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Since the Inaugural Earth Optimism Summit, more than 60 Earth Optimism events have occurred at Smithsonian museums and worldwide at different organizations. Earth Optimism’s goal is to capture and magnify news of conservation actions that are working, across sectors and locations, how can we replicate and scale up good practices, and to inspire people and show that we can all make a difference. The variety of personal, community, regional, and large-scale stories shared are truly inspiring! We invite you to join the conversation!

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List of Events


Earth Optimism Teen Event – A Focus on Food

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Q?rius Education Center, Washington, DC

March 16, 2019, 1:00-5:00 PM

Come Celebrate Earth Optimism 2019: A Focus on Food! Once again, Q?rius will be closed to the public and open only to registered teens, plus scientists, curators, community leaders, and other experts in the field of food. Teens will - Hang Out: Meet other local teens and enjoy FREE sustainable and local food! Be Empowered: Explore ways to make informed decisions about food: nutrition, health, sustainability, security, culture, and more. Be Informed: Talk with scientists, food experts, community leaders, and your peers about aspects of food you never thought of. Get Involved: Find out about Earth Day events, internships, places to visit, and local projects. Sign Up Here: https://tinyurl.com/TeenEarthOpt

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FREE Film Screening: Field in Focus

Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Washington, DC

March 16, 2019 1:00-2:30 PM

Field in Focus is a video series that brings you into the field with Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute's scientists working to save species around the globe. Featured in this year's festival will be "Field in Focus: Predicting Pandemics" and "Field in Focus: Saving Elephants in Myanmar." A panel discussion with the Zoo's filmmaker, Roshan Patel, and several scientists will follow the screening.

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FREE Film Screening: Journey of the Whooping Crane

Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Washington, DC

March 18, 2019 1:00-2:30 PM

At 5 feet tall, and with a wingspan of more than 7 feet, the whooping crane has the distinction of being North America's tallest bird and, sadly, also one of its rarest. Habitat loss caused by European settlers reduced the population to just 15 birds by the 1940s. "Journey of the Whooping Crane" explores the intense effort by a broad coalition of NGOs, private interests, and government agencies to collectively and tirelessly nurture the remaining wild flock to its current population of about 800 birds. A discussion featuring Smithsonian scientists and whooping crane keepers will follow the screening.

Earth's Treasures

Schiele Museum, Gastonia, NC

April 6, 2019 10:00 AM-1:00 PM

Through a series of self-paced treasure hunts” discover how together we are protecting North Carolina’s water, minerals, animals, soil and air! Visit our community partners' booths to find out their conservation and sustainability success stories as part of our Smithsonian Earth Optimism celebration. Stop by this family event in honor of Earth Day and have fun while finding out how you can help protect Earth's treasures.

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Eco Teen Action Network Celebration!

Arlington, VA

April 6, 2019 5:30-8:30 PM

Celebrate Youth Engagement on Environmental Actions towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Dinner, Movie, and Discussion with Teens! Click the link for details and registration!

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¡Descubra! at Adler Planetarium's Earthfest 2019

Adler Planetarium, Chicago, IL

April 13, 2019

During our third annual Earthfest, we will explore the science of climate change and its representation in art. The day will feature the Smithsonian Latino Center's ¡Descubra! Meet the Science Expert.

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Earth Optimism Celebration

Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Washington, DC

April 22, 2019 10:00 AM-2:00 PM

As part of the Smithsonian-wide Earth Optimism initiative, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute will host an Earth Optimism event on Earth Day—Monday, April 22, 2019. This free educational event will take place on Zoo grounds between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., and will coincide with the Zoo’s annual Easter Monday celebration. This event will feature family-friendly activities, interactive demonstrations, and special keeper talks, as well as some of the traditional Easter Monday fun and games. Throughout the event, visitors will have the opportunity to celebrate conservation successes and hope for the future of a biodiverse planet while discovering new ways to take action to help protect the earth and the creatures inhabiting it.

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Living Earth Festival 2019: Farm to Table: Sustaining Our Future through Indigenous Knowledge

Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, DC

April 26, 2019 6:30-8:30 PM, April 27-28, 2019 10:00 AM-5:30 PM

Significant Indigenous voices come together to discuss Native knowledge of and contributions to one of the most important issues today–the environment. Meet the Native innovators and practitioners dedicated to using Indigenous knowledge to protect and sustain the environment. On Sunday, Mitsitam Cafe chef Freddie Bitsoie (Diné) and founder and CEO of The Sioux Chef, Sean Sherman (Oglala Lakota), discuss the importance of bringing indigenous foods and ingredients back to the dinner.

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Iroquois White Corn: Residency Program with Marissa Manitowabi

Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, New York

April 27, 2019 1:00-4:00 PM

Learn about robust, delicious Iroquoi white corn from a cultural, scientific and culinary perspective through hands-on family activities.

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New Roots for Medicinal Plants

Smithsonian Associates, H St Farms at W.S. Jenks & Sons, Washington, DC

April 28, 2019 2:00-4:00 PM

Niraj Ray, founder of Cultivate the City, share plant identification techniques, growing and harvesting methods, and tips on how to use medicinal plants as salves, tinctures, infusions, teas. This is a Smithsonian Associates Program being held at H St Farms at W.S. Jenks & Sons, 910 Bladensburg Rd NE, Washington, DC.

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Frans de Waal on Animal Emotions: What They Tell Us About Ourselves

Smithsonian Freer Gallery of Art, Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Auditorium, Washington, DC

April 29, 2019 6:45-8:15 PM

Primatologist and animal behavior expert Frans de Waal’s examines the remarkable emotional continuity between our species and others. His latest book Mama's Last Hug is available for sale and signing. This is a Smithsonian Associates Program.

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The Global Grocery Store: How Your Food Gets From Farm to Table

Smithsonian Associates, S. Dillon Ripley Center, Washington DC

May 13, 2019 6:45-8:15 PM

Food historian and futurist Robyn Metcalfe explores how food moves from producer to consumer and how the food supply chain is adapting to our increasingly complex demands. Book sale and signing. This is a Smithsonian Associates Program.

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Biodiversity: Is there hope? Panel Discussion at the Embassy of France

French Embassy, Washington DC

June 18, 2019 5:30-8:00 PM

The Smithsonian Conservation Commons and the Embassy of France in the US are co-hosting this event on "Biodiversity and People" to share innovative solutions for a sustainable future.

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La Nuit de la Biodiversité / Biodiversity Night in Paris

Paris, France

April 27, 2019 5:00pm

The French Foundation for Research on Biodiversity, the Embassy of France in the US and Smithsonian Earth Optimism are co-hosting an event in Paris on the margins of the IPBES Plenary.

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Parks for the Planet Forum: Partnerships for Urban Wellbeing and Resilience

Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg, Austria

Thursday May 30 to Tuesday June 4, 2019

This program will convene thought leaders, change-makers and policymakers from different regions and disciplines to promote awareness of the crucial role and benefits of nature for urban communities

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