Thursday, October 27, 2016

October 27 - November 3

Hello! With Halloween coming up there are SO many events going on this weekend around the city (especially for kids), hope you all have a fun & safe time! If you plan to go trick-or-treating, embassy row on Mass Ave is a great spot as the embassies always give out candy from their countries. I've also included five or six events in this week's post that have to do with the upcoming election. As always, the events listed here are 100% free!

And Ron adds:
It's great to see the blog continuing as I return from 2 weeks on a cruise on the Mediterranean and prepare for a week in NYC and still have time to reestablish my (hopefully) weekly Rant and Rave.  I hope you'll check out my FINAL say on the presidential election at  

Thursday, October 27
Book Talk: Marcus Samuelsson - "The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem" - Time: 6:30pm. Location: Busboys & Poets (14th & V St).

Book Talk: Michael Canning - "Hollywood on the Potomac" - a comprehensive look at how Washington, DC has been portrayed as subject, setting or background in American films. Time: 3:30-5:00pm. Location: Chevy Chase Library.

Discussion: "Presidential Predictions: No Polls, No Pundits" - professors discuss their different methodologies and the upcoming election. Time: 7:00pm. Location: Katzen Arts Center, American University. More info here.  

Friday, October 28
Art: "Open Studio Friday" - a space to create art for all ages. Time: 1:00-6:00pm. Location: Education Center, National Portrait Gallery.

Book Talk: Robert O'Harrow Jr. - "The Quartermaster: Montgomery C. Megis, Lincoln's General, Master Builder of the Union Army" - Time: 12:00pm. Location: McGowan Theater, National Archives.

Book Talk: Fuchsia Dunlop - "Land of Fish and Rice" discussion as a part of Georgetown University's "Asia in Depth" series. Time: 5:00pm. Location: Room 662, Bunn Intercultural Center, Georgetown University.

Book Talk: Debby Irving - "Waking Up White" - Irving discusses her struggle to understand racism and racial tensions. Time: 7:00pm. Location: The Potter's House. More info here.

Show: "Picture This!" - a comedy show including stand-up and voice actors while being drawn live by animators. Time: 8:30pm. Location: Millennium Stage, The Kennedy Center. More info here

Saturday, October 29
Festival: "The Smithsonian Food History Festival" - includes hands-on learning, live demonstrations, talks, and stories exploring the past, present and future of food and community in America. Time: 10:00am-5:30pm. Location: National Museum of American History. More info here.

Festival: "Adams Morgan Apple Festival" - includes an apple presentation, tasting, and apple pie contest. Time: 10:00am-1:00pm. Location: Adams Morgan Farmer's Market. More info here.

Discussion: "Folk and Self-Taught Art Discussion" - experts discuss the advance of non-mainstream art. Time: 5:30pm. Location: McEvoy Auditorium, Smithsonian American Art Museum. More info here.

Festival: "KEEN Day For Special Needs Children" - movies, storytelling, dancing & more for children with special needs and their families. Time: 11:00am-3:00pm. Location: Embassy of France. More info here.

Event: Halloween Scavenger Hunt for children ages 5-12. Time: 3:30pm. Location: Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.

Class: "Spanish Conversation Club" - designed to grow, revive or develop Spanish language skills. Time: 10:00-11:00am. Location: Georgetown Library.

Discussion: "Building the Music Capital" - a discussion of DC's music scene, how to enhance it and the city's music infrastructure. Time: 10:00am-5:00pm. Location: Bunn Intercultural Center, Georgetown University. More info here.

Sunday, October 30
Book Talk: Greg Mitchell - "The Tunnels: Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill" - Time: 1:00pm. Location: Politics & Prose.

Book Talk: Michael Mann & Tom Toles - "The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy" - Time: 5:00pm. Location: Politics & Prose.

Film Program: "Celebrating French Animation" - screening nine animated shorts by French filmmakers. Time: 11:30am. Location: East Building Auditorium, National Gallery of Art.

Concert: "Dracula Soundtrack, Quartet, Minor Swing and Quintet" - performed by the US Marine Band & Marine Chamber Orchestra. Time: 2:00pm. Location: John Philip Sousa Band Hall, Marine Barracks Annex (7th & K St SE).

Discussion: "America and the World on the Eve of the 2016 Election" - featuring Washington Post columnist David Ignatius. Time: 10:15am. Location: St. Columbia's Episcopal Church.

Film Screening: "Rosenwald" - how philanthropist Julius Rosenwald partnered with African-American communities to build 5,300 schools in the South during the Jim Crow Era. Time: 1:30pm. Location: Asbury United Methodist Church.

Dance Event: Day of the Dead dance party with DC Casineros Dance Company, including dace painting, dance lessons and performances. Time: 6:00pm. Location: Millennium Stage, The Kennedy Center. 

Monday, October 31
Event: "Vinyoga Mondays" - free gentle yoga class. Time: 10:30am. Location: Tenley-Friendship Library.

Discussion: Professor Michael Cornfield - "From Campaign Memorabilia to Merchandise: Trends in Campaign Marketing from the 19th Century - Current Election." Time: 12:00pm. Location: Textile Museum, George Washington University.

Film: "Ghostbusters" as part of the Halloween Movie night - Time: 3:30pm. Location: Georgetown Library.

Tuesday, November 1
Event: "Día de los Muertos Celebration" - includes music, dancing, and crafts in celebration of Latin American heritage. Time: 5:00-7:30pm. Location: Kogod Courtyard, National Portrait Gallery.

Book Talk: Professor Austin Hart - "Economic Voting: A Campaign-Centered Theory" - Time: 9:30am-11:00am. Location: School of International Service, American University. More info here.

Book Talk: Kristen Soltis Anderson - "The Selfie Vote: Where Millennials are Leading America (And How Republicans Can Keep Up" - Time: 6:30pm. Location: Doyle Forman Theater, American University. More info here.

Wednesday,  November 2
Discussion: "No Man's Land: Women Artists From the Rubell Family Collection" - Time: 12:00pm. Location: National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Discussion: Ambassador of Kosovo Vlora Citaku discusses her experience as the first female ambassador to represent her country. Time: 6:00-8:00pm. Location: Horizon Ballroom, Reagan Building. More info here.

Panel Discussion: "The Psychology of Elections" - Time: 8:00pm. Location: McKinley Building, American University.

Film Screening: "Kickflips Over Occupation" - a documentary about the newly emerged skate scene in Palestine's West Bank and how adolescents and youth are using skateboarding as a positive tool to overcome the ailments of the Israeli military occupation. Time: 7:15pm. Location: Marvin Center, GWU. More info here.

Thursday,  November 3
Workshop: How to Develop a Business Plan, hosted by the DC Small Business Development Center. Time: 6:30pm. Location: Petworth Library. More info here.

Book Talk: Israeli peace activist Miko Peled - "The General's Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine" - Time: 7:00pm. Location: The Potter's House. More info here.

Lecture: "Honoring John Coltrane" - Andrew White gives a talk honoring the 90th birthday of Coltrane. Time: 7:00pm. Location: Montpelier Room, James Madison Building. More info here.

Lecture: "Facing Slavery's Legacy at Georgetown University" - Time: 7:00pm. Location: McGowan Theater, National Archives. More info here.

Friday, October 14, 2016

I'm writing this week's post from an airport as I'm out of town for a wedding this weekend, so sorry for the delay! This post is mostly complete - I'll add a few more events later once I have an internet connection.

I'm so honored that Ron's asked me to take over this blog. As a college student, I'm always curious about free events going on around the district. I hope to get more university students involved with this blog and attending some of the events listed here. It's always great when DC natives and transplants to the area alike can discover new things about the city we live in!

I'm always open to listing new events, or if you've attended an event recently and would like to share comments on it I can be contacted here or at


Saturday, October 15
Lecture & Discussion: "Community Forum: Climate Justice East of the River" - A discussion of DC's climate adaptation plan and photography exhibition from Anacostia watershed residents. Call 202-633-4844 to register. 2:00-5:00pm. Location: Program Room, Anacostia Community Museum.

Art Exhibit: "Fall Solos 2016" - The region's top contemporary artists on view at the Arlington Arts Center. Ends December 18, 2016.

Event: Free Yoga at the Mount Pleasant Library. 10:00am.

Dance Event: "Library Tango" lecture, demonstration and live music presented by Rendezvous Tango in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. 2:00pm. Location: MLK Jr. Memorial Library.

Lecture: "Riffing on the Legacy of the Black Arts Movement" - 2:00pm. Reservations required. Location: Katzen Arts Center, American University Museum.

Sunday, October 16
Artist Demonstration: Sughra Hussainy, an artist visiting from Afghanistan, demonstrates her materials and crafts in the Turquoise Mountain Exhibition. 1:00-5:00pm. Location: Sublevel 3, Sackler Gallery.

Book Talk: Leonard Barkan - "Berlin for Jews: A 21st-Century Comparison" - 2:30pm. Location: Politics & Prose.

Film Screening: the documentary "Taikon" as a part of the Sweden on the Screen series, followed by a Q&A with the film's director. 3:00pm. Location: House of Sweden. 

Monday, October 17
Book Talk: Lauren Rader - "Studio Stories: Illuminating Our Lives Through Art" - 6:30pm. Location: Busboys & Poets, Takoma Park. 

Book Talk: Sebastian Mallaby - "The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan" - 7:00pm. Location: Politics & Prose.

Presentation: "Palestine in Focus: Art as Resistance at the Freedom Theater of Jenin" - discussing the role of creative work as a means of resistance, and the mission of introducing young Palestinians to a variety of artistic forms. RSVP here. 5:30-7:00pm. Location: The Jerusalem Fund.

Tuesday, October 18
Concert: Duo Aliada, Austrian musical duo. Reserve tickets here. 7:30pm. Location: Austrian Cultural Forum.

Concert: the Friday Morning Music Club presents a chamber concert. 12:00pm. Location: Dumbarton House.

Book Talk: "DC Reads: Democracy" discussion on Hunter S. Thompson's "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72" - 1:00pm. Location: West End Interim Library.

Wednesday, October 19
Panel Discussion: "Revolutionary Moments Then and Now: Black Power and Black Lives Matter" - Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Black Power movement, this panel discussion includes authors, journalists, politicians and activists. Reserve a seat here. 7:00pm. Location: McGowan Theater, National Archives building.

Thursday, October 20
Book Talk: Mark Thompson - "Enough Said: What's Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics?" - 7:00pm. Location: Politics & Prose.

Forum: Dean Vali Nasr and Dr. Eliot Cohen - "Combatting Terrorist Financing - Advances and Challenges Fifteen Years After 9/11" - RSVP here. 4:30-6:00pm. Location: Johns Hopkins SAIS.

Friday, October 21
Lecture: Dean Vali Nasr and Dean Bernie Ferrari - "A Conversation on Latin America as an Emerging Market with Laxman Narasimhan, CEO of PepsiCo Latin America" - RSVP here. 12:00pm. Location: Johns Hopkins SAIS.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Free intellectual and cultural events of the week beginning Friday, October 8

I'm extremely grateful to the young people of DC's Reddit that responded to my plea for an intern to assist me (without pay, unfortunately).  For two weeks we have worked together and then as I take my 90th birthday celebratory cruise, I'll pass the torch on to the younger generation. I began compiling a list of free cultural events for personal reasons some 10 years ago and then shared it with a few young friends at George Washington University, near my former residence. I'm delighted it's received a broader circulation in the Cleveland Park area and look forward to seeing what becomes of it with Shannon and some of her friends at the University. Perhaps I've burned out a bit in maintaining a weekly schedule, but I look forward to continuing "Ranting and Raving" as the spirit moves me and continuing to respond to the thousands of questions I've gotten on Reddit's AMA.

I'll now have time to attend more of the things I've only listed in the past.  Hope you will go to my Rave this week where I share a 20 minute lecture I heard this week that I found particularly impressive.and relevant to our present times.  It begins with a poem by Nikki Giovanni.

Ron's Rants and Raves

Reddit Ask Me Anything

So here's the list we worked on together, and I must give hearty thanks to the weekly publication of The Current which is published weekly in the four quadrants of the city. Their weekly list of "Events and Entertainment" has been an invaluable help in supplementing my own "research".

Ongoing Events
Exhibition: "America Reads" - celebrates the public's choice of the top 40 books by American Authors that had a profound effect on American Life. The exhibition also revisits 25 books from the 2012 Library of Congress exhibition "Books That Shaped America" that were voted on by public survey. Date: now through December 31, 2016. Location: Southwest Gallery, Thomas Jefferson Building.

Exhibition: "Harlem Heroes: Photographs by Carl van Vechten" - author and social commentator van Vechten began taking photographs in 1932. For the next three decades, he made portraits of writers, musicians, athletes, and many of the central figures in the Harlem Renaissance. Date: now through March 19, 2017. Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Exhibition: "2,000 Miles: Divided Land, Common Humanity" - an exhibition aiming to contribute to ongoing conversations about walls, borders and people with emphasis on the US & Mexico. Date: now through November 4, 2016. Location: Goethe Institut.

Exhibition: "Forced From Home" - An interactive exhibition designed to raise public awareness of the world's 60 million refugees presented by Doctors Without Borders. Date: 10/1 through 10/9, 9:00am-5:00pm. Location: the Washington Monument.

Friday, October 7
Book Talk: Michael McCornell and Jack Beeker - "The Wedding Heard 'Round the World: America's First Gay Marriage" - National Archives, 12:00pm

Lecture and discussion: Waddy Siad, professor of law at the University of South Carolina discusses, "The Terrorism Label: An Examination of American Criminal Prosecution" – the Palestine Center – 2425 Virginia Ave. – reservations required – 202-338-1958 – 12:30 PM – 2 PM

Musical performance: Tulane University bandleader Michael White and the Liberty Brass Band will perform a new Orleanians – style "Jazz Funeral for Shakespeare" – marking the 100th anniversary year of the death of the Bard – Folger theater – 201 E. Capitol St. SE. – reservations required – 202-544-7077 – 6 PM

Saturday, October 8
Book Talk: Beylen J. Linnekin - "Biting the Hands the Feed Us: How Fewer, Smarter Laws Would Make our Food System More Sustainable" - Politics & Prose, 1:00pm

Concert: Sphinx Virtuosi chamber Orchestra presents "Latin voyages" a concert of works by composers of Latin heritage, in honor of Hispanic Heritage – W. Garden Court – National Gallery of Art – West building – six and Constitution Avenue Northwest – 2 PM

Concert: Members of the National Symphony Orchestra perform chamber works – Millennium Stage – Kennedy Center – 6 PM

Sunday, October 9
Book Talk: Daniel Bergner - "Sing For You: A Story of Race, Music and Family" - Politics & Prose, 1:00pm

Book Talk: S.L. Price - "Playing Through the Whistle: Steel, Football & an American Town" - Politics & Prose, 5:00pm

Tour: "Verbal Description Tour: Tour for Visitors who are Blind or Have Low Vision" - F St. Lobby, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 1:30pm

Monday, October 10
Concert: Bulgarian bagpipe ensemble: traditional folk music – Millennium stage – Kennedy Center – 6 PM

Book lecture: Walter Mosley discusses "Folding the Red into the Black: Developing a viable utopia for human survival in the 21st century" – busboys and poets – 14th and V St., Northwest – 6:30 PM

Documentary film: "The Trials of Spring" – discussion with Prof. Michelle Clark on human trafficking – room 602 – Elliott school of international affairs – George Washington University – reservations required – – 3 PM – 5:30 PM

Tuesday,  October 11
Book Talk: Stephen Puleo" - American Treasurer: The Secret Efforts to Save the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution & the Gettysburg Address" - National Archives, 12:00pm

Concert: L'Orchestra Afrisa International – one of Africa's most popular bands performs various Congolese rumba's – Millennium Staged – Kennedy Center – 6 PM

Lecture: Franklin Knight, professor of history at Johns Hopkins University discusses the history of Rum, one of Latin America's most celebrated spirits – Madison building – Library of Congress – noon to 1 PM

Lecture:Sergay I. Kislyak, Amb. of the Russian Federation to the United States discusses "The current state of US – Russian relations – reservations requested – - Kennedy – Herder Auditorium – Nitze bui1lding – Johns Hopkins University – 1740 Massachusetts Ave. NW. – 4:30 PM – 6 PM

Lecture: Humaina Sultan Ahmed al Mughairy Amb. of Oman to the United States discusses her career as the first female ambassador to represent an Arab country in Washington – reservations required – worldaffairsdc – Ronald Reagan building and international trade Center – reception and program free – 6 PM – 6:45 PM – program from 6:40 PM - 7:55 PM

Lecture: Ibram X. Kendi  assistant professor of African – American history at the University of Florida – "Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America" reservations suggested – – The Potter's House 1658 Columbia Rd. NW. – 7 PM – 8:30 PT

Wednesday,  October 12
Lecture: "Georgetown, Slavery and Catholic Social Thought" - Lohrfink Auditorium, Georgetown University, 7:00-8:30pm

Discussion: Johns Hopkins University's "Women who Inspire" hosts Tina Brown, former editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair and the New Yorker discuss women leaders making a difference with distinguish panel – Kennedy- Herder Auditorium – Johns Hopkins University`School of Advanced International Studies – reservations required – sais-jhu-edu - 1740 Massachusetts Ave. NW. – 5 PM to 6:30 PM

Thursday,  October 13
Film and Discussion: "The Year of the Tiger: JFK 1962"- Discussion with Joe Looby, Director of the Film - National Archives, 12:00pm

Book Talk: James Gleick - "Time Travel: A History" - Politics & Prose, 7:00pm

Tour: "Gallery Talks in American Sign Language: Gallery Conversations in ASL Led by Deaf Gallery Guides" - F St. Lobby, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 5:30pm

Lecture: University of Louisville professor Gregory S Hutchison and Harvard university professor Josiah Blackmore discussed their book "Where Iberia: Sexualities, Cultures, and crossings From the Middle Ages to the Renaissance" – Madison building – Library of Congress – noon to 1 PM

Lecture: "Novels Into Film: Light Apples and Oranges" presented in conjunction with the quote American Reads" exhibit – examines major novels in America that have been converted to Hollywood films – Madison building – Library of Congress – noon to 1 PM