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

What's New? Programs

Members-Only Program
Friday, February 11, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET

In this members-only series led by veteran arts educator Roberta Gasbarre and to mark National Inventors’ Day, historian Eric Hintz of the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation surveys the unique challenges faced by individual inventors in today’s world of corporations and teams of market-driven creators.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, February 16, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

Most of us think of ourselves as good, but it’s not always easy to determine what’s good or bad—especially in a world filled with complicated choices and bad advice. Michael Schur, creator ofThe Good Place,” joins Todd May, the show’s philosophical adviser to offer plenty of funny and practical wisdom on tough issues we face every day and thought-provoking guidance on living an ethical life based on 2,500 years of deep thinking from around the world.

Program
Thursday, February 24, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer, and NEA Jazz Master Joseph Benjamin Wilder left a broad footprint that still resonates in the world of music today. In a virtual concert, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra celebrates Wilder’s unique talents during what would be his 100th year.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, February 28, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

New Mexico geologist Kirt Kempter explores the dramatic landscapes that captivated Georgia O’Keeffe and often provided the inspiration for her art. The geologic story of the beloved region O’Keeffe called home spans more than 300 million years and includes rock layers from ancient rivers, oceans, and sand dunes.

Course
Wednesday, March 2, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

If you’ve always wanted to learn the language and elements of musical notation and composition or are a singer or instrumentalist who has never mastered reading music, this interactive course led by music educator and conductor Ernest Johnson offers the perfect opportunity.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, March 2, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

Katharine Hayhoe, a leading expert on the science of climate change, has found that the most effective way to talk about this polarizing topic is not by focusing on the facts, but on shared values and common ground. In conversation with Carla Easter of the National Museum of Natural History, Hayhoe discusses how that approach can result in new directions and goals for combatting climate change.

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

With its 18th- and 19th-century fabric largely intact and its sailor’s-bar heritage tidied up, Fells Point offers a unique perspective into Baltimore’s enduring identity as a port city on the Chesapeake. A virtual tour with arts journalist and former Baltimore resident Richard Selden surveys the waterfront neighborhood’s history and character.

Course
Wednesday, March 9, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

From early megastars like Paderewski to marquee-name composers such as Tchaikovsky and Dvorák, America has long drawn members of Europe’s music world as a place to perform, work, and in some cases, settle. Speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin explores the siren call of America to musical artists and their lasting impressions on our cultural life.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, March 10, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

The Bible’s frequent portrayal of God as corporeal and masculine is seen as a metaphorical, figurative, or poetic construct. Drawing on her new book, ancient religions expert Francesca Stavrakopoulou presents a different portrait: a vividly corporeal biblical-era God created in the image of the people who lived then, a product of a particular society and time, and shaped by their own circumstances and experience of the world.

Members-Only Program
Friday, March 11, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET

In this members-only series led by veteran arts educator Roberta Gasbarre and in celebration of Women’s History Month, actress, singer, composer, and activist Carol Lynn Maillard—a founding member of the legendary a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock—recounts how music, the stage, and spirituality shaped her amazing life.

Tour
Saturday, March 12, 2022 - 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET

The 104-year-old Baltimore Museum of Art, whose collections encompass 19th-century, modern, and contemporary art, houses 95,000 holdings including the largest collection of works by Henri Matisse in the world. Spend a day at the museum with art historian Ursula Wolfman enjoying its highlights, the famed Cone Collection, and the special exhibition The Rembrandt Effect. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, March 15, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET

Charles Darwin has long been put on a pedestal and idolized as an objective, rational thinker who challenged the theist views of his day and changed for the better how we see the world. The truth, however, is a lot more complicated says evolutionary biologist Rui Diogo. He takes an unflinching look at how the racism and sexism of the Victorian era undermined Darwin’s scientific work and legacy.

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

Our favorite moments in movies never leave us. In a 4-session series, Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson revisits favorite films and characters, the people who dreamed them up, the actors who brought them to life, and the lasting memories they made in our lives and our myths. This session focuses on films with Barbra Streisand and Julie Andrews.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, March 17, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

In the years before, during, and after the Civil War, large numbers of Americans joined secret movements, paramilitary clubs, and partisan societies. Their activities cast a shadow on public attitudes toward democracy, race, immigration, slavery, and political violence. In our own era of polarization and division Jon Grinspan, a curator at the National Museum of American History, finds parallels with an earlier time when tribal political identities pushed many to walk the line between the right to assemble and seditious violence.

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, March 19, 2022 - 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET

Historian Kevin Matthews discusses Winston Churchill’s tempestuous career as an army officer, war correspondent, member of Parliament, and minister in both Liberal and Conservative governments to reveal a man too often hidden by the post-World War II legends that surround him.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, March 21, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

The landscape of the Pacific Northwest has been significantly shaped by massive floods in the geologic past. Geologist Kirt Kempter explores the catastrophic supervolcano eruptions that unleashed lava flows beginning approximately 17 million years ago and the widespread flooding at the end of the last Ice Age cycle that carved much of the Columbia River Gorge.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, March 22, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Decades after their deaths, the story of the love affair between two iconic British actors still captivates millions. Author Stephen Galloway draws on new research as he looks at the tempestuous relationship between Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier—one that took place against the backdrop of two world wars, the golden age of Hollywood, and the upheavals of the 1960s—as they struggled with love, loss, and the ultimate agony of their parting.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, March 23, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET

The wrongful court-martial of Alfred Dreyfus, a young officer—and a Jew—in 1895 Paris, has had far-reaching ramifications. Historian Ralph Nurnberger highlights the trial when Dreyfus was convicted and explains why the Dreyfus affair has had far-reaching ramifications, including setting the stage for the expansion of anti-Semitism in Europe. 

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, March 24, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

The Romans ruled Britain from 43 A.D.– 410 A.D. During those centuries, the Romans drew the island into a tight web of international trade and imperial political intrigue. But the island’s conquerors also introduced innovations that eventually transformed this Roman province. Historian Jennifer Paxton explores the complicated impact of Roman rule on Britain.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, March 24, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Ready to muscle-up your brainpower? Dive into many techniques of mental calisthenics in an enjoyable interactive program led by Stanley Newman, crossword editor for Newsday, and put them to practical use with numerous real-life examples.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, March 24, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

In-Person and Streaming Program: Cookbook author, New York Times columnist, and host of “Kenji’s Cooking Show,” J. Kenji López-Alt believes that once you master the mechanics of a stir fry and how to achieve wok hei—the special flavor a hot wok imparts to food—you’re ready to cook home- and restaurant-style dishes from across Asia and the United States. Join him as he discusses the science and technique of cooking in a wok and endless ideas for brightening up dinner.

Course
Sunday, March 27, 2022 - 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET

In this spring series, David Gariff, senior lecturer at the National Gallery of Art, examines how artists can find power in both words and images. This session looks at how Giorgio Vasari captured the lives of fellow creators in a seminal work of art history. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, March 29, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Current debates about women in Afghanistan suggest that they were subjugated for centuries. Anthropologist and archaeologist Sandra Scham reaches deep into the country’s past to reveal the complex and surprising stories of women revolutionaries, freedom fighters, intellectuals, and rulers who were instrumental in creating a country that by the 1960s was making great strides toward achieving its own version of modernization.

Course
Thursday, March 31, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Our favorite moments in movies never leave us. In a 4-session series, Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson revisits favorite films and characters, the people who dreamed them up, the actors who brought them to life, and the lasting memories they made in our lives and our myths. This session focuses on films with Sidney Poitier and Sean Connery.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, March 31, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Roberto Burle Marx, one of the most influential and groundbreaking landscape artists of the 20th century, introduced modernist landscape architecture to his native Brazil that incorporated many colorful native species. Garden designer and photographer C. Colston Burrell explores Burle Marx’s home and studio, as well as private gardens and parks he created for friends and municipalities.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, April 1, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

The Umbrian hill town of Assisi potently captures the spirit of the Middle Ages in a way few places can. Art historian Elaine Ruffolo explores how this most extraordinary town was shaped by glorious art, architecture, and the legacy of Saint Francis. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Tour
Saturday, April 2, 2022 - 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET

Spend a day at the Philadelphia Museum of Art exploring architect Frank Gehry’s extraordinary new vision for the museum’s interior inspired by the character of the historic 1928 building. The renovations open the museum’s interior with soaring public spaces, and dramatic vistas incorporating additional room for art, and easier navigation. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, April 5, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

From the beginnings of nightly network reports to the launch of CNN to 24/7 cable channels, television news has undergone remarkable transformations in the last seven decades. Brian Rose looks at these sweeping changes and examines the impact—both good and bad—of television journalism today.

Course
Tuesday, April 5, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Throughout the long history of Japan, Japanese visual arts adopted and adapted style elements of foreign cultures—Chinese, Korean, European—refining techniques, materials, and viewing practices to suit their own societal needs, ideas, and cultural practices. Art historian Yui Suzuki examines timeless works by skilled Japanese artisans in their historical, religious, and political contexts. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, April 6, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

From bees to bats and everything in between, learn from naturalist Liana Vitali about the fascinating lives of pollinators—and how our lives depend to a great extent on the work they do.

Tour
Saturday, April 9, 2022 - 8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. ET

The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, America’s first common carrier, was a pioneer in many components of railroading in the United States. Step into more than 100 years of its fascinating history on an insider’s visit to the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore guided by rail historian Joe Nevin.

Tour
April 10 - 11, 2022, 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

Brooklyn offers plenty of delights for lovers of art, music, nature, and of course, food. On this two-day visit, arts journalist and former Brooklynite Richard Selden introduces you to several of the borough’s top attractions.

Course
Thursday, April 14, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Our favorite moments in movies never leave us. In a 4-session series, Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson revisits favorite films and characters, the people who dreamed them up, the actors who brought them to life, and the lasting memories they made in our lives and our myths. This session focuses on films with James Earl Jones and Jason Robards.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, April 14, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET

Historian Christopher Hamner focuses on how three of Abraham Lincoln’s best-known speeches—his First Inaugural, Gettysburg Address, and his Second Inaugural—helped to move a war-weary citizenry toward a radical new understanding of the country’s own values and of the meaning of the war and of emancipation.

Course
Tuesday, April 19, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Conductor Ernest Johnson builds on his Introduction to Music Theory course in an interactive series for experienced singers and instrumentalists. Content includes an analysis of melody and harmony in greater depth and detail; weekly assignments in ear-training, sight-reading, and composition; and instructor-led musical dictation.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, April 20, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

For centuries, the most celebrated female artist of the Italian Baroque was largely forgotten. But the work of Artemisia Gentileschi is now enjoying a long overdue revival. Art historian Aneta Georgievska Shine explores the accomplishments of a painter who overcame personal and professional challenges to succeed in the 17th century—and again in our own time. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Tour
April 24 - 25, 2022, 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET

The Brandywine River Valley includes some of the loveliest and most historic areas of Delaware and Pennsylvania, and spring is an ideal time to sample its attractions. Join Hayden Mathews, an environmental and cultural history interpreter, on a two-day visit to sites that provide unique doorways into the region’s heritage.

Course
Sunday, April 24, 2022 - 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET

In this spring series, David Gariff, senior lecturer at the National Gallery of Art, examines how artists can find power in both words and images. This session looks at the influence of Shakespeare and Dante on the sculpture of Rodin. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Course
Thursday, April 28, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Our favorite moments in movies never leave us. In a 4-session series, Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson revisits favorite films and characters, the people who dreamed them up, the actors who brought them to life, and the lasting memories they made in our lives and our myths. This session focuses on films with Steve Martin and Mel Brooks.

Course
Sunday, May 22, 2022 - 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET

In this spring series, David Gariff, senior lecturer at the National Gallery of Art, examines how artists can find power in both words and images. This session looks at the revealing friendship of Édouard Manet and Emile Zola. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)