Friday, December 26, 2014

Events of the Week: Friday, December 26 - Thursday, January 1

Having never been in D. C., the week after Christmas and before New Years, I didn't know what to expect.  Indeed the usual intellectual programs are lacking, but there are some fascinating activities available for those with time on their hands.  Most all of the museums are open on their regular schedules.  Be sure to check out the special programs for children at the National Portrait Gallery. It is also a great opportunity to visit some of the lesser visited museums such as the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Library of Congress and the National Archives. The United States Holocaust Museum  has a special display entitled "Some Were Neighbors: Collaboration and Complicity in the Holocaust".  And the newly remodeled White House Visitors Center offers many hands-on experiences and attractive displays for viewing the presidency for children of any age.

Someone suggested that we also include a list of free New Years Eve activities.  My Midwest background had me first seek out houses of worship for what we knew as "Watch Night" services.  The first "church" listing I found was "Falls Church" which has it 16th annual Watch Night event that has events in the downtown area for families.  Free shuttle service is provided from the East Fall Church Metro stop from 7  until midnight.  The communities of Vienna and Alexandria also provide New Years eve events downtown with Alexandria also providing fireworks along the water front.

Please note to that I deviate from listing only free events by listing an event that has a recommended $20 donation for a special New Year's Eve program that might be attractive to many.

Friday, December 26
 Concert:  Richmond based gospel group, Family of praise - millennium stage – Kennedy Center 6 PM

Saturday, December 27
Concert:  Holiday vaudeville with Cajun cellist, klezmer Quartet and comedian – Millennium stage Kennedy Center 6 PM

Sunday, December 28
Concert: Galilei performs various classical works – W. Garden Court – National Gallery of Art – 6:30 PM

Film:  Greek film, "The Daughter" – West building lecture hall – National Gallery of Art – 4:30 PM:

Monday, December 29
Concert:  Zan McLeod's Celtic Holiday with Irish Dancers - Millennium stage – Kennedy Center 6 PM

Tuesday, December 30
Concert:  Sweet Heaven Kings – Anacostia gospel group of blues, band and percussion – holiday music – Millennium Stage – Kennedy Center - 6 PM  

Concert:  Samovar - Russian folk ensemble – Conservatory Garden Court – US Botanic Garden – 100 Maryland Ave. SW. – 6 PM – 8 PM

Family day program: exhibit, "Making Their Mark" – hands-on activities and games – National Archives Building – 10 AM – 4 PM :

Wednesday, December 31
Concert: The Brooklyn-based Williamsburg salsa orchestra – Millennium Stage – Kennedy Center 6PM

New Year's Eve Concert:  Musicians including Rosa Lamoreaux and J. Riley Lewis perform "Music from Bach to the American Songbook" – $20 donation suggested – $5 for students – St. Columba's Episcopal Church – for 201 Albemarle St. NW. – 6 PM

Thursday, January 1
Athletic Event:  Hockey extravaganza – The National Hockey League  Winter classic  features our Washington Capitols versus the Chicago Blackhawks – billed as a winter extravaganza free tickets are obviously not available – but we can all be part of the fun and excitementoutside the Washington Nationals stadium – face-off is at 1 PM

Friday, December 19, 2014

Free events of the Week with a few special events for children

The holiday season with fewer talks and book reviews seems a good chance to make changes in the weekly listing.  Today's listing starts the new scheduling made necessary by coordination with other lists of events.  By being issued on Friday morning each week, I hope you can find events to attend for the weekend and the week ahead.  Please excuse errors in my listing as I attempt to adjust to the Dragon dictation system.  I hope you will also have time to check my other blog at

Friday,  December 19
Organ Concert:  Hear holiday music on the magnificent organ at National City Christian Church
5 Thomas Circle NW - 12:15 - 1pm

Holiday Jazz:  A Stan Kenton Christmas - Truly great jazz from the 40's in a unique performance - Millennium Stage - Kennedy Center 6 - 7pm

Saturday,  December 20
Children's Art Event:  Artwork of Grandma Moses  in story and special activity – National Portrait Gallery – 1 PM – 4 PM

Special service:  Simulcast of Bethlehem prayer service between Washington DC and Palestine – prayers, readings and hymns – Washington National Cathedral – 10 AM

Holiday concert:  Thomas Circle singers – National Gallery of Art – West Building Garden Court – 3:30 PM

Sunday,  December 21
Children's Art Event – Artwork of Grandma Moses in story and special activity – National Portrait Gallery – 1 PM – 4 PM

Klezmer concert:  Alexandria group performs klezmer music – West Garden Court – National Gallery of Art 3:30 PM

Film:  Athens today series: The Eternal Return of Atonis Paraskevas - West building lecture hall – National Gallery of Art – 4:30 PM

Monday, December 22
Children's art event:  Artwork of Roy Lichtenstein in story and special activity – national portrait Gallery – one – 4 PM

Holiday concert:   Vox Pulchra - early music ensemble – the lobby – Willard intercontinental hotel – 1401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW – 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM 

Tuesday,  December 23
Children's art event – artwork of Romare Bearden in story and special activity – National Portrait Gallery – 1 PM – 4 PM

Holiday concert: Children's chorus of Washington – lobby the Willard Hotel – 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM  

Wednesday, December 24

Concert: Beltway brass quintet – 20th century jazz harmonies – millennium stage – Kennedy Center – 6 
Thursday, December 25
Concert: All-Star Christmas day jam session with outstanding local performers - Kennedy Center – millennium stage 6 PM 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Free cultural events – Thursday, December 11 – Friday, December 19

I'm very excited that my first post after a month away comes a month ahead of schedule. I was certain that I would not be able to type because of the complete replacement of my left shoulder. I'm awestruck that two "miracles" have occurred to make this possible. First, the skill of the surgeon who not only replaced my worn out bone but also inserted a nerve block that kept me from experiencing pain. And second, the miracle of the youthful entrepreneurs that invented the Internet and this Dragon dictation device that makes it possible for me to type with no hands.

With limited skill on my Dragon, the list this week will be somewhat limited. I'll try to be a bit selective in suggesting a few unique programs for the season.  Unfortunately I was unable to find a performance of a family favorite, Amahl and the Night Visitors.  It's a family favorite and I'd hoped to share it with blog readers.  (My Dragon heard me say, all mall in the night visitors.)  While I am not in the practice of promoting anyone religious faith, this story has been a family favorite for over 50 years - even in  a family not known for its acceptance of traditional religious miracles. If you're unable to locate a live performance, I recommend your getting it on a DVD..

Enough advice giving and personal info, but the last month has heightened my appreciation of both science and a belief system.  And I continue to be amazed, even in this busy holiday season, at the number of broad cultural events available to us all for free.

Thursday, December 11
Concert:  In celebration of legendary violinist and teacher Roman TotenbergVogler/Wang/Siirala perform Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Harbison - Coolidge Auditorium – Jefferson building – Library of Congress – 8 PM – free pre-concert conversation with Nina Totenberg – 6:30 PM – rush tickets may be available at 6:30 PM

Concert: Jazz group "Cold Front" performs seasonal jazz selections – United States Botanic Garden – 100 Maryland Ave. SW. – 6- 8 PM

Friday, December 12
Concert:  Stradivari anniversary concert – The St. Lawrence String Quartet –Hsin-YunHuang - Coolidge Auditorium – Jefferson Building – Library of Congress – 8 PM – free pre-concert conversation – 6:30 PM – rush tickets may be available at 6:30 PM

Organ concert:  The King of Instruments and the Instrument of Kings - featuring the city's third largest organ and trumpeter Chuck Seipp - National City Christian Church – 5 Thomas Circle NW - 12:15 PM

Opera for children: The Little Prince – excerpts presented by the Washington National Opera – Millennium Stage - Kennedy Center 6 PM

Film:  Goodbye South Goodbye – from southern Taiwan – English subtitles – Freer Gallery of Art – the mall – 7 PM 

Saturday, December 13
Concert:  Spanish Brash present a holiday concert - West Garden Court - - National Gallery of Art - 3:30 PM

Holiday festival:  Embassy of Italy and Smithsonian American Art Museum present an Italian holiday festival with performances, craft activities and children's activities –Kogod Auditorium - Smithsonian American Art Museum – 11:30 AM – 4 PM

Sunday, December 14
Jazz concert: US Marine band presents a big band holiday concert  – Marine Barracks Annex – Seventh and K Streets SE– 2 PM

Piano concert: Works by Beethoven, Chopin & Rachmaninoff  -  Smithsonian American Art Museum  -Eight and G St. NW – 2 PM

Stage reading:  Claire Frankel's  Ethel and Ruthie"- the story of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg – Temple Micah – 2829 Wisconsin Ave. NW – reservations required  - – 1:30 PM

Conservation demonstration - Reuse, Retouch, ReDutch - 50 examples of sustainable and social Dutch design – Royal Netherlands Embassy – for 200 Linnean Ave. NW – 11 AM – 4 PM

Monday, December 15
Discussion:  Muslim minorities and religious freedom: a public dialogue - Berkeley Center for religion peace and world affairs - Fisher colloquium -Hariri Building – reservations required – – 10 AM – 4:30 PM

Comedy show:: Mark Normand - millennium stage – theater lab – tickets distributed – 5:30 PM

Tuesday,  December 16
Holiday concert: Choir of the Church of the Epiphany performs Christmas Music – Church of the Epiphany – 1317 G St. – 12:10 PM

Film – The Battle of the Bulge - documentary – National Archives – noon

Film – T-shirt travels – Myers room – George Washington University Museum/textile Museum – 701 21st St. – noon
Wednesday, December 17
Film – Chronicle of My Mother –Masato's Harada's 2011 film – Japan information and culture center – 1150 18th St. reservation required – 6:30 PM

Jazz pianist: From the Conservatory of Amsterdam – Millennium Stage – Kennedy Center – 6 PM

Thursday, December 18
Jazz concert: Joe Herrera and the Unity Quintet – Kogod Courtyard - Smithsonian American Art Museum - 5 PM – 8 PM

Hanukkah celebration:  Lox and Vodka -  klezmer band – Millennium Stage – Kennedy Center 6 PM 

Holiday concert: Smithsonian Encore Chorale – National Museum of the American Indian – 7:30 PM

Concert: St. Lawrence string Quartet – Coolidge Auditorium – Library of Congress Jefferson building – discussion free and free rush tickets possibly available - 6 PM - concert 8 PM