Events: Freedom Riders, Woo at the Zoo, American Indian Filmmaking and More

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Monday, February 7: Contemporary Perspectives on Fiber and the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef Project

The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef on display at the Natural History Museum is a nexus of art, science and the fiber art community. Tonight, join a discussion with Jane Milosch, senior program officer for the arts in the Smithsonian's Office of the Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture; Matilda McQuaid, deputy curatorial director and head of the Textiles Department at Cooper-Hewitt; Susie Brandt, chair of the Fiber Department at the Maryland Institute College of Art; and Jennifer Lindsay, programming coordinator of the Smithsonian Community Reef.

Learn how such projects connect artists and others in meaningful dialogue about contemporary issues through experimentation with traditional and non-traditional materials, green design, and creative partnerships between individuals and institutions. Free, but reservations are required. To make a reservation, call 202-797-3025 or email: [email protected]. Please note that this event takes place at the Australian Embassy. You will be required to present a photo ID for entry. Also, there is no parking at the Embassy; the closest metro rail station is Dupont Circle. Free. Embassy of Australia, 6:30-8:30 PM.

Tuesday, February 8: Shared Experience: Telling Our Stories

The absence of present-day indigenous experiences and perspectives in the media spawned the Native Lens film project. Come enjoy a program of 12 short subject films created by Native Americans whose work combats the decades of stereotypes perpetuated by the film and television industry. Free. American Indian Museum, 12:30-1:30 PM. This event repeats today at 3:30 PM and daily (except Wednesdays) through February 28, 2011.

Wednesday, February 9: National Youth Summit: The 50th Anniversary of the Freedom Rides

From May until November 1961, more than 400 civil rights activists known as Freedom Riders traveled on buses throughout the South to challenge the Jim Crow laws that enforced racial injustice. Today, middle and high school students across the country join together electronically for a National Youth Summit on the Freedom Rides and activism. Freedom Rides veterans Congressman John Lewis (D-GA), Diane Nash, Jim Zwerg, and Reverend James Lawson share how they became involved in the Freedom Rides and how their lives were affected by them. They join filmmaker Stanley Nelson and scholar Raymond Arsenault to discuss the meaning of the Freedom Rides and the role of young people in shaping America’s past and future. Students are encouraged to participate in the discussion through email ([email protected]), Facebook, Twitter, and the conference portal, and are asked to think about themselves as makers of history. Free but registration required. Registration includes access to preparatory classroom materials, film clips, follow-up materials, and technical assistance. American History Museum, 12:00-1:15 PM.

Thursday, February 10: Face-to-Face Portrait Talk: Michael Jordan

In this week's gallery talk, a National Portrait Gallery curator will discuss and offer insight on a portrait of basketball superstar Michael Jordan. Free. Portrait Gallery, 6:00-6:30 PM.

Friday, February 11: Woo at the ZooValentine's Day is on the horizon, so lots of people are in the mood for love—and that goes double for the critters frolicking about at the National Zoo. Woo at the Zoo will be a memorable evening, offering a lighthearted exploration into the sexual behavior of animals. These honest and humorous talks will be hosted by some of the Zoo’s most charismatic animal experts, who have firsthand experience with the Zoo's recent reproductive success in the form of seven lion cubs and two cheetah cubs. This event features a complimentary red-stemmed champagne flute featuring the Woo at the Zoo logo, complimentary hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar. Tickets are required and may be purchased online or at any National Zoo gift shop. Rates are: $15 for FONZ members; $25 for non-members. Tickets are sold out for the 8:30 lecture; however they are still available for the 6:30 lecture. National Zoo, 6:00-10:00 PM.

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