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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

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Members Only
Friday, March 12, 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 Fredie Adelman, director, Smithsonian Associates.

Members Only
Friday, March 19, 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 Molly Smith, artistic director, Arena Stage.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, March 25, 2021 - 6:15 p.m. ET

Heavily influenced by the cuisines of France and Ireland, traditional Québécois food is hearty yet sophisticated. Dig into some of its history as Montréal chef Dominic Sylvain demonstrates how to make one of its most iconic dishes, pâté chinois—a beloved French-Canadian spin on shepherd’s pie that’s perfect for warming up a chilly winter.

Members Only
Friday, April 2, 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 Jennifer Collins, manager of ocean education and outreach, National Museum of Natural History.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, April 8, 2021 - 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 works of art by Vincent van Gogh and poetry by Mary Oliver, explore the lessons that spring offers when we slow down, observe closely, and look inward.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, April 8, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Robert Paarlberg, an adjunct professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and the author of Starved for Science, Food Politics, and The United States of Excess, offers a bold science-based response to misinformation about food production and organic, unprocessed foods.

Course
Tuesday, April 13 to June 1, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. ET (Performance on Tuesday, June 8, 2021)

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, here’s the perfect opportunity. In an interactive course leading to a performance, conductor Ernest Johnson guides participants 55 and older in developing the foundation every musician needs.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, April 13, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. ET

In this heartfelt story of survival, journalist Kale Williams views the world through the eyes of Nora, an abandoned polar bear cub. He explores the impact of climate change on wildlife and how we might develop a more respectful relationship with the natural world and our part in this fragile eco-system.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, April 14, 2021 - 7:00 p.m. ET

Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku tells the story of the epic quest to ultimately tie all the forces in the universe together into one beautiful equation that can unlock the deepest mysteries of space and time.

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

Great art is timeless. Paul Glenshaw explores one of the most iconic patriotic images in American art—and one of the most reproduced—to reveal a surprising history that includes its creation in, of all places, Germany.  (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Tour
Wednesday, April 21, 2021 - 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Enjoy a socially distanced morning walk on a natural oasis in the Potomac with Melanie Choukas-Bradley, the author of the new book Finding Solace at Theodore Roosevelt Island. Walk along the nearly 2-mile path where willows, bald cypresses, and cattails frame views of Washington, D.C. The morning also includes moments of guided forest bathing to quietly soak up the beauty of this wild island.

Tour
Thursday, April 22, 2021 - 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Enjoy a socially distanced morning walk on a natural oasis in the Potomac with Melanie Choukas-Bradley, the author of the new book Finding Solace at Theodore Roosevelt Island. Walk along the nearly 2-mile path where willows, bald cypresses, and cattails frame views of Washington, D.C. The morning also includes moments of guided forest bathing to quietly soak up the beauty of this wild island.

Course
Thursday, April 22, May 20, and June 17, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. ET

Join Fred Plotkin, a popular Smithsonian speaker on culture, history, and music, as he shares hidden treasures discovered during his casual strolls through Florence, Berlin, and Dublin.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, April 22, 2021 - 7:00 p.m. ET

What’s the secret to pairing a cocktail with just the right wickedly indulgent sweet? Two masters in composing after-dinner delights show how to make sublime confections and build expert cocktails superbly crafted for each other.

Tour
Friday, April 23, 2021 - 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Enjoy a socially distanced morning walk on a natural oasis in the Potomac with Melanie Choukas-Bradley, the author of the new book Finding Solace at Theodore Roosevelt Island. Walk along the nearly 2-mile path where willows, bald cypresses, and cattails frame views of Washington, D.C. The morning also includes moments of guided forest bathing to quietly soak up the beauty of this wild island.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, April 27, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. ET

Smithsonian Gardens horticulturist Christine Price-Abelow leads a virtual spring bloom tour at the National Museum of the American Indian, providing an overview of the museum’s landscape and its evolution over the last 15 years.

Members Only
Friday, April 30, 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 John Grant, geologist, Center for Earth and Planetary Studies, National Air and Space Museum.

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, May 1, 2021 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Early Christianity authority Bart Ehrman explores four questions that continue to intrigue scholars and those who are interested in the history of the Christian tradition.

Course
Monday, May 3 to Friday, May 7, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Popular speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin combines lectures and piano demonstrations to explore the social, political, religious, and cultural influences that shaped the output of France’s great composers.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, May 5, 2021 - 7:00 p.m. ET

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the emerging profession of architecture in America was very much a man’s world—but talented and tenacious women created doorways into it. Lecturer Bill Keene examines the notable careers of three of those pioneers and their importance in the development of the field.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, May 6, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Explore the Netherlands’ resistance during World War II through the amazing story of three young women whose duties included explosive sabotage and face-to-face assassinations.

Members Only
Friday, May 7, 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 Dana Tai Soon Burgess, choreographer in residence, National Portrait Gallery.

Course
Tuesday, May 11, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Discover how visual art can inspire creative writing that offers a powerful way to experience art. Join Mary Hall Surface of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon for a series of workshops that explore essential elements of writing and styles through close looking, word-sketching, and imaginative response to prompts. This session focuses on Japanese-American artist Kenjiro Nomura’s The Farm.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, May 11, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Vergil’s Aeneid is an epic poem that tells the story of the Trojan Aeneas, whose adventures included the founding of Rome. Join Shadi Bartsch-Zimmer, professor of classics and translator of the newest version of the Aeneid, as she defies the weight of the past and looks at the poem anew.

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

A fascinating look at the history of movie theaters examines how the experience of moviegoing has changed over the decades—and whether movie theaters will even survive in the age of streaming services.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, May 12, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. ET

In January 1942, a German U-boat surfaced in New York Harbor. This American oversight inspired Operation Paukenschlag, or “Drumbeat,” a little-known Nazi campaign to bring World War II to our shores. George Mason University history professor Kevin Matthews explores this little-known period of the war and how, with help from Britain’s Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, America turned back the Nazi attacks.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, May 12, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

The human mind is very good at discerning patterns in nature: shapes, symmetries, repetitions. But why? A geologist decodes some of nature’s formations—from prosaic to sublime—to provide a better understanding of our ability for pattern recognition.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, May 13, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Kathleen Bashian, a certified master guide in Washington and a popular Smithsonian study leader, leads a virtual memorial pilgrimage through the city, examining the aesthetics of memorials as works of art and architecture, their origins, and their impact on contemporary visitors.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, May 14, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Blossoming in Vienna and spreading like a mania through Europe, the waltz proclaimed a new freedom of sexual expression and individual liberties in the early 19th century. Classical music and opera expert Saul Lilienstein traces the development of a musical form and a dance that changed history.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, May 14, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec reveled in the circuses, dance halls, nightclubs, and brothels of fin de siècle Montmartre, his beloved bohemian world that inspired works marked by energy and sensuality, as well as candor and compassion. Art historian Joseph Cassar illuminates the artist's creative life in the colorful social and cultural milieu of Paris in the Belle Epoque. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit).

Course
Tuesday, May 18, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Discover how visual art can inspire creative writing that offers a powerful way to experience art. Join Mary Hall Surface of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon for a series of workshops that explore essential elements of writing and styles through close looking, word-sketching, and imaginative response to prompts. This session focuses on Antonio Martorell’s La Playa Negra I (Tar Beach I).

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, May 18, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Art historian Renee Gondek focuses on visual depictions of the iconic hero of the Trojan War, Achilles, to examine how the most famous of epic narratives from Classical mythology inspired centuries of creators and cultures. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, May 18, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

The National Museum of Natural History’s magnificent gems represent a glittering intersection of natural science, human history, culture, romance, artistic skill, and creativity—set against the allure of immense value and awesome beauty. Jeffrey Post, curator of the U.S. National Gem and Mineral Collection, reveals the scandals, mysteries, and human stories behind some of the world’s most famous gems.

Course
Tuesday, May 18, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

There are 1,121 UNESCO World Heritage sites throughout the world. Guided by Justin M. Jacobs, associate professor of history at American University, this series focuses on four of these sites that have suffered grievous damage in recent decades, from Palmyra to the Great Barrier Reef. The session focuses on Palmyra.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, May 19, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. ET

What keeps Dante’s Divine Comedy still meaningful today, even though it was written seven centuries ago? Explore Dante’s epic poem in all its cultural and historical richness—without the need of footnotes—and discover the ways his timeless wisdom and insights can enhance our everyday lives.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, May 19, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

CNN anchor Jake Tapper called on his inside knowledge of Washington’s workings to write his newest period political thriller The Devil May Dance, in which Congressman Charlie Marder and his wife Margaret find themselves launched into the dark side of 1960s Hollywood on a dangerous assignment from Attorney General Robert Kennedy. Join him as he discusses mixing politicos and the Rat Pack in his book, as well as his work covering the non-fictional Washington.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, May 20, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

During the 1920s and 1930s, Cairo’s lively music, theater, film, and cabaret scene was dominated by women who were entrepreneurs and owners as well as celebrities. Discover the rich histories of the independent figures who offered a new vision for women in Egypt and throughout the Middle East.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, May 21, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. ET

Maryland’s long history, diverse inhabitants, varied landscapes, and of course, the Chesapeake Bay have contributed to a delicious cornucopia of foods and culinary traditions. Explore the state’s signature flavors, both familiar and unique, from the Appalachians of western Maryland to the Chesapeake’s Eastern Shore.

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, May 22, 2021 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

No event has altered the United States more profoundly than the American Civil War. Yet the question remains: Why have Americans returned to the war to find answers in their present? Historian Stephen D. Engle traces 150 years of an ever-changing narrative of the Civil War and why we still struggle to reach an acceptable version of its legacy.

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, May 22, 2021 - 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET

“The play’s the thing” declared Hamlet, but nowadays he could easily have substituted “the film.” Speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin combines commentary and piano demonstrations to explore how master composers such as William Walton, Nino Rota, Patrick Doyle, and others illuminate Shakespeare’s texts while helping us relate emotionally to his astonishing stories on the screen.

Course
Tuesday, May 25, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Discover how visual art can inspire creative writing that offers a powerful way to experience art. Join Mary Hall Surface of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon for a series of workshops that explore essential elements of writing and styles through close looking, word-sketching, and imaginative response to prompts. This session focuses on 20th-century African American artist Alma Thomas’ colorful compositions.

Course
Tuesday, May 25 to June 15, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Join Historic Royal Palaces guide Siobhan Clarke for a virtual look inside four great historic royal palaces. Using maps, paintings, photographs, and music, Clarke introduces the splendid corridors of royal power and pleasure.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, May 25, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. ET

In recent decades it has become acceptable to believe that greed is good and can be a productive force for good. But does the capitalist model for accumulating wealth force us to choose between the useful and the good? Steven M. Emmanuel asserts that the Buddha speaks directly to the benefits and the dangers of wealth acquisition as it pertains to happiness.

Course
Tuesday, May 25, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

There are 1,121 UNESCO World Heritage sites throughout the world. Guided by Justin M. Jacobs, associate professor of history at American University, this series focuses on four of these sites that have suffered grievous damage in recent decades, from Palmyra to the Great Barrier Reef. The session focuses on the Bamiyan Buddhas.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. ET

The 2021 edition of the popular Philadelphia Flower Show is the first to be held outdoors in Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park. Join Nicole Juday Rhoads, director of engagement at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, for a presentation on the Philadelphia Flower Show’s history and a preview of the new show themed "Habitat: Nature's Masterpiece.”

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Met Cloisters curator Barbara Drake Boehm provides a fresh interpretation of the complex imagery woven into the iconic medieval Unicorn Tapestries. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Learn how 19th-century Prussian naturalist Alexander von Humboldt’s conversations about the arts, science, politics, and exploration with figures such as President Thomas Jefferson and artist Charles Willson Peale had a lasting influence on American art, culture, and understanding of the natural world.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, May 27, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Examine the development of the Corning Museum of Glass, now the largest museum in the world devoted to the subject, in a virtual look at its collections, library, Innovation Center, and other aspects of this world-class resource.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, May 28, 2021 -12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

As ruler of the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century, Sultan Mehmed II viewed himself as a new Roman emperor. To reflect that power and prestige he required an appropriate symbol: the magnificent Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. Join Serif Yenen, a tour guide and guidebook author, for an exploration of the dazzling palace—including its fabled hidden sections—and stories about the lifestyles of the sultans who inhabited it. (World Art History certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Members Only
Friday, May 28, 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 Monica Mohindra, head of program coordination and communication, Veterans History Project, Library of Congress.

Course
Tuesday, June 1, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

There are 1,121 UNESCO World Heritage sites throughout the world. Guided by Justin M. Jacobs, associate professor of history at American University, this series focuses on four of these sites that have suffered grievous damage in recent decades, from Palmyra to the Great Barrier Reef. The session focuses on Timbuktu.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, June 2, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. ET

We loved watching TV series "Downton Abbey" and its glimpses into Edwardian lives. Historian Julie Taddeo looks beyond the show’s period fashions and lavish sets to consider its historical accuracy and what it says about the 21st century.

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, June 5, 2021 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Musicologist and pianist Daniel Freeman pays tribute to iconic composer Johann Sebastian Bach and some of his greatest orchestral works in this day highlighted by music and video recordings.

Course
Tuesday, June 8, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

There are 1,121 UNESCO World Heritage sites throughout the world. Guided by Justin M. Jacobs, associate professor of history at American University, this series focuses on four of these sites that have suffered grievous damage in recent decades, from Palmyra to the Great Barrier Reef. The session focuses on the Great Barrier Reef.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, June 9, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

The Mouse rules! Over the last nine decades, the Walt Disney Company has transformed every facet of the entertainment business. Author Brian Rose examines the secrets behind the development of this still-growing powerhouse, tracing the remarkable evolution of a small cartoon studio in 1923 into the most powerful force in worldwide media today.

Course
Friday, June 18, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. ET and Saturday, June 19, 2021 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Art historian Bonita Billman introduces major artists and movements in American painting from the late 18th century to the present, revealing the connections between historical changes and artistic choices. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)