Weekly Arts Round Up, March 18, 2021


This Saturday, Olympic gold medalist Laurie Hernandez will be the special guest at the National Archives Museum’s virtual pajama party. Coming up online for theater buffs: a one-man show from Round House and a play reading from Ford’s. Click on the headings below for details.

Environmental Film Festival: Virtual Screenings
With a special welcome from Jane Fonda, the 29th Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital will present more than 70 virtual screenings from March 18 to 28. The opening-night film, “Youth v Gov,” directed by Christi Cooper, looks at a groundbreaking lawsuit against the U.S. government, asserting that it has willfully acted over six decades to create the climate crisis. Many festival offerings are free. Paid programs are $10 and all-access passes are $45.

Atlas Performing Arts Center: Live-Streamed Performance

On March 19 at 8 p.m., the Atlas Performing Arts Center will present a free, live-streamed 60-minute performance by keyboardist, composer and Catholic University professor Andrew Earle Simpson of his original score to the 1926 silent film “The Flying Ace,” a fictional tale about an African American pilot in World War I.

Georgetown BID: Cherry Blossom Celebration
Book Hill in Bloom, Georgetown’s celebration of cherry blossom season, will kick off on March 20. Through April 11, more than 25 businesses on Book Hill — Wisconsin Avenue NW from O Street to Reservoir Road — will spruce up their storefronts with cherry blossom-inspired decor, offer special promotions and donate prizes for an enter-to-win drawing. Also, a giant cherry blossom sculpture that visitors can sit in will be installed in Book Hill Park through the end of April.

American Art Museum: Online Cherry Blossom Celebration
In partnership with the National Cherry Blossom Festival, on March 20 at 10 a.m., the Smithsonian American Art Museum will welcome the blossoms online with a performance of traditional Japanese drumming by Nen Daiko, the taiko ensemble of Ekoji Buddhist Temple in Fairfax Station, Virginia. The musicians will then demonstrate how they plan their performances and design their own instruments. Admission is free but registration is required.

Italian Cultural Society: Online Talk
The Italian Cultural Society’s March cultural event, on March 20 at 3 p.m., will be a free online talk, “Polyphony in Dante’s Paradiso,” by Francesco Ciabattoni, professor of Italian literature at Georgetown University. Ciabattoni will track the musical progression in the poem from the “unholy racket” of “Inferno” to the harmony of “Paradiso.” This year is the 700th anniversary of Dante Alighieri’s death and March 25 is considered the day the poet, as narrator, begins his journey in “The Divine Comedy.”

National Archives: Virtual Pajama Party
On March 20 from 8 to 9 p.m., the National Archives Museum will hold a virtual pajama party on Facebook and Twitter for kids aged 8 to 12 years old. The party’s special guest will be Laurie Hernandez, Olympic gold medalist in gymnastics and “Dancing with the Stars” champion, who will read from her book “I Got This: To Gold and Beyond” and answer questions. Participants will also learn about historical records and create and share their own artwork and writing. Admission is free but registration is required.

Russian Chamber Art Society: Online Event
This month’s event in the Russian Chamber Art Society’s Russian Tea Time With Vera series — on March 21 at 3 p.m. — will celebrate the 115th birthday of composer Dmitri Shostakovich. The vocal cycles of Shostakovich will be examined through the lenses of politics and society, with Artistic Director Vera Danchenko-Stern joined by Ildar Khannanov, Ph.D., of the Peabody Conservatory, RCAS President Mary Kruger and U.S. Russia Foundation Chairman John Beyrle. Tickets are $15.

Politics and Prose: Online Author Event
On March 21 at 3 p.m., Lissa Muscatine, co-owner of Politics and Prose bookstore, will chat online with Julia Sweig, author of “Lady Bird Johnson” and the forthcoming “Hillaryland.” Sweig is the first biographer to draw substantially on Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Johnson’s own voice in her White House diaries, which show her to be a woman ahead of her time and an accomplished politician in her own right. Donations are requested and the book may be purchased HERE. A limited number of free tickets are available.

Washington National Cathedral: Online Workshop
Painter and installation artist Kiki McGrath, a curator at the Henry Luce III Center for the Arts & Religion at Wesley Seminary, will lead a Washington National Cathedral online workshop, “Art as Spiritual Practice — Florilegium: Botanical Collage,” on March 21 at 4 p.m. (registration closes at noon). Inspired by collections of florilegia and the symbolic language of flowers, participants will look closely at how artists use shape, color and scale in botanical designs, learn simple techniques and make a collage out of colored and recycled papers. No previous experience with art is necessary. Admission is free, with donations accepted.

Round House Theatre: On-Demand Play
One-man show “A Boy and His Soul” by Colman Domingo, directed by Craig Wallace and starring Ro Boddie, will be available from Round House Theatre for on-demand streaming starting March 22. In the play, when JJ finds an old collection of disco, R&B and classic soul records while clearing out his family’s West Philadelphia house, he is overcome by memories of coming of age — and coming out — in the 1970s and ’80s. Access will continue through April 18. Tickets are $32.50.

Ford’s Theatre: Virtual Play Reading
Ford’s Theatre’s next virtual play reading, on March 24 at 5 p.m., will feature Donja R. Love’s “Fireflies,” set in the Jim Crow South. In “Fireflies,” when four little girls are bombed in a church, the tragedy and years of civil unrest threaten the marriage of Olivia and Charles, leaving a pregnant Olivia believing that “this world ain’t no place to raise a colored child.” The two-hour reading, recommended for varying ages, may be viewed on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or the Ford’s Theatre website.

The Wharf: Anime Festival, Extended Reality
As part of Bloomaroo at the Wharf, three weeks of cherry blossom festivities at the Maine Avenue SW development starting on March 20, an anime movie will be shown on Transit Pier on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays beginning March 26 (no screenings on Easter Sunday). Tickets — which go on sale on March 19 at 10 a.m. — are $40, including seating for up to four people in a group. Drinks and snacks are available at the Cantina Bambina concession window and meals may be pre-ordered from participating locations. In addition, during Bloomaroo, visitors who download the Artechouse app can have an extended reality experience of the installation “Renewal 2121” at the Wharf’s 7th Street entrance.

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