Monday, February 27, 2017

UPCOMING: MUSICAL: Tonight! Avant Bard offers Pay-What-You-Will tickets to see the Musical "The Gospel at Colonus" this MON, Feb 27 at 7:30pm at The Gunston Arts Center in VA by donation + Additional PWYW shows throughout the run, thru SUN, March 26

Avant Bard presents the legendary gospel musical The Gospel at Colonus with Pay-What-You-Will previews Friday, February 24 & Saturday, February 25
7:30pm - 9:00pm, tickets 7:00pm
by donation/PWYW so you name your price at the door* Regular admission $30 on Friday and $35 for Saturday evenings & Sunday shows
If you prefer to reserve a seat in advance you can purchase a PWYW ticket online with a $10 minimum donation here.

Avant Bard proudly presents the legendary gospel musical The Gospel at Colonus, a soaring celebration of transcendence and the fragility of life that transforms Sophocles' timeless tale of the last days of Oedipus into a parable for our times. Its message of redemption is sorely needed right now.

Avant Bard gives The Gospel at Colonus new life in an up-close and intimate production directed by Jennifer L. Nelson (Resident Director, Mosaic Theater Company of DC; Founding Artistic Director, African Continuum Theatre Company) with musical direction by e’Marcus Harper-Short (Musical Director of Theater Alliance’s acclaimed Black Nativity). Unlike previous productions of the show, which had a megachurch setting, the Avant Bard production will evoke a sacred site that draws from and honors the Greek and African roots of the source material.

With its epic poetry and magnificent score, The Gospel at Colonus reminds us that out of the deepest sorrows, the highest and most uplifting hope can emerge. This musical was a global sensation when it premiered in 1983. The story combines Greek tragedy and African American heritage. The score is an inspiring fusion of Black church gospel with elements of blues and Motown. Written by Lee Breuer and composer Bob Telson, The Gospel at Colonus was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for Best Drama in 1985 and won the Obie for Best Musical in 1984.

*Note that the number of seats available at each show will vary based on how many people reserved tickets online in advance so you'll want to get there about 30 minutes early to get your ticket. All ages welcome, Recommended for ages 14 and up, performance is about 90 minutes, no intermission 

Show runs Thursday, February 23 - Sunday, March 26 with additional PWYW performances on Monday, February 27 & Thursday evenings at 7:30pm and Saturday matinees at 2:00pm, Check out this short video to get a sense of some of the music you will here. 

PWYW Evening Shows 
Monday, February 27 
Thursdays March 9, 16 & 23

PWYW Saturday Matinee Shows
Saturdays March 4, 11, 18 & 25

Gunston Arts Center, Theatre Two
2700 South Lang St - Arlington, VA 22206 (see map)
Metro: Crystal City and catch the 23A or 23B bus from bus bay two (the thoughtful folks at Avant Bard even made a video you can watch on how to get there using metro and bus which is especially great for visual folks) and get off at South Arlington Ridge Rd and South Lang St, nine stops, about a six minute bus ride.  You can use metro trip-planner for metro and bus schedules. It's about 1.5 miles from the metro if you want to bike or walk, or you can also uber or lyft there if that makes more sense, see promotions for new users at the bottom of this post. If you have a car and plan to drive you can see driving directions here. Ample free parking available. 

New User Promotions: You cam get $10 off your first Lyft ride with promo code FREEINDC10 when you sign up at $20 off your first Uber ride when you sign up at and use the promo code FREEINDC14. I don't think the credit will apply to uber pool or lyft line for your first trip so select uber x from the best price and then select uber pool (if you don't mind sharing the ride with someone and aren't in a hurry) or lyft line (shared ride option) for best price when you request future rides.

UPCOMING: MEDITATION: Curious about the Benefits of Meditation? Come out to a Free Workshop on "Meditation for Health and Wellness" at the Southeast Library near Eastern Market on TUES, Feb 28 from 7:00pm - 8:30pm, Free

"Meditation for Health and Wellness" at the Southeast Library near Eastern Market
Tuesday, February 28
7:00pm - 8:30pm

Meditation is being prescribed by many medical practitioners and has been widely recognized as a means to enhance one’s health and reduce stress. Throughout the nation, meditation has become a positive force for health and well-being. Join David Newcomb, long time meditator, for this lively and engaging workshop.

Southeast Library 
403 7th Street SE 
Metro: Eastern Market 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

UPCOMING: MUSIC: Weekly: The Tuesday Concert Series at the Church of the Epiphany, near Metro Center, TUES, Feb 28 from 12:10pm - 1:00pm, Artists vary each Week, Free, donations appreciated

Tuesday Concert Series at the Church of the Epiphany
lunchtime concerts every Tuesday
12:10pm - 1:00pm
Free, donations appreciated to
 support music program and artists

View the schedule of performances for more details

If you're able to get here Tuesday at lunch, recommend this series!

Tuesday, February 28
Daniel Heagney, marimba
Music by Michael Burritt, Peter Klatzow, and Agustin Barrios Mangoré. See full program.

1317 G St NW
Metro: Metro Center

UPCOMING & ONGOING: FILM: Weekly: BloomScreen and the Africa World Now Project present "Pieces of Identity" on TUES, Feb 28 at BloomBars, Films vary each week and are followed by a discussion and Q&A, 7:00pm - 9:00pm, All ages, $10 donation suggested

BloomScreen Independent Film Night at BloomBars
every Tuesday night, films vary each week,
discussion with Q&A after, often with the director
7:00pm - 9:00pm, or earlier if the film is shorter
All ages, by donation, $10 suggested, no one turned away, Free organic popcorn served

Tuesday,  February 28 
BloomScreen & the AWNP present: Pieces of Identity
The screening will be followed by a Q&A discussion hosted by Mwiza Munthali, host of the radio show "Africa Now," on WPFW 89.3FM.

In honor of Black History Month, BloomScreen and the Africa World Now Project present Pieces of Identity (Pièces d'identités) (1998, 97 min), by Mweze Ngangura - The fable of an old African king and his wayward daughter is updated to present day Brussels to point out some of the most troubling issues of cultural identity facing people of African descent in the ever-widening Diaspora of the late 20th century. (view film trailer)

Mani Kongo, the king of the Bakongo, sets out for Belgium in search of his lost daughter, who left years earlier to study medicine. Upon arrival, the king must cope with the very best and worst of the black Diaspora, including the prejudices rampant in European society. He himself will find good friends amongst poor low-class whites showing that nothing is ever black or white… (In French with English subtitles).

BloomScreen Indie Film Night is a weekly series of independent and foreign films, accompanied by discussions with filmmakers, experts and other guests. Note that BloomBars does not serve any food or alcohol so be sure to eat beforehand. Search bloomscreen on facebook or see the BloomBars calendar to find invites each week

3222 11th St NW
Metro: Columbia Heights, walk north on 14th one block to Kenyon, turn right and walk over to 11th and turn left, right next door to Wonderland.

UPCOMING: OPEN MIC: Weekly: "Fun Fun at 121" Open Mic for Comedians, Musicians and others tthis WED, March 1 - and every WED night from 8:00pm - 10:00pm at Acre 121 right by the Columbia Heights Metro, All Ages, Free

Fun Fun at 121: Weekly Open Mic Comedy, Music & More!
every Wednesday night
8:00pm - 10:00pm
All ages, Free

Next Open Mic-  Wednesday, March 1
view this week's facebook event page

The producers of The Capital City Showcase, the variety show that brings you some of DC’s finest performing artists, bring you Fun Fun at 121, a new variety open mic for all styles! Highlighting comedy, music and other performing arts every Wednesday night in Columbia Heights, right by the metro.

Comedians, musicians and artists wanting to perform can sign up in advance by emailing There will also be a limited amount of sign-ups on the night of each performance. Seating is on a first come, first serve basis, so come early if you want to catch happy hour and a great seat.

Acre 121
1400 Irving St NW
Metro: Columbia Heights, right by the metro, a few doors down from the Five Guys, across the street from Panera

UPCOMING: INTERACTIVE ARTS: Gather in Community to Connect & Create together! The Sanctuaries, a diverse group of artists and musicians, hosts a Dinner & Huddle on the theme of Artistic Resilience this WED, March 1 from 6:30pm - 9:00pm, Free

The Sanctuaries, a diverse group of musicians and artists, hosts a Dinner & Huddle on the theme of Artistic Resilience
Wednesday, March 1
6:30pm gather, socialize, enjoy some food
7:00pm - 9:00pm Huddle 
Note: Please arrive before 7:00pm to participate in the evening activities

From the event page: :What is a Dinner & Huddle? Take a break from the daily grind to meet other soulful and artistic people over a delicious meal. Then team up for meaningful conversation or to collaborate using di fferent art forms, from hip hop to poetry to dance and more. All experience levels welcome. This time with a focus on "artistic resilience" -- how can art empower and sustain us right now?  This month's gathering is part of the #100Days100Dinners campaign.

Universalist National Memorial Church
1810 16th St NW - at S St NW
Metro: U St and walk over to 16th, turn left on 16th St and walk down to S St or Dupont Circle and walk. Best access is by bus, take the S2 or S4 bus along 16th St to the stop closest to S St.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

UPCOMING: MEDITATION: Free Guided Meditation with Lisa Wilder at Eye Street Massage by Farragut Sq on THURS, March 2 from 6:30pm - 7:30pm, please arrive at 6:15pm and be sure to RSVP as space is limited

Free Thursday Night Guided Meditation with Lisa Wilder at Eye Street Massage Therapy at Farragut Sq in downtown DC
Thursday, March 2
6:30pm - 7:30pm
Free, RSVP Required 
No experience is necessary, all welcome
Please arrive around 6:15pm as doors will close at 6:30pm

Note: Space is limited to 8 participants so please RSVP, click on "Book An Appointment" and choose "Book Classes" or call, (202) 463-0987 to reserve your space.  Read more here!

During the months of  February and March, Eye Street Massage Therapy will be offering free weekly group meditation sessions on Thursday nights, as well as monthly on the second Saturday, with resident cranio-sacral practitioner, Pranic healer and Usui Reiki Master, Lisa Wilder. The meditation will be designed to help you unwind, relax, develop a stronger state of awareness, settle busy minds, and visualize goals with guided meditations. 

In addition to the monthly meditation on the second Saturday of the month, in February and March, Lisa will be facilitating a weekly group guided meditation on Thursday nights from 6:30pm-7:30pm in February and March. While the session is being offered free of charge, donations are welcome and will go directly to the healer.

Save the dates and RSVP now for the remaining Thursday evening sessions!
Thursdays: March 9, 16 & 23

Save the date and RSVP now for the next Saturday morning meditation:
Saturday, March 11 from 11:00am - 12:00pm

Eye Street Massage Therapy
1634 "Eye" I Street NW
Note: In an office building, on the Lower Level, Suite 125
Metro: Farragut West or Farragut Sq, right at Farragut Sq on "Eye" St NW near the corner of 17th St

UPCOMING: HIGHLIGHTS: Find more Free and low-cost events everyday @FreeinDCBlog on twitter - and if you don't use twitter, no worries, you don't need an account to view the page!

For more events please check out @FreeinDCBlog on twitter and the Free in DC page on facebook, search for "Free in DC" or click here! Much of the event content I cover comes from facebook and I don't always have time to craft individual posts on this site for every event I come across and I often post links to events on  @FreeinDCBlog on twittter and/or FreeinDC on facebook that aren't on the main site.

I tweet most every day, focusing on events happening that day, and some other events coming soon or ones that you might not find on the main site or on facebook. Also, if you aren't a twitter user you can just look at the page without needing to sign up for an account!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

UPCOMING: DISCUSSION & DOCUMENTARY: The Embassy of Finland hosts a Discusison with the Artist behind the "Nanoq - Imag(in)ing Climate Change" exhibit followed by a Screening of "Tale of a Forest" on SAT, March 4 from 2:00pm - 4:00pm, Free

Discussion and Documentary Film Screening at the Embassy of Finland Nanoq - Imag(in)ing Climate Change exhibit discussion with the artist followed by a Screening of Tale of a Forest (see film trailer)
Saturday, March 4
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Free, All ages welcome
No RSVP needed, seating  first come first-served

The Embassy of Finland invites the public to attend special lecture and discussion with artist Ilona Mettiäinen about the exhibition Nanoq - Imag(in)ing Climate Change followed by a screening of the documentary Tale of a Forest (Metsän tarina, 2012, 75 minutes), one of the most viewed documentaries in Finland.

The film takes the audience to a Finnish forest to meet the creatures that live in the captivating environment. In addition to the beautiful visuals, the film soundtrack, by Panu Aaltio won the esteemed International Film Music Critics Association’s (IFMCA) prize for the best composition in 2012.

About the exhibit: In the Arctic, average temperatures are rising due to climate change almost twice as fast as in the rest of the world, but what does it mean for Arctic communities and nature? The photo exhibition Nanoq – Imag(in)ing Climate Change by Ilona Mettiäinen visualizes some imaginary, possible and even impossible worlds that may result from climate change.

The exhibition at the Embassy of Finland is part of the 100th Anniversary celebrations of Finland’s independence, held in collaboration with the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland and funded by a grant from the Otto A. Malm Foundation in 2015. Learn about additional events throughout the United States on the Finland 100 site.

Embassy of Finland
3301 Massachusetts Ave NW
Metro: Nearest metro is Woodley Park, it's about a 1.1 miles, 24 minute walk. Head north on Connecticut Ave and turn left on Woodley Rd, which turns into Garfield, take a left on 34th St and walk two blocks to Mass Ave, turn left and you'll see the Embassy. Dupont Circle metro station is 1.5 miles, straight shot on Mass Ave. You can may want to consider taking uber/ uberpool or lyft/ lyft line there, see promotions for new users below, or you can see metro trip-planner for best bus access depending on where you are coming from.

Uber & Lyft Promotions: New Lyft users get $10 off your first ride with promo code FREEINDC10 Sign up at New Uber users get $20 off your first ride, sign up: the promo code FREEINDC14 Be sure to select uberx for your own car. You can also select uberpool (if you don't mind sharing the ride with someone and aren't in a hurry) or lyft line (shared ride option) for best price when you request a ride, but I don't think you can use the new user credit on shared rides.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

UPCOMING: ART: The Opening Reception for EMULSION 2017 which will be held at the Pepco Edison Gallery in Chinatown this year, will be on FRI, March 3 from 6:00pm - 8:30pm, the exhibit will be on view from FRI, March 3 - THURS, March 16, Free

Opening Reception for EMULSION 2017 Fourth Annual East City Art Regional Juried Show
Friday, March 3
6:00pm - 8:30pm
on view Friday, March 3 - Thursday, March 16 

This year, for the first time, EMULSION moves from H St NE to the Pepco Edison Gallery on 8th St NW in the heart of Chinatown, easily accessible by multiple metro lines being walking distance from both Gallery Pl - Chinatown and Metro Center

All are welcome to attend the opening reception on March 3. The exhibit will remain on view for just under two weeks, during which time there wil also be artist talks. Before the show closes there will also be a closing reception. 

The 31 Artists living in Washington, DC proper who were selected to participate include: 

David Bellard, Stephen Benedicto, Paige Billin-Frye, Leda Black, Jo Ann Block, Rachel Bohlander, Adam Bradley, Marion Colomer, Michael Crossett, Spencer Dormitzer, Cheryl Edwards, Rita Elsner, Gregory Ferrand, Michelle Goldchain, Erin Graham, Tom Greaves, Melanie Gritzka del Villar, Emily Hoxworth, Mark Isaac, Joanne Kent, Nara Park, Juan Pineda, Mojdeh Rezaeipour, Samantha Sethi, Andrew Taylor, Lisa Marie Thalhammer, Jessica van Brakle, Ellyn Weiss, Amy Wike, Jordann Wine and Andrew Wodzianski.

The 21 Artists living in Maryland selected to participate include:

Lori Anne Boocks, Wilfred Brunner, Naomi Christianson, Joseph Corcoran, Chris Corson, Jacqui Crocetta, Stuart Diekmeyer, Michael Fischerkeller, Ric Garcia, Marty Ittner, Joyce Jewell, Wayson R. Jones,  Nicole Lenzi, Micheal McCoy,  Kevin Mitchell, BD Richardson, Alexandra Sherman, Michael West, Clare Winslow, Andrew Wohl, and Jenna Wright.

The 14 Artists living in Virginia selected to participate include:

John M. Adams, David Amoroso, Ellen Delaney, Sean Dudley, Abigail Fundling, Matthew Grimes, Becca Kallem, Chee-Keong Kung,  Linda Lowery,  Lisa Noble, Pamela Rogers, Beverly Ryan, Jean Sausele-Knodt  and Ju Yun.

This year's juror is Deirdre Ehlen MacWilliams, Public Art Project Manager for Arlington County’s public art program. You can read more about her here. Prizes: $2000 First Place Prize, $1,000 Second Place Prize, $500 Third Place Prize and Two (2) $250 Honorable Mentions.

Pepco Edison Gallery
702 8th Street NW
located between H St & G St NW
Metro: Gallery Pl - Chinatown, 9th & G exit is closest, or walk a few blocks from Metro Center

UPCOMING: ART: Artists and Makers in Rockville, MD celebrates their Second Anniversary and the Grand Opening of their Second location! First Friday Reception on FRI, March 3 from 6:00pm - 9:00pm + Open Studios on SAT, Marc 4 & SUN, March 5 from 10:00am - 4:00pm, Free

Artists & Makers - Second Anniversary Celebration! Events all weekend, including an Opening Reception and Grand Opening of their second location in Rockville, MD
Friday, March 3 - Sunday, March 5

Opening Reception on Friday night and Open Studios on Saturday & Sunday

Artists & Makers Studios 1 and 2 hosts a second Anniversary Celebration with events all weekend at both of their locations in Rockville, MD, on Parklawn Drive and Wilkins Avenue. Come out for the First Friday festivities on March 3 from 6:00m - 9:00pm and an Open Studio weekend on March 4th and 5th between 10:00am and 4:00pm at both locations. The Grand Opening of the second location will features “at 2(two)” with artwork from  more than 120 resident artists in the galleries and studios of both studio centers.

First Friday + Grand Second Anniversary Celebration 
and Opening Reception for “at 2(two)”
Friday, March 3
6:00pm - 9:00pm
Both locations will be open, address details below

Open Studios! - Visit Artists in their Studios, Tour the Galleries
Saturday, March 4 & Sunday, March 5
10:00am - 4:00pm

Come out on Saturday and Sunday to browse the artist’s studios, hallways, and to see the work in all five galleries at Parklawn and Wilkins. Meet more than 120 artists, observe their processes, and ask questions to learn more about what they do. At A&M1 you can tour the 3 main galleries and studios on Parklawn Drive in Rockville. At A&M2 you can see resident artists in the main gallery and studios, as well as mini-solo exhibits in the New Masters Gallery with Ken Bachman, Sara Bardin, Mary Morris, and Lis Zadravec. Also on view “Visualizations” with the Montgomery County Camera Club at Artists & Makers Studios 2, on Wilkins Avenue in Rockville, just .9 miles from the flagship location.

Exhibitions will remain on view through Wednesday, March 29. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday - Saturday from 10:00am - 4:00pm and Sundays and Mondays by chance or appointment.

About Artists & Makers Studios: A&M1 on Parklawn Drive in Rockville, established in October 2014 by artist and arts community builder Judith HeartSong, is a 13,000 sq. ft. facility is home to 68 resident artists. Newly opened Artists & Makers Studios 2 on Wilkins Avenue in Rockville is a 23,000 sq. ft. facility with 50 resident artists and more to come. A&M Studios is dedicated to providing a supportive and vibrant environment for artists to realize their creative goals – through studio practice, collaboration, education, opportunities, networking and connecting with the community beyond our doors. A&M2 opens in March 2017!

Artists & Makers Studios 1
11810 Parklawn Dr., Suite 210 - Rockville, MD
Metro: White Flint and walk, or you can catch the Ride-On 38 Wheaton via HP or the C8 to College Park Station. It's about a 16 minute walk, see google maps. See directions and map here.

Artists & Makers Studios 2
12276 / 12280 Wilkins Avenue - Rockville, MD
Metro: Twinbrook and walk about .8 miles, 16 minutes, according to google maps.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

ON VIEW: ART: "Us + Them = U.S. Finding Common Ground in a Divided Nation" at the Joan Hisaola Healing Arts Gallery on U St on view FRI, Jan 13 - SAT, March 4, Free

Us + Them = U.S. Finding Common Ground in a Divided Nation  on view at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery on U St
On view Friday, January 13 - Saturday, March 4

Us + Them = U.S. Finding Common Ground in a Divided Nation, is presented as a visual response confronting the division our country faces. A group of the DC area's most influential artists and activists examine and investigate our nation's current political and cultural rift and explore how we can find a collective understanding through contemporary art-making methods.

The show features works by: Kate DeCiccio, Michael Fischerkeller, Otessa Ghadar, Claudia Aziza Gibson Hunter, Akemi Maegawa, Carolina Mayorga, Tsedaye Makonnen, Stan Squirewell, Lisa Marie Thalhammer, T. Thompson, Workingman Collective (w/ Colby Caldwell) and Helen Zughaib. Curated by Dierdre Darden and Philippa PB Hughes.

Gallery Hours: Wednesday - Friday 11:00am - 5:00pm and Saturday from 11:00am - 3:00pm. You can also schedule to come by appointment, please give 48 hours notice.

The mission of Smith Center for Healing and the Arts is to develop and promote healing practices that explore physical, emotional, and mental wellness and lead to life-affirming changes. We offer programs for the community and specialize in serving people with cancer and utilizing the arts in healing. The Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, founded in 2008, is a nonprofit arts space in Washington, DC dedicated to exhibiting fine art that explores the innate connection between healing and creativity. Art has the rare ability to mend social, psychological, and physical ills by building community, inspiring change, and celebrating life. A rotating exhibition schedule features contemporary, international and national artists addressing a diversity of significant themes, such as spirituality, social change, multiculturalism, health, environmentalism, and community.

The Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery
1632 U St NW
Metro: U St or take the S1, S2 or S4 or S9 bus along 16th St right to U St to get closer