For the first time, the Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries Building (AIB) will take over the National Mall Memorial Day weekend for “FUTURES Field Day,” Saturday, May 28, 10 a.m.–10 p.m., an invitation for all play enthusiasts that asks: What if the future of sports could be an equal playing field? What would a sports world look like where everyone has the opportunity to join in? Special guests include professional athletes, sports leaders and performers, all joining to explore an energizing day of sports without limits.
In partnership with the National Football League (NFL) and the NFL Players Association, AIB will invite all skill levels, ages and body types to get moving and find joy in play.
“With ‘FUTURES Field Day,’ we can explore an inclusive, uplifting and intentional future of sports,” said AIB Director Rachel Goslins. “It’s the event we wish we all had as kids, where happiness, wellness and community matter as much as athleticism, and gender doesn’t define what sports anyone can play or their level of success.”
“We are thrilled to support and have our player members be a part of this important initiative promoting diversity and equity,” said DeMaurice Smith, NFLPA executive director and AIB board member. “Sports has a way of bringing people together, and there’s no better time than now to instill these values in our youth.”
“FUTURES Field Day” will feature interactive talks with experts who are changing the game, skill-building with NFL players and Legends as well as other pro athletes, a wacky obstacle course, hands-on crafts and more. All activities will be located within AIB or on the National Mall between Seventh and 12th streets N.W. Highlights include:
- A “Future Sports Camp” from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. with NFL players and Legends will invite everyone to learn and try basic skills like shuttle run, throwing, jumping and more
- “Fair Play: Women in Sports Show and Tell” from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. will bring together trailblazing women in professional sports—including agents, photographers, marketers and coaches—for lightning-round inspirational talks and demos
- A “Halftime Show Pep Rally” for audiences to amp it up from 1:30–2 p.m. with professional cheerleaders, dance teams, mascots and drumlines
- “United Fray Play Zone” starting at 10 a.m., where audiences of all ages can grab a friend to enjoy relay races, giant games, ping pong and more
- DIY futuristic sports trading cards for crafty fans to decorate, plus mini-footballs
- A squishy “Kaleidoscopic Home” play sculpture installation housed inside AIB and created by the artist duo Tin & Ed and Ikea’s Space 10
- A chance to relax and cool down with a special nighttime outdoor screening of The Longshots starting at 8:30 p.m. on the National Mall, a feel-good family comedy starring Keke Palmer as a young girl who dreams of playing football
Visitors can pregame the evening before at “Fridays @ FUTURES: Future of Sports” May 27, 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. This late-hours, sports-themed tour of “FUTURES” will offer a glimpse into everything from virtual games and exo-suits to augmented athletes.
All ages and skill levels are welcome, and advanced and on-site registration will be required for some activities. For more details, the public can visit aib.si.edu/happenings.
“FUTURES Field Day” is made possible by the NFL and the NFL Players Association.
“FUTURES” is the Smithsonian’s first major building-wide exploration of the future and temporarily reopens its oldest museum for the first time in nearly two decades. The part-exhibition, part-festival, designed by award-winning architecture firm Rockwell Group, celebrates the Smithsonian’s 175th anniversary with more than 150 awe-inspiring objects, ideas, prototypes and installations that fuse art, technology, design and history to help visitors imagine many possible futures on the horizon.
On view through July 6, “FUTURES” is open every day except Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with extended hours until 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Admission is free, and no timed tickets are currently required. For more information and to plan a visit, the public can go to aib.si.edu.
“FUTURES” is made possible by a select group of sponsors and supporters: Amazon Web Services, Autodesk, Bell Textron Inc., Jacqueline B. Mars, John and Adrienne Mars, the Embassy of the State of Qatar, David M. Rubenstein, and SoftBank Group. Major support is also provided by the Annenberg Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Kevin S. Bright and Claudia W. Bright, and Robert Kogod. Additional funding is provided by Accenture, John Brock III, Events DC, First Solar, Ford Motor Company, Wendy Dayton, Charlie and Nancy Hogan, the Suzanne Nora Johnson and David Johnson Foundation, Lyda Hill Philanthropies, MedWand Solutions and Oracle.
About the Arts and Industries Building
The Arts and Industries Building (AIB) is a home for the future-curious. The Smithsonian’s second-oldest building opened in 1881 as America’s first National Museum, an architectural icon in the heart of the National Mall. Its soaring halls introduced millions to wonders about to change the world—Edison’s lightbulb, the first telephone, Apollo rockets. Dubbed “Palace of Wonders” and “Mother of Museums,” AIB incubated new Smithsonian museums for over 120 years before finally closing to the public in 2004. “FUTURES” is a milestone first step in the long-term plan to renovate and permanently reopen this landmark space. For more information, visit aib.si.edu. Follow the museum on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.