Smithsonian Poster Exhibition Exploring 1968 Poor People’s Campaign On View at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

This winter, travelers at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport can view the Smithsonian poster exhibition “City of Hope: Resurrection City and the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign.” The exhibition is on view through April 30 in the Gallery Walk located in Historic Terminal A between the Historic Lobby and the present-day ticketing lobby. “City of Hope” honors Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision for economic justice and opportunity for every U.S. citizen. It examines the Poor People’s Campaign—a grassroots, multiracial movement that drew thousands of people to Washington, D.C. For 43 days between May and June 1968, demonstrators demanded social reforms while living side-by-side on the National Mall in a tent city known as Resurrection City.

Photo Credit: Woman between tents, Resurrection City, Washington, D.C., 1968
Robert Houston, born 1935. Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Robert and Greta Houston, © Robert Houston

Organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, “City of Hope” highlights a series of newly discovered photographs and an array of protest signs and political buttons collected during the campaign. Featuring 18 posters, the exhibition can help visitors engage and contextualize the Poor People’s Campaign’s power, impact and historical significance.

Although President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a “war on poverty” in 1964, tens of millions of Americans were denied livable wages, adequate housing, nutritious food, quality education and health care. Led by King and Ralph David Abernathy, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference declared poverty a national human rights issue and organized the Poor People’s Campaign. Stretching 16 acres along the National Mall between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument, Resurrection City housed 3,000 protesters with structures for essential services like sanitation, communications, medical care and childcare. It included a dining tent, cultural center and a city hall on a “Main Street” where groups would gather.

The Poor People’s Campaign marked a key moment in U.S. history and set the stage for future social justice movements. Within months after Resurrections City’s evacuation, major strides were made toward economic equality influencing school lunch programs, rent subsidies and home ownership assistance for low-income families, education and welfare services through the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and more.

City of Hope: Resurrection City and the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign” is on view through the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s Art and Exhibits program.

SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for more than 65 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. For exhibition description and tour schedules, visit sites.si.edu.

Tony Award Nominees Michael McElroy and Orfeh Join Tituss Burgess at Carnegie Hall for Tribute to Stephen Sondheim February 1 at 8:00 P.M.

McElroy and Orfeh Perform Alongside Previously Announced Special Guests Jane Krakowski and Lillias White

Loretta Devine Will No Longer Appear Due to Scheduling Conflict

On Saturday, February 1 at 8:00 p.m. Tony Award nominees Michael McElroy and Orfeh join Tituss Burgess in his Carnegie Hall debut in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage with a tribute concert to the music of Stephen Sondheim. Titled Take Me to the World, previously announced guest artists include Tony Award winners Jane Krakowski and Lillias White. Due to scheduling conflicts, Loretta Devine will no longer appear on the program. Directed by Gabriel Vega Weissman with music direction by Charlie Rosen, the program focuses on the music of Sondheim and its singular impact on Burgess’s life and artistic trajectory.

Photo by © Jeff Mills

Emmy and Screen Actors Guild nominated actor, musician, and writer Tituss Burgess is quickly emerging as one of the entertainment industry’s most versatile and dynamic performers, with his work in television and theater generating both critical and commercial acclaim.

Most notably, Burgess stars as Titus Andromedon in the Emmy-nominated comedy series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, opposite Ellie Kemper, Jane Krakowski, and Carol Kane. The show follows a young woman named Kimmy Schmidt as she adjusts to life in New York City after living in a doomsday cult for 15 years. Burgess’s character becomes a friend, roommate, and mentor to Kimmy while he pursues his dreams of Broadway superstardom and becomes a viral sensation on YouTube. Tina Fey created Burgess’s outrageous character specifically for him. For the actor’s extraordinary performance on the series, Burgess has been nominated for two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series and two Critics’ Choice TV Awards for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. He was also awarded Best Actor at the 2015 Webby Awards and Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy at the 2015 Gold Derby TV Awards.

The actor was first introduced to television audiences in Tina Fey’s Emmy-winning NBC series 30 Rock, where he played the scene-stealing ‘D’Fwan,’ a vivacious hairdresser and the sidekick of Angie Jordan (Sherri Shepherd). Burgess quickly became a breakout star in the series’ fifth and sixth seasons. His other television credits include A Gifted Man, Blue Bloods, and Royal Pains. On the big screen, Burgess recently lent his voice to two major studio films: The Angry Birds Movie and Smurfs: The Lost Village – and appeared in this year’s Dolemite is My Name alongside Eddie Murphy

A veteran of the stage, Burgess made his Broadway debut in 2005 as Eddie in Good Vibrations. Since, he has held many memorable roles on the Broadway stage including Hal Miller in Jersey Boys, Sebastian the Crab in The Little Mermaid, and Nicely-Nicely Johnson in the 2009 revival of Guys and Dolls. Burgess has also performed in regional theater productions such as The Wiz and Jesus Christ Superstar.

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Macy’s Celebrates Lunar New Year 2020

Usher in the “Year of the Rat” with special in-store events, commemorative products, and the perfect gifts for the holiday at select Macy’s stores across the country

Macy’s celebrates Lunar New Year in select stores across the country. (Graphic: Business Wire)

In celebration of Lunar New Year 2020, Macy’s will commemorate the “Year of the Rat” with special in-store events in select locations nationwide beginning January 19 through February 8. Macy’s is also proud to offer a specially curated selection of Lunar New Year-themed products and holiday gifts available in select stores and online at macys.com/celebrate, including fashion, cosmetics, home décor, and more.

At Macy’s, we’re proud of our commitment to diversity and inclusion,” said Jose Gamio, senior director of Multicultural Community Engagement. “We are thrilled to highlight the diverse cultures of our customers, communities, and colleagues by celebrating Lunar New Year across the country.

At select Macy’s stores, Macy’s will honor the “Year of the Rat” with in-store events including traditional lion dance performances, cooking demos, giveaways, and more. During the events, attendees can also receive a limited-edition “Year of the Rat” enamel pin set when they make a qualifying purchase.

Plus, customers can celebrate the New Year in style or find the perfect gift for a loved one by shopping Macy’s curated selection of Lunar New Year-themed products, including fashion, accessories, cosmetics, kitchenware, home décor, and more. Products are available in select stores and online at macys.com/celebrate. Commemorative Macy’s Lunar New Year gift cards are also available.

Finding the perfect gift or holiday look is easy with Macy’s Personal Stylists. Available at select stores, this free service provides customers with help from a lifestyle expert dedicated to supporting them with all aspects of their shopping experience. Make an appointment in-store or online at www.macys.com/personalstylist.

Below are the dates and locations for Macy’s Lunar New Year in-store events:

  • Macy’s Flushing (Flushing, NY) – Sunday, Jan. 19
  • Macy’s Herald Square (New York, NY) – Thursday, Jan. 23
  • Macy’s Ala Moana (Honolulu, HI) – Saturday, Jan. 25
  • Macy’s South Coast Plaza (Costa Mesa, CA) – Saturday, Feb. 1
  • Macy’s Santa Anita (Arcadia, CA) –Saturday, Feb. 1
  • Macy’s Union Square (San Francisco, CA) – Saturday, Feb. 8

To learn more about how Macy’s is celebrating Lunar New Year, including a complete listing of event details and additional information, visit www.macys.com/celebrate.

Smithsonian Announces $1 Million Gift From the Otto Bremer Trust To Support Community Engagement Project on Implicit Bias

The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) has announced a $1 million gift by the Otto Bremer Trust (OBT) in support of the development and national tour of a community- engagement project that will raise awareness about the science and history of implicit bias and what people can do about it. The project, “The Bias Inside Us,” will travel to communities around the country on a four-year, 40-city tour beginning June 20 at the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul.

The Otto Bremer Trust’s support of ‘The Bias Inside Us’ makes it possible for us to convene conversations that will increase empathy so participants can create more inclusive schools, communities and workplaces,” said Myriam Springuel, director of SITES and Smithsonian Affiliations. “Our goal is to help individuals understand and counter their implicit bias and build stronger communities through conversation and greater understanding.

The Bias Inside Us” features a traveling exhibition that serves as the centerpiece for local programs and activities that will consider the science of implicit bias, how biases affect an individual’s behavior and how they can have unwanted social effects when left unchecked. The project is grounded in decades of research that has proven that bias is inside everyone. It is part of being human. The project will explain the nature and consequences of bias and teach how to challenge bias in the world through awareness of one’s own bias.

We’re committed to supporting this critical initiative about bias and race,” said Daniel Reardon, co-CEO and trustee of OBT. “We believe that the Smithsonian Institution and the passionate Minnesota co-founders of this work are bringing to the forefront issues that must be addressed if we are to achieve a more equitable and just society. We are proud that this exhibit will kick-off in St. Paul—OBT’s home and Minnesota’s capital city—this summer, and then continue across the country over the next four years.”

The Bias Inside Us” is based on an original concept developed by Tolerance in Motion: Steve Lear, Laura Zelle and Elyse Rabinowitz, founders; Ellen Glatstein, Joanne Jones-Rizzi, Laura Lipshutz, Alice Randall and Susan Shapiro, directors; Don Shelby, founding advisor; and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, Steve Hunegs, executive director.

SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for more than 65 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. For exhibition description and tour schedules, visit www.sites.si.edu.

The Otto Bremer Trust is a bank holding company and a private charitable trust based in Saint Paul, Minnesota, that works at the intersection of finance and philanthropy. Created in 1944 by Otto Bremer, it is today one of the region’s largest philanthropic organizations and is committed to supporting a better quality of life for residents of Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and Wisconsin. OBT is the 86% owner of Bremer Financial Corporation, a regional financial services company, and manages a diversified investment portfolio. Since its founding, OBT has invested more than $750 million in people, places and opportunities in the Upper Midwest.

For the First Time in the US, Visitors Can Experience “Age Old Cities”—A Virtual Journey to the Devastated Sites of Mosul, Aleppo and Palmyra

Immersive Exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art Highlights Importance of the Preservation of Cultural Heritage

Using the most recent digital techniques, the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art, take visitors on a virtual tour of three ancient cities—Palmyra and Aleppo in Syria and Mosul in Iraq.

Age Old Cities

The exhibition, located in the Sackler Gallery, highlights the devastation of these historically significant sites but also offers hope for their reconstruction and rehabilitation. By including the testimony of Iraqis and Syrians, the installation underscores the importance of place in the preservation of historical and architectural memory.

Age Old Cities: A Virtual Journey from Palmyra to Mosul” will be on view at the Sackler Gallery from Jan. 25 through Oct. 26. It was organized by the Arab World Institute in Paris, and created in collaboration with Iconem, which specializes in digitizing cultural heritage sites in 3-D, and in partnership with UNESCO. The exhibition offers an immersive experience that emphasizes the importance of preserving the world’s fragile cultural and built heritage.

“‘Age Old Cities’ is a landmark exhibition, not only for its innovative use of digital technology within a museum context, but also for the poignant story it tells,” said Chase F. Robinson, the Dame Jillian Sackler Director of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Freer Gallery of Art. “This exhibition narrates the heartbreaking story of cultural destruction—and resilience—in these cities, and we are proud to be the exhibition’s inaugural U.S. venue. Palmyra, Mosul and Aleppo are cornerstones of world culture, and it is our shared responsibility to ensure that these cities are preserved to continue to tell their rich histories and inspire future generations.”

In the recent past, Iraq and Syria have suffered profound upheavals that have destroyed many significant cultural and religious sites—leaving little of the rich historical past. “Age Old Cities” sheds light on the devastating destruction, the important cultural heritage of Syria and Iraq, and the need to preserve these sites.

The exhibition invites visitors into the heart of each of the three cities with large-scale projections of dynamic imagery and 3-D reconstructions of damaged monuments. The projections shift gradually from destruction to progressive reconstruction. To contextualize the sites, visitors will also see projections of historical photographs of the structures.

Beyond the stones, this heritage is a common good, and safeguarding it is the responsibility of all,” said Jack Lang, president of the Arab World Institute. “Citizens of every faith, archaeologists and curators have all worked and continue working today hand in hand to shelter, protect and rebuild.”

The exhibition offers more than a visual of potential reconstruction of mostly destroyed sites; it introduces visitors to the people who still live in the cities. Several videos throughout the exhibition feature interviews with residents, as well as archeologists and curators who work at great personal risk to protect and preserve these sites. Other videos explore unique parts of the cities such as the souks (markets) of Aleppo or the tomb of the Three Brothers in Palmyra (an underground burial chamber turned into an ISIS base of operations).

Throughout the run of the exhibition, the museum will offer a series of programs focusing on each city. Programming will include lectures and presentations on architectural heritage and current events, family programs and related film and music programs to enhance the visitor experience, further explore the rich cultures of these cities, as well as the challenges and opportunities of cultural restoration and public policies.

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National Portrait Gallery Presents “John Singer Sargent: Portraits in Charcoal”

Exhibition Features 50 Rarely Exhibited Charcoal Drawings by America’s Master Portraitist

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery will present a once-in-a-lifetime assemblage of 50 charcoal drawings by American expatriate artist John Singer Sargent. One of the most celebrated and successful portraitists of his day, Sargent abruptly stopped painting portraits in 1907 and produced them almost exclusively in charcoal from then on. He ultimately created several hundred of these highly admired but rarely exhibited works. “John Singer Sargent: Portraits in Charcoal” is the first major exhibition to focus solely on his portraits in this medium. The exhibition, which is organized by the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the Morgan Library & Museum, New York, will be on view at the Portrait Gallery Feb. 28 through May 31.

John Singer Sargent, ‘Daisy Fellowes,’ c. 1920, charcoal on paper. Private collection, Columbus, Georgia. Photo by Jim Cawthorne.

Celebrated art historian, former museum director and Sargent descendant Richard Ormond is guest curator of the exhibition. The curator of the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery is Robyn Asleson, curator of prints and drawings. The curator of the exhibition at the Morgan Library & Museum is Laurel O. Peterson, Moore Curatorial Fellow, Department of Drawings and Prints. Asleson and Ormond will attend the Portrait Gallery’s press preview Feb. 27 from 10 to 11:30 a.m., and Ormond will deliver a public presentation on the artist’s life and legacy Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. The evening program is free, with advance registration at npg.eventbrite.com.

The full scope of Sargent’s technical versatility as a draftsman and his unparalleled powers of observation as a portraitist are on display in these charcoal drawings,” Asleson said. “On view will be portraits of several dozen extraordinary individuals who not only shaped the world Sargent lived in, but also made enduring contributions to history and culture that continue to impact us today. This exhibition will bring visitors face to face with many of the people who helped define our modern era.”

The National Portrait Gallery’s exhibition will display portraits of Sargent’s contemporaries, including musicians, actors, artists and patrons, literary figures, political leaders and tastemakers—the “influencers” of Sargent’s day. Visitors will encounter likenesses of Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother), Prime Minister Winston Churchill, poet William Butler Yeats, painter Sir William Blake Richmond, actress Ethel Barrymore, civil rights attorney and activist Moorefield Storey and avant-garde art and music patron Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. Also on display will be depictions of Bostonians, the people who made up Sargent’s self-proclaimed American home, and The Souls, a group of intellectual young British aristocrats for whom Sargent served as unofficial portraitist.

The exhibition includes several loans from European private collections and works held by the Morgan Library & Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, London, and other prominent public institutions. “John Singer Sargent: Portraits in Charcoal” is organized by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the Morgan Library & Museum, New York. The presentation of the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery is made possible with lead funding from Ann S. and Samuel M. Mencoff. Additional support is provided by Dr. and Mrs. Paul Carter, Andrew Oliver Jr., and the American Portrait Gala Endowment.

Born in Italy to expatriate American parents, Sargent gained international fame through his dazzling oil portraits of an elite clientele. During the early 20th century, at the height of that success, Sargent astonished the transatlantic art world by suddenly abandoning portraits in oil. For the rest of his life, he primarily explored likeness and identity through the medium of charcoal, producing several hundred portraits of individuals recognized for their accomplishments in fields such as art, music, literature and theater. With his skill in swiftly capturing the essence of his subjects, Sargent was able to produce a finished drawing in under three hours. Often made as tokens of friendship or esteem, these portraits vividly depict some of the most original and creative figures of the early 20th century.

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery tells the multifaceted story of the United States through the individuals who have shaped American culture. Spanning the visual arts, performing arts and new media, the Portrait Gallery portrays poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists, whose lives tell the American story.

The National Portrait Gallery is part of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture at Eighth and F streets N.W., Washington, D.C. Smithsonian information: (202) 633-1000. Connect with the museum at npg.si.edu.

Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History Marks 2020 as “Year of the Woman”

Museum Celebrates 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage With Exhibitions and More

To mark the centennial of women’s suffrage, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will celebrate the “Year of the Woman” in 2020 with two signature exhibitions designed to amplify women’s crucial role in history. On March 6, the museum will open “Creating Icons: How We Remember Women’s Suffrage,” and “Girlhood (It’s Complicated)” will open June 12.

The exhibitions will be mounted as part of the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative #BecauseOfHerStory. The initiative represents one of the country’s most ambitious efforts to collect, document, display and share the compelling story of women, deepening the understanding of women’s contributions to the nation and the world. It amplifies women’s voices to honor the past, inform the present and inspire the future. (Information is available at https://womenshistory.si.edu.)

The spotlight on women’s contributions will shine on other museum projects throughout 2020, including “Picturing Women Inventors,” a display celebrating the contributions of female inventors; “The Only One in the Room,” a showcase exploring women in business as part of theAmerican Enterpriseexhibition; and a focus on diverse female educators in the Giving in America” exhibit. A variety of women’s history programs, and digital and education initiatives will expand this content.

The suffrage centennial exhibitions tie into other museum efforts under the tagline “Who Counts?” demonstrating that women’s history is political history. “Who Counts?” will link the museum’s efforts in collecting, documenting and creating civic engagement programs around the 2020 election, the census, the 15th Amendment and the 19th Amendment. The central messages of “Who Counts?” are broad and provide probing questions about the relationship between citizenship, resources and counting; how categories of belonging and exclusion are created and re-created over time; and how individuals and groups assert that they do count.

Exhibitions and Displays Opening in 2020

Creating Icons: How We Remember Women’s Suffrage” Opens March 6, 2020; closes March 2021

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which recognized women’s right to vote, the museum will open “Creating Icons: How We Remember Women’s Suffrage.” Highlighting women’s achievements in winning suffrage, it invites audiences to explore how the country celebrates milestones, what people as a nation remember, what (and who) has been forgotten or silenced over time and how those exclusions helped create the cracks and fissures in a movement that continue to impact women’s politics and activism.

Using a jewel box approach, the museum will display a group of artifacts in conjunction with graphics and media, interweaving stories of the famous and the forgotten. The centerpiece of the exhibition will be a 6-foot-tall portrait of Susan B. Anthony. Painted by Sarah J. Eddy in 1900, the work depicts an idealized Anthony being presented with flowers by young boys and girls on her 80th birthday. The exhibition will also feature items donated between 1919 and 1920 by the National American Women’s Suffrage Association (now the League of Women Voters), materials related to Adelaide Johnson and Alice Paul, and contemporary items from the 2017 Women’s March as well as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s gavel.

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