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Expect the unexpected

Events at AIB promise just one thing: the unexpected. From dance parties to deep talks to dinosaurs, be inspired to expand your thinking. After lying dormant on the National Mall for two decades, AIB started to host special events and pop-ups in 2016 that fused Smithsonian expertise, cool ideas, and high energy. These are our favorites. Check back often for new announcements…FUTURES fun will be here before you know it!


The Long Conversation is an epic creative marathon between artists, scientists and other big thinkers that’s guaranteed to leave you feeling better about the future. Once a year, NASA astronauts, Grammy-winning musicians, tech CEOs, poets, inventors and more converge in AIB for a lively 8-hour relay race of surprising conversations. No moderators. No slides. All chemistry.

The Long Conversation


AIB was the first headquarters for the By The People festival, an international arts and dialogue festival launched by social incubator Halcyon in 2017. This week-long arts takeover features performances by DC-based and international dancers and musicians, original installations, and important talks on issues that matter.

By The People


Daybreaker DC filled AIB with the energy of the future with a pre-dawn, futuristic dance party/silent disco/yoga session. While nobody knows for certain what the future holds, our friends at Daybreaker are making sure it’s full of dance, mischief, performance, and surprises.

Daybreaker DC

Smithsonian Event

Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch, the first African American to head the Smithsonian, took his place in history with a ceremony in AIB. From President James Garfield’s Inaugural Ball in 1881 to today, this historic gem continues to play a central role in our nation’s most important milestones.

Smithsonian Secretary Installation