Events March 23-25: Dinner & A Movie: Skydancer, Cherry Blossom Festival Family Day, Book Signing: Jo B. Paoletti

Six generations of Mohawk Indian ironworkers have made the job their own, the cherry blossoms are out and Paoletti signs her book on color gendering

A stamp in honor of the National Cherry Blossom Festival
A stamp in honor of the National Cherry Blossom Festival Image courtesy of the National Postal Museum

For more than 120 years, ironworkers have raised America’s modern cityscapes—sculpting the country’s skylines, fearlessly walking atop steal beams, just a foot wide. Bravery in a job like this, is crucial. In New York City, six generations of Mohawk Indians have made the job their own.

This evening, the American Indian Museum will explore the history of what has been called “sky walking” in a screening of Skydancer, the 2011 film directed by Academy Award nominee Katja Esson. Who are these Mohawk sky walkers? What is their secret for overcoming fear? And what is their life really like, when at the end of each day, they return to their families on the reservation?

This screening is presented as part of the Environmental Film Festival and is followed by a Q&A with Esson. Free. 7 to 8:30 p.m. American Indian Museum.

Saturday, March 24 Cherry Blossom Festival Family Day

In Washington, DC, cherry blossoms are a big deal. In fact, the pink-petaled trees, a gift from Japan in 1912, have become iconic. And this weekend, in celebration of the centennial of the 3,000 trees gifted to the U.S., the fame of these flowers is in full-bloom. This weekend, activities at the National Building Museum, the National Cherry Blossom Festival, and the Smithsonian National Postal Museum open the season. The Postal Museum’s two-day event for “kids of all ages” offers hands-on activities, interactive demonstrations and exciting outdoor performances to celebrate spring and delve into Japanese arts and design. Repeats Sunday at 11:00. Free. 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. National Postal Museum.

Sunday, March 25 Book Signing: Jo B. Paoletti

Pink is to girls as blue is to boys? Right? Not always. Historian, Jo B. Paoletti’s book, Pink and Blue: Telling the Boys from the Girls in America has evidence that it used to be the other way around.

Paoletti examines magazines, dolls, advertising, even mommy-blogs that may explain the gendering of pink and blue and the origins of today’s penchant for gender-specific baby and toddler clothing.

This Sunday, Paoletti will be signing copies of her book at the American History Museum. Purchase the book in the museum store. Free. Noon to 3:00 p.m. American History Museum.

For a complete listing of Smithsonian events and exhibitions visit the goSmithsonian Visitors Guide. Additional reporting by Michelle Strange.

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