Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Free intellectual and Cultural Events for the week beginning Wednesday, September 4

Wednesday,  4
Authors Talk:  Sarah Hurwitz with Dana Bash – Here All Along: Finding meaning, spirituality and deeper connection to life in Judaism... after finally choosing to look there – Polotics and Prose - Connecticut Ave. NW – 7 PM

Thursday,  5
Authors talk:  Peter Catapano with Rosemarie – Garland-Thomson – About Us Essays from the disabilities. Series – New York Times – PNP  - 7 PM

Smithsonian American Art Museum and Portrait Gallery
Image of a girl sitting behind a drum set
Thursday, September 5, 5:30–7 p.m.
Join drummer Isabelle De Leon as she fills the Luce Foundation Center with jazz, pop, and soul tunes from her vast repertoire. Free, no tickets required.

Friday,  6
Authors talk: Marie Arana – Silver, Sword, and Stone: Three Crucibles in the Latin American story - PNP – 7 PM

Saturday, 7
Authors talk: Sidney Blumenthal – All the Powers of  Earth: The Political life of Abraham Lincoln – volume 3 – 1856 – 1860 - PNP – 3:30 PM

Film National Gallery of Art
Lessons of Darkness Sat Sep 7 (12:00) Lessons of Darkness presents the burning oil fields of Kuwait as an alien landscape scarred by the Gulf War. Ostensibly a documentary about the firefighters tasked with extinguishing the burning wells, Werner Herzog’s film bends these realities into a nihilistic narrative by emphasizing the relentlessness and even futility of their work. The subdued voice-over, characteristic of Herzog’s films, serves to distance the viewer from the media-saturated environment of the war while challenging familiar documentary conventions in favor of poetic and philosophical meditation. (Werner Herzog, 1992,  54 minuites

Sunday, 8
Authors talk: Caitlin Zaloom with Dorian Warren- Indebited - How families make college work at any cost – PNP -3 PM

Authors talk:Binyamin Appelbaum – The Economist's Hour: False prophets, the markets and the fracture of society – PNP - 5 PM

  • National Gallery of Art
    The Beginning: Early Short Films, 1968 – 1980
    September 7 at 2:00
    East Building Auditorium
    From the start of her filmmaking practice, Barbara Hammer was committed to visibility through portraiture — of herself, others, and communities of women. “My strategy . . . throughout the ’70s was to put a lesbian body on the screen, to bring a lesbian subjectivity to film, to question heteronormative experimental film,” she said. This program of new 16mm prints includes Schizy (1968, from 8mm, new print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive), where the artist confronts gender play; Jane Brakhage (1975), a portrait of well-known experimental filmmaker Stan Brakhage’s first wife; and Double Strength (1978), a poetic portrayal of Hammer’s relationship with trapeze artist Terry Sendgraff, (both prints restored by Electronic Arts Intermix and the Academy Film Archive through the National Film Preservation Foundation’s Avant-Garde Masters Grant program and The Film Foundation. Funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation) among other titles. (Total running time 94 minutes)
  • The Middle: Short Films from the 1980s
    September 7 at 4:00
    East Building Auditorium
    Developing her optical printing techniques and utilizing the increasingly accessible mediums of analogue video and early computer imagery, Barbara Hammer’s work in the 1980s continued to address media representations of women, including women’s views of their own sexuality, as opposed to the male view. Included are Sync Touch (1981, new print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive), “a lesbian/feminist aesthetic proposing the connection between touch and sight to be the basis for a ‘new cinema’” (Canyon Cinema); Audience (1982, restored by Electronic Arts Intermix and the Academy Film Archive through the National Film Preservation Foundation’s Avant-Garde Masters Grant program and The Film Foundation. Funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation), a self-described diary of audience reactions from several public and international presentations of Hammer’s work; and the critique Snow Job: The Media Hysteria of AIDS (1988), among other titles. (Total running time 80 minutes)

Monday, 9
Tuesday, 10
    Jones Benally Family DancersTuesday
    September 10, 2019
    12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT
     Add to calendar
    World Champion hoop dancer and traditional healer Jones Benally, his daughter Jeneda, his son Clayson, and his three young grandchildren form the Jones Benally Family Dancers. Coolidge Auditorium (LJ-G45A) Library of Congress
Wednesday, 11
Authors talk: Audience of One:  Donald Trump, and the fracturing of America –  PNP - 7 PM

Tall metal gates with swirls and spirals
Meet the artist behind the Renwick Gallery’s Portal Gates
Albert Paley: Selected Works - Smithsonian American Art Museum
Wednesday, September 11, 6:30 p.m.
Join influential artist and metalsmith Albert Paley as he discusses his career, and explores how site-specific artwork, including the Renwick Gallery’s famed Portal Gates, creates a dialogue between art and architecture within the public arena. This is the first in our annual fall series of Clarice Smith Distinguished Lectures in American Art, which highlight excellence and innovation in American art with outstanding artists, 

Thursday, 12
Authors talk: Brad Smith with David E. Sanger – Tools and Weapons: The promise and the peril of the digital age – PNP – 7 PM

Musical performance

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Free cultural events for the week beginning Thursday, August 29

Although the list is limited this week, it is enriched by films of Jonas Mekas, the godfather of American avant-garde film maker who died at age 96.


Thursday, 29
Author Talk: Kelli Harding – The Rabbit Effect: Live longer, happier and healthier with the groundbreaking science of kindness – Politics and Prose – 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. – 7 PM

Friday, 30
Author Talk:  Christopher Leonard - Kochland : The secret history of Koch industries and corporate power in America – P and P – 7 PM

Saturday, 31
Film:  Jonas Mekas - Sleepless Night Stories - A stroll with Mekas thrrough New Yo;rk Nights - 2011 1 hour 54 minutes - East Building National Gallery of Art - 2PM

Sunday, 1
Films:  Jonas Mekas - Notes on an American Film Maker at Work - Martin Scorsese - Noon
Jonas Mekas - Out-takes from The Life of a Happy Man - 2PM
Hyenas - Outstanding African film looking at materialism in the west. - 1992 - 110 minutes

All at the National Gallery of Art - East Building

Monday, 2
It's no day off for museum workers.

Tuesday, 3
Author Talk:  Bina Venkataraman - The Optimists Telescope: Thinking ahead in a restless age  with Anne Marie Slaughter– PNP – 7 PM

Wednesday,  4
Authors Talk:  Sarah Hurwitz with Dana Bash – Here All Along: Finding meaning, spirituality and deeper connection to life in Judaism... after finally choosing to look there – PNP – 7 PM


  • Denis McDonough is an executive fellow of the Keough School’s Global Policy Initiative at the University of Notre Dame and former White House chief of staff to President Barack Obama.
  • Carlos Curbelo is a Republican leader on immigration issues, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Miami, Florida, and was a resident fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics for the spring 2019 semester.
  • Aryah Somers Landsberger is the vice president of programs at Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees; an experienced litigator and advocate for unaccompanied minors; and co-author of the UNHCR’s “Children on the Run” report on the root causes of migration.
  • Mizraim Belman Guerrero (SFS’20) is a DACA recipient, a youth delegate for the Global Compact for Migration with the United Nations in 2018, and a culture and politics major at Georgetown University.
Maura Policelli, executive director of the Keough School of Global Affairs Washington Office, will open the dialogue. John Carr, director of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life, will moderate the conversation.
Upcoming Dialogue
September 16, 2019 | 5:00 p.m. 
A Conversation with Sister Helen Prejean, C.S.J.
The Initiative is delighted to be co-sponsoring this conversation with Sr. Helen Prejean, C.S.J., on her new book, River of Fire. Sister Helen's new spiritual biography is receiving impressive reviews and is especially timely in light of recent proposals to reinstate the federal death penalty. Space is limited; please RSVP here.
The Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life
Maguire Hall 208, Georgetown University
37th & O Stre

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Free cultural events for the week beginning Thursday, August 8

"Occasional" means just that for the rest of the month as I travel to Chautauqua, New York, for a week with Wynton Marsallis hearing both his music and his comments  on the American cultural scene.  Linda and I plan to enjoy the rest of the summer with other travels.  You are on your own for the next few weeks.  The list this week is limited because of travels to Michigan, but I hope to see some of you at some of these outstanding opportunities.  I've even included a rare (for me) novel.

Thursday, 8
Authors Lecture: Steven Greenhouse – Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present and future of American Labor - Politics and Prose Bookstore - 7PM

Friday, 9
Authors Lecture:  Richard Russo -  Chances Are............ - A novel about three men as they reminisce, spill secrets and affirm their friendship - PNP - 7PM

Saturday, 10

Sunday, 11
Authors lecture: Robert Wilson – Barnum: An American Life – in the first major biography of P. T. Barnum in  a generation Wilson reveals the complex man beneath the spectacular image – PNP –  1 PM

Authors Lecture: Alexandra Fuller – Travel Light, Move Fast – focuses on the authors father, the adventurous, restless Tim Fuller, who leaves England and lives in Rhodesia and Zambia. A tribute to a man who devoured life whole – PNP – 5 PM

Steinway Series - Natalia Kazaryan

Sunday, August 11, 3 – 4pm
Critically acclaimed pianist Natalia Kazaryan joins us for the summer Steinway Series. She was a student at Julliard School and is now on the adjunct piano faculty at Howard University. She has received top prizes from the Eastman Young Artists International, Zosciuszko Foundation Chopin, and the New York piano competitions, and a “Sobresaliente” Award from Queen Sophia of Spain. Natalia will be focusing on all women composers for her perform

Monday, 12
Authors Lecture: J. Michael Zraczynski – Becoming Superman: My journey from poverty to Hollywood – PNP  – 7 PM

Tuesday, 13
Authors Lecture: Karen Abbott – The Ghosts of Eden Park: The Bootleg King, the women who pursued him and the murder that shocked the Jazz age – PNP – 7 PM

Black Site: The CIA in the Post-9/11 World

William G. McGowan Theater 
Washington, DC

Tuesday, August 13, 2019 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Reserve a Seat 
View on YouTube

When the towers fell on September 11, 2001, nowhere were the reverberations more powerfully felt than at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Almost overnight, the intelligence organization evolved into a war-fighting intelligence service, constructing what was known internally as “the Program”: a web of top-secret detention facilities intended to help prevent future attacks on American soil and around the world. With Black Site, former deputy director of the CIA Counterterrorist Center Philip Mudd presents a full, never-before-told story of this now-controversial program, directly addressing how far America went to pursue al-Qa’ida and prevent another catastrophe. A book signing follows the program.

Wednesday, 14
Authors Lecture: Timothy Faust – Health Justice Now: Single-payer and what comes next – PNP – 7 PM
:Thursday, 15
Take 5! with Tyrone Allen
Thursday, August 15, 5 – 7pm
Bassist Tyrone Allen celebrates the 80th birthday of the legendary DC bassist Butch Warren. A native of Temple Hills, MD, Allen began his musical journey at the age of three, taking lessons from his father, a teacher in DC public schools. Allen studied jazz and classical at the Eastman School of Music before attending the Berklee College of Music. Around the DC area he has performed at Blues Alley, Twins Jazz Club, Bohemia Caverns, and the Kennedy Center. Enjoy the sound of this special performance in the museum's acoustically advanced McEvoy auditorium. Smithsonian Portrait Gallery Atrium

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Free culstural and intellectual events in DC for the week beginning Wednesday, July 31

The list is a bit abbreviated this week and will be for the next two because of trips to Michigan and Chautauqua, New York.  I know it is a bit heavy on Politics and Prose, but there's no other place to be so fully informed as that (lucky for us) locale.

However I hope you will also "tune in" (that's what we used to do with the radio) to my other blog,

I'm really fired up about what's going on in our country and want to make sure I'm doing everything I can to return us to the (at least partial) sanity I've known for most of my 93 years.

Wednesday, 31
Authors book talk: Philip Mudd – Black Site: The CIA in the 9/11 World – PNP – 7 PM 

Thursday, 1
Author Lecture: Terry McAuliffe – Beyond Charlottesville: Taking a stand against white nationalism – Politics and Prose – 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. – 7 PM

ENTATY Music & Go-Go Dance Workshop with Lorenzo "GoLo" Evans [Summer Concerts on the Lawn]

Thu, Aug 1, 2019 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM EDT Library of Congress  - Jefferson Building Lawn General Admission

  • Friday, 2
  • Author Lecture: Lyz Lenz - God Land: A story of faith, loss and renewal in middle America – exploring why some people decide to leave religion and other stay with it – PNP  - 7PM

  • Saturday, 3

SAAM Arcade
Saturday, August 3 and Sunday, August 4, 11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Enjoy this free, two-day, family-friendly event that invites gamers of all levels to test out new games and replay some of the classics. This year, the Arcade recognizes diversity, celebrates underrepresented segments of the gaming community and encourages everyone to "break barriers."

It's held both days

Sunday, 4
Let's play! Discover new video games and replay the classics
SAAM Arcade
Saturday, August 3 and Sunday, August 4, 11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Enjoy this free, two-day, family-friendly event that invites gamers of all levels to test out new games and replay some of the classics. This year, the Arcade recognizes diversity, celebrates underrepresented segments of the gaming community and encourages everyone to "break barriers."

Join our Facebook Event

Monday, 5
Lots of museums to see.  Have you been to Smithsonian's Portrait Gallery?  It is open noon - 7PM and then there are many restaurants in the area

Tuesday, 6
Author Lecture: Tope Folarin – A Particular Kind of Black Man – Rhodes scholar, Nigerian – American writer, Folarin's first novel explores questions of identity, exile, manhood and meaning itself – PNP – 7 PM

Wednesday, 7

Author Lecture: Natalie Wexler – The Knowledge Gap: The hidden cause of America's broken educational system – and how to fix it – PNP – 7 PM

National Archives - 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. EDT 

Escape Room! Hands-on Adult Workshop

Escape Room
Tackle puzzles and ciphers about the National Park Service to solve a mystery in time during this “escape room” for adults.

EVENT | CONCERTS AND PERFORMANCESJefferson Building -Library of Congress
Lakota John LocklearWednesday
August 7, 2019
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT
Lakota John Locklear blends traditional styles of the Delta and Piedmont acoustic blues with bottleneck slide guitar. He grew up listening to his father’s music collection and learned to love the blues.