Events January 18-20: A Multicultural Festival, the Voices of Emancipation and the Smithsonian Staff’s Best Photos

This week, travel around the world in one museum, celebrate the Emancipation Proclamation and see the world through the Smithsonian staff’s eyes

Multicultural Festival
Japanese taiko drumming, one of a panoply of performances from cultures around the world at this weekend’s Multicultural Festival. Photo by Indaia Cultural, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Friday, January 18: Out of Many: A Multicultural Festival of Music, Dance, and Story

“Getting cultured” is on a new level at the museum this weekend at Smithsonian’s pre-Inauguration Day Multicultural Festival. From Japanese taiko drummers to Native Alaskan dancers to a jazz trio, performers from across the globe will convene at the American Indian Museum for three days of song, dance and storytelling. (Don’t miss out on Mayan mask-making workshops held throughout the celebration.) If you can’t make it out to the party, you can also watch the festivities online via a live webcast – though dancing around your living room probably won’t be quite the same. Free. 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday and 10:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. American Indian Museum.

Saturday, January 19: To the Mountaintop: Voices of Emancipation

Let freedom ring! Actors London Edgerton and Xavier Carnegie celebrate the 150-year anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation with a multi-media theater performance this weekend. The performance incorporates songs, images and the words of prominent African American leaders to convey the monumental importance of emancipation in our nation’s history. What better way to kick off Inauguration weekend than with a reminder of one of America’s most fundamental values? Free. Saturday 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., Sunday 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. American History Museum.

Sunday, January 20: Inside Insights: Photographs by the Smithsonian Community

Smithsonian’s staff does more than organize great exhibits. Some of us take cool pictures, too. The 36 winning entries from the institution’s 2012 Staff Photo Contest (not to be confused with the magazine’s own photo contest) are on display this weekend in an exhibit devoted exclusively to the staff’s work. Witness the diverse and often surprising perspectives of the people who keep the Mall running. Free. 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily through April 30, 2013. Ripley Center.

Also check out our specially created Visitors Guide App. Get the most out of your trip to Washington, D.C. and the National Mall with this selection of custom-built tours, based on your available time and passions. From the editors of Smithsonian magazine, the app is also packed with handy navigational tools, maps, museum floor plans and museum information including ‘Greatest Hits’ for each Smithsonian museum.

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