Because my travel plans were derailed this week, I’m in New York City instead of D.C. today. I’ll be joining March for Our Lives in my hometown, standing up for an end to gun violence and safer world for all of us, especially our young people. They are our future and I want them to have every opportunity to build a life they’re happy to live. This video by Veterans for Gun Reform articulates exactly the message we need to send to all of our policy makers.
I’m spending today at the Kennedy Center Arts Summit presented in association with the Aspen Institute Arts Program and Citizen University.
“The Arts Summit is an annual spring convening, hosted by the Kennedy Center, designed to bring thought leaders from the arts and related fields together for conversation and connection. Set to be held in Washington, DC on April 25, 2016, the 2016 edition of the Summit will focus on Citizen Artistry, the idea of using the arts to influence positive change in people’s lives. Together, we will examine this idea, and its application in today’s society, through the lens of ideals John F. Kennedy set forth for our country during his Presidency: courage, service, justice, freedom, gratitude, exploration, and innovation. The program will serve as a blueprint and launching pad for both the Kennedy Center’s celebration of JFK’s 100th Birthday during the 2016-17 season, and for new collaborations and initiatives among participants.”
There are many ways for you to participate today, even if you can’t be at the event in D.C.
Last night my friend, Josh, and I attended the fabulous launch party for the Hidden Brain podcast at NPR’s headquarters. Hidden Brain starts on 9/22 and is hosted by Shankar Vedantam. It’s mission: to have a conversation about life’s unseen patterns. It’s grounded in science and based on the desire to better understand our own behaviors and the behaviors of others.
I’m loving Shankar’s book The Hidden Brain and am excited to tune in for his take on what really happens between our ears. There will be plenty of games and entertainment, lots of discovery, and an incredible amount of inquiry. He’s got an incredible slate of special guests lined up for his listeners! For some fun pics from the event, check out my Twitter and Instagram feeds! Here are a few of my favorites:
Last week I went to a Paint Nite event. At Paint Nite, a professional artist leads a group of about 20 people to create a pre-designed painting. In a bar. Yes, a bar. Here is a picture of me as I’m painting an abstract, happy piece of work that features red poppies. I love that 2 hours and $25 later I walked away with a painting I created. I’ll certainly be stopping by a Paint Nite around the city more often.
Want to find a Paint Nite in your city? Click here and drink creatively!
On Saturday, I took a spin through Blagden Alley in D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood to see all of the new murals taking shape there. I was fortunate to come upon one of the artists at work. His focus and attention to detail weren’t the least bit diminished by the heat of the day, the size of the canvas he was painting, nor the fact that he was painting in an alley that looks a little worse for wear. The act of creating art was all that mattered to him and that inspires me.
For the past couple of months, I’ve been exploring D.C.’s cultural side. Through a wide variety of newsletters, blogs, Twitter feeds, Meetup groups, and random findings, I’ve managed to turn up some fantastic experiences and meet great people along the way. A few friends recently asked me how I learn about these events and places so I decided to try out a weekly feature on this blog on Fridays that captures cool things happening in D.C. in the week ahead. I’ve toyed with the idea of starting a Meetup group, too. Please join me at any of these activities and share with people whom you think might be interested!
The week ahead:
Labor Day weekend is a busy one as we try to squeeze out our last drops of summer fun!
First Friday in Dupont
I’ve enjoyed First Fridays in many cities around the country and I’m excited to learn that D.C. has one, too. The art galleries in and around Dupont Circle have extended hours on the first Friday of every month. Get inspired by the event “Where Art Comes Alive in D.C.”
Kennedy Center Page-to-Stage
The Kennedy Center hosts more than 50 D.C.-area theater companies in a series of free readings and open rehearsals of plays and musicals being prepared for Washington premieres in the 2015–2016 theater season.
Free museums with Bank of America card
A lot of museums in D.C. are free but the ones that aren’t can be a little pricey. If you’re a BOA customer, your debit card can get you into some museums for free on the first full weekend of every month. Check with the museum just to make sure they’re honoring it when you want to go. This weekend I’ll be hitting the amazing Newseum!
Yoga at U.S. Botanic Garden
The US Botanical Garden has graciously invited WithLoveDC to continue our amazing community yoga classes through Setpember and October! Bring your mat, your water bottle, your smile, and an open heart as we join together every Saturday from 10:30-11:30am to flow, smile, and sweat (a little bit).
The National Book Festival
The 15th Library of Congress National Book Festival will take place Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015, and feature more than 170 authors, poets, illustrators and special presenters. To mark this anniversary, as well as the the 200th anniversary of the Library’s acquisition of Thomas Jefferson’s personal library, the festival has as its theme Jefferson’s quote, “I Cannot Live Without Books.”
The Lamont Street Collective Bi-annual Salon de Libertad
The Lamont Street Collective is hosting its bi-annual Salon de Libertad – an all day salon-style art show where every inch of our house is covered in the work of local artists. The events will feature live performance art, music, workshops, 2D/3D art, and activities for kids. We want to celebrate the wonders of our local artists here in DC, and open our home to communities across the District.
Paint Nite at Crios
You buy a ticket and create a work of art in a fun, vibrant atmosphere. Guided by a master painter, all participants leave with a beautiful work of art that they created themselves.
Happy Hour at the Hirshhorn
The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is offering Happy Hour at the Hirshhorn, in collaboration with “SMITHSONIAN at 8,” every Monday, Aug. 10–Sept. 14, 5 p.m.–8:30 p.m. Galleries will be open late, so visitors can view exhibitions such as “Shirin Neshat: Facing History” and “At the Hub of Things: New Views of the Collection.” Admission is free, and there is a cash bar, operated by Tortoise and Hare Bar and Grille. Last call to enter the galleries and to order drinks is 8 p.m.
Woolly Mammoth Pay What You Can performance
Woolly offers Pay What You Can tickets for the first two performances (usually Monday and Tuesday) of every production. The season opens on Labor Day with a new play entitled Women Laughing Alone with Salad staring a D.C. favorite performer, Kimberly Gilbert. There is a second PWYC performance of this show on Tuesday, 9/8/15.
Author Joyce Carol Oates at Politics and Prose
In A Widow’s Story Oates gave a powerful and moving account of her husband’s sudden death and how the loss led her to fresh perspectives on life. In her new memoir, the award-winning writer and Princeton professor of the humanities jumps farther back in time, chronicling her childhood and adolescence in rural western New York. An avid storyteller even then, Oates credits Alice in Wonderland with inspiring her to find adventures in everything, and she remains true to that spirit, bringing to life family and friends (which include a chicken) and reflecting on hard work.
Glen’s Garden Market behind-the-scenes tour by Knowledge Commons
Go backstage at Glen’s Garden Market, an all-local grocery, deli, and craft-beer bar in Dupont Circle. You’ll see the kitchen and back-of-house operations, and talk with owner Danielle Vogel about opening and operating the mission-driven store, which launched more than 35 food vendors in its first two and a half years.
Mortified – A storytelling event at Town
Experience a night of adults sharing the embarrassing things they created as kids– in front of total strangers. Doors open 1 hour prior to showtime.
Rorschach Theatre presents Truth & Beauty Bombs: A Softer World at Atlas. Pay What You Can performance.
Somewhere, not far from here, there’s a place where we can touch the clouds and all the monsters are real. Based on the web comic by Emily Horne and Joey Comeau, this softer world explodes with brutal honesty and dark wit. As a photographer goes blind, he sets out to capture as much of the world as he can. Through his lens he discovers laundromats that eat hope, cameras that capture souls and a love that just won’t die. Created and directed by Jenny McConnell Frederick and written by Randy Baker, Norman Allen, Heather McDonald, Shawn Northip, and Alexandra Petri.
Pay-What-You-Can (PWYC) tickets are only available at the door, or by phone at 202.399.7993 ext. 2.
Friday, September 4, 2015 at 8:00pm
Saturday, September 5, 2015 at 8:00pm
Sunday, September 6, 2015 at 3:00pm
Thursday, September 10, 2015 at 8:00pm
Friday, September 11, 2015 at 8:00pm
Enjoy the long holiday weekend and get your fair share of culture in D.C.!