Skip to main content
Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful
This program is over. Hope you didn't miss it!
Browse other programs we offer

More Stories from the American Songbook

Songs with Wide Open Arms

Afternoon Course

Thursday, February 17, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1K0198
Select Your Tickets
Powered by Zoom

Clockwise: Nat King Cole, 1959; The original "South Pacific" playbill; Richard Rodgers seated at piano with Lorenz Hart on right (Library of Congress)

Save when you purchase the More Stories from the American Songbook winter series!

Using a medley of filmed performances, documentary filmmaker and cultural historian Sara Lukinson traces how some of our favorite love songs from the American songbook came to be and how re-imaginings by different artists, unexpected arrangements, and changing times transformed them into something more.

Lukinson, who has won three Emmys and seven Writer’s Guild Awards, now teaches at NYU and the 92nd Street Y. Her personal essays have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.

Session Information

Songs with Wide Open Arms:What a Wonderful World” and “Smile”

These are the songs that can lift your spirits, bring back a smile, or open your arms to the day. They can melt our blues and keep us company when we’re happy. A wide range of arrangements keep them living on and on, through times of joy and tears.

Additional Sessions

Patron Information

  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
  • Unless otherwise noted, registration for streaming programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
  • View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.