Event Details

FREE, #TheLongConvo


What do award-winning actor Alfre Woodard, NYT's David Brooks, drag queen Sasha Velour, NASA’s mission head to Jupiter, and one of the world’s leading cancer surgeons have in common? They all know something that makes them hopeful for the future. Come find out what at this one-of-a-kind event in one of the most beautiful buildings on the National Mall.

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 the historic Arts & Industries Building for a lively 8-hour relay race of surprising conversations around the best ideas on the horizon.

Plus, incredible performances; pop-ups from James Beard Award-winning chef Spike Gjerde of
Rake’s Progress at the Line Hotel, drinks from DC’s small-batch, women-owned distillery Republic Restoratives; art installs from Julia Buntaine Hoel, Phaan Howng, McCormack and Figg, and Gabriel Mellan; and the rare chance to explore the soaring halls of America’s first National Museum.

Sound crazy? It is—also uplifting, surprising, and a ton of fun.

Friday, December 7, 2–10 PM

NOTE: You MUST register for SESSION 1, 2, or 3, which are held in the Speaking Hall. You’re welcome to arrive early and stay late to explore the art, food + drink, and the rest of the building itself. Doors open at 1:30 PM.


SESSION 1 (2 PM): Smithsonian volcanologist Dr. Liz Cottrell, Google X Entrepreneur Obi Felten, Los Angeles County Museum of Art CEO & director Michael Govan, Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden, inventor and supercomputer theorist Danny Hillis, actor and Chicano art advocate Cheech Marin, Acclaimed opera star Larisa Martinez, Smithsonian Secretary David Skorton, performance poet Jacqueline Suskin, grassroots #TimesUp activist Mily Treviño-Sauceda.

SESSION 2 (5 PM): NASA’s mission to Jupiter lead Scott Bolton, breast cancer researcher Dr. Laura Esserman, clean food innovator Bruce Friedrich, Smithsonian astrophysicist Mercedes Lopez-Morales, inventor and entrepreneur Jessica O. Matthews, Smithsonian regent and philanthropist David Rubenstein, drag queen and designer Sasha Velour, 11-year-old March for Our Lives activist Naomi Wadler, student activist and filmmaker Malak Wazne, Daily Show comedian Roy Wood, Jr., award-winning actor Alfre Woodard, Walt Disney Imagineering Technology Executive Bei Yang.

SOCIAL HOUR (7-8 PM): Mix, mingle, eat, drink and explore with new friends. Open to ANY session or waitlist ticket holder, no separate registration is required.

SESSION 3 (8 PM): Geneticist curing blindness Dr. Jean Bennett, The New York Times columnist David Brooks, manager of Lady Gaga and John Legend Troy Carter, Spike Gjerde, Smithsonian democracy expert Jon Grinspan, community organizer Hawah Kasat, Smithsonian paleontologist and “whale chaser” Nick Pyenson, student activist and filmmaker Malak Wazne, Step Afrika! founder C. Brian Williams.

For full bios and FAQs on ticketing, what to bring, and where to go, visit https://www.si.edu/longconvo

2017 Long Conversation

  • When: Fri Dec. 7
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

  • Address: 900 Jefferson Drive Southwest
    Washington DC,US 20560

  • Web: Visit Website