In addition to a day full of events, the Smithsonian wants to hear from you.
If there's one silver lining in making it through the craziness that has been 2020, it's that we are living history. Make no mistake, the events of this year will be talked about for quite some time and you shouldn't be surprised when your grandkids are asking you about what it was like. As the year winds down, the Smithsonian Institue, the utmost authority in maintaining history, is hosting an all-day event dedicated to discussing what this year has been like and what it means for the future.
"24 Hours in a Time of Change" is a collaboration of 10 of the institute's museums and cultural centers to start "a national conversation about what life has been like for Americans during this moment in history". The day will consist of previously recorded interviews, discussions, and videos; along with live roundtable events via Zoom.
In addition to the planned features, the Smithsonian encourages people to answer question prompts on the event's website to add to the array of experiences had by various communities. Questions like: “How are communities supporting each other on a day-to-day basis in this time of adversity?”, or "How is art shaping your response to this moment?". You may respond to as many of the questions as you like and some of the answers will be displayed on the website throughout the day. They will also be kept by curators to “build collections related to this moment in history”.
The planned events cover issues that have been prevalent this year from a wide variety of communities that have been impacted. The Anacostia Community Museum will be covering the history of Black Power in Washington, D.C., while the National Museum of African American History and Culture will present interviews and videos of how family life has been impacted by the pandemic and recent social movements.
Activist Shandiin (Diné) Herrera will be speaking about how COVID-19 has affected her hometown and a project to help vulnerable families led by the Navajo and Hopi Reservations in a conversation hosted by The National Museum of the American Indian. The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center will be screening an open mic that was recorded last summer featuring music, poetry, and observations from young queer Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders during quarantine.
There will be a roundtable conversation on how 2020 has affected music hosted by Smithsonian Music, a documentary presented by the National Museum of American History, the National Portrait Gallery is hosting a writing workshop, and there will be presentations from the Hirshhorn Museum and Smithsonian Gardens as well.
The day-long event begins at 10 a.m. and ends around 9 p.m. All of the gatherings are virtual and free to attend. The full schedule can be found by scrolling down to the bottom of the "24 Hours in a Time of Change" page here.
Will you be checking out everything the Smithsonian has to offer? Will be you answering their questions and be part of the collection of this moment in history? Let us know in the comments!