July 11, 2011
Events Post July 11-15: ExplorAsia, Addy’s World, the Goddard 1940/41 Rocket, Al Najoom and Hubble 3D
Monday July 11 ExplorAsia
Don’t let your Monday turn into a drag, join the Sackler Gallery for a special look at The Orchids in Chinese Painting. Come to the exhibition gallery between 1:30 and 3:30 Monday afternoon and journey to China to discover the orchid. Examine ceramic flower containers and the orchid paintings in the gallery. Then see if you’ve got what it takes as you try your hand at arranging flowers. Look closely at the works of art and then learn about the symbolism of the orchid in Chinese art. Design your own personal symbols or write a family poem as you listen to Chinese music. This event is free and family-friendly so come anytime during the 2-hour block.
Tuesday July 12 Discover Addy’s World
This Tuesday why not try something different? Come to the American History Museum and participate in Discover Addy’s World. Set out on this self-guided tour of the museum and explore life in the Civil War. Addy Walker is a nine-year old girl born into slavery who escapes to freedom with her mother in the Civil War. Follow the tour to learn how Addy lived and discover what life was like for other young African-American girls during the Civil War as you explore artifacts and stories throughout the museum. Bring your downloaded copy of the Self-Guide to the museum, and use it to collect the keep-sake stamps as you follow the tour. After, take the completed guide to one of the museum stores to qualify for a free gift.
Wednesday July 13 Missile Explanation
Come out Wednesday and join the Air and Space Museum staff as they offer the Ask an Expert Lecture Series. Meet at Milestones of Flight on the first floor, Gallery 100, at 12 to hear curator Michael Neufeld speak about the history of the Goddard 1940/41 Rocket. This was one of the most advanced rockets of its time. Equipped with turbo-pumps, it was powered by propellant which was forced into a high pressure combustion chamber. It was also the largest and last liquid-fuel flight rocket tested at Roswell, New Mexico, between 1938 and 1941. Ask Neufeld any questions you have about the rocket, then take your time exploring the rest of the world of rockets, satellites and space flight.
Thursday July 14 Check Out Al Najoom
Make your Thursday a memorable one and stop by the African Art Museum. Come to the pavilion at 2 to watch a performance by the Al Najoom Troupe. The troupe comes from Ja’alan Bani Bu Ali in Oman, Africa, a market town famous for its singers and dancers. Oman’s traditional music combines aspects of the indigenous Arab Islamic culture with influences from East Africa and Asia and has a long history. Al Najoom, which means stars, is popular for the skill of their dancers, the precision of their musicians and the quality of their singers. The troupe is also known for its energetic and exuberant performances. This is a free event that the whole family can enjoy.
Friday July 15 3-D Adventure
Escape the heat this Friday with a trip to the Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater of the Air and Space Museum for a 3D adventure. Hubble 3D takes viewers on a 3D ride accompanying the astronauts aboard the Hubble Space Telescope missions, one of the greatest achievements since Armstrong’s landing on the moon. Watch the astronauts as they attempt some of the most difficult tasks undertaken in NASA’s history. Sit back as you experience launches, project setbacks and daring rescues all as you learn about the infamous Hubble Telescope, one of the most important scientific instruments since Galileo’s telescope. This film has a run time of 45 minutes and plays daily at 12, 2:40, 4:40 and 6:40. Tickets can be purchased at the Box Office prior to the show or online.
For a complete listing of Smithsonian events and exhibitions go to the goSmithsonian Visitors Guide.
July 7, 2011
Friday July 8 Houston We Have Liftoff
Amp up your Friday with a free, live broadcast of the last space shuttle launch. Come to Moving Beyond Earth, Gallery 113, on the first floor of the Air and Space Museum at 11 to witness Atlantis (STS-135) take off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Atlantis will carry upwards of 8,000 pounds of supplies to the space station. Upon homecoming, Atlantis and the space shuttle program will be shut down and America will have no launch vehicle for the first time in 30 years. Be sure not miss this historic moment, Atlantis takes off at 11:26 but come early to get a good seat.
Saturday July 9 Let’s Go Nats!
Take me out to the ball game! This Saturday join the American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery in offering you the fifth annual Nationals Baseball Family Day with the Washington Nationals Baseball Club. Come to the Kogod Courtyard of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture, between 11:30 and 2. Take your picture with the ball players from 12 to 1. Then enjoy hands-on activities, make your own pennants or fan fingers at the arts and crafts table, or enjoy the musical performances. Afterwards, join a docent at 3:15 for a tour of Runs, Hits and Errors: the Boys of Summer at the National Portrait Gallery. This event is free and is family-friendly so come to the Reynolds Center and meet the Nationals!
Sunday July 10 Bodyguards and Assassins
Escape the July heat this Sunday and catch a free movie. Sunday swing by the Meyer Auditorium of the Freer Gallery to enjoy a film from the Sixteenth Annual Made in Hong Kong Film Festival. This Sunday the Freer and Sackler Galleries have chosen to present Bodyguards and Assassins for your viewing pleasure. Watch Donnie Yen — most known for his part in Blade II — in this thrilling martial-arts film set in early 20th-century Hong Kong. The Qing dynasty is holding firm to its power as the revolutionary movement spreads throughout China. As Sun Yat-Sen prepares for a meeting that will shape the future of China, a crew of bodyguards is assigned to protect him from a set of deadly assassins. The 139-minute Cantonese film features English subtitles and an hour-long battle sequence unlike anything ever attempted.
For a complete listing of Smithsonian events and exhibitions visit the goSmithsonian Visitors Guide.
July 5, 2011
Events Post July 4-8: a tour of Air and Space’s highlights, jury duty for the John Brown trial, a trip to the Ocean Hall, Pirates and the dancing Siletz
Tuesday July 5 Jury Duty
Join staff at the American History Museum this Tuesday afternoon as they offer you a look into the trial of John Brown. A revolutionary abolitionist, Brown became famous after his bloody raid on a federal arsenal at Harper’s Ferry. He was tried and executed for treason. Now you can become a part of history as you join the jury and deliberate on John Brown’s fate. Meet Brown and decide for yourself how history should remember this disputed figure. This free event begins at 2:30 in the Price of Freedom Theater on the third floor, East Wing, of the Museum.
Wednesday July 6 Under the Sea
Get out of the July heat this Wednesday with a trip to the Sant Ocean Hall at the Natural History Museum. There, search out an ocean scientist stationed within the exhibition. Then watch as the researcher shows a collection of specimens and artifacts under microscopes and on monitors. Listen to a talk about the scientific excursions to different locations, the field studies, the new discoveries and more. This event is free and fun for the whole family so come to the Sant Ocean Hall between 1 and 3.
Thursday July 7 Pirates at American History?
Arggh, matey. Can you talk like a pirate? But do you really know the legacy of piracy? Well now the American History Museum is offering a theatrical primer in its new program, Am I A Pirate? Join actor and storyteller Xavier Carnegie at 11:30 in the exhibition On the Water: Stories from Maritime America and listen as he tells historical tales and songs that discover some truths behind the North American piracy and privateering legacy. Check out the artifacts from real pirates and privateers of the high seas. Then learn to separate pirate myth from pirate fact while you explore the lives and legacy’s of the nation’s seamen. This is a free, walk-in event that the whole family will enjoy so meet at On the Water on the first floor of the museum.
Friday July 9 The People Are Dancing Again
This Friday try something different and head over to the American Indian Museum for a celebration of the art and traditions of the Siletz Tribe of Oregon. From 10 to 4:30, join the tribe as you learn about Siletz basket weaving through demonstrations, watch as the tribe performs the traditional Nee-Dash dance and join a panel discussion featuring Charles Wilkinson, the author of The People are Dancing Again: The History of the Siletz Tribe of Western Oregon. Afterwards, you can join Wilkinson for a book signing or explore the rest of the museum. This is a free event held throughout the museum and repeats daily until July 10.
For a complete listing of Smithsonian Institution events and exhibitions go to the GoSmithsonian Visitors Guide.
June 30, 2011
Friday July 1 Celebration! Air and Space Turns 35!
This Friday marks the 35th Anniversary of the National Air and Space Museum. Help celebrate this birthday in style throughout the museum by coming for a visit between 10 and 7:30. Stop by the Lockheed Martin IMAX theater for a special treat. To Fly!, the IMAX movie that premiered on the opening day of Air and Space, is playing once again for the anniversary. But that’s not all, the tickets are being offered at 1976 prices, 50 cents for adults and 25 cents for children. The film starts at 11:20 and will be shown throughout the day until 2. Then at 2, meet the curators Michael Neufeld and Alex Spencer as they discuss the history of the Air and Space Museum and also sign copies of Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum: An Autobiography. This book tells the story of the museum and collections from the museum’s opening days until the present time. Come by and wish the Air and Space Museum a happy birthday!
Saturday July 2 Portrait Story
Baseball is the American past time so why not spend your Saturday learning about one baseball’s greats? Swing by the Portrait Gallery‘s Education Center from 1 to 4, and listen to a story about legend Babe Ruth’s influence on American history and culture. The Great Bambino became one of the major league’s greatest hitters, helping the Yankees win seven pennants and four World Series. After you have had your fill of Babe Ruth, make your own souvenir by creating a special piece of art. This free event is on a drop-in basis and is recommended for adults and children ages five and up.
Sunday July 3 Explore the Caves of Xiangtangshan!
Spend your Sunday immersed in the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery with a free tour of Echoes of the Past: The Buddhist Cave Temples of Xiangtangshan. Meet at the Sackler information desk at 1, then journey with your guide through the cave temples of Xiangtangshan in the innovative exhibition consisting of both ancient Chinese sculpture and digital components. Take in the sixth-century Chinese Buddhist sculpture, via 3D imaging, and explore one of the most important groups of Buddhist devotional sites in medieval China. Marvel at the video installation’s kinetic re-creation of one of the largest stone temples in Chinese history, then head to research kiosks to gather more detailed information about the exhibit. After you tour, be sure to check out the other exhibits the Sackler has to offer.
For a complete listing of Smithsonian Institution events and exhibits go to the GoSmithsonian Visitors Guide.
June 27, 2011
Events June 27-July 1: Trivia Night, Book Signing, the Butterfly Garden and an American Indian Museum Film
Monday June 27 – Questions Answered
People are all different. But have you ever wondered why? Today, scientific understanding of human variation is challenging “racial” differences, even questioning the very concept of race. A new exhibit, “Race: Are We So Different?”, recently opened at the Natural History Museum. Find it on the northeast side of the 2nd floor of the museum. Today, volunteers will be in the exhibit engaging visitors, answering questions and encouraging thoughtful conversation about the science, history and culture behind the question of why people are different, as well as helping visitors explore the exhibit. Volunteers will be available throughout the day until closing, so feel free to swing by anytime.
Tuesday June 28 Trivia Hollywood Style
Get your game face on and make your Tuesday night memorable with a trip to the Kogod Courtyard located in the building that houses both the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum at 8th and F Streets. Starting at 6:30, play the Portrait Gallery’s trivia game, with questions drawn from the Gallery’s new multi-media collection and focusing on the history of Hollywood. The event is free, but the questions are hard, so kids might not enjoy it. Snacks and beverages are available for purchase from the Courtyard Cafe.
Wednesday June 29 Book Signing and Author Discussion
Take a trip beyond the Mall this Wednesday with a visit to the Anacostia Community Museum, located at 1901 Fort Place, SE. Meet in the Program Room at 10:30 to hear from Dianne Dale, author of The Village That Shaped Us, as she tells the story of Washington, D.C.’s historic black community, Hillsdale, which was settled in 1867 by the Freedmen’s Bureau. Located within sight of the U.S. Capitol, the small neighborhood became a cornerstone of the city. Through illustrations, pictures and letters, Dale presents the story of this remarkable community. Join the author afterwards for a book signing. The event is free.
Thursday June 30 Delve Into Nature
Enjoy the outdoors this Thursday by visiting the Natural History Museum’s Butterfly Habitat Garden. Meet at the garden entrance on the east side of the museum on Madison Drive and 9th Street at 2, for a free tour. Look for the garden’s lead horticulturalist, usually dressed in green, to discuss some of the plants that attract, feed and nurture butterflies. Afterwards, see how many different butterflies you can find as you do some exploration on your own. Here’s a helpful hint: butterflies are most attracted to pink, purple and lavender, so wear one of these colors if you really want to attract the beautiful insects. This event is held every Thursday, weather permitting.
The 2011 Smithsonian Folklife Festival begins today! Check back with Around the Mall for daily events listings and interviews with festival presenters.
Friday July 1 Break Out of Your Routine
Escape the heat this Friday with a trip to the American Indian Museum. Go the Lelawi Theater on the 4th level of the museum to view the free film. Who Are We? is a unique 13-minute experience that transports viewers to the Arctic, the Northwest Coast and the plateaus of Bolivia. Watch as the film reveals the diversity of modern Native life. The orientation film is shown daily between 10:15 and 4:45.