In-person summer programming returns to Washington, DC with outdoor movies, new exhibits and a reimagined Capital Pride celebration.
Union Market| Every first Friday of the month through October
Movie goers enjoy their favorite action, comedy and cult classics and theater concessions from Union Market. Visitors on foot can enjoy the show for free from Neal Park or those driving can pay the $20 per car admission fee.
Transit Pier | Every Thursday through August
Visitors can enjoy a cold drink and popcorn during Sunset Cinema—outdoor movies at The Wharf. The movie starts at 8 p.m. but seating is available beginning at 7:30 p.m.
The Kennedy Center | Every Thurs-Sat through Oct. 2
Millennium Stage returns this summer with a series of free outdoor performances curated in partnership with organizations and artists across the city.
Georgetown | Thru June 27
The free outdoor public art experience is presented by the Georgetown BID as an extended two-part series. Five artworks will be exhibited throughout Georgetown’s commercial district during spring GLOW.
National Museum of Women in the Arts | Thru Aug. 8
The exhibition features 25 images that span Mary Ellen Mark’s 50-year career, depicting girls and young women living in a variety of circumstances all over the globe.
The Phillips Collection | Thru Sept. 5
Dawson reimagines the history of the museum in the present, riﬃng on the Phillips’s architecture and furniture, as well as Morris Louis’s Number 182 to create a hanging installation and wall mounted sculpture that plays on the idea of (im)materiality.
Artechouse | Thru – Sept. 6, 2021
Inspired by the annual cherry blossom season and utilizing the power of creative technology, Renewal 2121 seeks to inspire hope amid a global pandemic and concerns of climate change. Harnessing immersive art spaces and extended reality (XR), this exhibition transports visitors 100 years into the future and immerses guests in an industrial city where nature fights to survive amid an overdeveloped metropolis.
National Museum of Women in the Arts | Thru Dec. 31
Dig into the meaning behind food references. Women artists have long incorporated images of food into their work as a celebration of identity and healing and this exhibition presents a wide spectrum of food imagery.
National Museum of American History | Summer 2021
¡Pleibol! examines how generations of Latinos/as have helped make the game what it is today. From youth and community teams to the Major League, the exhibition reveals how baseball brings people together regardless of race, class or gender.
Citywide | June 1-31
Ring in the 46th year of Pride in the Nation’s Capital with in-person and virtual events including The Capital Pride Honors (June 11), a Taste of Pride Brunch (June 13) and the Capital Pridemobile Parade (June 12) – a traveling caravan through the city of decorated cars by area organizations and businesses.
National Museum of Women in the Arts | Thru July 12, 2021
A nationwide art and travel project created by artist Marilyn Artus, Her Flag celebrates the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which enshrined women’s right to vote within the text of the Constitution. Artus collaborated with a woman artist from each of the 36 states that ratified the 19th Amendment by 1920 to create a large flag that is installed on the exterior of the museum’s New York Avenue façade.
The Washington Ballet - Virtual | June 18
The ballet company will conclude its all-digital 2020/21 season with Silas Farley’s Werner Sonata and Dana Genshaft’s Orpheus, premiering on the global arts streaming platform Marquee TV. the works represent the fifth and sixth world premieres TWB has produced since introducing an all-digital season in Fall 2020.
Citywide | June 19
A holiday to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, Washington, DC offers many ways to celebrate. The National Museum of African American History and Culture is a great way to engage in history through presentations, stories and photographs. More programming is expected to be announced in the coming days. Step Afrika! returns to the virtual theater to commemorate Juneteenth with the Step Afrika! Juneteenth Virtual Celebration.
Hybrid | June 22-27
This year, AFI DOCS will include limited in-person screenings at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, MD, as well as a full slate of virtual offerings. The hybrid festival will open with the world premiere of Naomi Osaka, directed by Academy Award® nominee Garrett Bradley, and will close with Parker Hill and Isabel Bethencourt’s celebrated coming-of-age film CUSP. This year’s Centerpiece Screening will be Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain, directed by Academy Award® winner Morgan Neville.
Mount Vernon | June 25-26
Enjoy an evening of family fun and fireworks along with patriotic music to celebrate the nation's founding. The ticketed event and tickets are available with and without Mansion tours. Access to the Mansion is by guided tour only. COVID-19 safeguards will be in place.
The Phillips Collection | June 26 – Sept. 19
Jacob Lawrence was one of the greatest narrative artists of the 20th century. His revolutionary, yet little-known, 30-panel series Struggle…From the History of the American People, painted between 1954 and 1956, invited a new way of chronicling erased histories about America’s founding.
Georgetown | July 2 – Sept. 26
The free outdoor public art experience is presented by the Georgetown BID as an extended two-part series. Summer GLOW will feature three artworks that will transform Georgetown’s public alleys.
Citywide | July 4
A Capitol Fourth broadcasts on PBS with unforgettable performances by the National Symphony Orchestra and others. The concert is typically followed by an incredible firework display over the National Mall.
Smithsonian American Art Museum | July 16, 2021 – Jan. 17, 2022
The exhibit captures a cross-section of East Baltimore residents and businesses in the 1970s, documenting the community’s history and diversity.
Mount Vernon | July 16 – 18
Taste unlimited samples of wines from Virginia's finest wineries while enjoying views of the Potomac River.
Rock Creek Park Tennis Center | July 31 – Aug. 8
Washington’s Summer Tennis Tradition returns this year. More information coming soon.
Citywide | Aug. 9-15
Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington hosts DC’s biannual celebration of its dining scene in August. Restaurant Week offers diners pre-fixe menus for lunch/brunch ($22) and dinner ($35 and $55).
National Portrait Gallery | Aug. 27, 2021 – May 29, 2022
Often sourcing her subjects from photographs, Liu elevates overlooked individuals by amplifying the stories of those who have historically been invisible or unheard. Having lived through war, political revolution, exile, and displacement, she offers a complex picture of an Asian Pacific American experience. This is Liu’s first major exhibition on the East Coast and the first time that a museum will focus on Liu’s portraiture.
Virtual | Late Summer 2021
To celebrate the Smithsonian’s 175th anniversary, the Arts & Industries Building will launch the virtual FUTURES exhibit. This experience will fuse awe-inspiring art, technology, design and history, inviting visitors to dream big and imagine many possible futures.
Hybrid Virtual and In Person | Sept. 1-5
A celebration of all things jazz in DC takes place in September this year. DC JazzFest at The Wharf will take place Sept. 4-5, over Labor Day Weekend, as a hybrid of in-person performances and live streaming to a worldwide audience.
The Kennedy Center & The REACH | September 2021
Celebrating the half-centennial, a grand reopening of all stages and campuses is planned in September 2021 and will culminate in September 2022 with a fresh interpretation of the seminal work that opened the Kennedy Center in 1971, Leonard Bernstein’s MASS.