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Things to Do This Week in Washington, DC

Things to do the week of May 16-19

We've gathered up some things to do, including in-person activities as well as virtual events going on this week in Washington, DC.

In addition, don't miss our things to do this weekend and things to do this month.

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Kara Walker’s The Katastwóf Karavan
In honor of the incredible Afro-Atlantic Histories exhibit, The National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden serves as the site of a temporary installation featuring a steam calliope, a musical instrument used on steamboats and in carnivals during the 19th century. Artist Kara Walker made the sculpture for the Prospect.4 Triennial in New Orleans at Algiers Point, a site in the city along the Mississippi River that once served as a holding area for enslaved Africans. Featuring Walker’s signature silhouettes made from cut steel and situated in a parade wagon, the steam-whistle organ will play songs of Black resistance and celebration. Musician Jason Moran will perform on the calliope live on May 14 and 15.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily |  Free Admission
National Gallery of Art – Sculpture Garden, Constitution Avenue & 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20408


Take a self-guided Adams Morgan Mural Tour
One of DC’s most vibrant neighborhoods, Adams Morgan, is covered in street art which includes jaw-dropping murals, colorful building faces, painted jersey barriers and much more. The values and culture of the neighborhood are reflected through these artistic creations. Among the area’s most iconic are a depiction of singer Aristide Bruant above BUL Korean Bar & Restaurant, The Madam’s Organ Mural, The Adams Morgan Mural by Aneikan Udofia and Cows on Bicycles at 2501 Champlain Street. Visit the tour’s official website for a full map and additional details.


The Washington National Opera offers up this bold production featuring the character of Carmen, an uninhibited, strong-willed woman who lives life on her own terms. She is desired by everyone but wants only freedom. After she escapes trouble by seducing Don José, she sets her eyes on the bullfighter Escamillo. But when Don José’s jealousy finally catches up to her, Carmen’s freedom will have dire consequences. This show marks the DC premiere production of the Georges Bizet classic.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566



Afro-Atlantic Histories
The National Gallery of Art invites you on a voyage through time in this new exhibit that aims to shed light on the complex histories of the African Diaspora. Take an in-depth look at the cultural formations and historical experiences of Black and African people since the 17th century. The exhibit offers more than 130 pieces of art, including photos, sculptures, paintings and other media by artists from the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and the Americas.
Open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily |  Free admission |  Safety guidelines
National Gallery of Art, 6th Street & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC


An ARTECHOUSE original production, PIXELBLOOM pushes the boundaries of immersive digital art, inviting visitors to jump into the metaverse and glide through a virtual world of cherry blossoms brought to life only at ARTECHOUSE. The installation merges the digital and physical worlds in a one-of-a-kind dynamic experience inspired by nature’s beauty. The main 22-minute audiovisual installation in the Immersion Gallery employs 18-channel, 270° floor-to-wall surround projection array and a 22.5-channel spatialized audio system to breathe a new life into cherry blossoms in peak bloom through an explosion of vibrant colors and textures.
Monday – Thursday: 1-9 p.m. |  Friday – Sunday: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. |  Tickets
Safety guidelines
ARTECHOUSE, 1238 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024


Metropolitan Beer Trail
Introduce yourself to DC’s Metropolitan Beer Trail, which will link seven of the city’s most popular bars and brewpubs, including metrobar, The Eleanor, Right Proper Brewing Co. and Wunder Garten. Each location is walkable or bikeable from the Metropolitan Bracn Trail, which runs from Union Station northwards into NoMa, Eckington and Brookland. Beginning May 14, you can download a free digital passport to begin your journey.
More Info



This Present Moment: Crafting A Better World
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Renwick with an expansive exhibit set to feature more than 130 works never before displayed at the gallery. Featured craft artists include Tanya Aguiñiga, Nick Cave, David Chatt, Sonya Clark, Cristina Cordova, Cindy Drozda, Alicia Eggert, J. Paul Fennell and many more.
Tuesday - Sunday, 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. |  Free admission
Renwick Gallery, Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20006


One with Eternity: Yayoi Kusama in the Hirshhorn Collection
The Hirshhorn has been collecting the prolific work of Yayoi Kusama since 1996. The museum’s 2017 survey of her work traveled to five North American art museums, introducing Kusama’s spellbinding visions to record audiences. Now, the Hirshhorn displays five of Kusama’s works from the museum’s permanent collection, including two of the artist’s transcendent Infinity Mirror Rooms. One with Eternity: Yayoi Kusama in the Hirshhorn Collection is a tribute to the life and practice of the visionary artist. Free timed passes are required.
Thursday - Sunday, 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. |  Free admission |  Safety guidelines
Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Independence Avenue & 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20560


Our Town
Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play will leave you feeling more connected to the world around you. Sidney Harman Hall becomes turn-of-the-century Grover’s Corners, where everyday life reveals universal truths about community, love, life and death. Our Town is both deeply allegorical and endlessly captivating, with an ensemble cast filled by celebrated local performers.
Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004



Enjoy a C&O Canal Boat Tour
A beloved DC tradition returns. Georgetown’s new C&O Canal boat means boat rides are available five days a week. One-hour guided historical tours of the first mile of the Canal allow you to learn the history, technology and culture woven into the waterway. You’ll also hear spellbinding stories of people who lived, worked and played along the Canal over the past two centuries. The boat loading area is at C&O Canal Lock 3, along the Canal towpath between Thomas Jefferson and 30th Streets NW.


There’s Always the Hudson
T and Lola have a mission. After meeting in a support group for sexual abuse survivors years ago, the two made a pact to take out revenge on those who have wronged them. Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company presents this riveting production written by Paola Lázaro, a tale of two damaged souls ready to confront their trauma and deliver some well-deserved justice. Note that There’s Always the Hudson contains discussions and depictions of sexual abuse and assault, profanity and drug use.
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, 641 D Street NW, Washington, DC 20004


#MyDCcool Photo of the Week



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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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