November 3, 2021
The Smithsonian’s historic Arts and Industries Building (AIB), America’s first National Museum, will open its groundbreaking new museum experience “FUTURES” with a free opening festival spanning the month of November and culminating in a free public concert on opening day, Saturday, Nov. 20. Through multiple portals onsite, around the Washington, D.C., and streamed globally, “FUTURES Remixed” will invite people of all ages to experience a radically imagined future when those of diverse perspectives come together to learn, problem solve and create.
The full line-up includes:
–Bill Nye’s World Premiere Tour of FUTURES” Friday, Nov. 19, 11 a.m. EST: Science luminary and The Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye will kick things off by streaming the first look at “FUTURES,” free for all on social media, bringing his insights into the future of space, climate and more.
–Unexpected Conversations,” Friday, Nov. 19, 6:30 p.m. EST: The night before doors open, everyone is invited to take a seat at the live-streamed virtual table to join in a wildly unconventional sharing of bold ideas to change the future, with special guests from the worlds of music, art, science, and activism. Hear from Nye; Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch; actor/comedian, author and former White House staffer Kal Penn; environmental advocate drag queen Pattie Gonia; 2021 National Spelling Bee champion Zaila Avant-garde; co-executive producer of the HBO Max series Legendary and ballroom icon Jack Mizrahi; and R&B artist Mariah the Scientist.
–Call and Response Concert,” Saturday, Nov. 20, 5:30–9:30 p.m. EST: The biggest celebration of the weekend is a free indoor/outdoor and streamed concert-turned-sonic exploration. Inspired by the vibrant dynamism of Washington’s go-go music scene, this next generation sound experience will push genre boundaries to create an audiovisual journey through the music of the future, featuring certified platinum indie pop trio SHAED, a special performance from the cast of the HBO Max series Legendary, DJ Bright Light Bright Light, Mariah the Scientist, Washington’s own go-go band Black Alley, hip-hop artist G. YAMAZAWA, celebrated street drummer and America’s Got Talent semifinalist Malik Dope and DJ Underdog from OkayAfrica.
–“FUTURES” Remixed Family Day,” Sunday, Nov. 21, all day: A day for the littlest future-makers invites families of all types for fun pop-up guided activities and bite size experiences celebrating the everyday magic of futures ahead of everyone. The day includes “FUTURES” Roulette tours, robot races, craft making, and more.
To learn more and join the weekend’s RSVP list, the public can go to futuresremixed.com, which will also serve as the livestreaming destination for all the programs for the duration of the weekend.
A Ford F-150 Lightning, a new all-electric truck, will use its built-in electrical outlets and power from its battery to power a dynamic artist-created light projection outside AIB the evenings of Nov. 18–20, and offer family-friendly snacks Nov. 21.
In addition, the public can look for “FUTURES on the Move” portals to open in early November in all eight wards throughout Washington, D.C. These creative wheatpasting (a type of street art) and soundscape “portals” will pop up around the city, part of AIB’s “FUTURES on the Move” initiative to bring the exhibition out into the streets of Washington.
The campaign features local community luminaries Washington Wizards player Spencer Dinwiddie, award-winning chef Erik Bruner-Yang, NPR Music and Tiny Desk impresario Bob Boilen, 10-year-old rap prodigy Fly Zyah, Washington-based artist Trap Bob, photographer Albert Ting, founder of Congress Heights Arts and Culture Center Keyonna Jones, and Washington’s “urban explorer” Laurie Collins aka @DCCityGirl, along with “future of music” soundscapes for each ward by DJ Underdog of OkayAfrica and high school students from Richard Wright Public Charter School. The public can visit each portal and share “What the FUTURES mean to me?” for a chance to be featured in on AIB’s social media channels: @SmithsonianAIB, #TheFUTURES.
“FUTURES Remixed” is made possible by entertainment sponsor Events DC, with support from Ford Motor Company.
New in December at “FUTURES”
AIB will also host free virtual and in-person programs delving deeply into inspiring future ideas throughout the entire run of the exhibition.
December’s calendar will feature:
“Fridays @ FUTURES (In Person)” Friday, Nov. 26 and Dec. 3, 10, and 17, 5:30–7 p.m. EST: Every Friday in “FUTURES,” visitors can start the weekend off right with a generous helping of fun and surprising brain snacks. They can explore the entire exhibition until 7 p.m. and keep coming back each week for a new and interesting take on the future through special tours, pop-up experiences, guest speakers, and more, kicking off Nov. 26 with a time-traveling trip into “Fridays @ FUTURES: Your Day in 2071.”
“Meet Us in the Futures: A Journey Beyond the Gender Binary (Virtual),” Thursday, Dec. 2, 6:30 p.m. EST: Viewers can take a collective journey into a future that challenges people to move beyond the gender binary. AIB’s signature virtual talk series brings audiences into the inspiring places of big thinkers, this time with world champion skateboarder and trans activist Leo Baker; Twiggy Pucci Garçon, artist and chief program officer of True Colors United, and the Vice Media minds behind Q, The Genderless Voice. Registration is free and required.
“WIYRSP: The Future of Food (In Person and Virtual),” Thursday, Dec 9, 6:30 p.m. EST: With the global population increasing every day, how can people ensure there will be enough food to nourish future generations? “We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Panel,” or “WIYRSP,” is AIB’s twist on a panel talk, where the audience can collectively guide the discussion in real time. With Eben Bayer, CEO of MyEats and creator of mycelium bacon, Elliot Grant, manager of X, The Moonshot Factory’s Mineral Project, Taeryn Kim of sustainable seafood company Wildtype, and more. Registration is free and required.
For more details and to register, the public can visit aib.si.edu/happenings.
“FUTURES” is the Smithsonian’s first major building-wide exploration of the future and will temporarily reopen its oldest museum for the first time in nearly two decades. The part-exhibition, part-festival, designed by award-winning architecture firm Rockwell Group, will celebrate the Smithsonian’s 175th anniversary with more than 150 awe-inspiring objects, ideas, prototypes and installations that fuse art, technology, design and history to help visitors imagine many possible futures on the horizon.
On view Nov. 20 through July 6, 2022, “FUTURES” will be open every day except Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with extended hours until 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Admission will be free, and no timed tickets are currently required. For more information and to plan a visit, the public can go to aib.si.edu.
“FUTURES” is made possible by a select group of sponsors and supporters: Amazon Web Services, Autodesk, Bell Textron Inc., Jacqueline B. Mars, John and Adrienne Mars, the Embassy of the State of Qatar, David M. Rubenstein, and SoftBank Group. Major support is also provided by the Annenberg Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Kevin S. Bright and Claudia W. Bright, and Robert Kogod. Additional funding is provided by Accenture, John Brock III, Events DC, First Solar, Wendy Dayton, Charlie and Nancy Hogan, the Suzanne Nora Johnson and David Johnson Foundation, Lyda Hill Philanthropies, MedWand Solutions, National Football League, the National Football Players Association, and Oracle.
About the Arts and Industries Building
The Arts and Industries Building (AIB) opened in 1881 as the country’s first National Museum, an architectural icon in the heart of the National Mall. Its soaring halls introduced millions of Americans to wonders about to change the world—Edison’s lightbulb, the first telephone, Apollo rockets. Dubbed “Palace of Wonders” and “Mother of Museums,” AIB incubated new Smithsonian museums for over 120 years before finally closing to the public in 2004. “FUTURES” is a milestone first step in the long-term plan to renovate and permanently reopen this landmark space. For more information, visit aib.si.edu. Follow the museum on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.