DCentric Picks


DCentric Picks: ‘Communities in Translation,’ Gold Leaf Closing Party

Seth Anderson / Flickr

What: “Communities in Translation” movie screening.

Where: Gala Theatre at Tivoli Square, 3333 14th St., NW.

When: 6 p.m., Thursday.

Cost: Free.

Why you should go: The film screening is part of a larger event, “Many Stories, One Night,” which will focus on immigrants’ experiences accessing public services in the District. The documentary by Robert Winn depicts how language barriers have impacted D.C.’s immigrants during emergencies, such as the 2008 Mount Pleasant fire.

Other events to consider: D.C. will lose 11 artist studios by the end of the year to make room for a $57 million mixed-use development. But before Gold Leaf Studios shuts down, band Ra Ra Rasputin is hosting a closing party. The show kicks off at 8 p.m., Saturday at 443 I St., NW.

DCentric Picks: ‘Trouble in Mind’ and Food Day

Richard Anderson / Courtesy of Arena Stage

Brandon J. Dirden as John Nevins, Thomas Jefferson Byrd as Sheldon Forrester, E. Faye Butler as Wiletta Mayer and Marty Lodge as Al Manners in "Trouble in Mind."

What: Trouble in Mind,” a play about a 1955 racially integrated theater company that wants to present a race play.

Where: Arena Stage, 1101 6th St. SW.

When: The play runs through Sunday.

Cost: Prices vary depending on seats and showtimes. You can find ticket prices here.

Why you should go: The play-within-a-play, set more than 50 years ago, still has relevance today. The black characters are seen confronting racial stereotypes as they work to make it to Broadway. A black and white cast is shown producing a play about a young, southern black man who becomes the target of a lynch mob.

Other events to consider: Monday is Food Day, which seeks to promote healthy, affordable and sustainable food. D.C. is home to a number of events, including the Food Day Extravaganza on Woodrow Wilson Plaza. There will be chef demonstrations, entertainment, educational activities and, yes, free food. The event starts at 11 a.m.

DCentric Picks: MLK Memorial Dedication, ‘Dream City’ Discussion

Mladen Antonov / AFP/Getty Images

What: The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial dedication ceremony.

Where: West Potomac Park.

When: 9 a.m., Sunday.

Cost: Free.

Why you should go: The dedication of the memorial, the first on the National Mall to honor an African American, was initially scheduled for Aug. 28. But it was canceled due to Hurricane Irene. Although the memorial has been open to the public for more than a month now, the ceremony will feature remarks by members of King’s family and President Barack Obama.

Other events to consider: Greater Greater Washington is hosting a discussion between the authors of “Dream City: Race, Power, and the Decline of Washington, D.C.” In the 1990s, Harry Jaffe and Tom Sherwood wrote about the rise and fall of former Mayor Marion Barry in the context of D.C.’s political and racial struggles. D.C. is now going through a new round of changes. Washington Post reporter Mike DeBonis will moderate the talk, which takes place at 7 p.m., Monday, at the Shaw Library. (Disclosure: Sherwood is a resident analyst on WAMU 88.5′s Kojo Nnamdi show).

DCentric Picks: ‘The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975′

Flickr: Runs With Scissors

Mural of Stokely Carmichael and Malcolm X. During the 1968 riots, Carmichael, who was a leader of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) obtained special police permission to allow Ben’s Chili Bowl to stay open after curfew to provide food and shelter for activists and public servants who were working to restore order in D.C.

What: Film: “The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975” (2010)

When: Weekend screenings include: 10:30 a.m.,‎ ‎12:45 p.m., ‎ ‎3:00 p.m.,‎ ‎5:15‎ p.m., ‎7:30‎ p.m., ‎9:45 p.m‎. Check here for updates.

Where: Landmark E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW.

Cost: $11 for general admission. More details here.

Why you should go: As the New York Times put it,

The film begins at a moment when the concept of black power was promoted by Stokely Carmichael, a veteran of the freedom rides early in the decade, who, like many young black activists, had grown frustrated with the Gandhian, nonviolent philosophy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Carmichael, who later moved to Guinea and took the name Kwame Ture, is remembered for the militancy of his views and his confrontational, often slashingly witty speeches, but the Swedish cameras captured another side of him. In the most touching and arresting scene in “Mixtape,” he interviews his mother, Mable, gently prodding her to talk about the effects of poverty and discrimination on her family.

Other events to consider: Fans of conscious hip-hop and global music can combine their passions with one FREE show at the Kennedy Center’s Millenium Stage, where Jewish Israeli recording artist and producer SHI 360 performs on Sunday, Oct. 9 at 6 p.m.

DCentric Picks: 30 Americans

Courtesy of Rubell Family Collection, Miami.

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Bird On Money, 1981. Acrylic and oil on canvas, 66 x 90 inches.

What: 30 Americans exhibit.

When: Opens Saturday and runs through Feb. 12.

Where: Corcoran Gallery of Art, 500 17th St. NW.

Cost: Free for children under 12, $8 for seniors and students and $10 for adults.

Why you should go: Although the exhibition isn’t free, it’s definitely worth the cost. The 30 Americans exhibit showcases art from the most important African American artists of the past 30 years. Works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, David Hammons and Kehinde Wiley will be on display, and much of the art focuses on racial, historical and sexual identity.

Other events to consider: Learn more about Turkish culture at the Turkish Festival. The free event features food, dance performances and crafts. It takes place 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Freedom Plaza.


DCentric Picks: Art All Night, Community History, Books on the Mall

Art All Night

Art All Night begins at 7 p.m., Saturday.

Our event picks this week run the gamut, so we decided to break them down by category. See something we missed? Add your pick in the comments section.

Books: The National Book Festival takes place Saturday and Sunday on the National Mall. The free event will include author talks, readings and story telling events for children, teens and adults. Check the full schedule for information.

Art: This is the weekend for art in D.C. The (e)merge art fair, running Friday through Sunday, will bring together local and international artists at the Capitol Skyline Hotel. Tickets are $15, so if you’re looking for a free and more community-oriented alternative, check out Nuit Blanche: Art All Night. It begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday. D.C.’s painters, street performers, DJs and other artists will be showcasing their talents in various Shaw and Chinatown venues.

History: Interested in learning more about your neighborhood? Check out Anacostia Community Museum‘s Researching Community History workshop at 7 p.m., Thursday. Historian Matthew Gilmore will instruct participants on using public data to uncover information about D.C.’s neighborhoods.

Music: If you missed Chuck Brown during the National Symphony Orchestra’s Labor Day Concert, here’s your chance to catch the “Godfather of Go-Go” for free. Brown will perform at 5 p.m., Friday at the Woodrow Wilson Plaza.

DCentric Picks: ‘Sister Citizen’ Author Talk and H Street Fest

What: Author Melissa Harris-Perry discussed her book, “Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America.”

When: 6:30 p.m., Monday.

Where: Busboys and Poets, 14th and V streets NW.

Cost: Free.

Why you should go: Harris-Perry explores the effects of the stereotypes black women have had to combat for centuries — sexual lasciviousness, devotion and outspoken anger — and what black women now expect from political organizing.

Other events to consider: Head out to H Street NE between noon and 7 p.m., Saturday for the H Street Festival. The free event will feature fashion shows, live music, art displays, costume karaoke, Chinese dragon dancers and more. But it’s also a great opportunity to check out the transformation this corridor has undergone over recent years.

DCentric Picks: 9/11 Unity Walk

Courtesy of 9/11 Unity Walk

What: The 7th annual 9/11 Unity Walk.

When: 1:30 p.m., Sunday.

Where: The event starts at the Washington Hebrew Center at 3935 Macomb St. NW, from where participants will walk to other religious centers.

Cost: Free, but there is a $10 suggested donation (you can register here).

Why you should go: The 9/11 Unity Walk started in 2005 as a response to religious and ethnic intolerance in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. This year’s walk will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the attacks. All are welcome to learn about Muslim, Christian and Jewish traditions. There will be a call to prayer, church tours, a “Ghandi-style” walk and other events.

Other events to consider: After the walk, Busboys and Poets at 14th and V streets NW will host “E Pluribus Unum: Out of Many, One,” an interfaith dialogue led by local Muslim leaders. It takes place from 5 to 7 p.m. and is free to the public.

DCentric Picks: NSO Labor Day Concert

Elvert Barnes / Flickr

A view from the Reflecting Pool of the 2006 NSO Labor Day Concert.

What: National Symphony Orchestra‘s tribute to the legends of D.C. music.

When: Gates open at 5 p.m. and the the show starts at 8 p.m., Sunday.

Where: West lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The show will be moved to the Kennedy Center if it rains (call 202-416-8114 after 2:30 p.m.).

Cost: Free.

Why you should go: There are two D.C.’s, but both of them will come together for this event. When else can you hear go-go played on the U.S. Capitol lawn, and by our nation’s symphony orchestra no less? The music of D.C.’s own Duke Ellington, John Philip Sousa and Chuck Brown will be showcased. The show will also be a sort of birthday celebration for Brown, the “Godfather of Go-Go,” who turns 75 this year.

Other events to consider: Saturday is the last day to take advantage of Free Summer Saturdays at the Corcoran Gallery of Art at 500 17th St., NW. Admission, which normally costs $10, is free on Saturday.

DCentric Picks: King Memorial Dedication Week Events

Elvert Barnes / Flickr

The public began visiting the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on Monday.

What: A number of events are being held through Sunday in honor of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial dedication. The main dedication ceremony takes place at 11 a.m., Sunday has been postponed to a later date in September or October.

When: Thursday through Sunday.

Cost: Most of the musical events are free, but check the official memorial website to see ticket price information for specific events.

Why you should go: The King memorial is the first on the National Mall honoring an African American, and this week’s events pay tribute to the historic occasion.

“Partners in the Dream,” a public expo with information booths and musical performances, is being held at the Washington Convention Center through Sunday.  Also, the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center will host an hour-long musical tribute by gospel performers Maggie Ingram and the Ingramettes, R&B singer Raheem DeVaughn and jazz harmonicist Frédéric Yonnet. The free show takes place at 6 p.m., Friday.

UPDATE: Event organizers have canceled Sunday’s event due to the coming Hurricane Irene. The memorial will be open until noon, Saturday, for public view.

Concerts will also be held on the National Mall before and after Sunday’s dedication, where President Barack Obama will speak. As of now, Sunday’s events will proceed rain or shine, but Hurricane Irene could force organizers to push the schedule back.