, the stories behind them, and their connection to his journey of self-discovery.

Course

The Private Space Industry Revolution

Friday, September 16, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET

We’re living through a revolution in the private space industry, but with the potential for increased light pollution, satellite collisions, and the formation of “mega-constellations” of satellites in Earth’s orbit, do the pros outweigh the cons of this explosive growth? Leading astronomers and pioneers in the private space industry weigh in on the future in a fascinating four-part series presented in cooperation with George Mason University Observatory. This session showcases the vulnerabilities of the night sky.

Tour

Old Town’s African American History

Sunday, September 18, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET

Founded in 1749, Alexandria, Virginia, was a major American port that was home to both the country’s largest slave-trading firm and to a large free Black community. Local guide and historian John Chapman leads a walking tour of the city’s OId Town neighborhood that takes in significant sites connected to this history.

Course

Lunchtime with a Curator: Decorative Arts Design Series

Monday, September 19, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Join curator Elizabeth Lay as she hosts an image-rich series on decorative arts and design topics with guests. In this fall lunchtime program, Lay's guest is Diana Pardue, chief curator at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, who surveys the design evolution of Native American jewelry.

Lecture/Seminar

Baltimore Neighborhoods: Mount Washington

Monday, September 19, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Hilly—but far from mountainous—Mount Washington is a residential neighborhood of choice and a destination within the city limits for a variety of activities. Arts journalist and former Baltimore resident Richard Selden continues his survey of Charm City neighborhoods with a virtual tour of Mount Washington, focusing on notable sites that define its history and character.

Lecture/Seminar

Tiffany Glass from the Neustadt Collection

Tuesday, September 20, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Take a behind-the-scenes look at works by Louis C. Tiffany and his studios in the preeminent Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass in Queens, New York. Lindsy Parrott, the collection’s executive director and curator, shares highlights of this extraordinary assemblage encompassing lamps, windows, metalwork, and rare archival materials—and offers tips on spotting authentic Tiffany works among the forgeries.

Lecture/Seminar

Orson Welles: A Turbulent and Brilliant Life

Wednesday, September 21, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Hailed at 25 for his monumental Citizen Kane, the prolific Orson Welles was cursed with being ahead of his time. From his highbrow choices of subject matter to the rule-shattering filmmaking techniques he employed, he was an outsider from the outset—and Hollywood never forgave him for it. Film historian Max Alvarez surveys a career that saw Welles fall from boy genius to industry exile, despite his undervalued and often extraordinary post-Kane cinematic achievements.

Lecture/Seminar

The Rosetta Stone, a Key to the Past

Wednesday, September 21, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

Two hundred years ago, French historian and linguist Jean-Francois Champollion deciphered the hieroglyphics inscribed on a slab of black stone found in Egypt in 1799—finally cracking the code to the ancient Egyptians’ enigmatic writing system. Historian Gary Rendsburg unfolds the exciting story of one of the most important archaeological discoveries of all time.

Lecture/Seminar

The Dome of the Rock

Thursday, September 22, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Dominating the skyline of Jerusalem for more than 1,300 years, the Dome of the Rock is both a sacred Islamic shrine and an iconic symbol of the Holy City. What messages did the artists who built it enshrine here, and what does this World Heritage Site have to say to us today? Barbara Boehm, curator emerita of the Met Cloisters explores this remarkable place, including its history, mosaics, and inscriptions, and its enduring meaning. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar

Boost Your Emotional Fitness

Thursday, September 22, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Increased uncertainty, constant change, and ongoing challenges are leading to new levels of stress, feeling overwhelmed, and burnout. Nataly Kogan, speaker, author, and host of the Awesome Human podcast, shares research in neuroscience and psychology that provides the foundation for practical strategies that can help individuals reduce stress, boost resilience, and meet difficult times with less struggle and greater energy.

Tour

A Bite of Baltimore: Savoring Food Traditions

Friday, September 23, 2022 - 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET

Baltimore is a city with a rich and diverse food history shaped by products from the surrounding fertile farmland, the bounty of the Chesapeake Bay, and the heritage of waves of immigrants. Join food guru Christine Rai for a dynamic and delicious day exploring the unique food culture of Charm City in locations that include the historic Lexington Market and the stables where the city’s distinctive “Arraber” vendors prepare their horse-drawn produce wagons.

Course

The Private Space Industry Revolution

Friday, September 23, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET

We’re living through a revolution in the private space industry, but with the potential for increased light pollution, satellite collisions, and the formation of “mega-constellations” of satellites in Earth’s orbit, do the pros outweigh the cons of this explosive growth? Leading astronomers and pioneers in the private space industry weigh in on the future in a fascinating four-part series presented in cooperation with George Mason University Observatory. This session showcases mega-constellations.

Tour

Old Town’s African American History

Saturday, September 24, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET

Founded in 1749, Alexandria, Virginia, was a major American port that was home to both the country’s largest slave-trading firm and to a large free Black community. Local guide and historian John Chapman leads a walking tour of the city’s OId Town neighborhood that takes in significant sites connected to this history.

Tour

Historic Chestertown with a Cruise on the Schooner Sultana

Sunday, September 25, 2022 - 7:45 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. ET

Regional historian Hayden Mathews explores the rich heritage of this Eastern Shore town, focusing on both land and sea. The day includes a cruise on a replica of an 18th-century vessel, as well as an historic-district walking tour guided by Chestertown’s mayor.

Lecture/Seminar

The Legal Legacy of Jim Crow

Wednesday, September 28, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

In-Person and Online Program: Margaret A. Burnham, director of Northeastern University’s Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project, investigates the violence of the Jim Crow–era, the legal apparatus that sustained it, and its enduring legacy. As she maps the criminal legal system in the mid-20th-century South, she traces its line back to slavery and forward to the legal structures of today.

Lecture/Seminar

Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease and the Dementias: What We Know, What We Can Do

Thursday, September 29, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Alzheimer’s disease, and the dementias in general, are among the most-feared consequences of being lucky enough to survive into older age. Barry Gordon, a nationally recognized expert on memory and memory disorders, sheds light on these debilitating conditions and provides guidance on what you need to know to take the most informed and active steps if faced with one of them—whether personally or in a family member or friend.

Course

The Private Space Industry Revolution

Friday, September 30, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET

We’re living through a revolution in the private space industry, but with the potential for increased light pollution, satellite collisions, and the formation of “mega-constellations” of satellites in Earth’s orbit, do the pros outweigh the cons of this explosive growth? Leading astronomers and pioneers in the private space industry weigh in on the future in a fascinating four-part series presented in cooperation with George Mason University Observatory. This session showcases SpaceX and the commerical space industry.

Lecture/Seminar

Philosophy in the Middle Ages: A Harmony of Faith and Reason

Saturday, October 1, 2022 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

The medieval period in Western thought, once viewed disparagingly by scholars as the Dark Ages, has come to be recognized as a time of rich philosophic investigation and lively debate. Gregory T. Doolan, associate professor of philosophy at The Catholic University of America, explores the work of notable Christian, Muslim, and Jewish thinkers from the major periods of medieval philosophy.

Course

Lunchtime with a Curator: Decorative Arts Design Series

Monday, October 3, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Join curator Elizabeth Lay as she hosts an image-rich series on decorative arts and design topics with guests. In this fall lunchtime program, Lay's guest is decorative arts curator Amy McHugh, who traces how treasures from France’s Crown Jewels found their way into the wardrobes of America’s Gilded-Age heiresses.

Course

More Stories from the American Songbook

Tuesday, October 4, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

For decades we’ve danced, romanced, and dreamed to songs like “As Time Goes By,” “Night and Day,” and other enduring gems. In an afternoon series, filmmaker and cultural historian Sara Lukinson traces how some of our favorite songs came to be and how different artists, unexpected arrangements, and changing times transformed them into something brand new, yet still the same. This session spotlights the following songs: "Night and Day" and "I've Got You Under My Skin."

Lecture/Seminar

Jim Thorpe: Outracing the Odds

Thursday, October 6, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

In-Person and Online Program: Jim Thorpe rose to world fame as a mythic talent who excelled at every sport, but despite his colossal skills, his life was a struggle against the odds. Biographer David Maraniss discusses America’s greatest all-around athlete, a man who endured in the face of racism, alcohol abuse, broken marriages, and financial distress—and so did his myth.

Lecture/Seminar

Jacques Pépin on the Art of the Chicken

Thursday, October 6, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

Legendary chef Jacques Pepin celebrates his love of chickens as he reminisces on his life through the lens of the humble bird. Spend a delightful evening listening to the chef recall his childhood and career, and his celebrated paintings of chickens (of course!). He also shares recipes, along with poignant memories and the stories behind them.

Course

Lunchtime with a Curator: Decorative Arts Design Series

Monday, October 17, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Join curator Elizabeth Lay as she hosts an image-rich series on decorative arts and design topics with guests. In this fall lunchtime program, Lay's guest is period jewelry specialist Sheila Smithie, who offers insights into the creation of stunning, classically inspired pieces from Europe’s fabled 19th-century Revival jewelers.

Course

More Stories from the American Songbook

Tuesday, October 18, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

For decades we’ve danced, romanced, and dreamed to songs like “As Time Goes By,” “Night and Day,” and other enduring gems. In an afternoon series, filmmaker and cultural historian Sara Lukinson traces how some of our favorite songs came to be and how different artists, unexpected arrangements, and changing times transformed them into something brand new, yet still the same. This session spotlights the following songs: "As Time Goes By" and "These Foolish Things."

Lecture/Seminar

Zingerman's Deli Turns 40

Tuesday, October 18, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

The iconic Zingerman’s Delicatessen in Ann Arbor, Michigan, opened in 1982 as a traditional Jewish deli and food shop that sold great stacked sandwiches and delicious baked goods. Less known is its role in building new food-business opportunities for others in the area. Co-founder Ari Weinzweig joins Christopher W. Wilson, director of experience design at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, to discuss Zingerman’s story and unique approach to management and leadership.

Lecture/Seminar

The Films of Alfred Hitchcock

Wednesday, October 19, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

In a career spanning 5 decades, film director Alfred Hitchcock made 54 films, including such classics as The 39 Steps, Rebecca, Notorious, Rear Window, North by Northwest, Vertigo, and Psycho. Brian Rose, professor emeritus at Fordham University, looks at Hitchcock’s achievements as the Master of Suspense and through dozens of film clips, examines his extraordinary creativity as one of the 20th century’s greatest filmmakers.

Lecture/Seminar

Cultural Heritage Sites of China

Saturday, October 22, 2022 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

From the grand splendor of the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace to the serene beauty of the gardens of Suzhou and the grand tombs of Ming and Qing dynasty rulers, spend a day with art historian Robert DeCaroli as he introduces spectacular places in China that are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Lecture/Seminar

Ghostly Images in Japanese Art

Wednesday, October 26, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Female ghosts have been an enduring theme in the history of Japanese art, touching people’s deepest fears, curiosities, and imaginations. Yui Suzuki, an art historian specializing in Japanese religious art, explores the popularity and proliferation of these spectral images that haunt the art of the Edo period. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Course

More Stories from the American Songbook

Tuesday, November 1, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

For decades we’ve danced, romanced, and dreamed to songs like “As Time Goes By,” “Night and Day,” and other enduring gems. In an afternoon series, filmmaker and cultural historian Sara Lukinson traces how some of our favorite songs came to be and how different artists, unexpected arrangements, and changing times transformed them into something brand new, yet still the same. This session spotlights the following songs: "The Lady Is a Tramp" and "Mack the Knife."