May 23, 2011
Monday, May 23
Grand Canyon 3D: River at Risk
Take a virtual white water raft ride through the Grand Canyon in this exhilarating new 3D IMAX adventure. Experience the beauty of the Canyon while learning about the future of the Colorado River. Tickets are $6.50 members, $9 adults, $8 seniors and $7.50 children ages 2 to 12. Purchase tickets online or toll-free 866-868-7774. Natural History Museum
Tuesday, May 24 Memoirs of an Aviator
Rear Adm. Edward “Whitey” Feightner will deliver this year’s Charles A. Lindbergh memorial lecture entitled “Memoirs from an Aviator’s Notebook.” Feightner is a WWII ace who flew F4F Wildcats and F6F Hellcats. At the Naval Air Station at Patuxent River, Maryland, he test flew the cantankerous F7U Cutlass. Among his command positions, Feightner also directed the design of such future naval aircraft as the F-14 and Navy Strike Fighter and implemented fundamental changes for all naval aviation forces before retiring in 1974 after 33 years in the Navy. Free, but tickets are required. Request tickets or call 202-633-2398. 8:00 PM lecture will be preceded by a 6:15 PM showing of the documentary Speed and Angels. Air & Space Museum
Wednesday, May 25 Across the Miles
Late last year, we wrote, “In 1930, Lorenzo Dow Turner, an English professor-turned linguist, began studying a language spoken by former slaves along the east coast of South Carolina. Words spoken there, like gambo, tabi and jiga, would reveal a complex web of linguistic and cultural convergences between the Gullah people and the African countries, former homelands to the 645,000 enslaved Africans transported to the United States between the 16th and 19th centuries.” The film The Language You Cry In bridges hundreds of years and thousands of miles between the Gullah people of present-day Georgia and the people of 18th-century Sierra Leone. Meet Mary Moran, a Georgia woman who still remembers the words to a Mende funeral song that her mother, one of Turner’s original interviewees, had taught her. 10:30 AM. Free, but reservations requested. Anacostia Community Museum. The exhibition, Word, Shout, Song: Lorenzo Dow Turner Connecting Communities through Language is on view through July 24th.
Thursday, May 26 Bird Watching is For Everyone
Ornithologist and author John C. Robinson has introduced thousands of people to birds and birdwatching. Robinson will discuss his mission to give all people a reason to protect the environment and offers new solutions for changing the face of conservation through birding. Free. 7:00 to 8:00 PM. National Zoo
Friday, May 27 Abraham Lincoln: An Extraordinary Life
Last chance to see the more than 60 artifacts from the unparalleled Abraham Lincoln collections at the National Museum of American History before it closes on May 30. See the top hat Lincoln wore to Ford’s Theater the night that he was assassinated, his gold pocket watch, a patent model of his own invention, as well as a black broadcloth suit, a coat, vest and trousers that Lincoln wore during his presidency. Exhibition photos are also online. Special tours daily at 2:00 PM. The museum will be open until 7:30 PM today and Saturday. American History Museum
For updates on all exhibitions and events, visit our companion website goSmithsonian.com
May 18, 2011
Friday, May 20 Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month
Get a jump on the weekend’s cultural festival “Celebrate Hawai’i,” at the American Indian museum. The two-day event includes films, hula performances, weaving lessons, Hawaiian cooking and discussions. On Friday night, see the documentary Papa Mau: The Wayfinder, which follows a group of young Hawaiians on a mission to revive the traditional Polynesian arts of canoe-building and wayfinding, or non-instrument celestial navigation. Follow the group as they journey to the island of Satawal in Micronesia and and learn form the master navigator Mau Piailug as he shares the ways of the ancestors aboard the voyaging canoe Hokule’a. Director Na’alehu Anthony will answer questions after the screening. A short film, Stones, will begin at 7:00 PM. Dinner is available at Mitsitam Cafe from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM. The films are free, but reservations are required.
The festival takes place Saturday and Sunday throughout the musuem. Free. 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM. National Museum of the American Indian
Saturday, May 21 Start with the Arts
The Very Special Arts (VSA), the international organization on arts and disability, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum team up for the sixth annual VSA Start with the Arts Festival. Artists and educators from around the world will be on hand for a multicultural celebration featuring music, dance, improv and hands-on activities for children of all abilities and ages. The festival features dance and musical performances, hands-on art activities, improvisation and movement sessions. Free. 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM both Saturday and Sunday. Kogod Courtyard of the American Art Museum
Sunday, May 22 Renwick Craft Invitational
Judith Schaechter is one of four featured artists in this year’s Renwick Craft Invitational. She employs a modern approach to making stained glass; sandblasting, layering and painting the glass, also called the “Tiffany Method.” She will discuss her artwork, themes and experience with the audience. Free. 2:00 PM. Renwick Gallery “History in the Making: Renwick Craft Invitational” on exhibit through July 31.
May 16, 2011
Monday, May 16 — Zoo feedings
What do zoo animals eat? Find out at the daily feedings, included in the Zoo’s daily calendar. Animal feedings take place every day, beginning at 10:15 AM with the fish feedings at the Kids’ Farm. Watch up to seven feedings a day, including the giant Pacific octopus at the Invertebrate House at 11:15 and 3; the sloth bears at 11:30 on the Asia Trail, and the small mammals at their house at 1:45. Don’t be late; the feedings last only 15 to 20 minutes. National Zoo
(By the way, the annual Zoofari fund-raising celebration takes place this Thursday May 19, from 6:30 to 9:30; beginning at noon, some areas of the Zoo will close for set up with the entire Zoo closing at 4 PM. Zoofari is sure to sell out. Buy your tickets today to avoid disappointment.)
Tuesday, May 17 — Civil War through the eyes of a child
Ever wonder what life was like for young African American girls during the Civil War? Addy Walker, of the popular American Girl doll series and heroine of the book, Meet Addy, is a nine-year old born into slavery. She escapes to freedom during the Civil War. Trace the events that underlie the story’s narrative using the museum’s downloadable guide, or pick one up free at the information desk. Claim a free gift at the gift shop when you complete the quest to have your guide stamped at each stop on the self-guided tour. Find more here about Addy’s World, or find online activities, or stop by the museum’s store to pick up your copy of the book Meet Addy. American History Museum
Wednesday, May 18 SHOUT online discussion
Can’t get to the museum today? Join three online discussions with four Smithsonian experts. Jonathan Thompson, a forest landscape ecologist from the Zoo’s Conservation Biology Institute updates us on the status of North American Forests. Senior conservation adviser Marshall Jones and program specialist Ana Tinsler, also with the Conservation Biology Institute discuss the Global Tiger Initiative, an alliance of governments and international organizations hoping to restore wild tigers and preserve their habitats. Lastly, researcher Sunshine Van Bael from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute will provide an overview of Tropical Biodiversity. Free, but pre-registration required. First discussion at 11:00 AM.
Thursday, May 19 ILL-Abilities Crew
A high-energy dance performance by a B-boy crew of dancers with physical “ill”abilities. The group defines the phrase as the “opposite of disability,” meaning that they create advantages from disadvantages. Two performances, 10:15 AM and 11:00 AM, for ages 4 and up. Tickets are required. Rates are $4 child member; $4 member; $5 child nonmember; $3 child under 2; $6 general admission. Tickets may be purchased online or at the Resident Associate Program box office located in the Ripley Center on the National Mall.
Friday, May 20 Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month at the Smithsonian
Friday’s events kickoff the weekend-long “Celebrate Hawai’i” festival at the Museum of the American Indian. The documentary Papa Mau: The Wayfinder follows a group of young Hawaiians on a mission to revive the traditional Polynesian arts of canoe-building and wayfinding, or non-instrument celestial navigation. The group’s search leads them to the island of Satawal in Micronesia and the master navigator Mau Piailug, who shares the ways of their ancestors aboard the voyaging canoe Hokule’a. Director Na’alehu Anthony will answer questions after the screening. A short film, Stones, will begin at 7:00 PM. Dinner is available at Mitsitam Cafe from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM. Free, but reservations are required.
Free events during the “Celebrate Hawai’i” cultural festival continue Saturday and Sunday, include hula performances and lessons, Hawaiian cooking demonstrations, films and discussions. 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM. National Museum of the American Indian
May 13, 2011
Friday, May 13 Not Your Father’s Planetarium Show
Cosmic Collisions, a planetarium show, is the story of a speeding comet that collides with Earth’s atmosphere. Zipping along at 40 million years per second, the film takes visitors on a journey through time and space that includes colossal impacts and exciting explosions. Scientific visualizations, images from NASA and advanced simulation and imaging technology enhance the experience. Seven shows daily, beginning at 11:00 AM. Tickets are $6.50 members, $9.00 adult (13-and up), $8.00 senior, $7.50 youth (2-12 years old). Albert Einstein Planetarium at the National Air & Space Museum
Saturday, May 14 “Metropolis” with live musical accompaniment
Silent Orchestra returns to the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery to premiere an original score for the classic film Metropolis. This 1927 silent German film is set in a society divided into two classes: one of planners and managers who live in luxury, and one of workers who live and work underground. Check out the interview of these film score producers at the Eye Level. 3:00 PM. Free, but tickets required; available in the G Street lobby thirty minutes prior to the screening. American Art Museum
Sunday, May 15 Stripmall Ballads
The Smithsonian American Art Museum says that Edward Mitchell Bannister lived his entire life by the sea and probably made this painting, Untitled (moon over a harbor, wharf scene with full moon and masts of boats), while he was living in Boston in the late 1860s. Although he never traveled abroad, Bannister was influenced by late 19th-century French landscape painting, which shows in his thick brushstrokes, subdued colors and simple compositions. In the painting misty colors and bleak landscape create a mysterious scene, as if Bannister had painted it in the middle of the night. View Bannister’s work of the moonlit harbor and hear more about its creator at 1:30 PM, followed by Stripmall Ballads, contemporary folk music at 2:00 PM. Free. American Art Museum
May 9, 2011
Monday, May 9 – Beautiful butterflies
With new summer hours in place, you can stroll through this special butterfly exhibit with exotic plants and live butterflies from around the world until the last entry at 6 PM. Tickets are required, however and rates are as follows: $6 for adults; $5.50 for seniors (60+); $5 for children and members. Big tip for the frugal visitor: There is no charge on Tuesdays; however you still must get a ticket at the desk. Visit the Butterfly Pavilion’s Web site to purchase tickets and for more information about free entry on Tuesdays. Natural History Museum, 10:15-5:00 PM.
Tuesday, May 10 — Harry Potter pops up
The Houston-based paper engineer Bruce Foster talks about designing the 2010 Harry Potter: A Pop-Up Book, the design process and paper engineering. “I will show the process from beginning to end, explain some of the math involved in creating this boo and share secrets of Harry Potter that did not make it into the final book,” Foster writes. Free. 12:00 PM. American History Museum. Sponsored by Smithsonian Libraries. Related exhibition: “Paper Engineering: Fold, Pull, Pop and Turn”
Wednesday, May 11 Behind the Scenes at the Lunder Center
Learn how museum conservators use science, art history and skilled hands to preserve the art collections at the American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. Free, but register before 3:00 PM at the Luce Foundation Center information desk. Tour begins at 3:00 PM at the same place. Repeats most Wednesdays. American Art Museum.
Thursday, May 12 Pick a Flick just $10
“Film Forward: Advancing Cultural Dialogue” presents 10 films with a discussion following the screenings: Freedom Riders (already sold out); La Mission; Udaan and A Small Act at 6:00 PM; Boy at 6:15 PM and The Last Train Home; Afghan Star; Amreeka; Son of Babylon (free admission, but tickets required) and Winter’s Bone at 6:30 PM. $10 tickets for general admission are available online. Various National Mall locations.
Friday, May 13 Not Your Father’s Planetarium Show
Cosmic Collisions, a planetarium show, is the story of a speeding comet that collides with Earth’s atmosphere. Zipping along at 40 million years per second, the film takes visitors on a journey through time and space that includes colossal impacts and exciting explosions. Scientific visualizations, images from NASA and advanced simulation and imaging technology enhance the experience. Seven shows daily, beginning at 11:00 AM. Tickets are $6.50 members, $9.00 adult (13-and up), $8.00 senior, $7.50 youth (2-12 years old). Purchase tickets by phone (toll-free) 866-868-7774; online up to two weeks in advance or at the box office. Albert Einstein Planetarium at the National Air & Space Museum