National Geographic Live: April 2012

Photo courtesy National Geographic

April looms large in front of us and so does a beautiful spring. While tourists flood the Tidal Basin, why not check out the April programming for National Geographic Live? The National Geographic Museum is offering WeLoveDC readers a chance to enjoy one of their premier events in the coming month. We’re giving away two pairs of tickets to readers this Friday; look through the great programs listed below and pick two you’d like to attend. In the comment field, simply enter your choices. (Make sure you use your first name and a valid email address!) Winners for April will be chosen at random after noon on March 30.

All programs (unless otherwise noted) take place in Grosvenor Auditorium at 1600 M Street, NW. Tickets may be purchased online at, via telephone at (202) 857-7700, or in person at the National Geographic ticket office between 9 am and 5 pm. Free parking is available in the National Geographic underground garage for all weekday programs that begin after 6 pm.

Scenes at the Gare St. Charles, the main train station in Marseille, France on September 24, 2010. (Photo courtesy National Geographic)

April 4, 7:30 pm

For the March 2012 issue of National Geographic, photographer Ed Kashi traveled to Marseille, France’s second largest city and a magnet for North African immigrants. Known for his insightful coverage of the Muslim world, Kashi discovered people of all backgrounds, native and newcomer, living together peacefully in this diverse Mediterranean seaport.

SHILOH ($20)
April 5, 7:30 pm

The Battle of Shiloh caused more casualties in two days than the entire Revolutionary War. As Winston Groom, author of Forrest Gump and The Crimson Tide, reveals in his new National Geographic book, Shiloh, the battle destroyed everyone’s assumptions that Civil War victory would come quickly and cheaply. Hear Groom’s account of this epochal battle on the eve of its 150th anniversary.

April 10, 7:30 pm

One hundred years ago on April 15, the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg and sank in the icy North Atlantic, a tragedy that continues to fascinate and move us. For this special commemorative event, Robert Ballard, the National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence who discovered the shipwreck, will reflect upon this legendary vessel and its dramatic loss, sharing his unique insights into his unforgettable true story.

DISCOVERING THE SOUL OF CUBA ($20/ Talk and Dance Combo $25)
April 13, 7:30 pm

Change has come to Cuba, providing new opportunities for its people—and for US citizens who now travel legally to this long-embargoed island nation. Juan Jose Valdes, a native of Cuba and the Society’s Geographer, will share his personal story as a young refugee from the island. The talk will culminate in his work on the Geographic’s highly-detailed new map of Cuba. Award-winning travel writer Christopher Baker, who leads Geographic-sponsored trips to the island, will take us on a vivid virtual tour of Havana’s Old City, the island’s rich nature preserves, and its fascinating blend of cultures.

CUBAN SALSA DANCE PARTY ($10/Talk and Dance Combo $25)
April 13, 9 pm

After enjoying a fresh look at this fascinating country 90 miles off our shores, stick around for a lively salsa dance party, Cuban-style. Instruction will be provided by DC’s salsa maestra Eileen Torres and music spun by local favorite and Cuban timba expert DJ Reyna. Beer, wine, Cuban cocktails, and Cuban fare will be available for purchase (ID required).

April 16, 7:30 pm

A climbing world legend, Ed Viesturs is the first American to summit all 14 of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks without supplemental oxygen. The book The Will to Climb by National Geographic writer David Roberts, details Viesturs’s attempts on and eventual conquest of Annapurna, the “world’s deadliest peak” and the one that defied Viesturs the longest. Hear from them what Viesturs learned about dedication—and obsession.



Having lived in the DC area for ten years, Ben still loves to wander the city with his wife, shooting lots of photos and exploring all the latest exhibits and galleries. A certified hockey fanatic, he spends some time debating the Washington Capitals club with friends – but everyone knows of his three decade love affair with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

A professional writer, gamer, photographer, and Lego enthusiast, Ben remains captivated by DC and doesn’t plan on leaving any time soon.

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