Memorial Day weekend is here and the Walt Whitman bicentennial has begun (the “Leaves of Grass” poet turns 200 on May 31). Especially for young people: the Escape Velocity science and science fiction fair at Gaylord, Rocknoceros at Capitol Cider House and a Raptor Encounter at the Earth Conservation Center. Looking to become one with nature? Volunteer at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens on Saturday morning, then sketch mindfully in the Kreeger sculpture garden that afternoon. For more end-of-May events, visit The Georgetowner’s online calendar.
Talk on Historic Movie Theaters
On Thursday, May 23, at 6:30 p.m., in conjunction with the exhibition “Flickering Treasures: Rediscovering Baltimore’s Forgotten Movie Theaters,” the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW, will host a talk by architect Steve Ziger and Atlas Performing Arts Center Executive Director Doug Yuell about Baltimore’s SNF Parkway Theater and Washington’s Atlas Theater, focusing on their role as cultural district anchors. For details, visit nbm.org or call 202-272-2448.
RFK Book & Journalism Awards
On Thursday, May 23, at 6:30 p.m., the Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, will host the Robert F. Kennedy Book and Journalism Awards, presented by nonprofit advocacy organization Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. To register for the free event, email Amy Rubenstein at email@example.com. For details, visit rfkhumanrights.org.
Whitman 200: ‘Song of Myself’ Marathon
Members of the public are invited to read a section of Walt Whitman’s masterpiece, “Song of Myself,” at Busboys & Poets, 1025 5th St. NW, on Thursday, May 23, at 6:30 p.m. at this free opening-night event for the Whitman 200 festival. For details, visit walt200.org.
Flamenco Performance: Cómplices
On Thursday, May 23, at 7 p.m., Cómplices — dancer Mercedes Ruiz and guitarist Santiago Lara — will perform at the Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain, 2801 16th St. NW. On the program are works by masters of flamenco guitar such as Sabicas, Niño Ricardo and Manolo Sanlúcar, as well as original compositions by Lara. Tickets are $25. For details, visit spainculture.us or call 202-728-2334.
Escape Velocity 2019
Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, 201 Waterfront St. in National Harbor, Maryland, will host Escape Velocity 2019 from Friday, May 24, to Sunday, May 26. This futuristic world’s fair uses science fiction, the fun of comic cons and the fascination of science and engineering festivals to attract young people to science, technology, engineering, the arts and math (STEAM). Hours are: Friday from 10 a.m. to past midnight, Saturday from 9 a.m. to past midnight and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets, including admission to the Museum of Science Fiction Gallery, are $25 on Friday and Sunday, $30 on Saturday and $50 for all three days. For details, visit escapevelocity.events.
Kat Gardiner Author Event
On Friday, May 24, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Loyalty Bookstore, 827 Upshur St. NW, Detroit-based author Kat Gardiner will read from and sign copies of “Little Wonder,” her intimate, intricate debut collection of microfiction, sparked by the year she spent in Anacortes, Washington. Troubadour Bartees Strange will play a live acoustic set. Admission is free. A reserved seat including a copy of the book is $14.83. For details, visit loyaltybookstore.com or call 202-726-0380.
Cleanup at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens
On Saturday, May 25, from 9 a.m. to noon, volunteers will spend the morning at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, 1550 Anacostia Ave. NE, removing invasive plants, collecting litter and working on other beautification projects. Participants should arrive by 8:45 a.m. at the maintenance yard near the entrance. Families and students are welcome; those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. For details, visit eventbrite.com or contact David Drawbaugh of the Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-695-0352.
Whitman 200: ‘Whitman, Neruda, Ginsberg’
On Saturday, May 25, at 1 p.m., as part of the Whitman 200 celebration, Politics and Prose will host a conversation, “Whitman, Neruda, Ginsburg,” with poets Indran Amirthanayagam and Dan Vera at the bookstore’s Union Market branch, 1270 5th St. NE. Admission is free. For details, visit walt200.org or call 202-544-4452.
Mindful Sketching at the Kreeger
Following a walk through the sculpture garden at the Kreeger Museum, 2401 Foxhall Road NW, participants in this class — on Saturday, May 25, at 2 p.m. — will be guided into a place of stillness and inner awareness for a session of art making and sketching from observation. No experience is necessary. Participants should bring their own sketchbooks, materials and water bottles. Tickets are $10. For details, visit kreegermuseum.org or call 202-337-3050.
Rocknoceros Kids’ Show
On Sunday, May 26, at 10:30 a.m., Rocknoceros — Coach Cotton, Williebob and Boogie Woogie Bennie — will get the whole family on their feet dancing to upbeat tunes at Capitol Cider House, 3930 Georgia Ave. NW. Admission is free, with full food and drink menus available. For details, visit eventbrite.com.
The Earth Conservation Corps invites area residents to get up close with Raptor Ambassadors including Sky the red-tailed hawk, Mr. Hoots the Eurasian eagle-owl and Petunia the Harris’s hawk on Sunday, May 26, at 1 p.m. at Matthew Henson Earth Conservation Center, 2000 Half St. SW. Attendees will learn about the Anacostia River ecosystem, how these animals are impacted by pollution and what is being done about it. Tickets are $20 (free admission for age 4 and under). For details, visit eventbrite.com.
JxJ: ‘Daniel Kahn and the Painted Bird’
As part of JxJ, the new mashup of the Washington Jewish Film Festival and the Washington Jewish Music Festival, Berlin-based punk accordionist Daniel Kahn will perform with the Painted Bird band on Sunday, May 26, at 3 p.m. at City Winery DC, 1350 Okie St. NE. Tickets are $22.50. For details, visit jxjdc.org.
National Memorial Day Choral Festival
Also on Sunday, May 26, at 3 p.m. in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, choirs from throughout the United States will perform with the United States Air Force Orchestra at the National Memorial Day Choral Festival. Free tickets will be distributed starting at 2 p.m. to those in a standby line in the Hall of States. For details, visit kennedy-center.org.
Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Cemetery Tours
President Lincoln’s Cottage will offer free Memorial Day tours of the nearby U.S. Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery on Monday, May 27. At 10 a.m., there will be a wreath-laying ceremony at John Logan Mausoleum (Logan formalized Memorial Day celebrations in 1868). Cemetery tours will take place at 10:45 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Free parking is available at Lincoln’s Cottage, 140 Rock Creek Church Road NW. For details, visit eventbrite.com.
National Memorial Day Concert
PBS’s free National Memorial Day Concert — on Monday, May 27, at 8 p.m. on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, E. Capitol Street and First Street NW — will salute the sacrifices made by men and women in uniform and their families. Jack Everly will conduct the National Symphony Orchestra and actors Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna will co-host the event, with other celebrity performers taking part. A free dress rehearsal will take place on Saturday, May 25, at 8 p.m. For details, visit pbs.org.