Virtual Arts Round Up, June 4, 2020

You’ll find the latest information on cultural institutions’ reopening plans in The Georgetowner’s next arts preview, appearing in our June 17 issue. For now, here are some virtual arts offerings of note.

National Museum of African American History and Culture: ‘Talking About Race’

On May 31, the Smithsonian NMAAHC released “Talking About Race,” an online portal designed to help individuals, families and communities talk about racism, racial identity and the way these forces shape every aspect of society. The portal provides digital tools, online exercises, video instructions, scholarly articles and more than 100 multimedia resources tailored for educators, parents, caregivers and others committed to racial equality.

Strathmore: Family Jam Sessions

Strathmore’s Family Jam Sessions are now free and virtual — taking place on Facebook Live on Saturdays at 10:15 a.m. Kids aged 6 to 12 can spend Saturday mornings with guest artists, singing, playing and preparing for a lifetime of music appreciation. Upcoming dates: June 6 (electric cello with Wytold), June 13 (hammered dulcimer with Chao Tian), June 20 (West African instruments with Amadou Kouyate) and June 27 (accordion with Simone Baron).

PostClassical Ensemble: Zoom Chat

Chamber orchestra PostClassical Ensemble will host a free “Porgy and Bess Roundtable,” hosted by Bill McGlaughlin and illustrated with recorded excerpts, on June 10 from 6 to 7 p.m. Joining PostClassical’s Joe Horowitz and Ángel Gil-Ordoñez will be: George Shirley, the first African American tenor to sing lead roles at the Met; Kevin Deas, a bass-baritone who has appeared as Gershwin’s Porgy; opera authority Conrad L. Osborne; and Mark Clague, director of the University of Michigan’s Gershwin Initiative.

Glen Echo Park: Online Workshop

“Art and Concrete Poetry” is an online workshop for ages 7 to 9 offered by Glen Echo Park on June 20 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Participants in the session, led by Jennifer Klein, will read concrete poems — poems that use words and pictures to express ideas — then discuss the craft of writing concrete poetry and create their own artworks using watercolor and crayon-resist techniques. Tickets are $45.

Shakespeare Theatre Company: Virtual Mock Trial

The theme of year’s Shakespeare Theatre Company mock trail, to be held live online on June 22 at 7:30 p.m., is “A Midsummer Night’s Force Majeure: When Can the Show Not Go On?” Judge Merrick B. Garland, Judge Patricia A. Millett and Judge Amy Berman Jackson will appear with advocates Abbe David Lowell of Winston & Strawn LLP and former White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler. Tickets are $50 (free for students).

Dance Place: DanceAfrica, DC

This year, Dance Place is celebrating the dance, music and spirit of the African diaspora with a five-day Virtual DanceAfrica, DC, starting on June 29. The 33rd annual festival will feature live streamed master classes, daily greetings from elders, a virtual marketplace and interactive clips from oral history interviews.

Smithsonian Associates: Evening Program

As part of its new streaming series, the Smithsonian-affiliated presenter of talks, classes and tours will offer “Creativity in Dark Times: Artists and Writers of the New Deal,” a Zoom webinar, on June 30 from 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Leader David Taylor, who teaches in the writing program at Johns Hopkins University, is the author of “Soul of a People: The WPA Writers’ Project Uncovers Depression America” (available for purchase). Tickets are $25 ($20 for Smithsonian Associates members). 

Hirshhorn Museum: Kids At Home

“Story Layers,” a free Kids At Home program, centers on Mark Bradford’s “Pickett’s Charge,” eight canvases that wrap 400 feet around the Hirshhorn’s circular walls. Children and young people watch a video, learn about the work and the artist, then explore how to share personal stories and memories by creating their own multilayered paintings with paper.

Phillips Collection: Phillips-At-Home

This free “Storytelling and Perspective” activity for kids age 7 and older looks at panels from painter Jacob Lawrence’s epic “Migration Series,” about the hardships faced by African American families who traveled from their homes in the South to northern cities. After exploring how Lawrence tells a story through art, participants use colored pencils, markers, paper, scissors and glue sticks to create their own visual narratives.

National Gallery of Art: Virtual Tour

The National Gallery’s free virtual tour of “Degas at the Opéra, which had to close after less than two weeks, is a dynamic online exploration of the exhibition. Users can click on different-colored dots to read wall texts, listen to the audio tour and watch related video clips (best on a desktop or a tablet).


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