Events July 18-22: Journey to the Stars, Drawing, Zoo Keepers, Funk Art and Mars

National Zookeeper
It is National Zookeeper week, to celebrate the National Zoo will be hosting a discussion panel with several of the zookeepers Wednesday night. Courtesy of Lisa Ware, Smithsonian National Zoo

Monday July 18 Star Light, Star Bright

Take a trip to the outer limits this Monday by visiting the Air and Space Museum‘s Albert Einstein Planetarium to see Journey to the Stars and learn about the history of our universe. Do you know how a star is made? Now find out as the film shows the birth of a star from hydrogen, helium gas and dark matter. Then learn about the formation of star clusters and how the planets were formed. Watch million-degree corona blasts and the fusion of atomic nuclei. The film plays Monday at 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 1:30. 2:30, 3:30 and 4:30. Tickets start at $7 and can be purchased before the show at the box office or online.

Tuesday July 19 Drawing Workshop African Art Style

Get the creative juices flowing this Tuesday.  Meet at the Information Desk in the Pavilion of the African Art Museum at 1 to participate in Come Draw With Us, a demonstration and drawing workshop. Visitors ages 12 and up are invited to engage in the senses by trading in keypads for pencils. A docent will give a brief introduction to the arts and culture of African peoples then visitors can set out into the galleries to sketch, draw, and create other works of art. Afterwards join other artists in a gentle critique of the works. This two-hour event is free but reservations are required so call 202-633-4632 or email [email protected]. All materials are provided and all levels of experience are welcome to participate.

Wednesday July 20 Celebration at the National Zoo

It’s National Zoo Keeper Week and the National Zoo is celebrating with a behind-the-scenes look into the lives of Zoo Keepers this Wednesday night from 6:30 to 7:30. Join a group of panelists as they discuss what Zoo Keepers really do and explain the ins and outs of the work behind-the-scenes that keeps the Zoo running smooth. Listen as the panelists describe research and data findings and hear about the stories of what it really takes to monitor the health and behavior of the animals. Then discover how Zoo Keepers create enriching opportunities for both animals and visitors. After, stick around to meet the Keepers in a special meet-and-greet. The panel will be headed by Brandie Smith—the National Zoo’s curator of the Asia Trail and giant pandas—and will feature the keepers for the primates, pandas, great cats and reptiles. This event is free and is open to all ages.

Thursday July 21 Funk Art!

Spice up Thursday night with a trip to the Kogod Courtyard of the American Art Museum for Take 5!, the museum’s summer concert series. Come to the courtyard at 5 and visit the cafe or borrow a board game to play as you wait for the band to begin. This week, D.C.’s own Funk Art will be performing their soulful music into the night. Led by keyboardist Will Rast, Funk Art’s music draws on the influences of African and Latin dance music scenes of the 1960s and 1970s, including horns and a dynamic rhythm section. Feeling the creative spirit? ArtJamz is setting up a studio during the concerts and registered participants are invited to paint during the show. The concert is a free event lasting until 8, ArtJamz has a registration fee of $40 payable online.

Friday July 22 Mars Day!

This Friday is Mars Day so celebrate the day in style by coming to the Air and Space Museum between 10 and 3. Celebrate the Red Planet with educational and fun family activities. Talk to museum scientists, NASA scientists and Natural History scientists as they speak about their work in Mars research and learn about current and future missions. See a meteorite that fell from Mars and learn what it really takes to plan a mission to the Red Planet. Explore images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter then view a 3D model of the surface of Mars. Afterwards learn about the geologic features of of the planet (Did you know there are volcanoes on Mars?). Head outside to the Public Observatory on the museum’s east courtyard to check out the skies through the telescope. This event is free and happening throughout the museum so visit the information desk or check out the detailed schedule of Mars Day activities.

For a complete listing of Smithsonian Institution events and exhibitions visit the goSmithsonian Online Visitors Guide.

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