Posts Tagged ‘Smithsonian Institution’

November—Native American Heritage Month

R. Carrlos Nakai

This month the nation celebrates indigenous Americans. The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join for Native American Heritage Month. There are events throughout the month in several locations nationwide, from a concert by the great Carlos Nakai and his elegant and sometimes haunting flute music, book talks and storytelling, a family Harvest Festival, and art exhibits showcasing work by native artists as well as clothing on display. Find a list of November heritage events here.

As tomorrow’s vote builds rhetoric about America up to a fever pitch, take some time to acknowledge and honor the first Americans, whose rich culture and traditions we should only be so lucky to approach. We might be able to learn how to take a breath between the red-faced shouting and end-of-the-world-if-you-don’t-see-it-my-way diatribes. A little reverence…and grace…can go a long way.

Smithsonian Volunteers

Tomorrow, Wednesday February 17, I am going to be in Washington DC doing a speaking engagement and book signing for a program at the Smithsonian Institution.

Inspired by the eye-opening events of 9/11, the Asian tsunami of 2004, and Hurricane Katrina, more people are waking up to the value of service—and realizing that their vacation may be the best place to incorporate it into their hectic lives. Even more profoundly, many travelers are deciding that the best way to recharge may not be lying on a beach but stepping outside of their normal routine to make a difference in the lives of others. The result is an experience that allows travelers to explore a culture in depth, make new friends, and come home feeling that they have learned and benefited even more than those they have helped. This evening, Andrew Mersmann shares the range of volunteer vacations available in stunning locations around the world.

Mersmann’s book 500 Places Where You Can Make a Difference (Wiley) is available for signing after the program.

Since the talk is all about volunteering, it’s fun to look at the volunteer options working with the Smithsonian—the world’s largest museum organization. Residents and visitors to the nation’s capital can work as volunteer docents, in the volunteer information desk program, telephone info program, amazing and unique Behind-the-Scenes program with researchers and scholars, special support programs, and seasonal programs like summer volunteering and the Folklife Festival.

Here’s a chance to give back while visiting the District.

More information here.