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New Smithsonian/Zocalo Initiative

National Museum of American History and Zocalo Public Square announce partnership on "What It Means to Be American".

 

WASHINGTON and LOS ANGELES, -- The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History and Los Angeles-based Ideas Exchange Zocalo Public Square are partnering to launch "What It Means to Be American," a collaborative three-year initiative aimed at engaging leading thinkers, public figures and Americans from all walks of life to explore how the United States became the nation it is today.

 

The kick-off event Jan. 14 will feature former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Anna Maria Chavez, CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA, at the Heard Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate in Phoenix. Music icon Eddie Van Halen will headline the next event at the National Museum of American History in February.

 

The initiative will foster a national conversation through a series of free public events across the U.S. The first event, "The Women of the West," features native Arizonans—O'Connor and Chavez—discussing what it means to be a Western woman and what particular opportunities the region has offered women. A Q&A session will follow the moderated discussion, allowing audience members to further engage with one another and the speakers to continue the conversation.

 

The "What It Means to Be American" initiative will inform the museum's upcoming exhibition projects centered on exploring the themes of democracy, immigration and migration and the nation we build together. Additional events will take place in the museum's Liberty Square, an interactive events space, scheduled to open with the exhibitions in 2016.

 

Through incomparable collections, rigorous research and dynamic public outreach, the National Museum of American History explores the richness and complexity of American history. The museum helps people understand the past in order to make sense of the present and shape a more humane future. For more information, visit http://americanhistory.si.edu. The museum is located at 14th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W., and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000. (SOURCE: Smithsonian's National Museum of American History)

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