Calendar of Exhibitions and Events: October 2019

September 16, 2019


“FOOD: Transforming the American Table”
Re-opens Oct. 25 with new sections
First Floor, East

The permanent exhibition “Food: Transforming the American Table,” reopens with new sections and content that add to the history of food and eating in the United States since 1950, It reopens in time for the Food History Weekend this November. Julia Child’s original Cambridge, Massachusetts home kitchen, with its hundreds of tools, appliances and furnishings, continues to serve as the opening story. Highlighting new stories about changes in food itself as well as how Americans produce, prepare, and consume food and drink, the refreshed exhibition will feature new objects throughout as well as several completely new sections:
The Migrant’s Table: a look at the impact of immigration and migration on food and communities in the United States since 1960;
Beer: An American History: the history of brewing in the United States is a story of immigration, urban change, technological innovation, and evolving consumer tastes;
On a Diet: exploring the exponential rise of diets and dieting advice since 1950 and the simultaneous increase of modern health problems relating to food;
Old Vines, New Blood: Since the 1950s, migrant families from Mexico have played a vital role in the California wine industry and since the 1990s, several  families have made the move from laborers to vineyard owners and winemakers.

Felicia Day and John Hurt Artifacts on View
Opens Oct. 15
New Acquisitions Cases
Third Floor, West

A costume worn by Felicia Day from the web series “The Guild” and a guitar from John Hurt will be displayed in the museum's popular culture New Acquisitions cases.


“Cooking Up History: Mollie Katzen’s Mousewood Cookbook”
Guest Speaker: Mollie Katzen
October 11; 1-2 p.m.
Wallace H. Coulter Plaza Demonstration Kitchen
First Floor, West

Join author Mollie Katzen and Smithsonian food history curator Paula Johnson as they discuss culinary history and recipes from Katzen’s The Moosewood Cookbook (1974). The event includes a cooking demonstration of some of Katzen's recipes by kitchen manager Kathy Phung and a book signing with Katzen afterwards. Several of her publications will be available for purchase on site. A special “objects out of storage” display will feature rarely-seen archival materials from the Mollie Katzen Papers from the museum’s Archives Center.

A Conversation with Mari Yoshihara about her book Dearest Lenny: Letters from Japan and the Making of the World Maestro
Oct. 8; 4-5 p.m.
SC Johnson Conference Center
First Floor, West

Mari Yoshihara, professor of American Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, discusses her new book on Leonard Bernstein, offering new perspectives on the well-known American conductor and composer. This program is held in conjunction with the Smithsonian Year of Music.
A Conversation with Karen Tongson about her book Why Karen Carpenter Matters
Oct. 15; 4-5 p.m.
SC Johnson Conference Center
First Floor West

Karen Tongson, associate professor of English, gender and sexuality studies, and American studies and ethnicity at the University of Southern California, discusses how her work interweaves the story of Karen Carpenter of The Carpenters with the author’s trans-Pacific journey between the Philippines and Southern California. This program is held in conjunction with the Smithsonian Year of Music.


Latino Arts, Beats & Culture Fest: A ¡Descubra! Hispanic Heritage Event 
Oct. 12; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

This museum-wide festival will explore Latino musical connections to culture through hands-on activities, encounters with Smithsonian collections and curators, musical performances, a cooking demonstration by guest chef Daniela Hurtado of La Cocina VA and more. This Smithsonian pan-institutional Hispanic Heritage Month event is led by the Smithsonian Latino Center. A schedule of events follows:
The Golden Era of Latino Music: The 40’s-70’s
Dueling DJ’s: DJ Jim Byers and DJ Turnmix
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Wallace H. Coulter Plaza
First Floor, West

This program will feature mambo, salsa and boogaloo.
“Cooking Up History: Salsa y Salsa”
Guest Chef: Daniela Hurtado
Oct. 12; 1-2 p.m.
Wallace H. Coulter Plaza
First Floor, West

Smithsonian Food Historian Ashley Rose Young and guest chef Daniela Hurtado of La Cocina VA will explore Peruvian food and music culture from the Andes to the Pacific Coast. Hurtado will demonstrate how to make lomo saltado, papas a la huancaina and mazamorra morada. A lover of salsa music, She will also speak about the genre’s rise in popularity, especially along Peru’s coast. For more information, visit:
On Stage Conversation: Latino Popular Music and its Influences (80’s to today) on Mainstream Music
2:30 p.m.- 3:30 p.m.
Wallace H. Coulter Plaza
First Floor, West

This discussion features NPR's Felix Contreras and Maria Hinojosa, and representatives from the Latin Grammy Foundation.
Latinos in Hop-Hop
3:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Wallace H. Coulter Plaza
First Floor, West

This program features Mexican American rapper Snow tha Product’s “Despierta” and representatives from the nonprofit organization Words, Beats and Life.
Concluding Dance Party with Dueling DJ’s Daniel Del Píelago, DJ Mambiza, and Joy of Motion Dancers
4 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Wallace H. Coulter Plaza
First Floor, West

Feel the Rhythm Dance Lessons
All day
Molina Family Latino Gallery
First Floor, East

Latinos in Broadway Dance Showcase with Joy of Motion

Performances of numbers from West Side Story, Zoot Suit, In the Heights and Hamilton.


Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra concert
“Art Blakey: 100 Years”
Oct. 26; 7:30 p.m.
Nicholas F. and Eugenia Taubman Hall of Music
Third Floor, West
Tickets required and available for purchase September 16

The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra will perform the music of Art Blakey in honor of his centennial year. This is the first concert in SJMO’s 2019-2020 season. For more information, please visit:

History Alive! Theater Programs

These Women’s History Theater Programs are part of the Smithsonian’s American Women’s History Initiative, #BecauseofHerStory
Justice Must be Done
"Within These Walls" exhibition
Second Floor, West

Attend an 1840 meeting of the Ipswich Female Anti-Slavery Society in abolitionist Lucy Caldwell’s Ipswich, Massachusetts home.
Meet the Wheelwoman
First Floor, West

Meet wheelwoman Louise Gibson as she takes her bicycle on a journey to discover opportunities for women in the 1890s.
Votes for Women
Second Floor, West

Join a Silent Sentinel Suffragist on her way to the 1917 White House protests.
Join the Student Sit-Ins
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.; through October 28
Wallace H. Coulter Unity Square
Second Floor, West

Centered on the Greensboro Lunch Counter display, this program trains visitors in the practice of nonviolent direct action.
Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays; 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.; through October 28
Third Floor, West

Sing along with “ring shouts”— which originated from 19th century enslaved African Americans—and inspired new forms of religious and secular music.


"Wegmans Wonderplace"
Open daily, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; closed Tuesdays
First Floor, West

The museum’s early learning gallery for children 0–6 connects important themes of the museum’s collections with children’s play and learning. Wonderplace provides young children with open-ended play opportunities that allow them to explore and learn at their own pace and interest level. For more information, please visit:

"Draper Spark!Lab"
Open daily, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; closed Tuesdays
First Floor, West

Draper Spark!Lab reveals the real story behind inventors’ work through hands-on activities infused with historical content that help kids ages 6-12 explore the history and process of invention. Hosted by the museum’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, Spark!Lab’s interdisciplinary activities appeal to varied learning styles and abilities and combine traditional STEM with art and creativity. For more details about current Spark!Lab activities, please visit

Interactive Carts
Daily; 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Throughout museum

Interactive carts throughout the Museum allow visitors to interact with history and learn more about our collections. Carts are available most days; daily schedules are available at the museum's Welcome Center on the second floor and the Information Desk on the first floor. More information on daily programs and events is available at


Through incomparable collections, rigorous research and dynamic public outreach, the National Museum of American History explores the infinite richness and complexity of American history. It helps people understand the past in order to make sense of the present and shape a more humane future. The museum is located on Constitution Avenue N.W., between 12th and 14th streets, and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. For more information, visit For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000.