A Conversation with Katie Couric and 23 Other Smithsonian Associates Events in November

A Conversation with Katie Couric and 23 Other Things to Do at the Smithsonian in November

Katie Couric will receive the 2019 John P. McGovern at a Smithsonian Associates event on Nov. 12.  (Kevin Lynch Inc)
Katie Couric will receive the 2019 John P. McGovern at a Smithsonian Associates event on Nov. 12. (Kevin Lynch Inc)

Friday, November 1

Discovery Theater Presents Hoop of Life: With his vivid presence as a performer, Ty Defoe recounts an eloquent story of life though movement, music and words rooted in his Oneida and Ojibwe heritage. He uses the athletic form of the ritual Hoop Dance to explore Native American stories framed by traditional and contemporary culture, history and values. Ages 5 and up. 10:15 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. $3-$8

Saturday, November 2

Quilting: Applique and Edges Workshop: Appliqué is the quilter’s term for sewing one fabric on top of another. In this workshop, participants can add three appliqué techniques to their quilt making skills as they create a fabric flower-garden wall hanging, and learn how a variety of edgings can give the perfect finishing touch to projects. 1 p.m. $55-$65

Sunday, November 3

iPhone Photography II: Students can take their iPhone camera skills to another level in a workshop that focuses on the ProCamera app and editing techniques; organizing, printing and posting photos; and a critique session on images shot during the day on the National Mall. 10 a.m. $75-$95

A Diversity of Flavors: How Foreign-born Chefs Are Redefining American Cuisine: The new cookbook A Place at the Table: New American Recipes from the Nation’s Top Foreign-Born Chefs showcases the work, histories and recipes of 40 foreign-born chefs who are transforming America's culinary landscape. The book’s editor Gabrielle Langholtz joins local chefs as they discuss their own experiences as food professionals. Maria Godoy of NPR’s The Salt moderates the conversation. 3 p.m. $20-$30

Emerson String Quartet 2019-2020 Concert Series: Marking their 41st season at the Smithsonian, the musicians of the acclaimed Emerson String Quartet perform a variety of classical masterworks in a three-concert series. This concert features music by Mozart, Fanny Mendelssohn, and Beethoven. 6:30 p.m. $50-$60

Monday, November 4

Café Society: Where New York’s Brightest Made the Scene: From Prohibition through the 1950s, the Stork Club, 21 Club, El Morocco and other swank nightspots and eateries were the center of a glittering new kind of social scene. Participants sip a selection of famous cocktails from the era as historian Philip Greene takes a spirited look at the glamour of these legendary venues. 6:30 p.m. $50-$65

Thursday, November 7

Vicksburg: The Campaign That Broke the Confederacy: Although Gettysburg is often cited as the Civil War’s most important battle, it was the fall of Vicksburg that sealed the fate of the Confederacy. Drawing on his new book, Vicksburg: Grant's Campaign That Broke the Confederacy, Donald L. Miller tells the astonishing story of the longest and most decisive military campaign of the Civil War. 6:45 p.m. $20-$30

What Makes Mrs. Maisel So Marvelous?: Amazon Prime's “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” finds Miriam “Midge” Maisel and her family trying to turn their seemingly perfect lives in 1950s New York into the lives they actually want. Stef Woods, a faculty member in American University’s American Studies program, explores the show’s complex character relationships and how it portrays real-world issues like feminism, religion, marriage and career as reflected through Midge’s transformation from jilted spouse to aspiring show-biz pro. 6:45 p.m. $25

Saturday, November 9

Victoria: From Teen Queen to Matriarch of Europe: In an all-day program, Tudor and Renaissance scholar Carol Ann Lloyd-Stanger guides a journey through Victoria’s life and reign. She traces the steps that transformed the young, inexperienced and initially ineffective young queen into one of the most iconic monarchs of all time. Participants explore how Victoria learned to use her influence as a constitutional monarch to oversee the establishment of the British Empire and the modernization of her nation. 9:30 a.m. $90-$140

Sunday, November 10

Understanding Your Digital Mirrorless or SLR Camera: Moving Beyond Auto Mode: Students can get the most out of their digital mirrorless or SLR camera by taking part in this one-day class, which includes a shooting session on the National Mall and an in-the-field discussion of technical elements along with composition, light and other aesthetic considerations. 9:30 a.m. $210-$260

Tuesday, November 12

A Conversation with Katie Couric: Smithsonian Associates has named Katie Couric the recipient of the 2019 John P. McGovern Award. The award presentation will highlight an evening in which Couric discusses topics including her career, her own work and collaborations in new media and how the issues and causes for which she advocates connect to her role as a journalist. 6:45 p.m. $25-$35

Artificial Intelligence: Will It Go to Your Head Someday?: It sounds like science fiction, but cognitive scientist Susan Schneider says brain microchips and other techniques to integrate humans with artificial intelligence are under development. She addresses the implications of AI in people’s lives, and how to ensure that its science develops in a way that promotes human flourishing. 6:45 p.m. $20-$30

Wednesday, November 13

DC Museums Salute the Suffragists: Tracing the Path to the Voting Booth: Participants will join tour guide Kathleen Bashian for an all-day tour to view the Washington museums spotlighting the decades-long struggle for women’s suffrage in special exhibitions. Rebecca Roberts, author of Suffragists in Washington, D.C.: The 1913 Parade and the Fight for the Vote, will discuss the groundbreaking event that brought the movement to a new level of public consciousness: the first civil rights march to use the nation’s capital as a backdrop. 8:30 a.m. $145-$195

Thursday, November 14

The New Joy of Cooking: A Family Recipe: Originally self-published in 1931 by Irma S. Rombauer, Joy of Cooking became the bible of American home cooking. Rombauer’s great-grandson John Becker and his wife Megan Scott tell the story behind its newest edition, one that reflects a contemporary voice informed by culinary tradition. 6:45 p.m. $25-$35

Friday, November 15

Nightcaps: The Perfect Ending: The nightcap is the ideal way to close the day. Kara Newman, spirits editor of Wine Enthusiast, leads a captivating discussion (and tasting) on the history of the nightcap, covering its history and role in the modern-day cocktail canon. Light refreshments are also on the menu. 7 p.m. $35-$50

Saturday, November 16

Holiday Card Workshop: Making Memorable Masterpieces: Create simply elegant holiday greeting cards while learning the tips and techniques of professional card making from expert crafter Karen Cadogan. The focus is the sentiments, foreground, masking and statement embellishments that together produce unique personalized cards for friends and family. Beginners and experienced card makers are welcome. 2 p.m. $75-$85

Masterworks of Five Centuries 2019-2020 Weekend Concert Series: The 43rd season of the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society features masterpieces from the late 16th to the mid-20th centuries, played on some of the world’s most highly prized musical instruments. Kenneth Slowik, SCMS artistic director and recipient of the Smithsonian Distinguished Scholar Award, curates a pre-concert talk one hour prior to each concert. This concert also held Sunday, November 17 features music by Schubert. 6:30 p.m. $25-$35

Sunday, November 17

Picture Frame Pendant Workshop: Participants can frame a favorite photo, small artwork or even a special stamp in a pendant that’s perfect for gift-giving in this workshop. Working with piercing and riveting techniques, students can create a pendant that can be as simple or whimsical as they like. 10:30 a.m. $95-$105

Prince Albert’s Vision of Progress: The Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1851: With its curated displays of objects from all corners of the empire, the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations regaled the world as a testament to Britain’s industrial leadership and taste. Art historian Morna O'Neill examines how the Crystal Palace paved the way for subsequent international exhibitions, as well as for museums specializing in decorative art and industry. 1:30 p.m. $35-$50

Lidia Bastianich
Lidia Bastianich will return to the Smithsonian Nov. 18 in conversation with the Washington Post's Mary Beth Albright. (Norwood Photography)

Monday, November 18

Imagining the Southwest: The American Southwest occupies a central place in the country’s literary imagination. Lisbeth Strimple Fuisz, a lecturer in the English department at Georgetown University, leads spirited lectures and informal discussions about four compelling novels that offer rich and varied portraits of the region and the people who inhabit it. This session discusses Bless Me, Ultima by Rodolfo Anaya. 6:45 p.m. $25-$35

Lidia Bastianich: An Italian Classic: Beloved chef Lidia Bastianich returns to the Smithsonian for a lively conversation about her close-knit family, her professional ascent and the dedication and passion for food that led to multiple restaurants, many best-selling cookbooks, and 20 years on public television. 6:45 p.m. $50-$60

Tuesday, November 19

Presidents and the Space Program: Key decisions made by three 20th-century presidents set the course for the American space program for more than 50 years. John M. Logsdon, founder of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs’ Space Policy Institute, examines how their impact endures. 6:45 p.m. $20-$30

Wednesday, November 20

The Journey of the Mask: Symbols of power, mystery, and disguise, masks play a role in cultures and societies across the globe. Stunning images by National Geographic photographer Chris Rainier highlight his exploration of the reasons why humans have donned masks since the beginning of time. 6:45 p.m. $25-$35

Thursday, November 21

Discovery Theater Presents Grandma’s Thanksgiving Visit: In this special Thanksgiving performance, Grandma has arrived for the holiday—and that can only mean making puppets, cooking together, washing the car and learning lots of fun new things. This musical play with a great big heart brings the whole audience into the family with singing, finger play and call-and response as we all give thanks for being together. Ages 3 to 6. 10:15 a.m. $3-$8

To view the Smithsonian Associates November program guide, visit