Saving Yellowstone, Frans de Waal on gender, Icelandic folklore and other programs in April | Smithsonian Voices

On April 5, author Megan Kate Nelson traces Yellowstone’s journey from uncharted landscape to national icon.
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friday april 1st

Assisi: where past and present live: The Umbrian city of Assisi powerfully captures the spirit of the Middle Ages in a way that few places can. Art historian Elaine Ruffolo explores how this most extraordinary city was shaped by the glorious art, architecture and legacy of Saint Francis. Participants registered for the Smithsonian World Art History Certificate earn 1/2 credit. 12 p.m. ET $20 to $25

The Duke and the Count: To celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra juxtaposes the music of the Count Basie Orchestra and the Duke Ellington Orchestra in an informative talk illustrated with excerpts from virtual concerts. 7 p.m. ET $20 to $25

Monday april 4th

The Capodimonte Museum: an art palace on the Bay of Naples: Take a virtual stroll through the colorful galleries of Capodimonte, housed in a palace built in 1734 overlooking the Bay of Naples. Explore the museum’s masterpieces guided by Rome-based art historian Laura R. Weinstein, including works by Renaissance and Baroque masters such as Botticelli, Raphael, Michelangelo, Parmigianino, and Titian. Participants registered for the Smithsonian World Art History Certificate earn 1/2 credit. 12 p.m. ET $20 to $25

Tuesday, April 5

“And that’s how it is”: 70 years of television news: From the early days of network nightly reporting to the launch of CNN to 24/7 cable channels, television news has undergone remarkable transformations over the past seven decades. Media expert Brian Rose delves into these sweeping changes and examines the impact – both good and bad – of television journalism today. 12 p.m. ET $20 to $25

Explore the arts of Japan: Throughout Japan’s long history, Japanese visual arts have adopted and adapted elements of style from foreign cultures – Chinese, Korean, European – refining techniques, materials and viewing practices to suit their own unique societal needs, cultural ideas and practices. Art historian Yui Suzuki examines the timeless works of skilled Japanese artisans in their historical, religious, and political contexts in a four-session course. Participants registered for the Smithsonian World Art History Certificate earn 1 credit. 6:30 p.m. ET $80 to $90

Saving Yellowstone: Creating a National Icon: Author Megan Kate Nelson traces Yellowstone’s journey from uncharted landscape to national icon. Much more than a story of adventure and exploration, it exposes the conflicting interests in this wilderness of individuals ranging from Sitting Bull to railroad tycoon Jay Cooke, and how the government tested the reach of its power. in a growing and divided nation. 7 p.m. ET $20 to $25


Naturalist Liana Vitali talks about the fascinating life of pollinators on April 6.

Smithsonian Associates

Wednesday 6 April

Wild Wings: fascinating pollinators and their stories: From bees to bats and everything in between, learn from naturalist Liana Vitali about the fascinating lives of pollinators and how our lives depend to a large extent on the work they do. 6:45 p.m. ET $20 to $25

Thursday, April 7

Save the great forests to save the planet: There are five megaforests left on Earth. Each is vital to preserving global biodiversity, thousands of cultures and a stable climate. Hear practical solutions on how to ensure these ancient forests continue to exist so our planet can. 6:45 p.m. ET $20 to $25

saturday april 9

Visual Literacy: How to Watch Artyou: The ability to make sense of what we see is an essential skill in a culture saturated with images. Art historian Nancy G. Heller focuses on how art communicates, how to analyze and interpret it, and how we can see it as a cultural product that reveals something about the society that surrounds it. ‘produced. Participants registered for the Smithsonian World Art History Certificate earn 1 credit. 9:30 a.m. ET $80 to $90

monday april 11

The Geology of Africa: East Africa and the Great Rift Valley: Join geologist Kirt Kempter for a fascinating investigation into the geological history of the African continent before taking a closer look at the Great Rift Valley, which runs through Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania. 7 p.m. ET $25 to $30

tuesday april 12

Great American Composers: Music Made in the USA: Classical and American music expert Saul Lilienstein leads this joyful six-session celebration of 20th-century American composers, from Scott Joplin and Jelly Roll Morton to Charles Ives and John Adams. 12 p.m. ET $95-105

Future of the Constitution: The United States Constitution suddenly becomes topical again with Americans drawn into discussions about its various clauses, the Electoral College, various powers and the role of the judiciary. Yet most Americans have not recently – or ever – read the Constitution. Historian Clay Jenkinson examines key questions about the history, interpretations, issues and principles of this document. 6:30 p.m. ET $30 to $35


Join world-renowned primatologist Frans de Waal on April 13 for a fascinating discussion about the connection between gender and biological sex and traditional human gender roles.

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Wednesday April 13

Frans de Waal on gender: Presented in partnership with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, world-renowned primatologist Frans de Waal draws on decades of observation and study of human and animal behavior in a fascinating discussion of the connection between gender and biological sex and traditional human gender roles. 6:45 p.m. ET $20 to $25

Thursday April 14

Death of Shakespeare: Shakespeare knew that bloody, gruesome and imaginatively unusual deaths were what his Globe fans wanted to see. Get ready for an evening of stage disappearances that have moved, surprised and shocked audiences for four centuries with Tudor scholar and historian Carol Ann Lloyd-Stanger. 6:30 p.m. ET $30 to $35

monday april 18

Mindfulness Meditation: Meditation teacher Hugh Byrne explains how mindfulness works and how practicing it can foster a deeper and richer awareness of our inner selves, among other benefits. 7 p.m. ET $25 to $30


Speaker Christine Rai explores the rich folk traditions of Iceland on April 19.

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tuesday april 19

Icelandic folklore: For centuries, Iceland’s history, climate and geography have shaped its rich folk traditions. Speaker Christine Rai explores tales of magic, monsters and ghosts and their unique connection to the country’s landscapes. 12 p.m. ET $25 to $30

Wednesday April 20

Introduction to photography: Whether you want to work in digital or film, this eight-session day course provides a solid foundation for new photographers ready to learn the basics. Students must have a digital camera with manual controls. 10:30 a.m. ET $225 to $255

Thursday April 21

Finding our place in the cosmos with Mario Livio: When our ancient ancestors looked up, they might have wondered: What exactly is our place in this vast universe? Are we at the center? Do we matter? In this fascinating program, renowned astrophysicist and author Mario Livio explains how modern science and cutting-edge discoveries are helping to provide answers to these provocative questions. 6:30 p.m. ET $30 to $35

Travel along the Silk Road in Central Asia: history, culture, people: The Silk Road evokes images of romantic oases, dusty caravans and mysterious distant places. Award-winning educator and tour guide Zulya Rajabova presents a colorful introduction to the Great Silk Road and five Central Asian countries (aka “Stans”) that are considered the pane’s brightest gems. 6:45 p.m. ET $20 to $25

friday april 22

California’s Central Coast: From the Santa Lucia Highlands to Paso Robles: Expand your knowledge of the world of wine as you sip with sommelier Erik Segelbaum on an exploration of the undiscovered gems of California’s Central Coast viticulture. Part of a spring series in three sessions, This immersive program includes a personal tasting kit curated to enhance the experience available for pickup at a local Washington, DC wine bar. 6 p.m. ET $65 to $75

Wednesday April 27

Art crime: frauds, counterfeits and counterfeits: From a fake Saudi sheikh with a fake Rembrandt to a fraud case that rocked “Antiques Road Show”, former FBI agent and art crime expert Robert Wittman unearths inside stories of the global trade of several billions of dollars of art crime, where beautiful objects can hold suspicious stories. 6:45 p.m. ET $20 to $25

To view the Smithsonian Associates Digital Program Guide, go to