Friday, May 20 Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month
Get a jump on the weekend’s cultural festival “Celebrate Hawai’i,” at the American Indian museum. The two-day event includes films, hula performances, weaving lessons, Hawaiian cooking and discussions. On Friday night, see the documentary Papa Mau: The Wayfinder, which follows a group of young Hawaiians on a mission to revive the traditional Polynesian arts of canoe-building and wayfinding, or non-instrument celestial navigation. Follow the group as they journey to the island of Satawal in Micronesia and and learn form the master navigator Mau Piailug as he shares the ways of the ancestors aboard the voyaging canoe Hokule’a. Director Na’alehu Anthony will answer questions after the screening. A short film, Stones, will begin at 7:00 PM. Dinner is available at Mitsitam Cafe from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM. The films are free, but reservations are required.
The festival takes place Saturday and Sunday throughout the musuem. Free. 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM. National Museum of the American Indian
Saturday, May 21 Start with the Arts
The Very Special Arts (VSA), the international organization on arts and disability, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum team up for the sixth annual VSA Start with the Arts Festival. Artists and educators from around the world will be on hand for a multicultural celebration featuring music, dance, improv and hands-on activities for children of all abilities and ages. The festival features dance and musical performances, hands-on art activities, improvisation and movement sessions. Free. 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM both Saturday and Sunday. Kogod Courtyard of the American Art Museum
Sunday, May 22 Renwick Craft Invitational
Judith Schaechter is one of four featured artists in this year’s Renwick Craft Invitational. She employs a modern approach to making stained glass; sandblasting, layering and painting the glass, also called the “Tiffany Method.” She will discuss her artwork, themes and experience with the audience. Free. 2:00 PM. Renwick Gallery “History in the Making: Renwick Craft Invitational” on exhibit through July 31.