Jazz Concert Season Kick Off and More December Happenings

December at the Museum includes a look at a historic film, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra season kick-off, and two concerts by the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society.

le petit migrant
“le petit migrant” by Maria Liliana Ramirez, 2022

Citizenship and Belonging: A Conversation with Otros Dreams en Acción
Nov. 29, 5 p.m.
Wallace H. Coulter Plaza; First Foor, West
Free registration via

The museum will host a conversation with seven members from Otros Dreams en Acción (ODA), an organization of globally recognized thought leaders who are working to transform the popular understanding of citizenship. Patty Arteaga, Public Programs Manager with the Smithsonian’s Reckoning with Our Racial Past Initiative, will lead the conversation and the following question and answer session with the audience.

History Film Forum Presents: Our Hospitality (1923) with Live Music Accompaniment
Dec. 14
6:15 Objects out of Storage display
7:30 Screening
Warner Bros. Theater, First Floor Center
Free registration via

Buster Keaton’s first masterpiece tells the hilarious story of a Romeo who meets his Juliet only to discover a family feud and future in-laws who want him dead, combining high drama, thrilling adventure and Keaton's stone-faced slapstick. This special screening features the premiere of a new score by composer Andrew Earle Simpson, performed live by the Andrew Simpson Ensemble. Prior to the screening, museum staff will display objects out of storage to commemorate this centennial, including the velocipede featured in the film—the very first movie prop ever collected by the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the museum’s website.

Wooden and metal bike on black background
Velocipede used by Buster Keaton in his 1923 film Our Hospitality, National Museum of American Collections


Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra Presents:
Thad Jones: A Centennial Celebration
Baird Auditorium, National Museum of Natural History

10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20560
Sun. Dec. 3, 2023, 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, the big band ensemble in residence at the National Museum of American History, kicks off its 2023-2024 concert season with a tribute to Thaddeus Joseph Jones, jazz trumpeter, cornetist, French horn player, composer, conductor and bandleader, who contributed to the tonal and textural evolution of modern big band composing and arranging.

To purchase tickets:
Members $25; Nonmembers $30

Smithsonian Chamber Music Society Presents:
The Axelrod String Quartet - Stradivarius and Amati Series
Nicholas and Eugenia Taubman Hall of Music

Sat. Dec. 9, 2023, 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Sun. Dec. 10, 2023, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (incl. pre-concert lecture)

This series presents two magnificent quartets of instruments—one made by Antonio Stradivari, the other by his teacher Nicoló Amati. The Axelrod Quartet will present 20th-century composer, Florence Price’s String Quartet in G Major, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 74, (the Harp) and Franz Schubert’s Quartet in A Minor (Rosamunde).

To purchase tickets:
Sat. Dec. 9:
Sun. Dec. 10:
Members $30; Nonmembers $35


What to know:
The museum is open seven days a week, except Dec. 25, between 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Admission is free, and passes are not required. For more information, go to

A man dressed in a chef's uniform poses for a portrait
Chef Kyre Rochon, Executive Chef at Restaurant Associates, National Museum of American History Smithsonian

The Eat at America’s Table Cafe is open for complete food and beverage service, featuring a month-long holiday celebration with hearty traditional dishes such as Port Wine Braised Short Ribs paired with Apple Cider Braised Greens, followed by a Winter Eggnog Trifle. The Leroy Neiman Jazz Cafe offers light lunch, delicious pastries and hot or cold beverages. For more information, visit the website.

Bottled water is allowed in the museum. We recommend bringing a refillable water bottle for fountains.

Stores: Open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


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 daily except Dec. 25 between 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Admission is free. The doors of the museum are always open online and the virtual museum continues to expand its offerings, including online exhibitions, K–12 educational materials and programs. The public can follow the museum on social media via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. For more information, go to For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000.