Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Free Intellectual and Cultural Programs for the week beginning Thursday, January 28

It;s been a fascinating week with over 13,000 hits on my two blogs in five days.  Both blogs have new features this week.  For the first time I am listing on this blog an event at the United States Institute of Peace - that "Dove-like" looking building on Constitution Avenue that one sees as they enter the District across the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge.

And remember, Wednesday noon check out the tribute to Sinatra at 100.  I've seen the show and it's even worth skipping lunch if you have to!.

More dramatic changes are incorporated on my Rant blog at  I'm no longer ranting or raving, I've begun responding to the thousands of questions sent me on the Internet's Reddit program used primarily by young people.  I hope you will give it a trial this week to see some of the provocative questions youth asked.  YOU are invited to take part in the discussion.

Thursday, 28
Book talk: T. H. Brien – "George Washington's journey: The president forges a new nation" – P&P - 7 PM

Panel:  "Money, War and the Business of Power in the Horn of Africa" - United States Institute of Peace - 2301 Constitution Avenue - Entrance on 23rd Street NW - 10:30AM - Noon

Friday, 29
Film:  "Thunderbirds Are Go" - British Sci-fi film - Pickford Theatre - Madison Building - Library of Congress - 7PM

Concert:  Merlin Ensemble from Vienna with violin cello and piano with music of Koerber Mendelssohn Liszt and others – Austrian cultural forum – 3524 International Court NW. – 7:30 PM

Saturday, 30
Lecture:  Dance Historian Graham Christian discuss his new book, "A Playford Assemby" celebrating the country dance and song - Collidge Auditorium - Jefferson Building - Library of Congress - 1PM

Booktalk:  Jim Wallis - "America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege and the Bridge to a New America" - P&P 3:30PM

Booktalk  David Kaezynski - "Every Last Tie: The Story of the Unibomber and his Family" - P&P:

Discussion/Exhibition:  Photographic display and lecture of scenes from the District in 1960 - 70 Historical Society of DC - Carnegie Library - 801 K St. NW Noon - 2PM

Chinese New Year Family Festival:  Crafts, art work and performances - Smithsonian American Art Museum - - 11:30AM - 3PM

Concert:  NSO Flute, Horn and Piano perform Various Classical Works - Millennium Stage - Kennedy Center - 6PM 

Sunday, 31
Book Talk:  Roger Rosenblatt - " Thomas Murphy" - P&P - 1PM

Concert:  National Gallery of Art Vocal Ensemble ,, "Songs of Myth and Grandeur from the 19th and 20th Century" - West Garden court - NGA -3:340 PM

Film:  Iranian Film Festival - "Avalanche" with discussion by the film's star - East Building Auditorium - NGA - 4 PM

Monday, 1
Booktalk: Ian Buruma _ Their Promised Land:My Grandparents in Love and War - P&P - 7PM

Tuesday, 2
Concert:  "The Heartbeat of God: Sacred Drumming" - drums will be provided and all will be taught - Washington National Cathedral - 7 PM  

Book Talk:  Jeffrey Stern - " The Last Thousand: One School's Promise in a Nation at War" - Kramer Books and Afterwords - 6:30 PM

Wednesday, 3
Concert:  "Sinatra Turns 100" -  Bob McDonald with combo from the Smithsonian Jazz Appreciation Orchestra - St. John's Church - Lafayette Park - 12:10PM - 12:45PM

Booktalk:  Ruta Sepetys - "Salt to the Sea"- Embassy of Lithuania - 7PM

Booktalk:  Sonja B. Williams - "Word Warrior: Richard Durham of the Chicago Defender"- Montpelier Room - Madison Building - Library of Congress - Noon - 1PM

Booktalk: Rashod Ollison discusses his memoir "Soul serenade: rhythm, blues and coming of age through vinyl" – Kramerbooks and Afterwords – 6:30 PM

Lecture: GWU Prof. Christopher A. Bracey discusses "the Dred Scott decision: slavery, secession and its aftermath" – room 316 – Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library – 6:30 PM

Concert with interpretation:" Lost in the stars: an evening of music and insight exploring the themes of Washington National Opera's production of "Lost in the stars" – based on the novel "Cry the beloved country" with reflections on South Africa by former ambassador Ebrahim Rasool and theologian Kelly Brown Douglas – Washington National Cathedral – 7 PM

Thursday, 4
Booktalk;: James Mayer - "Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right" - P&P - 7PM

Film: "Rosenwald:A Remarkable Story of A Jewish Partnership with African American Communities" - Introduced by director Aviva Kempner - WILL BE A VERY POPULAR PROGRAM - Register now at National Archives Foundation -  National Archives - 7PM

Film: "Journey into Europe: Islam, immigration and identity" –with Ambassador Akbar Ahmed Healy family student center – Georgetown University –  Will be very popular - Make reservation NOW - – 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Concert: "beyond this there of time: a musical journey" music from the English choral tradition" – Washington National Cathedral – 7PM

Lecture: Jeffrey Rosen, President of the national Constitution Center discusses "Is the voting rights act of 1965 in jeopardy?" – Room 360 – Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library – 6:30 PM

Booktalk: Peter Sleven "Michelle Obama: A life" - room 301 – Marvin Center – George Washington University – 821st St., Northwest – 7 PM

Friday, 5
Film:  "Predator" - R rated film of  human/alien encounters from the 35 mm collection - Pickford Theatrre - Madison Building - Library of Congress - 7PM

Film: "Valentino's ghost: Why We hate Arabs" – Jerusalem fund – Palestine Center – 7:45 PM reservations requested –

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Free intellectual and cultural events in D. C. beginning Thursday, January 21

Once again the only real problem is finding time to take in all the fascinating events that are provided in the city  This is also the week that I no longer rant, but begin responding to the thousands of comments that I have received on my posting on Reddit of Ask Me Anything.  This week I'm responding to the hundred who talk about whether it was necessary to drop the bomb in WWII.  My brief response is at

The complete discussion is at

Thursday, 21
Book talk: T. H. Brien – "George Washington's journey: The president forges a new nation" – P&P 7 PM

Concert:  Take 5 Series features "The Alexander Norris Ensemble" with live sculpture demonstration - Atrium - Smithsonian American Art Museum - 5PM - 7PM

Lecture:  Pamela Conrad of the Goddard Flight Center discusses "A TAle of Two Cities (Planets): What Earth and Mars Are Teaching Us About the Evolution of Habitable Worlds"- Reservations Required 202-328-6988 - Carnegie Institute for Science - 1530 P St. NW - 6:45PM

Lecture:  Barbara Wilson, author "If It's Not Impossible" discusses her fathers diary of saving 669 Czech children in "The Lives He Saved and The Secrets We Kept" - reservations required - 202-488-0460 - Holocaust Museum - 7PM

Friday, 2
Book talk: Charles Moore – "Margaret Thatcher: at her Zenith: in London, Washington and Moscow"  P&P – 7 PM

Film:  Music In 35mm - 1966  film "Chappaqua" - Pickford Theatre - Madison Building - Library of Congress - reservations suggested - 7PM

Saturday, 23
Book talk: Molly Sinclair McCartney – "America's war machine: vested interests, endless conflict – P&P - 1 PM

Book talk: Roy J. Harris, Junior – "Pulitzer's Gold: a century of public service journalism" – P&P – 3:30 PM

Booktalk: Geoffrey Cowen – "Let the people rule: Theodore Roosevelt and the birth of the presidential primary – P&P – 6 PM

Film:  Iranian Film Festival - winner of 2012 Berlin Film Festival, "Taxi" - National Gallery of Art - 2PM

Poetry Reading:  U. S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera and others respond to the display, "One Life: Dolores Huerta" National Portrait Gallery - 2PM

Sunday, 24
Booktalk: Erica Brown – "Take your soul to work: 365 meditations for everyday leadership" – P&P –5PM

Concert:  Howard Universsity Gospel Choir - Millennium Stage - Kennedy Center - 6PM

Concert:  Spin String Trio - perform "Goldberg Variations - West Garden Court - National Gallery of Art - 3:30PM

Film:  New Greek Cinema - 2015 film "Chevalier" - East Building - National Gallery of Art -4PM

Monday, 25
Booktalk: Ioan Grillo – "Gangster warlords: drug dollars, killing fields and the new politics of Latin America" – P&P – 7 PM

Concert:  Catholic University presents the music of Kander and Ebb - Millennium Stage - Kennedy Center - 6PM

Lecture:  GWU Dean Christopher Sterling discusses 10 TV News Innovators - 202-994-5200 -  GWU Textile Museum - 701 21st ST. NW - Noon

Tuesday, 26
Lecture: David Hollenbach, and  Gary and Anne McGuire discuss "Humanity in crisis: ethical responsibilities to people displaced by war" room LJ 119 – Madison building – Library of Congress – 3 PM

Concert:  Pianist Tzu-yi Chen performs Tchaikovsky, Liszt and Debussy - Church of the Epiphany - 1317 G ST. NW - 12:10PM

Lecture:  A Dynamic Universe: Greatest Discoveries of  the Hubble Space Telescope - Hubble Space Scientists - Katszen Arts Center - American University - 10:00AM

Wednesday, 27
Booktalk: Jesse Holland – "The Invisibles: The untold story of African Americans Slaves in the White House" – Busboys and Poets – 2021 11th St.  Northwest – 6:30 PM

Booktalk: Edward G. Lengel - "First Entrepreneur: How George Washington Built His - and the Natiin's Prosperity" - P & P - 7 PM

Presentation:  Photographic historian William Stapp, "Through China with a Camera: The Photographs of John Thomson - GWU Textile Museum - Noon

Lecture:  GU Professor Daniel Byman, "ISIS vs. AlQaeda: What's the Difference and Does it Matter? - Room 700 Bunn Intercultural Center - Georgetown University - 12:30

/Thursday, 28
Booktalk: David Greenberg – "Republic of Spin: An inside story of the American presidency" – P&P – 7 PM

Concert: A Musical Evening - The Air Force Strings - National Archives - 7 PM

Film: "Salt of this Sea" – award winning film by the first Palestinian woman to direct a film – The Jerusalem Center – 12:30 PM – 2:50 PM

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Free intellectual and cultural events in DC beginning Thursday, January 14

        It's been quite an exciting week on my two blogs! The number of "hits" on this cultural blog grew from over 1,000 to over 2,000 and over 12,000 on my rants and raves blog.  And I know why!
        It stems from my desire to close out the other blog, feeling I had had my say. However, I used one of the social media tools that is in vogue with young people: Reddit.  I had used Reddit before with limited success. Now again using their listing, "Ask Me Anything", I invited readers to do just that after I had made a brief autobiographical statement. Within a day I had received not only 4000 hits but also 1000 comments in response.
       What an exciting time for me now.  The questions were so thoughtful and challenging that I want to respond to each one individually, but I know my limits.       
       However having noted certain patterns in the thoughtful questions, I thought there might be one more opportunity for me to share insights as an educator.on my blog.  I'd like to invite you to join the conversation on Reddit at
Or you too might like to ask me anything at the regular blog spot, you can go to::

In the first installment of the blog, I present the first two questions asked of me and my initial reactions.  

But first, the business at hand

Thursday, 14
Panel discussion: Tunisian revolution: On the Anniversary – What Next? Distinguished panel includes Tunisian ambassador to United States - United States Institute of Peace – 2301 Constitution Ave. NW– reservation required – use Internet – 2:30 PM – 4 PM

Social justice discussion: Aviva Kempner, Clarence page and Rabbi David Saperstein consider the film, "Rosenwald" the story of Jewish philanthropist Julius Rosenwald – Addis Israel congregation – 2850 Qu├ębec St. NW. – Cleveland Park Metro – reservations required – 7:30PM

Concert:  The Ella and Louis tribute band – millennium stage – Kennedy Center - 6 PM

Concert: Stronger Sex: experimental, electronic noise-pop – Smithsonian American Art Museum – 5:30 PM to 7 PM

Lecture: Steve Roberts - "Politics 2016 – What's happening and why" – Abramson family recital Hall – Katzen arts Center – American University – 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW – 1030 – 11:30 PM a.m.

Book talk:  James Good "Capital houses: historic residences in Washington, DC and its environs, 1735 – 1965" – reservations suggested – 202–337–2288 – Dumbarton house – 6 PM to 8 PM

Friday, 15
Film. "Blues for Lovers" - Ray Charles in a rarely screened drama - Pickford Theatre - Madison Building - Library of Congress - 7PM

Film: "Wings for the Man" with Ronald Reagan  - 1945 and "The Negro Soldier" - 1944 - directed by Frank Capra – commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Tuskegee Airmen – National Archives – Noon

Book talk: Dr. Syed Hossain – "The Study Quran: A new translation and commentary" – P&P – 7 PM

Concert: The Ukrainian World Music Quartet performs – millennium stage – Kennedy Center – 6 PM

Lecture: Lisa Schulte Moore of Iowa State University discusses "Harnessing the power of the Prairie - Conservatory classroom – US botanic Garden – reservations required – 202-225-8333 – noon – 1 PM

Lecture: Jean-Pierre Filiu, professor of Middle East studies, Paris school of international affairs – discusses, "Israel's 12th war on Gaza" – reservations required – – room 241 – Bunn intercultural Center – Georgetown University – 12:30 PM – 2 PM

Film: George Axelrod's 1966 "Lord Love a Duck" – reservations required – – Pickford theater – Madison building – Library of Congress – 7 PM

 Saturday, 16
Concert. Alban Gerhardt, Cello and Anne-Marie McDermott perform music of Barber, Britten, Foss, Bernstein, Gershwin, Heifitz, Gerhardt, and Piazzolla - Collidge Auditorium - Jefferson Building - Library of Congress - tickets available - Rush tickets - noon - Concert - 2PM

Book talk: Paul Lisicky – "The Narrow Door: A Memoir of Friendship" interviewed by Richard McCann of the Penn/Faulkner foundation – P&P 6 PM

Concert: Robert Downing and DC's Apollo chamber orchestra chamber music from Asia and Europe – Kennedy Center – Terrace theater – 6 PM

Performance: Poetry, drumming and dancing by youth including Sista Joy and collective voicesMartin Luther King tribute – Martin Luther King Junior memorial library – 1 PM

Film: Athens today:  Pantelis Voulgaris' 2013 film "Little England" – a part of the new Greek cinema – Great Hall – National Portrait Gallery – 4 PM

Sunday, 17
Book talk: R. Douglas Fields - "Why we Snap: Understanding the rage circuit in your Brain"
P&P - 1 PM

Concert: Fisk Jubilee Singers – W. Garden Court – National Gallery of Art – 3:30 PM

Film: Re-seeing Iran: 12th annual Iranian film Festival – 2014 satirical allegory "The President" – East building Auditorium – National Gallery of Art – 4 PM

Special event: "Rosa and Martin, Martin and Rose – musical program including excerpts from one of King's sermons, reflection and prayer – Washington National Cathedral – 1 PM
note there is a $10 admission charge

Monday, 18
Book talk: Eddie S. Glaude, Jr – "Democracy in Black: How Race still Enslaves the American Soul" – P&P 7 PM

Lecture: "Sugar: History, botany, production and processing" – reservations required – 202-225-8333 – United States Botanic Garden – 10:30 AM – noon

Special event: Yolanda Adams, Grammy award – nominated gospel singer and the choir, Let Freedom Ring in a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  – Concert Hall – Kennedy Center – tickets available beginning at 4:30 PM in the hall of Nations – Concert 6 PM:

Tuesday, 19
Book talk: Ralph Ehrenberg and Herman Viola discuss "Mapping the West with Lewis and Clark" – Montpelier room – Madison building – Library of Congress – noon

Book talk: Tony Lewis, Junior – "Slugg: A Boy's life in the age of mass incarceration" – Busboys and poets – Brookland – 6:30 PM

Book talk: Harry Jaffe – "Why Bernie Sanders Matters" – P&P – 7 PM

Discussion: "Beyond MLK's Dream" – a discussion of the role of LGBT activists and leaders such as Bayard Rustin, James Baldwin and Alice Walker during the civil rights movement – Betts Theater – Marvin Center – George Washington University – 821st St., Northwest – 7 PM

Wednesday, 20
Concert: Musicians from Marlboro – classical quintet with music of Beethoven Penderecki and Brahms – Coolidge Auditorium – Jefferson building – Library of Congress – free tickets required – rush tickets available at 6 PM – concert – 8 PM – pre-concert conversation - 6:30 PM – no tickets required

Book talk: John Donovan and Caren Zucker – "In a Different Key: the story of autism" –
 P&P – 7 PM

Book talk: John Stauffer – "Picturing Frederick Douglass: An Illustrated biography of the 19th Century's most photographed American" – William G. McGovern Theater – National Archives –

Lecture: Steve Wermiel, author, "Justice Brennan and the Progressive Supreme Court" – Temple Baptist Church – 3850 Nebraska Ave. – 10 AM to 11:30 AM

Book talk: Elaine Kamarck, "Primary Politics: Everything you need to know about how America nominates its presidential candidates" – Kramer Books and Afterwords – 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW. – 6:30 PM

Lecture:  2016 Dr. Martin Luther King J. Address – Martin Luther King J. Memorial Library – 7 PM

Thursday, 21
Book talk: T. H. Brien – "George Washington's journey: The president forges a new nation" – P&P 7 PM

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Free intellectual and cultural events for the week beginning Thursday, January 7

How embarrassing! This is no way to start the new year.  My first posting was accidentally erased after being available for three days.  And I was so excited because it ALREADY had over 1200 hits!
So UNLESS someone can forward a copy of the blog for events starting January 7 (to for me to re-post, you'll have to wait for my next posting on Thursday.

And I'll have special information about the changes in my two blog postings.

Thanks for your many notes of encouragement.