Saturday, October 2, 2021

Check Out Just-Announced VIRTUAL Programs from the Smithsonian!




Kal Penn: You Can't Be Serious

Wednesday, November 3 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

Actor, writer, and producer Kal Penn took a sabbatical from his entertainment career to serve as an associate director in the White House Office of Public Engagement under President Obama—a very unexpected detour for the star of the Harold and Kumar movies and TV’s “House”. Join him as he draws from his new memoir You Can’t Be Serious to talk about his journey from Hollywood to Washington and back again, as well as why your life can have more stories and more choices than you thought.





Rowan Jacobsen (Photo: Laura Sabbatini)

Truffle Hound: Following the World's Most Seductive Scent

Tuesday, November 9 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

The elusive, complex, and baffling scent of the truffle sent James Beard-award-winning author Rowan Jacobsen down a rabbit hole. He emerged into a mysterious secretive world of black-market deals, obsessive chefs, and some very determined dogs. Hear Jacobsen’s colorful account of this world, and the memorable truffle hunters he met along the way.





Jodi Picoult (Photo: Tim Llewellyn)

Jodi Picoult: Wish You Were Here

Wednesday, December 1 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

Jodi Picoult draws inspiration from real-life events once again in her new novel, Wish You Were Here. Set in March 2020, it tells the story of what happens when best-laid plans go awry when the world turns upside down. Join Picoult as she discusses the timely book and her research and writing process.

This program is being held in-person and as a streaming program on Zoom.





"Winter Landscape" (detail) by Wassily Kandinsky, 1909 (The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia)

Winter's Colors: A Reflective Writing Workshop

Tuesday, December 7 - 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 Writing Salon, Mary Hall Surface. Experience new ways to contemplate the gifts of winter inspired by the vibrant Winter Landscape by Wassily Kandinsky, an artist who embraced the transcendent power of color.





Barn Owl

Nurturing a Bird-Friendly World

Tuesday, December 7 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Hear from representatives of the National Audubon Society and the Smithsonian’s National Zoo about new and upcoming projects that offer insights into the world of trees and the birds that inhabit them. Get an overview of the latest Audubon field guides to North American birds and trees, preview the transformation of the zoo’s Bird House, and learn how you can help birds by creating and encouraging bird-friendly spaces in your own community.





Carol Lawrence (right) as Maria sings “I Feel Pretty” in "West Side Story's" original 1957 Broadway production (Fred Fehl/New York)

West Side Story from Stage to Film: A Revolutionary Musical That Became an Icon

Wednesday, December 8 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

It was a startling, unheard-of idea: to remake Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy into a musical set in the streets of New York City. Filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson looks at West Side Story’s creators who risked everything, broke all rules, reshaped the American theater, and gave us a contemporary masterpiece, as well as how new interpretations are re-making the show for our times.





"The skull sectioned", a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo's Fascination with Fossils

Friday, December 17 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

As a young man, Leonardo da Vinci wrote about finding the skeleton of a great “fish” while roaming in the hills of Tuscany. What followed was decades of interest in fossils and informed speculation about the planet’s history. Biologist Kay Etheridge examines how this fascination with fossils is reflected in his artworks.





Kennedy, Nixon, and the Debate of the Century

Tuesday, January 11 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Historian Allen Pietrobon takes us back to the Eisenhower era, a time before the “celebrity president.” He reveals how Sen. John F. Kennedy’s domination of the medium during the first-ever televised debate was key in his winning the presidency. Pietrobon also uses the 1960 presidential election as a lens to explore American politics and culture in this pivotal era in history.






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