Ring in the New Year With Streaming Programs Inspired by the Smithsonian’s World of Knowledge

Smithsonian Associates Streaming offers a slate of engaging and entertaining events in 2022

Image shows a castle in snow
North-facing view of the Enid A. Haupt Garden and south facade of the Smithsonian Institution Building ("The Castle") in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 6, 2007 Eric Long / Smithsonian

Wednesday, January 5 

Ballet Music: The Soul of Movement: In a 4-session course, popular speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin uses her unique live piano demonstrations and both historic and contemporary film clips to illustrate how the music from such ballet masterpieces as Giselle, Swan Lake, Daphnis and ChloëLe Sacre du Printemps and Appalachian Spring became a treasured part of our cultural landscape. 12 p.m. ET $80-$90


Thursday, January 6

Dutch Cheese and Culture: Join Christine Rai to explore how Dutch history, geography and climate shaped its distinct cheese styles and how cheese has played a role in the wider culture of the Netherlands. In addition to the fascinating history, she surveys how today’s Dutch cheese makers are innovating beyond their roots and shares tips and suggestions for savoring a range of delicious Dutch cheeses. 7 p.m. ET $25-$30


Saturday, January 8

How To Read a Poem How do we unlock the mysteries of a great poem? What are the invisible patterns and hidden music that bring words to life? Explore how the ability to read poems closely and deeply can be applied when trying to interpret the texts of other disciplines—or even the experiences of everyday life with literature professor Joseph Luzzi. 10 a.m. ET $70-$80


Sunday, January 9

Yosemite and the Range of Light: One of the world’s most striking natural wonders, Yosemite National Park is much more than “the valley.” Keith Tomlinson, an interpretive naturalist and popular tour leader, examines the area’s glacial history, plant life, emerging climate issues and distinctive topography. 4 p.m. ET $25-$30


Monday, January 10

Dior vs. Chanel: Mid-century Ideals of the Feminine Form: The romantic feminine lines and chic textured suits that emerged in Paris after the austerity of WWII are admired even today. Christian Dior’s luxurious bounty of expansive skirts with tiny wasp waists and Coco Chanel’s impeccably tailored signature suits defined the arc of fashion in the 1950s. Join design historian Elizabeth Lay as she looks at the seeds of each style, the customers who bought these marvelous designs, and the minute details of haute couture that set these fashions apart from the ordinary. 6:45 p.m. ET $20-$25


Tuesday, January 11

Kennedy, Nixon, and the Debate of the Century: Historian Allen Pietrobon takes us back to the Eisenhower era, a time before the “celebrity president.” He reveals how Sen. John F. Kennedy’s domination of the medium during the first-ever televised debate was key in his winning the presidency. Pietrobon also uses the 1960 presidential election as a lens to explore American politics and culture in this pivotal era in history. 6:45 p.m. ET $20-$25


Wednesday, January 12

Travels With Darley: Alabama’s Civil Rights Trail: PBS television host Darley Newman shares insights into the Alabama Civil Rights Trail, which traces the footsteps of civil rights legends such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, whose stories are told in the museums, churches and other landmarks lining the trail. Darley suggests area guides and experts who can enhance your experience. 6:45 p.m. ET $20-$25


Thursday, January 13

Artists in Depth at the Barnes Foundation: Picasso and Matisse: The Barnes holds 59 of Henri Matisse’s works, including his fauvist masterpiece Le Bonheur de Vivre and the The Dance, commissioned by collector Albert Barnes in 1930. The collection’s 46 works by Pablo Picasso range from The Peasants, which greets visitors in the main room, evolving to his Head of a Woman (Tête de femme). Barnes educator Penny Hansen uses high-definition Deep Zoom technology to explore the artists’ work and influence on 20th-century modernism. Enrolled participants in the Smithsonian World Art History Certificate earn 1/2 credit.  10 a.m. ET $30-$35

The Golden Age of Hollywood: From the late 1920s through the end of World War II, Hollywood studios dominated film production both in America and throughout the world, producing some of the best-loved and most significant movies ever made. Brian Rose, a professor emeritus at Fordham University, examines the forces that shaped this giant of global filmmaking and the special nature of its achievements during its golden age—as well as the factors that brought this short-lived period to a final fadeout. 12 p.m. ET $20-$25

Brief History of the Earth: The saga of our home planet is far more spectacular than any Hollywood blockbuster (Boiling seas of lava! Meteor strikes! Towering sheets of ice!). But only recently have we begun to piece together the whole mystery into a coherent narrative. Andrew H. Knoll, a geologist and professor at Harvard University, offers a short biography of Earth, charting its epic 4.6-billion-year story and placing 21st-century climate change in deep context. 6:45 p.m. ET $20-$25


Tuesday, January 18

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: Popular theory on right side brain activity holds that the right brain is primarily responsible for the intuitive understanding of visual and spatial relationships. Designed to improve the way people see and record objects on paper, this 8 session class provides a set of visual exercises to help build the ability to draw. 6:30 p.m. ET $235-265

Jerusalem's Buried History: The story of Jerusalem is the tale of how science, politics and religion meet in its shadowy subterranean spaces. Journalist Andrew Lawler traces that buried history as he discusses the early explorers who navigated sewage-filled passages; follows the European, American and Israeli archaeologists who made stunning discoveries beneath the city; and explores how these finds became essential elements in the battle to control the Holy City. 6:45 p.m. ET $20-$25


Wednesday, January 19

Abstract Watercolors for Beginners: Learn to embrace and celebrate the unpredictability, versatility and beauty of watercolor in a 4-session course. Class discussions cover supplies; color theory, palettes and pigment control; and various exercises and experiments to achieve different effects. 10:30 a.m. ET $90-$110

A Whole Lotta (Crazy) Love: The Led Zeppelin Story: Biographer Bob Spitz tells the story of how Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Robert Plant and John Bonham came together to form the legendary rock band Led Zeppelin—one of the most successful (and certainly one of the most notorious) bands of all time. 6:45 p.m. ET $20-$25

Get tips from top travel professional Darley Newman on the best ways to hit the road in 2022 on Thursday, January 20.  Darley Newman

Thursday, January 20

Best Destinations for 2022: The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the face of the travel industry and the criteria that guides travelers in planning their trips. Television host, writer and producer Darley Newman shares insider’s tips and recommendations on where to travel in 2022—places that combine culture, cuisine, history and a healthy dose of wellness and nature. 6:45 p.m. ET $15


Saturday, January 22

The Philosophy of Human Nature: Humans are obviously part of the animal kingdom in many important ways, and yet they exhibit features and activities that set them apart from other species. Philosophy professor Michael Gorman leads a fascinating exploration into the nature of what makes us uniquely human, touching on topics including consciousness, free will, morality and the duality of body and soul. 9:30 a.m. ET $80-$90


Thursday, January 27

Christopher Kimball: Spotlight on Vegetables: Veggies are usually the supporting culinary players in a meal, but the new Milk Street: Vegetables moves them center of the plate. Christopher Kimball shares tips on how to roast, braise, steam and stir-fry everyday vegetables into simple but appealing dishes, and demonstrates a recipe or two from the book’s globally influenced collection. 6 p.m. ET $20-$25


To view Smithsonian Associates digital program guide, visit