National Portrait Gallery Announces Season Four of Its PORTRAITS Podcast

PORTRAITS creates a space for listeners to explore the layers of the human experience—both within and outside of the museum’s walls.

Credit: PORTRAITS, a podcast by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery has announced the fourth season of its PORTRAITS podcast, which explores the real stories of extraordinary people. Hosted by the museum’s director, Kim Sajet, PORTRAITS creates a space for listeners to explore the layers of the human experience—both within and outside of the museum’s walls. Season four explores the themes of resilience and resistance as it examines history through the lens of its guests and continues the Portrait Gallery’s commitment to nation-wide, accessible programming. Beginning May 17, 10 episodes will premiere biweekly through Sept. 20. A trailer is available for download May 10.

“The personal accounts in this season of PORTRAITS will highlight the gaps between the ideals of a democracy and the realities of living in it,” Sajet said.

“These stories are significant because through them we observe a historical pattern of resistance against the status quo alongside an underlying current of resilience.”

From the museum’s studio in Washington, D.C., Sajet will sit down with changemakers, from grassroots organizer Dolores Huerta, who with Cesar Chavez co-founded the National Farmworkers Association (now United Farm Workers) and fought for labor and civil rights, to actor George Takei, whose early years in Japanese American internment camps have shaped a life of activism. Other guests include feminist leader and journalist Gloria Steinem; Deb Willis, artist, author and curator with the Portrait Gallery’s Director of Curatorial Affairs Rhea Combs; Jada Yuan, granddaughter of Chien-Shiung Wu, Ph.D., Chinese American physicist; and Indra Nooyi, Indian American business executive and former chairperson and CEO of PepsiCo. Select portraits of sitters related to these episodes can be seen on view at the museum or virtually at

Listeners can download the first three seasons of PORTRAITS, and all new episodes as season four unfolds, at or through Apple Podcasts, Google Play, PRX, Radio Public, Spotify and Stitcher. Past seasons of PORTRAITS featured guests such as Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III; hip-hop artist and actor LL Cool J; vocalist Renée Fleming; artists Hugo Crosthwaite, Hope Gangloff, Wendy MacNaughton, Robert McCurdy and the late Hung Liu; choreographer Dana Tai Soon Burgess; the late historian and news commentator Cokie Roberts; historian and author Jill Lepore; and editor-in-chief of The Atlantic Jeffrey Goldberg.

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