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Long Lead Inspiration

Planning ahead? See what’s in store for DC throughout spring 2021 and beyond. From all things blossoms to specialty exhibitions to long awaited expansions and milestone anniversaries, DC is ready to map editorial calendars.

April 2021


The New Woman Behind the Camera

National Gallery of Art/Feb. 14 – May 31

Featuring more than 120 female photographers from more than 20 countries, this exhibition explores how women emerged in modern photography from the 1920s to the 1950s, bringing their own perspectives to artistic experimentation, studio portraiture, fashion and advertising work, scenes of urban life, ethnography and photojournalism. 


National Cherry Blossom Festival
Hybrid Virtual and In-Person/Mar. 20 - April 11

As most things, this years National Cherry Blossom Festival will look a little bit different with a series of entertaining hybrid events and community outreach programs In 2021, visitors from all over can interact with DC’s famous cherry blossoms, virturally. Celebrations include a one-hour nationally syndicated television show; 20 large, vibrant cherry blossom sculptures displayed in dozens of locations throughout the city; and locally curated community experiences that focus on music, cuisine, and visual arts presentations.



National Park Week

All National Parks/April 17-25

The National Park Service and National Park Foundation celebrate our national parks with a variety of events and themed days. On April 17, all entry fees will be waived at every national park across the country. Visitors are encouraged to explore, discover and celebrate the history and culture of America’s parks. There are 24 national park service sites in Washington DC.


Late 2021


Dulles Metro Expansion
Metro Silver Line/2021
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority reports a 2021 opening for the eagerly awaited expansion of the metrorail to Dulles International Airport. In addition to the airport, six new stations will connect riders into Loudon County.


America by Air Reimagined
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum/2021
“America by Air” will emerge from the museum’s multi-year transformation, refreshed with a new layout, improved graphics, interactive elements and new artifacts suspended from the ceiling. The ground floor exhibition traces the history of air transportation, explores how the federal government shaped the industry and how improvements in technology have revolutionized air travel. The museum’s full seven-year renovation will be complete in 2024.


Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge
Anacostia Rive/late 2021
The District is investing $480 million to replace the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge, its largest infrastructure project to date. Projected to open end of 2021, the bridge will provide more connectivity across the Anacostia River and will include public space as well as bike and pedestrian lanes.


National Word War I Memorial
Pershing Park/late 2021
The United States World War One Centennial Commission began construction on a dedicated U.S. WWI Memorial in November. The memorial commemorates the 100th anniversary of the war’s end and honors the 4.7 million servicemen and women. It is scheduled to be completed in late 2021 in Pershing Park across from The Willard InterContinental Hotel. 


Hall of American Culture
Smithsonian National Museum of American History/2021
The third and final reimaging of the museum’s West Wing presents America as a unique country where culture makers and their giant audiences engage one another, be it in a megachurch, Barnum’s circus tent or a cineplex.




The Phillips Collection

America’s first museum of modern art reaches triple-digits (100 years) in 2021 and is planning a year-long centennial celebration. Pay homage to its founder, Duncan Phillips, whose personal collection featured artists including Jacob Lawrence, Georgia O’Keeffe and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.


The Kennedy Center

A living, breathing memorial dedicated to the 35th president, the city’s most revered performance space turns 50 years old in 2021. Celebrate with free daily concerts on Millennium Stage, house acts National Symphony Orchestra and Washington National Opera, or a popular passing performance. Don’t miss The REACH campus, the on-site, inclusive “open stage.”


Smithsonian Institution

The Smithsonian Institution will mark its 175th anniversary by tapping into the spirit of a world’s fair. Its original site, the Arts & Industries Building, will reopen to the public in spring with Futures, an exhibit showcasing protoypes, robots, speculative fiction and new worlds, among other things. The family of museums will also incorporate the anniversary in other ways.


DC Public Library

The DC Public Library Institution celebrates 125 years in 2021. The organization is planning a year-long commemoration, anchored by the newly renovated Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in downtown DC.