Smithsonian museums continue to be closed to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. Read a message from our director, and check our website and social media for updates.

Smithsonian Food History Weekend

October 15-17, 2020

Due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Smithsonian’s 6th annual Food History Weekend will be presented in a largely virtual format in 2020. Although we will miss welcoming our many audiences and special guests to the National Museum of American History as we have for the past five years, the health and safety of our audiences and staff are of primary importance. Rest assured that we have developed a dynamic series of online talks, demonstrations, interactive conversations, and activities around this year’s theme, Food Futures.

There is no social justice without food justice. Access to healthy, nutritious, and affordable food is a daily struggle for too many Americans. It is important to acknowledge and actively address the systemic inequalities in both food production and distribution that have led to unsafe and underpaid labor for food workers as well as a multitude of barriers to food access for poor and marginalized people across the United States. At the National Museum of American History we unpack the history of our national food system to help lead conversations about the current challenges and potential solutions for a brighter food future. Join us as we explore the roots of these longstanding inequities and invisibilities in the national food system, exposed and amplified by 2020’s twin pandemics of COVID-19 and racism, during this year’s Food History Weekend. Help discover how we can strive for a food system that serves the needs of all. 

Food Futures will feature the voices of people involved in different aspects of the food system— from agricultural fields to restaurant kitchens, from food markets to food banks, from breweries to meat packing plants, from educators to policy leaders. Our virtual gatherings will encourage people to share individual and community stories of resilience around food. We will also explore models for food production at different scales and meet workers who are key to our food supply yet struggle to put food on their own tables. We will experience the energy and optimism of food and drink entrepreneurs and innovators and engage in some collective brainstorming on strategies for building a better food system together. We hope you will join to listen, learn from, contribute your thoughts and consider how you can support people working toward a more sustainable and more just food system for all.