Calendar of Exhibitions and Events October 2020


The Batmobile
Closes Oct. 20

First Floor, Center

The Batmobile from the Tim Burton-directed superhero film “Batman” is going off view. The film—starring Michael Keaton as Batman and Jack Nicholson as the Joker—was the first installment of Warner Bros.’s initial “Batman” film series. Originally built on the chassis of a Chevrolet Impala, the Batmobile was designed by Anton Furst, drawing inspiration from Salt Flat Racers and the Corvette Stingrays of the 1950’s and reflecting the Art Deco influences that Burton’s depicted in his Gotham City. The vehicle is on loan from Warner Bros.


The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will virtually host its sixth annual Food History Weekend Oct. 15–17, a multifaceted series of events that explore one of the most pressing current issues: food justice. The “Gala from Home” will kick-off the three-day weekend inviting guests to participate in online conversations, cooking demonstrations and activities surrounding the theme Food Futures: Striving for Justice. Free and open to all, registration is required. Details at Smithsonian Food History Weekend:

Smithsonian Food History Gala from Home
Oct. 15; 6:30 p.m
Free - Registration required at

The hourlong virtual Gala from Home will feature the presentation of the Julia Child Award to Food Tank’s co-founder Danielle Nierenberg by the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts. The evening will feature speakers from around the globe, with special remarks from Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet; Kathleen Merrigan, former deputy secretary at the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and Dan Barber, chef and co-owner of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico, New York, who will present the award. Special guests include previous award recipients José Andres, Jacques Pépin, Rick Bayless, Danny Meyer, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger.

Deep-Dish Dialogue: Rebuilding the Food System
Oct. 16; 11 a.m.
Free - Registration required at

On World Food Day, explore the cracks and chasms in our food system and meet some of the people advocating for meaningful change for our health, environment and communities.


  • Danielle Nierenberg, president, Food Tank
  • José Andrés, Chef/Owner of ThinkFoodGroup and Founder of World Central Kitchen
  • Leah Penniman, co-director, Soul Fire Farm
  • Vimlendra Sharan, director, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Liaison Office for North America
  • Laura Reiley, business of food reporter, The Washington Post

Deep-Dish Dialogue: Why Food Justice Matters
Oct. 16; 1 p.m.
Free - Registration required at

The global food system is built on a legacy of exploitation. Black and Indigenous people, whose knowledge, skill, and labor helped shape and build America’s agricultural industries, are also those who have faced and continue to face the biggest barriers to food access today. Leaders, scholars and organizers discuss the power of knowledge, innovation, and community resiliency as a creative and sustainable means of challenging the food system and advocating for a more equitable future.


  • Jon Gray, Co-Founder, Ghetto Gastro, Bronx, New York
  • Cheryse Kaui Sana, General Manager, MA’O Organic Farms, Wai‘anae, HawaiʻTiare Toetuʻu-aipa, Hoʻowaiwai Youth Leadership Training Intern, MAʻO Organic Farms
  • Julia Turshen, Cookbook author and Founder of Equity at the Table (EATT)
  • Monica M. White, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Environmental Justice, University of Wisconsin–Madison, author of Freedom Fighters

Cooking Up History: Resilient Culinary Traditions within the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma with Chef Nico Albert
Oct. 16; 3 p.m.
Free - Registration required at

Join Nico Albert, chef and Cherokee Nation educator of Tulsa, Oklahoma for a cooking demonstration to learn about her choice to opt out of mainstream food systems and connect even more deeply to her community members through Indigenous ingredients and traditional food cultures. Chef Albert will show you how to forage for sumac, important to her traditional cuisine. During the demo she will prepare sumac-crusted trout with a side of sautéed seasonal mushrooms and greens.

Last Call: Beer Futures
Oct. 16; 7 p.m.: Les The DJ
8 p.m.:–Moderated conversation and Q&A
Free - Registration required at

With more than 8,000 breweries, the U.S. is home to the most dynamic and creative small brewing industry in the world. Yet as the industry grew, many were excluded from its ranks. Today’s brewers face threats associated with the pandemic, the brewing supply chain, and climate change. This evening features an hour of live music curated by Les The DJ, followed by a conversation among several innovators who are imagining—and creating—new futures for American beer, from grain and flower to glass.


  • Dennis Malcolm Byron aka Ale Sharpton, beer writer, moderator, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Latiesha Cook, Co-Founder and President, Beer Kulture, St. Petersburg, Florida
  • Diane Gooding, VP, Gooding Farms, Inc., Parma, Idaho
  • Tamil Maldonado, co-founder and vice president of Development, Raíces Brewing Co., Denver
  • Tiffany Fixter, owner, Brewability Lab, Englewood, Colorado

Deep-Dish Dialogue: COVID-19 and Hunger
Oct. 17; 11 a.m.
Free - Registration required at

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted every part of the food system, from how food is produced and processed to how it is distributed and consumed. It has also driven significant numbers of Americans to rely on food banks and assistance programs to meet their daily needs. Join innovative individuals who have worked via local organizations to restructure distribution efforts and get food and resources to those in need. Together, they will examine the state of hunger, poverty, resource distribution, and access in the U.S. to identify how we got here, and to share ideas and strategies for achieving a more equitable and accessible food system in the future.


  • Devita Davison, FoodLab Detroit
  • Vinny Eng, SF New Deal, San Francisco
  • Kim Ford of Martha’s Table, Washington, D.C.
  • Linda Novick O’Keefe, Common Threads, Austin, Texas
  • Moderator: Amanda Moniz, Ph.D. David M. Rubenstein Curator of Philanthropy, National Museum of American History

Deep-Dish Dialogue: A Better Deal for Food Workers
Oct. 17; 1 p.m.
Free - Registration required at

The COVID-19 pandemic brought to light some of the longstanding challenges workers experience across the food system, from agricultural fields to city streets, grocery stores to processing facilities. Join us to learn more about how workers and advocates harness their strength, ingenuity, and strong networks of support as they fight for workers’ rights.


  • Lorena Quiroz-Lewis, Executive Director, Immigrant Alliance for Justice and Equity, Mississippi
  • Stephen Velasquez, Curator, National Museum of American History

Cooking Up History: La Vide Verde L.A with Chef Jocelyn Ramirez
Oct. 17; 2 p.m.
Free - Registration required at

Chef Ramirez will prepare a dish that has sustained many generations, Las Tres Hermanas en Chipotle. As she cooks, she'll speak about the critical use of permaculture, past and present, in indigenous Mexican foodways, and how this agricultural practice informs her new cookbook, La Vida Verde.

Cooking Up History: Living Lively: Youth Empowerment trough Food with Chef Haile Thomas
Oct. 17; 3 p.m.
Free - Registration required at

Chef Thomas, an integrative nutritionist and youth health activist, will share the health and environmental benefits of adopting a plant-based diet while she prepares creamy beet spaghetti and garlicky greens from her new cookbook, Living Lively.

Food Justice Galleries
Throughout Weekend

Throughout the weekend visitors will have the opportunity to reflect on food justice movements in history through online galleries featuring artworks, short videos, poetry readings and museum collections, as well as curated content provided by:

  • Coronavirus:Chinatown Stories, Grace Young, author and culinary historian from New York City;
  •  A Non-Compensable Narrative from Holly Springs Road, Gabrielle E. W. Carter, cultural preservationist, writer, and filmmaker, from North Carolina; and
  • Juan Felipe Hererra, U.S. Poet Laureate Emeritus, educator and activist from California.
  • Food Justice Collections at the Smithsonian, featuring material from the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Museum of the American Indian, the National Museum of American History, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Major support for the 2020 Smithsonian Food History Weekend and Gala from Home is provided by the Winiarski Family Foundation, The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, the Brewers Association and Clark Construction Group LLC, with additional support from Marcia Myers Carlucci, The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation, Nordic Ware,

Potomac Construction, Dr. Bruce E. Spivey and Amanda Spivey, Eric and Cynthia Spivey and Wegmans. “Last Call” is made possible by support from the Brewers Association. The American Food History Project is made possible by Warren and Barbara Winiarski│Winiarski Family Foundation and supporters of the Winemakers’ Dinner and Smithsonian Food History Gala.


National Museum of American History Colloquium Series
Voting During a Pandemic
Nov. 3; 4 p.m.
Free registration:

The 2020 United States presidential election comes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some people have suggested delaying the election, but history has much to say about campaigning and voting during a pandemic. Panelists will examine “front porch” campaigns, voter turnout, U.S. mail capability, and historical traditions of voter suppression.

Peter Liebhold, Curator, National Museum of American History

Jon Grinspan, Curator, National Museum of American History
Lynn Heidelbaugh, Curator, National Postal Museum
Duchess Harris, Professor, Macalester College

Zoom Registration Link


Through incomparable collections, rigorous research, and dynamic public outreach, the National Museum of American History seeks to empower people to create a more just and compassionate future by examining, preserving and sharing the complexity of our past. The museum, located on Constitution Avenue N.W., between 12th and 14th streets, is open Friday through Tuesday between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Admission is free, but reserved timed-entry passes are required. To make reservations, visit Follow the museum on social media on Twitter and Instagram @amhistorymuseum and on Facebook at @americanhistory. For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000. We are using #SmithsonianFood for the Food History Weekend events.


Media only:

Rebecca Seel