Thursday, May 19, 2016


Sorry, I'm taking most of the summer off.  I'll be back in the fall at the latest.  I will occasionally find something to say in my other blog:

or you can contact me with anything urgent at


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Free intellectual and cultural events for the week beginning Thursday, May 12

  Just as last week we have an opportunity to travel the world through a visit to scores of embassies.  This Saturday they are the Embassies of the European Union.  If you traveled last week to Africa and Asia and other continents, you discovered that MANY WERE PACKED with people - especially those in concentrated areas.  We, however, visited quite a number in scattered locations and NEVER WAITED IN LINE.  So you might carefully check the map.  A listing can be found at

AND SADLY AS I INDICATED LAST WEEK, THIS IS THE LAST REGULAR LISTING FOR THE REST OF THE SUMMER.  I'll occasionally publish my RANTS AND RAVES  (there are so many concerns I want to share with any who might be interested).  And I may occasionally find time to suggest outstanding event, but the summer is proving too busy to keep my fingers at the keyboard.  I HOPE YOU WILL CHECK MY BLOGS OCCASIONALLY.  This week my other blog
contains a reference to two source materials I shall be contemplating during my "sabbatical" relating to religion and peace.  I hope some of you will consider them with me

Thursday, 12
Book Talk: Matti Friedman – "Pumpkin Flowers: A Soldier's Story" (from the point of view of an Israeli soldier) – P&P – 7 PM

Lecture: Mark Slobin, Prof. of music and American studies at Wesleyan University – "Improvising a Music Metropolis: Detroit, 1940s – 1960s" – Pickford theater – Madison building – Library of Congress – noon

Lecture:  Kluge Fellow Theo Christov discusses "Law of Nations" the rise of the United States into an international actor and eventual global power" - Room LJ 119 – Jefferson building – Library of Congress – 4 PM

Book lecture: David Vine – "Base Nation: how American military bases abroad harm America and the world" – Potter's House – 1658 Columbia Rd. NW. – 7 PM to 9 PM

Friday, 13
Book Lecture:  Heather Boushey - "Finding Time: The Economics of Work/Life Conflict" - P&P - 7PM

Concert: Ingrid Jensen – jazz trumpet and flugelhorn performs with a jazz ensemble – a part of the weeklong Mary Lou Williams jazz celebration– Millennium stage – Kennedy Center – 6 PM

Film: "Redes" – a new DVD of the iconic Mexican film masterpiece followed by discussion and musical performance – Mexican Cultural Institute – 2829 16th St. NW. – reservations required – 202-728-1628 – 6:45 PM

Exhibit opening: "Lincoln contemporaries" – Matthew Brady's portraits of 20 celebrities who work with Lincoln during his presidency – Smithsonian national portrait Gallery – opens today through May 12, 2019

Saturday, 14
Book Lecture:  Chris Edelson "Power Without Constraint: the post 911 presidency and national security  " - P&P - 1PM

Concert:  The Pedrito martinez Group - Afro-Cuban Folkloric Music - Coolidge Auditorium - Jefferson Building - Library of Congress - 9PM

Art walk: "Arts in Foggy Bottom outdoor sculpture show" – 13 contemporary sculptures in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood – Official opening at 4p.m. at 842 New Hampshire Ave. NW. and runs through October 22

Concert: Savannah Harris jazz trio – millennium stage – Kennedy Center – 6 PM

Lecture: Jamie Stiehm – "Andrew Jackson, Roger Taney, Francis Scott Key: A Grim trio in town and country" – Georgetown neighborhood library – 3260 R St. NW. – 1 PM

Family program: "Renwick in Bloom family day" – hands-on activities for all in the family – Renwick Gallery – 17th St. and Pennsylvania Ave., Northwest – 10 AM to 2 PM

Film: Fritz Lang's "Die Nibelungenlied" – with organ accompaniment – East building Auditorium – National Gallery of Art – 1 PM

Sunday, 15
I'm a bassist with the National Symphony Orchestra and will be playing a duo recital with NSO cellist Mark Evans. The music will span from baroque to back-country. Should be a lot of fun!
Sunday, May 15 @ 5:00pm First Congregational United Church 945 G Street N.W. (Metro Center & Chinatown stops are 3-4 blocks away)
First Congregational is a very modern space with absolutely killer acoustics. Hope to see some of you there! Thanks! Charlie Nilles, double bass.

Children's program: Swedish artist and art teacher Karen Lithell and arts and crafts workshop for children ages four – 10 – Embassy of Sweden – 2900 K St. NW. – noon – 3 PM

Concert: DC Concert Orchestra performs works by Beethoven, Copeland, Bizet and Grieg – Church of the Epiphany – 1317 G St. NW. – 3 PM

Concert: Ariel Quartet and pianist Alon Goldstein perform works by Brahms and Mozart – W. Garden Court – West building – national Gallery of Art – 3:30 PM

Film: Saudi Arabia film, "Wadjda" a 10-year-old girl dreams of owning a bicycle though bike riding is an activity available only to males – National Museum of Women in the Arts – 1250 New York Ave. NW. – noon and 1:45 PM and 3:30 PM

Film: "Xala" 1975 film from Senegal looking at the pretensions of the upper class in postcolonial Africa – National Gallery of Art – 4 PM

Monday, 16
Film:  Killing Pakisstani Women For Honor: A Film Makers Tale killing Pakistani women for honor: a film makers tale call" - United States Institute for Peace - 301 608-8268

Book lecture: Garrett Peck – "Walt Whitman in Washington DC: the Civil War and America's great poet" – Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church – 3401 Nebraska Ave. NW. – 12:30 PM

Book discussion: Rev. Gary Hall leads discussion of Anthony Doerr's, "All the light we cannot see" Washington National Cathedral – 7 PM – reservations required -

Tuesday,  17
Book Lecture:  Joshua Kendall - "First Dads: Parenting and Politics from George Washington to Barack Obama" - Montpelier Room Madison Building Library of Congress - Noon

Book Lecture:  Mark Landler - "Alter Egos: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and the twilight light struggle over American power " - P&P : 7PM

Panel discussion: "Inequality and presidential politics: opportunities for changing the game" – Institute for Policy Studies – Suite 600 – 1301 Connecticut Ave. NW. – 12:30 PM – 2 PM
registrations required  202-234-9382

Book lecture: Jonathan Horn – "The man who would not be Washington: the tragic and complicated story of Robert E. Lee" – Kramerbooks and Afterwords – 6:30 PM

Movie: "Honor and Duty: The Mississippi Delta Chinese" with questions and answers with the filmmakers – Martin Luther King Junior Memorial Library – 6 PM

Film: Martin Frics 1949 film "The Poachers Foster Daughter" a young woman runs away from home to escape an arranged marriage & falls in love with a millionaire – bistro Bohem – 600 Florida Ave. NW. – 7 PM p.m. – reservations required

Poetry reading: Austrian Slovenian poet Cvetka Lipus – Embassy of Austria – 3524 International Court NW. – 7:30 PM – reservations required at

Wednesday, 18
Book Lecture:  Sidney Blumenthal - "A Self-Made Man: the political life of Abraham Lincoln: 1809 – 1849 P&P - 7PM

Concert:  Nakotah LaRance presents native American Hoop Dancing - Coolidge Auditorium - Jefferson Building - Library of Congress - Noon

Art lecture: Ashley W. Harris discusses the special exhibit. "She who tells the story: women photographers from Iran And the Arab world – National Museum of women in the arts - Noon to 12:30 PM

Art lecture: 2015 – 16 fellows of the museum present new scholarship on topics ranging from Joseph Cornell to Sol LeWitt -  Smithsonian American Art Museum – 2 PM – 5 PM

Book lecture and discussion: Michael Rendell, author of "Razzle-dazzle: the battle for Broadway" in conversation with Peter Marks, drama critic for the Washington Post – Arts Club of Washington – 2017 I Street Northwest – 202-331-7282 – 6:30 PM

Art Museum day: National Museum of Women in the Arts – free admission day – 10 AM to 5 PM

Thursday, 19
Panel:  Growing Far Right Sentiments in Europe and the United States "The Rise of Hate on the Back of Refugees - Distinguished panel - Goethe Institute - 1990 K Street NW (Entrance on 20th Street - 6:30PM

Lecture:  Kissinger Chair Bruce Jentleson prtesents "Profiles in Statesmanship: 20th Centur Breakthroughs for Global Peaceand Security and 21st Century Challenges -   Room LJ119 - Jefferson Building - Library of Congres - 4PM

Book Lecture:  Joel Goldstein - "The White House Vice Presidency: The Path to Significance, Mondale to Biden" - National Archives - Noon

Film:  Favorite Films of teh Natinal Archives Motion Picture Lab - with historic significance - National Archives - 2PM

Book Lecture:  Annette Gordan-Reed and Peter Onuf - "Most Blessed of the Patriarchs: Thomas Jefferson and theEmpire of the Imagination" - National Archives - 7PM

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Free cultural events of the week supplement Monday, May 9 - Thursday May 12

Here is the rest of the week.  I'll be back Wednesday with the week ahead. Hope you have an opportunity to attend some of the events.

Monday, 9
Film: The new documentary - "Lincoln's Greatest Speech: The Second Inaugural - followed by discussion by author and film maker- National Archives - 7PM

Lecture: National Endowment for the Humanities presents the 45th annual Jefferson lecture in the humanities featuring filmmaker Ken Burns – Concert Hall – Kennedy Center – 7:30 PM
reservations required – – standby tickets may be available

Concert: Woodrow Wilson High School vocal music program of Washington DC performs various classical and jazz music – Millennium stage – Kennedy Center – 6 PM

Lecture: "Settlements and Occupation: The Case of Hebron and Beyond" – The Palestine Center – 12:30 PM – 2 PM

Tuesday, 10
Book Talk: Meg Jacobs - "Panic at the Pump: The Energy Crisis and the Transformation of American Politics in the 1970's" - P & P - 7PM

Concert: Guitarist Jorge  Amaral and Mis Pomerantz performed Latin American music – Church of the Epiphany – 1317 G St. NW. – 12:10 PM

Panel discussion: "Sustaining the Political Revolution Series discusses "Demilitarization, Disarmament, Drugs and Diplomacy of the Decade" – Institute for Policy Studies – Suite 600 – 1301 Connecticut Ave. NW. – 4 PM to 6 PM - reservations required – 202-234-9382

Film: Prince's iconic 1984 film, "Purple Rain" – Room A-5 – Martin Luther King Jr. library – 6 PM
Wednesday, 11
Book Talk:  Nathaniel Philbrick - "Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold and the Fate of the American Revolution" - P & P - 7PM

Concert: "100 years of classical Croatian music" -  featuring classical music ensemble – Millennium Stage – Kennedy Center – 6 PM

Book lecture: Helen and Ren Davis – "Landscapes for the People: Photography in America's National Parks" – National Archives – noon

Thursday, 12
Book Talk: Matti Friedman – "Pumpkin Flowers: A Soldier's Story" (from the point of view of an Israeli soldier) – P&P – 7 PM

Lecture: Mark Slobin, Prof. of music and American studies at Wesleyan University – "Improvising a Music Metropolis: Detroit, 1940s – 1960s" – Pickford theater – Madison building – Library of Congress – noon

Lecture:  Kluge Fellow Theo Christov discusses "Law of Nations" the rise of the United States into an international actor and eventual global power" - Room LJ 119 – Jefferson building – Library of Congress – 4 PM

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Free and easily accessible intellectual and cultural events for the week beginning Thursday, May 5

My, oh, my!  So many exciting things to do this next week beginning with the opportunity to visit 40 countries (embassies, that is) on Saturday.  You might recall that last week. because of personal time constraints, I was going to send an abbreviated list - or no list at all!  Yet there is so many things available, I just couldn't do that with guests coming to see the city..  In order to get this weeks listing out in time for Thursdays events, I'll do it in two parts – today - I'll include the events through Sunday. On Sunday, I'll add the events for the rest of the week. 

Additionally I hope soon to do some more Ranting and Raving. Recent events nationally and the opportunities I've had to learn from the "younger generation" through Reddit and Oprah's Magazine cause me to want me to say more in response. I'll let you know when those thoughts are available.

Thursday, 5
Book lecture: Amy E. Herman – "Visual Intelligence: Sharpen Your Perception, Change Your Life" – P & P - 7 PM

Panel discussion: "Through our eyes: Insights from Syrian refugees in the United States" – Riggs library – Healy Hall – Georgetown University – 4 PM – 6 PM
reservations requested –

Film: In honor of victory in Europe Day, the premier of "After Hitler" with follow-up discussion – Embassy of France – 4101 Reservoir Rd. NW – 7 PM
reservations required –

Friday, 6
Concert:  Musicians from Marlboro with music of J. Haydn, Saariaho and Schumann - Coolidge Auditorium - Jefferson Buildings - Free tickets required - rush tickets generally available 6:30PM at the same time as a Pre-concert conversation -  /Concert at 8PM

Book Lecture:  Dave Barry - "The Worst Night Ever" - Takoma Park, Maryland Library - P&P - 7PM

Concert: "Opera Studio" performs works by Britain and Rossini – Arts Club of Washington – 2017 I Street NW – noon

Demonstration: In honor of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month: Chef Kevin Lee presents "The American Story of Sushi" – a hands-on demonstration – Smithsonian Museum of American History – 2 PM

Book lecture: Mark Wilkerson – "Thomas Young's War" about a paralyzed Iraq war veteran heroically battling his 10 year old injury – in conversation with Martha Raddatz of ABC news – Potters House – 1658 Columbia Rd. NW – 7 PM – 9 PM

Saturday, 7
Book Talk:  Richard Zacks - "Chasing the Last Laugh: Mark Twain's Raucous and Redemptive Round the World Comedy Tour" - P&P - 1PM

Book Lecture:  Actress Diane Guerrero - " In the Country We Love: My Family Divided" - the story of her family overcoming severe immigration problems - P&P - 6PM

Lecture: Jeff Spurr, scholar of Islamic textiles and rugs discusses prayer rugs – George Washington University Museum and Textile Museum – 701 21st St. and W – 10:30 AM – noon

Presentation: Anne McLean of the Library of Congress discusses Ludwig van Beethoven life and discusses various artifacts of the composer – Whittall Pavilion – Jefferson building – Library of Congress – 11 AM
reservations required – loc,gov/concerts

Book lecture: Donna Urbikas – "My Sisters Mother – the story of her mother's deportation and starvation in Siberia during World War II – The Kochanski Foundation – 2025 O Street Northwest – 4 PM

Festival: Cultural Tourism DC Presents "Around The World Embassy Tour" open houses, entertainment and culture programs in about 40 embassies including food, dance, art, fashion, and music – 10 AM – 4 PM – for more information consult

Festival: "Korea Day: A Family Festival" – varied activities – Arthur M. Sackler Gallery – 1050 Independence Ave. SW. – 11 AM – 4PM.

Film: "Paris Belongs To Us" – a 1961 work that portrays life in bohemian Paris – East building Auditorium – national Gallery of Art – 2:30 PM

Special event: National Bike Month is celebrated with a non-– denominational event at the Church of the Ascension and St. Agnes – 1217 Massachusetts Ave. NW. – 11 AM –

Sunday, 8
Boo Lecture:  Molly Sinclair McCartney - "America's War Machine: Vested Interests, Endless Conflict" - P&P - 1PM

Book Lecture:  Seymour M. Hersh - "The Killing of Osama Bin Laden" - P & P _ 5PM

Concert: United States Marine Corps Latin jazz ensemble performs various Latin jazz styles – John Philip Sousa Band Hall – Marine Barracks Annex – seventh and K St., Southeast – 2 PM

Concert: Steinway Series features the Mendelssohn piano trio performing Beethoven's piano trios – Smithsonian American Art Museum – 3 PM

Concert: Oran Etkin - Jazz artist and composer "Re-imagining Benny Goodman" – W. Garden Court – National Gallery of Art – 3 PM and 4:15 PM