Upcoming topics for online learning: Japanese textiles, Russian opera (and tea drinking), naturalist Alexander von Humboldt and painter Miki Hayakawa. Annual events include the fall member sale at Politics and Prose, the Art League’s Ice Cream Bowl fundraiser, “Will on the Hill” and the Hirshhorn’s Virtual Ball. Click on the headlines below for details.
The fall member sale at Politics and Prose — with in-store inventory discounted 20 percent (also for online and phone purchases) — will run from Sept. 11 through Sept. 17 at the bookstore’s main location, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW, and at its Wharf and Union Market satellites. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the landmark Connecticut Avenue store; Monday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., at the Wharf; and Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., at Union Market. Annual membership is $25.
Prospective Pre-Ballet students, aged 5 to 7, at the Washington School of Ballet are invited to register for a free trial class via Zoom on Sept. 11. This fall and winter, all classes will be virtual. Pre-Ballet tuition for the September-to-May school year is $765 for levels 1 and 2 and $911 for level 3. Enrollment is also open for Creative Dance (ages 3 and a half to 5) and Teen Ballet (ages 11 to 18).
The Art League’s annual Ice Cream Bowl Fundraiser will be held on Sept. 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the Old Town Art Festival at John Carlyle Square (corner of John Carlyle Street and Jamieson Avenue) in Alexandria, Virginia. Visitors to the booth can select from hundreds of unique handmade bowls and enjoy an ice cream treat. The cost is $15 per bowl. Proceeds support the Art League’s ceramics department. A timed-entry slot must be reserved for the festival; masks will be mandatory and social distancing enforced. In addition, registration is required to visit the Art League booth.
At the Textile Museum’s next Rug and Textile Appreciation Morning, on Sept. 12 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., collector and researcher Thomas Murray will give a presentation via Zoom of the central themes of his and Virginia Soenksen’s 2019 book, “Textiles of Japan.” Along with subtly patterned cotton fabrics from the main islands of Honshu and Kyushu, he will show and discuss graphic bark cloth, nettle fiber and fish skin robes of the aboriginal Ainu in Hokkaido and Sakhalin and brilliantly colored cotton kimonos from Okinawa. Admission is free.
The first event in the new monthly Sunday-afternoon series, Russian Tea Time With Vera, presented by the Russian Chamber Art Society, will take place on Sept. 13 at 3 p.m. Pianist and vocal coach Vera Danchenko-Stern, founder and artistic director of the Russian Chamber Art Society, will host a streamed prerecorded performance of RCAS’s compressed version of Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin” with English narration, also featuring live commentary by the performers via Zoom. Tickets are $15.
The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s “Will on the Hill” benefit, featuring members of Congress and Washington influencers performing scenes from Shakespeare infused with comedic references to contemporary politics, will go digital in 2020. The virtual performance, on Sept. 14 at 7 p.m., will be available for viewing on a “pay-what-you-Will” basis. Proceeds support the theater’s arts education and engagement programs.
On Sept. 15 at 10:30 a.m., the DC Public Library will celebrate the start of Hispanic Heritage Month with a live bilingual performance on Facebook by singer-songwriter Lilo Gonzalez, a former grade-school teacher in El Salvador who, as Mr. Lilo, plays and sings original music and traditional songs in English and Spanish. Young viewers can sing, jump and dance along with Mr. Lilo and his guitar. Admission is free. Este programa es posible gracias a los Amigos de la biblioteca West End.
ShiPu Wang, Coats Family Chair in the Arts and Professor of Art History & Visual Culture at the University of California, Merced, will give a free online lecture, “The Interiority of Belonging: Miki Hayakawa’s Portraits,” on Sept. 15 from 5 to 6 p.m. as part of the National Portrait Gallery’s Edgar P. Richardson Lecture Series. Born in Hokkaido, Japan, in 1899, Hayakawa moved to the San Francisco Bay Area as a child, went to art school in California and painted Cezanne-influenced portraits and still lifes in California and New Mexico, where she died in 1953. Registration is required.
On Sept. 16 from 1 to 2 p.m., Eleanor Jones Harvey, curator of the landmark exhibition “Alexander von Humboldt and the United States: Art, Nature and Culture” at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, will give the opening online lecture in a free six-part series about Humboldt’s world. Harvey will talk about the 19th-century Prussian naturalist and explorer’s connections to the United States. Registration via Eventbrite is required.
As part of its Supper Club series, Arena Stage will stream the premiere of “The 51st State,” inspired by the protests after the murder of George Floyd and the quest for D.C. statehood, on Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. While watching at home, participants will dine on fare delivered to their doors prior to the start of the film by six restaurants and catering partners. Prices for two, including tax and delivery, range from $64 to $95.
Hosted by fashion and costume designer Machine Dazzle, the Hirshhorn Museum’s Virtual Ball, on the theme of “Futurism,” will stream online on Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m. With guests dressed to impress, the evening will include a virtual fashion contest, art activations, at-home signature cocktails and special appearances by influential creatives. Tickets start at $45, the “Virtual Voguer” level. Proceeds support the Hirshhorn’s free public programs and exhibitions.