Women, Wellness, and the Arts

Wed, December 9, 2020
7:00 PM
Virtual - Washington D.C. - 7 pm EST
  • This program is part of our Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
  • Platform: Zoom
  • This is a free program; online registration is required.
  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.


The arts can provide spaces of healing, but are also important sites of public representation. Acknowledging the intersection and impact of race and gender on all aspects of lived experience, this facilitated conversation among three noted women of color centers on the connection between social justice, the arts, and our collective well-being. The event brings together racially diverse women who work in the arts and cultural sphere and consider health and wellness as essential aspects of their efforts toward long-term justice. Each panelist brings their lived experiences and professional insights to the discussion.


Joy Harjo
, the 23rd poet laureate of the United States, is a member of the Mvskoke Nation and belongs to Oce Vpofv (Hickory Ground). She is the author of nine books of poetry, including her most recent, the highly acclaimed American Sunrise (2019), and Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings (2015), which was shortlisted for the Griffin Prize and named a Notable Book of the Year by the American Library Association. Harjo’s memoir Crazy Brave was awarded the PEN USA Literary Award in Creative
Nonfiction and the American Book Award.

Marta Moreno Vega is the founder and former president and CEO of the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute; the founder of the Creative Justice Initiative; and the co-founder of Corredor Afro in Loiza, Puerto Rico. An author, professor and cultural advocate, she has been a committed implementer of multidisciplinary cultural education, which was the foundation of her work as the second director of El Museo del Barrio in New York City. During her tenure, the collaboration she negotiated between the museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art developed the first comprehensive history of Puerto Rican art in the United States.

Lisa Sasaki is the director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, which brings Asian Pacific American history, art, and culture to communities through innovative museum experiences online and throughout the United States. She was previously the director of the Center for Audience and Civic Engagement at the Oakland Museum of California and the director of program development at the Japanese American National Museum. Sasaki has served as president of the Western Museums Association’s board of directors, as a member of the American Alliance of Museums’ diversity equity access and inclusion working group, and on the advisory council for the Council of Jewish American Museums.


Michele Norris is an award-winning journalist who has served as co-host of NPR's All Things Considered, public radio's longest-running national program, with Robert Siegel and Melissa Block. As a Washington Post Opinions contributor, Norris sparks important dialogue on current events, social issues, and the power to make change as she breaks down commonly held beliefs and attitudes on race, diversity and bias. In September 2010, Norris published her first book, The Grace of Silence: A Memoir, which focuses on how America talks about race in the wake of the Obama presidency, and how her own complex legacy has shaped her dedication to informing others through sound and voice.

This program is part of Race, Community, and Our Shared Future: A Conversation Series.


How can Americans come together to examine some of the most vital issues that connect—and often separate us—as a nation today? The Smithsonian’s new initiative “Race, Community and Our Shared Future” will explore how we currently understand, experience, and confront race; its impact on communities; and how that impact is shaping the nation’s future.

Drawing on the rich resources of the Smithsonian’s museums to provide expertise and historical context, this national conversation—in which all Americans are invited to participate—seeks to inspire action toward building a more inclusive, sustainable future.

An online conversation series includes two panels in December that lead to the national launch of “Race, Community and Our Shared Future” in 2021, which is made possible through a $25 million commitment from founding partner Bank of America.

The programs are offered free of charge, but registration is required.


  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from [email protected].
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
  • View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.