“WHAT: SMITHSONIAN at 8 in collaboration with Francophonie DC and the Embassy of France presents “La Grande Fete”
WHEN: Friday, March 31, 7 to 11 p.m.
WHERE: La Maison Francaise, 4101 Reservoir Road, NW Washington, DC
Get ready for a spectacular party with a French accent. The annual Francophonie Cultural Festival spotlights the music, art, literature, film, cuisine, and customs of French-speaking countries and regions from across the globe. Its closing celebration, La Grande Fete is always magnifique, and this year’s bash is no exception.
Beginning at 7 p.m., guests will launch into a world tour of francophone cultures. They’ll sample food and drink from more than 30 embassies as they explore each nation’s unique attractions and traditions. There are plenty of giveaways to take home as souvenirs, and guests can share their experiences throughout the night on Instagram using #at8enfrancais.
Multi-talented musician Francis Jocky (Cameroon/France) kicks off the night with his blend of jazz, soul, funk, and rhythm and blues. Later, DJ Princess Slaya spins music from Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, and plenty of destinations in between. (more…)
“Today the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) announced the selection of Ann B. Friedman and Dantes Partners to lead the redevelopment of the historic Franklin School, located at the intersection of 13th Street NW and K Street NW in Ward 2. Delivering on the Bowser Administration’s commitment to the creative economy, the proposed development will transform the historic space into Planet Word, an interactive language arts museum and education space.
“Planet Word is a one-of-a-kind project that delivers on our promise to invest in the arts in the most innovative of ways,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Brian T. Kenner. “Developing the Franklin School into an interactive language center gives visitors and residents a unique learning experience, adds to the cultural fabric of our downtown, and is a great fit for the District’s growing creative economy.”
Planet Word’s mission is to inspire a love of words and language and increase literacy through a host of interactive exhibits and experiences. Along with the Mundolingua in Paris, Planet Word will be one of just a few fully-operational language museums globally. Initially inspired by MoMath, the National Museum of Mathematics in Manhattan, Ms. Friedman, with the support of her husband, Thomas L. Friedman, and a national board, has been developing plans for the museum for more than three years and is delighted to have found such an appropriate venue for the project and have the opportunity to restore the Franklin School to its former architectural glory. (more…)
Yesterday 27 teams of architects, engineers, and developers came together at the National Building museum to build giant sculptures out of canned food to bring awareness to those in our nation’s capital that don’t have enough to eat. Afterwards, all of the cans are donated to the Capital Area Food Bank. Canstruction DC is sponsored by the Washington Architectural Foundation and Society for Design Administration, and has donated more than 250 tons of food to the Capital Area Food Bank.
The sculptures are open to the public from Nov. 20-27th, and “votes” can be cast in the form of cans donated at the site, or via an online donation here.
This is a great way to help our neighbors during this Thanksgiving season, and I’d be very appreciative if you could post the information on your site to encourage people to visit. Entry is free to view the sculptures, and the National Building Museum is located at 401 F St NW, Washington, DC 20001. This year’s theme is “Movie Night” and there are sculptures representing blockbusters such as Star Wars, Ghostbusters, and Sharknado.”
“Mayor Muriel Bowser announces events, road closures and security measures related to the grand opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution.
In honor of the museum opening, Mayor Bowser will attend the dedication ceremony and grand opening on Saturday, September 24. In addition to several events that will be hosted throughout the District to commemorate the opening, the museum will also host Freedom Sounds: A Community Celebration, a three-day free festival taking place on the Washington Monument grounds. The event will include musical performances, spoken word, oral-history activities, storytelling and interactive workshops. The festival will also include concert performances on Saturday from Living Colour, Public Enemy and The Roots. On Sunday, Experience Unlimited, Meshell Ndegeocello and Angelique Kidjo will deliver concert performances. A full schedule will be available on the museum’s website (www.nmaahc.si.edu). (more…)
Credit: Image by Eric Long, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution
From the National Air and Space Museum:
“National Air and Space Museum Invites Fans to “Boldly Go 50”
The 50th anniversary of Star Trek is Sept. 8, and the National Air and Space Museum is inviting fans to celebrate with “Boldly Go 50”—three nights of special programs sponsored by the Roddenberry Foundation. The events will explore the history of the science-fiction franchise and its role in inspiring generations of real scientists, innovators and explorers. “Boldly Go 50” will spotlight the show’s message of going where no one has gone before in a space featuring artifacts of exploration achievements from the “Spirit of St. Louis” to SpaceShipOne, and now including the 11-foot studio model of the starship Enterprise used in all 79 episodes of the original series.
Thursday, Sept. 8
Museum visitors can celebrate the moment of Star Trek’s 50th anniversary Sept. 8 with special screenings of the first episode aired, “The Man Trap,” timed to the show’s 1966 timeslot. The program will begin at 8 p.m., with screenings held concurrently at both of the museum’s locations: on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. The screenings will be introduced live in Washington and by simulcast to Chantilly by Margaret Weitekamp, the museum’s curator of social and cultural dimensions of spaceflight, Rod Roddenberry, son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, and Bjo and John Trimble, two of Star Trek’s founding fans. The screenings will be followed by a Q&A. Free tickets are required at both locations.
Friday, Sept. 9
The museum’s location on the National Mall in Washington will host an evening of anniversary activities, including films, tours, special guests, presentations, photo-ops with the original Enterprise studio model and more. The Smithsonian Channel’s new documentary Building Star Trek will begin at 8 p.m. in the Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater, followed by the new film from Adam Nimoy, For the Love of Spock. Free tickets are required for both films; no tickets are required for museum entry or other activities. The event will run from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 10
The popular Museum Moonshine series continues Sept. 10 at the museum’s Washington location with a Star Trek-centric 21-and-over program from the museum and Smithsonian Gardens, exploring the recent conservation of the Enterprise model and the work of the North American Orchid Conservation Center. Activities include selfie stations with a botanic oasis inspired by Star Trek’s set designs, sky gazing with staff from the Phoebe Waterman Haas Public Observatory, displays from Smithsonian Garden’s orchid collection (including a take-home mini-test-tube orchid), Star Trek-inspired treats and talks with special guests and museum experts. A selection of light refreshments and alcoholic beverage samples are included with each ticket. Tickets must be purchased in advance and cost $35. Tickets for National Air and Space Society members cost $30. (more…)
“Our fifth annual Oktoberfest returns on Saturday, September 17 from 1-4 pm. Local beers on tap courtesy of all NINE DC Brewers Guild members, German food, live music and tours of the historic home of DC brewmaster Christian Heurich included. Celebrate the Heurich’s German heritage with an afternoon at Oktoberfest! (more…)
Corpse Flower, Aug. 2nd courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden
From a media alert:
“The bloom of the corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum) has begun opening at the United States Botanic Garden (USBG), in an unusual day blooming event. The plant will release its odorous scent over the next 6-8 hours, and the bloom typically stays open anywhere from 24 to 48 hours. The USBG will be open from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m. tonight for visitors to experience the sight and and smell of this unique plant. The Garden will be open 10 a.m. until 11 p.m. tomorrow, as well. The U.S. Botanic Garden is open every day of the year, free of charge. [100 Maryland Ave, SW]
The U.S. Botanic Garden last displayed a corpse flower bloom in 2013. More than 130,000 people came to see the plant in person, and more than 650,000 viewers accessed the live webstream.”
“The corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum), also called “the stinky plant,” is about to bloom at the United States Botanic Garden (USBG) Conservatory. The plant went on display Friday, July 22. The Garden currently estimates peak bloom might happen between July 28-31. Once fully open, it usually remains in bloom for 24 to 48 hours and then quickly collapses. You can track the bloom’s progress via live video at http://www.USBG.gov/CorpseFlower.
The plant is famous for its large size, pungent odor, and unpredictable bloom schedule. The bloom is the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world – reaching up to 12 feet tall in the wild. An inflorescence is a cluster of multiple flowers that in the case of Amorphophallus species looks like a single flower. The corpse flower has hundreds of flowers located at the base of the spadix (the large vertical center) inside the famous purple-maroon spathe (the part that looks similar to “petals”). (more…)
Where: National Museum of Health and Medicine
2500 Linden Lane
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Before World War II, experts dismissed sharks as a serious threat to service members. Then in 1942, the U.S. Navy received reports about horrific attacks on castaways adrift from sunken ships and downed airplanes. Many of these reports proved to be true. Soon after the war, diving pioneers sought out sharks, expecting the worst because of the shark attack stories. Instead, they found an animal less to be feared than understood. Join Robert Cantrell, filmmaker and shark researcher for a presentation on the history of shark attacks and how the “fear of sharks” impacted the Navy’s policy in World War II as well as present-day knowledge of sharks.
FREE! Open to the public. No RSVP required.”
“Visit ICEBERGS in the Museum’s Great Hall. Designed by James Corner Field Operations, the installation opens as part of the annual Summer Block Party series, July 2 – September 5.
Explore a fantastical glacial sea designed by landscape architects
Ascend to a viewing area inside the tallest berg
Traverse an undersea bridge or slide down an ice chute
Sample Japanese kakigori shaved ice provided by the restaurant Daikaya
Learn about how design can transform spaces and lives
ICEBERGS is built from re-usable construction materials, such as scaffolding and polycarbonate paneling, a material commonly used in building greenhouses. The 20′ high “water line” allows panoramic views from high above the ocean surface and down below among the towering bergs. The tallest “bergy bit,” at 56′, reaches to the third story balcony of the Museum. ICEBERGS occupies a total area of 12,540 square feet. (more…)