Museum Exhibitions and Events in October 2022

September 1, 2022


“Rallying Against Racism”
“Unidos contra el racismo”
Second Floor, West
Opens Oct. 1, Closes April 2023

As COVID-19 spread through the U.S., violence against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islanders community increased exponentially due to racial scapegoating and Chinatown businesses, already damaged due to the pandemic, suffered further setbacks. This showcase display features the “Fight the Virus, NOT the People” COVID-19 Banner, a 20-by-4-foot red vinyl poster, donated by the San Francisco Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA). Representatives of the CCBA and members of the Chinese American community carried the banner during an anti-Asian hate March Feb. 29, 2020, one of the first U.S. rallies to protest COVID-19-related hate crimes against Asian Americans. The march also called for support of the Chinatown small business community.

"Nation of Speed"
National Air and Space Museum
Opens Oct. 14, 2022
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The new gallery "Nation of Speed" explores the deep-rooted connection between people and machines through the history they made together. This cooperative exhibition includes loans from the National Museum of American History. "Nation of Speed" will open in fall 2022 and is projected to be open for 10 years.


"Cooking Up History" series "Conserving Food Cultures"
"Celebrating Comida Chingona & the Lowrider Lifestyle"
Guest chef Silvana Salcido Esparza
Sept. 17; Noon
Wallace H. Coulter Plaza
First Floor, West

Silvana Salcido Esparza made her mark on the U.S. food scene with the comida chingona (“badass food”) she serves at her Phoenix-based restaurant, Barrio Café. The restaurant’s offerings draw inspiration from Esparza’s Mexican heritage and seek to honor her family’s 800-year-old gastronomic legacy with a twist. For this program, Esparza will make smoked cochinita pibil, providing insights into this important and deeply historical dish. 

This program is produced in collaboration with the National Museum of the American Latino and highlights objects from the Latino collections at the National Museum of American History. It is also part of the opening celebration for NMAL’s ¡Presente! exhibition.  


Food History Weekend
Oct. 13 and 14
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The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will host its eighth annual Food History Weekend Oct. 13-14, a multifaceted festival that consist of two days of lively events, including a cooking demonstration, panel discussions and objects out of storage displays.

Food History Gala
Oct. 13; 6:30 p.m.
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The Weekend kicks-off with the eighth annual Smithsonian Food History Gala featuring the presentation of the Julia Child Award to recipient Grace Young! Grace Young, culinary historian and cookbook author, is a tireless advocate for the preservation of American Chinatowns and all their cultural, economic, and gastronomic riches. We are excited to announce that the Gala will be held in the museum once again, after two years of virtual presentations. The Weekend and Gala have been named "The Best Festival for Food Lovers" by Washing City Paper, and the Gala is one of Washington, DC's premier culinary events. Purchase tickets here. 

Cooking Demonstration, Displays and Panel Discussion
Oct. 14; 12 p.m.
Wallace H. Coulter Plaza
First Foor, West

Culinary historian and cookbook author Grace Young will lead a special cooking demonstration at the museum, free and open to all. As part of the museum’s “Cooking Up History” series, Young will speak about and demonstrate her decades-long pursuit to preserve Chinese culinary traditions. Sharing the ancestral knowledge she documented for her cookbooks, "The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen," "The Breath of a Wok" and "Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge," Young will prepare her father’s cashew chicken recipe during the hour-long, live cooking demonstration and conversation. Young will also speak about the integral role that Chinatowns played historically and today across the country and how they are endangered and in desperate need of support from the broader American population.  

The museum will also host an “Objects Out of Storage” event, inviting visitors to take a closer look at objects and documents donated recently by Young. Other objects from the museum’s collections that illuminate the rich and diverse cultures of Chinatowns and Chinese American communities across the United States will also be available.

Brewing History
"Last Call: ¡Salud! to American Latinos in Beer”
Oct. 14; 7 p.m.
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The museum's Food History Weekend will conclude with “Last Call,” an annual brewing  history program part of the American Brewing History Initiative. This year’s event, "¡Salud! to American Latinos in Beer" will explore the past, present, and future of American Latinos in the brewing industry, in celebration Hispanic Heritage Month. Latinos represent a diverse, vibrant and often underappreciated thread among the nation’s brewers and beer lovers. Many of these brewers reach for a variety of ingredients with Latin roots—prickly pear, piloncillo sugar, tamarind, guava and more—as they create new beer styles. Building taprooms and communities that look, sound and taste innovative, inclusive and delicious, they are writing the next chapter in American beer history.

Representatives from Casa Humilde Cerveceria of Chicago, Mujeres Brew House in San Diego, Dyckman Beer Co. in New York and DeadBeach Brewery from El Paso will talk about how they honor their diverse heritages, appeal to broad audiences and build new communities with beer. Guests will receive eight beer samples, small bites and guided tours. General Admission $40, purchase tickets here.


"Music from the heart": A Tribute to Ignacy Jan Paderewski
The Smithsonian Chamber Music Society's 2022-23 kickoff concert
Oct. 16; 7 p.m.
Baird Auditorium
National Museum of Natural History
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This concert by the Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Kenneth Slowik brings together five iconic works by Polish and American composers: the "Concerto for String Orchestra" of Grażyna Bacewicz, Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Mikołaj Górecki’s "Concerto-Notturno," Ignacy Jan Paderewski’s "Romanza" and the Suite from Aaron Copland’s "Appalachian Spring."


The Jazz Age Black and Tans concerts
Smithsonian Jazz Materworks Orchestra
Sept. 24; 3 and 7 p.m.
Virtual concert
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For more than half of the 20th century, legal and social segregation shaped many aspects of life for Americans – including where they heard jazz. But in the speakeasy era, a new kind of venue emerged that opened the doors for Black musicians and audiences, as well as other people of color. Dubbed “black-and-tan clubs,” these nightspots began to attract white patrons as well, creating a uniquely integrated musical phenomenon. Join the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra in the Root Family Auditorium for an afternoon of jazz inspired by the black-and-tan clubs of the speakeasy era.

Themes from Stage, Radio, TV and Film
Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra
Sept. 22; 7 p.m.
Baird Auditorium
National Museum of Natural History
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In anticipation of the opening of the new exhibition, "Entertainment Nation,” the Jazz Masterworks Orchestra kicks off its 2022-23 season with a salute to museum collections and the diverse forms of entertainment in America over the last 100 years. Musical selections will include themes from “Mash,” “I Love Lucy,” “Wizard of OZ,” “Chicago” the musical and much more.