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The exhibit focuses on the way artists express absence through sculpture, video installation, painting, photography, and other mediums.

Event date Saturday, February 23, 2019 - 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Smithsonian Insider Event: Get an exclusive preview of the upcoming new CNN Original Series, “The Bush Years: Family, Duty, Power,” which explores the Bush family’s internal dynamics: the influential matriarchs, sibling ambitions, and unceasing competitive spirit that drove them to power.

Event date Thursday, February 28, 2019 - 7:30 p.m.

Devoted followers of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” have production designer Deborah Riley—and a small army of crafts specialists—to thank for the highly detailed environment against which the saga of power, family, revenge, and romance plays out. Join Riley and executive producer Bernadette Caulfield as they discuss the show’s distinctive visual style and offer behind-the-scenes insights into the making of the series.

Event date Monday, April 1, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Philanthropist and technology pioneer Jean Case examines the risk-taking principles that guided notable change-makers from JFK to Jane Goodall to José Andrés and shares how they can be put into action in our own lives.

Event date Friday, April 5, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

The Benjamin Franklin Creativity Laureate Award recognizes and celebrates influential thinkers, innovators, and catalysts in the arts, sciences, and humanities in both traditional and emerging disciplines. Nina Totenberg, NPR's legal affairs correspondent, is the recipient of the 17th annual award, and discusses her career in a lively conversation during the presentation program.

Event date Friday, April 5, 2019 - 7:00 p.m.

Enjoy the beauty of a spring morning on the 90-acre wooded oasis and national memorial in the middle of the tidal Potomac. Author and naturalist Melanie Choukas-Bradley leads a scenic walk around Roosevelt Island, focusing on its woodlands, wildlife, and history.

Event date Tuesday, April 9, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Smithsonian Gardens greenhouse facility in Suitland, Maryland, home of Smithsonian Gardens’ Greenhouse Nursery Operations. Discover what it takes to keep the many gardens and interior plant displays looking their best all year round.

Event date Tuesday, April 9, 2019 - 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

If you love rock and roll, and want to sing some of the greatest hits of all time, join the Boomers Rock ’n’ Roll Chorus, a program geared for people ages 55 and above who love to sing—and there’s no experience required.

Event date Rehearsals: Tuesday, April 9 to May 28, 2019, 6:45 p.m.
Performance: Tuesday, June 4, 2019, 6:45 p.m.

Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Smithsonian Gardens greenhouse facility in Suitland, Maryland, home of Smithsonian Gardens’ Greenhouse Nursery Operations. Discover what it takes to keep the many gardens and interior plant displays looking their best all year round.

Event date Wednesday, April 10, 2019 - 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Washington has always been a thirsty town, with a brewing tradition stretching back centuries. Spend a day tracing its past and sampling its present as local historian Garrett Peck leads a bus tour of brew-related sites.

Event date Friday, April 12, 2019 - 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Developed in the mid-19th century as one of the District’s first suburbs, Anacostia and its residents played a key role in shaping the city we know today. Join a historian for a walking tour that traces its heritage and significance, with a focus on the noted resident that came to be known as the “Lion of Anacostia,” Fredrick Douglass.

Event date Saturday, April 13, 2019 - 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Developed in the mid-19th century as one of the District’s first suburbs, Anacostia and its residents played a key role in shaping the city we know today. Join a historian for a walking tour that traces its heritage and significance, with a focus on the noted resident that came to be known as the “Lion of Anacostia,” Fredrick Douglass.

Event date Saturday, April 13, 2019 - 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Renee Sklarew and Rachel Cooper, experts on the area’s hiking scene, lead a springtime walk through Huntley Meadows Park, the region’s largest freshwater marsh, followed by a glimpse into Alexandria’s colonial past at Gadsby’s Tavern and a visit to the city’s towering landmark, the George Washington Masonic National Memorial.

Event date Sunday, April 14, 2019 - 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The origins of the notorious screed The Protocols of the Elders of Zion are a mystery, but its reality as a malicious tool used by such disparate voices as the Russian secret police, Adolf Hitler, Henry Ford, and the Charlottesville ultra-nationalists underscores its evil staying power. Historian Ralph Nurnberger unravels the story behind this infamous anti-Semitic document.

Event date Monday, April 15, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

No composer changed the aesthetic landscape of the 19th century as thoroughly as did the influential and controversial Richard Wagner (1813–1883). Popular Smithsonian music lecturer Saul Lilienstein illuminates aspects of Wagner’s life, works, influence, and achievements.

Event date Tuesday, April 16 to May 21, 2019 – 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

No other location is as associated with George Washington as Alexandria, a place he considered his hometown. Join author and historian Garrett Peck as he follows Washington’s footsteps through Old Town’s alleyways, rustic taverns, churches, 18th-century houses, and historic waterfront.

Event date Friday, April 19, 2019 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

One significant aspect of Harriet Tubman’s life is less well-known than her role in the abolitionist movement: her Civil War military service as a spy for the Union Army in South Carolina. Historian Elizabeth Cobbs examines her activities behind enemy lines—including guiding an armed mission that liberated more than 700 slaves.

Event date Monday, April 22, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Southern Maryland’s Calvert Cliffs are a vivid remnant of the Chesapeake Bay’s prehistoric past. Stephen Godfrey, a Smithsonian research associate and curator of paleontology at the Calvert Marine Museum, traces the fascinating history of the cliffs, discusses the amazing diversity of fossils that they preserve, and the picture they present of the Mid-Atlantic environment during the Miocene epoch.

Event date Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Late 18th-century England is the backdrop for the British series “Poldark” on PBS. Ross Poldark is the dashing hero caught up in the social, political, and economic changes swirling around him. Find out what the series, set in rugged Cornwall, gets right about the period.

Event date Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Pull up a chair as food writer Elizabeth Minchilli and cookbook author Domenica Marchetti serve up a lively discussion about what goes into an Italian meal. They consider the country’s many food-focused traditions, as well as the way they are celebrated every day at the table. 

Event date Thursday, April 25, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

See Philadelphia in a new light as museum education consultant Sheila Pinsker opens doors to unsuspected opportunities to view glass in a wide variety of places and forms. She guides participants to three special sites: a museum, a spectacular 19th-century Masonic landmark, and a glass artist’s studio.

Event date Friday, April 26, 2019 - 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

In a one-day workshop at Pizza University, chef Felice Colucci guides you through the steps and secrets of making Neapolitan-style pizza from scratch. Graduate with tips on making the pie at home.

Event date Friday, April 26, 2019 - 6:00 p.m.

Historian Stephen D. Engle argues reconstruction commenced not in April 1865 with peace, but in April 1861 with the onset of the Civil War. Learn how the Civil War changed a people and a nation as he surveys the wider scope of its social and political changes.

Event date Saturday, April 27, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Few of the great composers were so profoundly affected by a city as was Mozart by Vienna, a preeminent center of cultural life in Europe of the late 18th century. Musicologist and pianist Daniel Freeman looks at the relationship between the glorious city and the composer, highlighting some of his greatest masterpieces created during his residence there.

Event date Saturday, April 27, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

In a one-day workshop at Pizza University, chef Felice Colucci guides you through the steps and secrets of making Neapolitan-style pizza from scratch. Graduate with tips on making the pie at home.

Event date Saturday, April 27, 2019 - 1:00 p.m.

Thomas Jefferson was among the most notable aficionados of Madeira, the fortified Portuguese wine that at one time was the most popular potable throughout the British Empire. At his namesake hotel in downtown Washington, learn about the Founding Father’s connection to the drink, and enjoy a guided tasting of fine Madeiras.

Event date Saturday, April 27, 2019 - 1:00 p.m.

No other location is as associated with George Washington as Alexandria, a place he considered his hometown. Join author and historian Garrett Peck as he follows Washington’s footsteps through Old Town’s alleyways, rustic taverns, churches, 18th-century houses, and historic waterfront.

Event date Saturday, April 27, 2019 - 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Developed in the mid-19th century as one of the District’s first suburbs, Anacostia and its residents played a key role in shaping the city we know today. Join a historian for a walking tour that traces its heritage and significance, with a focus on the noted resident that came to be known as the “Lion of Anacostia,” Fredrick Douglass.

Event date Sunday, April 28, 2019 - 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

No other location is as associated with George Washington as Alexandria, a place he considered his hometown. Join author and historian Garrett Peck as he follows Washington’s footsteps through Old Town’s alleyways, rustic taverns, churches, 18th-century houses, and historic waterfront.

Event date Sunday, April 28, 2019 - 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Medicinal plants have a long history across civilizations, and are garnering attention as the influences of herbalism and natural medicine move into the mainstream. Join Niraj Ray, founder of Cultivate the City, on the rooftop of its urban farm and learn how to utilize a diversity of these plants for both food and medical purposes.

Event date Sunday, April 28, 2019 - 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Animal behavior expert Frans de Waal’s fascinating explorations into the social and emotional lives of primates have revealed that humans are not the only species with the capacity for love, hate, fear, shame, joy, or generosity. Drawing on his newest book, Mama’s Last Hug, he examines the remarkable emotional continuity between our species and others.

Event date Monday, April 29, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

The sprawling Central Intelligence Agency has thousands of eyes and ears, but only one client: the president of the United States. The CIA’s chief historian David Robarge discusses the agency’s changing role throughout administrations, and how presidents’ experience with intelligence and their foreign policy agendas have affected that relationship.

Event date Tuesday, April 30, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

The National Arboretum, one of D.C.’s best-kept secrets, is home to 9 miles of winding parkland roads covering more than 450 acres. Enjoy a spring day outdoors during what is usually the peak blooming time for azaleas, dogwoods, and seasonal wildflowers.

Event date Wednesday, May 1, 2019 - 9:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The pianist, vocalist, and humorist extraordinaire pays tribute to the composers whose work defines the Great American Songbook.

Event date Wednesday, May 1 to 22, 2019 - 10:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Drawing on his new memoir, the executive chef of Kith and Kin shares the remarkable story of his culinary coming-of-age: one about the intersection of food, fame, and race.

Event date Wednesday, May 1, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Abraham Lincoln spent 18 of his last 21 days of life not in Washington but in eastern Virginia, headquarters for Ulysses S. Grant’s campaign against Robert E. Lee. Trace his steps through sites in the region which offer new insights into a war-weary president—and nation—at a pivotal moment in history.

Event date Saturday, May 4, 2019 - 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

We’ve held them in our hands forever, but books have radically shifted their forms over the millennia. Steven Galbraith, curator of the Cary Graphic Arts Collection at the Rochester Institute of Technology, unfolds the pages of their history and previews their future.

Event date Saturday, May 4, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

From Roman temples to gothic cathedrals to modernist office buildings, architecture has constantly shaped and conditioned our experience of the world. George Mason University professor Lisa Passaglia Bauman examines how architectural styles developed and interacted with culture, religion, and history over the centuries. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

Event date Tuesday, May 7 to 28, 2019 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

His early political career was notable for his embrace of plans to build a better world. But then things changed. Biographer John Farrell examines Richard Nixon’s personal and political journey from naval lieutenant to disgraced president.

Event date Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

From their first performance of “I Want To Hold Your Hand” on the Ed Sullivan show in 1964 to “Let It Be” on their final album in 1970, the songs of the Beatles defined and shaped an explosive era in musical and cultural history. Join musical raconteur Robert Wyatt on a “magical mystery tour” of the life and works of the group whose influence still echoes in pop music—and our lives.

Event date Thursday, May 9, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Considered by some to be the “First Brexit,” the 16th-century break with Rome and Catholic Europe would forever change England’s religion, culture, communication, and place in the world. Tudor and Renaissance scholar Carol Ann Lloyd Stanger examines how the Reformation transformed England into a maritime nation, a global power, and the center of a new empire.

Event date Wednesday, May 15, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

The turn of the 20th century found Europe’s greatest cities entering defining eras in their historical and cultural development. In a richly illustrated full-day program, lecturer George Scheper explores how the alignment of creative forces shaped three highly distinctive urban milieus—each nourished by the energy and excitement of new ideas and each witnessing the birth of modernism in the new century. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Event date Saturday, May 18, 2019 - 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

In a two-day active getaway designed for outdoor lovers, explore Blue Ridge trails at the height of their spring beauty, and stay at an historic lodge on Skyline Drive that offers magnificent panoramic views of the mountain landscapes.

Event date Depart: Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 8:30 a.m.
Return: Monday, May 20, 2019 - 7:30 p.m.

Learn the benefits of quiet time spent in touch with nature as Melanie Choukas-Bradley, a certified nature and forest-therapy guide and author of The Joy of Forest Bathing, leads a 2-hour walk in the Smithsonian’s beautiful Enid A. Haupt Garden.

Event date Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.