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Things to Do This Weekend in Washington, DC

Our end-of-the-week picks for July 1-4

We've gathered up some fun things to do in DC this holiday weekend. Make sure to check out our ways to celebrate Independence Day and places to watch the fireworks as well. You can also read what else is going on during the week and throughout the month.

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Friday

 

Smithsonian Folklife Festival 
The free Smithsonian Folklife Festival salutes different international cultures every year on the National Mall with craft exhibits, live music, cooking demos and an expansive marketplace full of pottery, books, textiles, toys, sculptures, clothing and more. The 2022 edition will focus on the United Arab Emirates and feature Earth Optimism programming.

 

BLACK GIRLS ROCK! FEST
The Kennedy Center event makes its highly anticipated return, this time in collaboration with the National Symphony Orchestra. Multi-Grammy Award-winning R&B icon India.Arie will headline this year’s celebration, a full-spirited recognition of Black Girl Magic. Beverly Bond founded BLACK GIRLS ROCK! and this corresponding festival to provide a platform for Black women-centered content and creativity.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566
 

BGR!FEST presents BLACK MEN ROCK!
With BLACK GIRLS ROCK! FEST kicking off taking place at the Kennedy Center, this special show at 9:30 Club makes for perfect accompaniment. BLACK MEN ROCK! will feature the musical stylings of an array of artists, including Jay Electronica, Raheem DeVaughn, Bazaar Royale and Greg Banks.
8:30 p.m. |  Tickets
9:30 Club, 815 V Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
 

The Playhouse
The National Building Museum and the Folger Shakespeare Library, in association with the University of South Carolina, are partnering this summer to present The Playhouse. Visitors can step back in time with the Bard for the latest iteration of the Museum’s Summer Block Party. An exciting Festival stage will occupy the Museum’s immense—and air conditioned—Great Hall. By day, the installation will provide a venue for unique experiences related to theater—from behind-the-scenes tours to sword-fighting demonstrations and other hands-on activities. At night, The Playhouse transforms into a stage for Shakespeare’s most famous, fairy-filled comedy for Folger Theatre’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
More Info
National Building Museum, 401 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
 

Saturday

 

Aṣẹ: Afro Frequencies
ARTECHOUSE’s newest experience will allow you to walk alongside African kings and queens as you explore timeless questions of identity, power and belonging. Inspired by aṣẹ, a Yoruba concept that relates to our power to produce change, Aṣẹ: Afro Frequencies celebrates the Black experience through the perspectives of artist Vince Fraser and poet Ursula Rucker. The exhibit makes for an ideal activity during Juneteenth weekend. Use the 'Tickets' link below for a special 10% discount!
Open daily, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. |  Tickets
ARTECHOUSE, 1238 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024

 

We Are Made of Stories: Self-Taught Artists in the Robson Family Collection
The Smithsonian American Art Museum showcases drawings, paintings and sculptures from 43 self-taught 20th century artists and dives into how, despite numerous obstacles including racism, sexism and ableism, these creatives were able to make their mark on the art world. Featured artists include James Castle, Thornton Dial Sr., William Edmondson, Howard Finster, Bessie Harvey, Sister Gertrude Morgan, the Philadelphia Wireman, Nellie Mae Rowe, Judith Scott and Bill Traylor.
11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. |  Free Admission
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC 20004
 

Powerful Partnerships: Civil War-Era Couples
The National Portrait Gallery illuminates the stories and faces of five Civil War-era couples in this powerful exhibit that showcases a nation in a time of turmoil. Photography from the legendary Mathew Brady Studio, Powerful Partnerships will introduce you to the adventures of Nathaniel and Mary Banks, John and Jessie Frémont, Ulysses and Julia Grant, George and Ellen McClellan and Charles and Lavinia Stratton (better known to the public as Mr. and Mrs. Tom Thumb).
11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Portrait Gallery, 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC 20001
 

To Kill a Mockingbird 
Richard Thomas stars as Atticus Finch in this captivating stage telling of Harper Lee’s classic novel. Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation was named a Critic’s Pick by The New York Times and has one of the most successful Broadway runs in history. Tony Award winner Bartlett Sher directs.
1:30 & 7:30 p.m. |  Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

Black Girls Rock Film Fest
Brought to you by the award-winning BLACK GIRLS ROCK!® brand, the Black Girls Rock Film Fest will showcase Black women filmmakers and Black women-centered content. The two-day event celebrates the innovation, vision and voices of Black women storytellers. Expect to see short and long-form narratives, documentaries, episodic content and live talkbacks with filmmakers and cast members.
2 p.m. |  Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566
 

The Hot Wing King
Set in the heat of the summer in Memphis, The Hot Wing King follows Dwayne and his fry crew, The New Wing Order, as he aims to receive the honor of the play’s title. However, all of a sudden, Dwayne’s boyfriend, Cordell, faces a future about to go up in flames. Additionally, his nephew needs a place to stay and one of the cooks is messing with the seasoning. This masterpiece won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, so don’t miss its run at DC’s Studio Theatre.
2 p.m. & 8 p.m. |  Tickets
Studio Theatre, 1501 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005

 

Sunday

 

The Woman in White: Joanna Hiffernan and James McNeill Whistler
Across two decades, artist James McNeill Whistler and Joanna Hiffernan maintained a close personal and professional relationship. Hiffernan is featured in some of Whistler’s most famous works, including his Symphony in White series, but little has been shared about the “woman in white” and her role in the artist’s life. This new exhibit at the National Gallery of Art will shed light on one of the most mysterious figures of late-19th century art.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Gallery of Art, 6th Street & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC

 

Family Ties: Daguerreotype Portraits
The first commercially viable form of photography, the daguerreotype was introduced in 1839 and quickly became a popular way to document family relationships. In turn, family portraits became more and more popular as technical innovations and affordability increased. In this exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, you will be able to view striking images that depict a wide range of familial relationships of the era.
11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Portrait Gallery, 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC 20001
 

In His Hands
Daniel, a video game wizard and aspiring Lutheran pastor, is falling for Christian. But as these men explore the potential of their new relationship, voices from Christian’s past threaten to overpower the connection the two share. Mosaic Theater Company and Atlas Performing Arts Center present this fascinating queer rom-com that asks provocative questions about faith and desire, with a gentle and lyrical voice.
3 p.m. |  Tickets
Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

 

The Second City’s The Revolution Will Be Improvised
Everyone’s favorite comedy troupe has emerged from their “comedy bunker” and is set to return to the Kennedy Center. The Second City is back in action with this brand new show that takes on every viewpoint and common thread currently swirling around the zeitgeist. Prepare to laugh heartily as the group churns through sketches and contemplates the nature of comedy itself. Please note that the show is recommended for mature audiences.
4 p.m. & 8 p.m. |  Tickets
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

Monday

 

The Renaissance in the North: New Prints and Perspectives
The region of northern Europe today known as Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands underwent a massive transformation socially, politically and artistically from the 1450s through the early 1600s. The period now referred to as the Northern Renaissance is the subject of this new exhibit at the National Gallery of Art. Rare prints by Albrecht Dürer, Hendrick Goltzius and other influential artists are shown next to engravings, etchings and woodcuts by other talented but lesser known artists of the time.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Gallery of Art, 6th Street & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC

 

Presente! A Latino History of the United States
Experience U.S. history from the perspectives of diverse Latinas and Latinos in a new exhibit at the National Museum of American History. Hear forgotten stories, dive deep into Latino culture and find out how Latinas and Latinos have shaped U.S. history and culture. Through a diversity of objects, images and stories, you will come to view Latinhood as an exchange between distinct communities under the Latino identity.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. | Free Admission
National Museum of American History, 1300 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Out of Many: Portraits from 1600 to 1900
The first phase of the National Portrait Gallery’s ongoing reinstallation of its permanent collection galleries begins with this presentation of more than 180 objects that highlight the figures who helped shape America’s early development. Portraits of Indigenous Americans, abolitionists, writers, performers and scientists are among this fascinating collection. Out of Many will also showcase a newly installed Civil War gallery and another dedicated to the nation’s Reconstruction period.
11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Portrait Gallery, 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC 20001
 

July 4th Fireworks over the Potomac River with the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and Arlington Bridge in the background

July 4th Fireworks
Watching the fireworks is one of the highlights of Independence Day in Washington, DC and fortunately, the city and the surrounding area offer a plethora of scenic viewing options. July 4th is a great time to be in DC for plenty of other reasons as well. Plan a trip now.
 

#MyDCcool Photo of the Week

 


Make sure to share your DC photos with us using #MyDCcool, and we may feature yours next month!

 

Do you know where you’ll be dining pre- or post-event? From pop-up restaurants to Michelin-starred hot spots to laid-back food halls, our DC food guide is perfect for helping you plan a more memorable experience.

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