October 2013

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Cover Story

Iraq: Powder Keg
Waiting to Explode?

a5.iraq.faily.homeIn the two and a half months since Lukman Faily took over as Iraq's ambassador, suicide bombers, explosive-laden cars and armed fighters have killed nearly 3,000 Iraqis, pushing the country back to the brink of civil war. Read More

People of World Influence

Holliday Nurtures Leadership
As Helm of Meridian Center

a1.powi.holliday.homeWhen Stuart Holliday took the reins of the Meridian International Center, the organization was well established but falling short of its potential. Seven years later, he's lifted it to new heights. Read More


Pay Up Argentina

U.S. Response to Debt Debacle:
Don't Cry for Argentina

a2.argentina.main.homeA U.S. court recently ordered Argentina to repay a group of investors that has waged a relentless campaign to paint Buenos Aires as a fiscal deadbeat. Read More


The Rotunda: Foreign Affairs on Capitol Hill

Bullies and Beacons: What Drives
Senate Foreign Relations Chair

a3.rotunda.menendez.portrait.homeSenate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Robert Menendez talks to us about Syria, 9/11, American power abroad, immigration at home, and his own life as a first-generation American. Read More


Pakistani Counterterrorism

Pakistani Government
Takes Aim at Terrorism

a4.pakistan.terrorism.kerry.homeFor years, Pakistan dilly-dallied between proclaiming that terrorism was its greatest problem to blaming the "war on terror" for all its problems. But now the government is trying to develop a counterterrorism strategy. Is it too little too late? Read More


Forgotten Failed State

Black Hole in Heart of Africa:
West Turns Blind Eye to CAR

a6.central.african.republic.water.homeThe Central African Republic is a black spot on the map in the heart of Africa — and a blimp that barely registers with the outside world. Read More


Book Review

One of Washington's Own Takes
No Prisoners in 'This Town'

a7.book.this.town.home"This Town" pops the Beltway bubble with its acerbic take on Washington's insider culture (written, of course, by the penultimate insider). Read More


Medical

Patients: You Better Shop Around
To Avoid Sickening Sticker Shock

a8.medical.costs.homeThe true costs of medical care in the U.S. are being revealed, and the sticker shock is enough to send patients reeling. Read More

   

Holliday Nurtures Leadership As Helm of Meridian Center

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By Michael Coleman

When Stuart Holliday took the reins of the Meridian International Center just over seven years ago, the organization was well established in Washington, but falling short of its potential.

Founded in 1960 on a spacious and elegant piece of real estate just off of 16th Street, NW, not far from U Street, Meridian has long made good on its mission of serving as a cultural hub for Washington’s international community, as well as a place where future global leaders are groomed.

But Holliday, the son of U.S. diplomats and a former U.S. ambassador for special political affairs at the United Nations, thought Meridian could do better. Last month, as Meridian prepared for its annual Meridian Ball and Global Leadership Summit in October, Holliday sat down with The Diplomat to talk about the center’s ambitious plans for the future.

“Our mission is critical — strengthening international collaboration and understanding — but there are so many opportunities to apply that,” Holliday said during an expansive interview in his sun-splashed Meridian office. “Taking this jewel and, you know, fulfilling its potential was a great opportunity for me, and it aligns with my background as the son of a diplomat who grew up with an international background.

a1.powi.holliday.main.story
Photos: Meridian International Center
Stuart Holliday

Holliday arrived at Meridian armed with a wealth of international management experience. Prior to his appointment as CEO and president of Meridian — a job he landed vis-à-vis an executive search by the institution — Holliday had served as an assistant secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of International Information Programs and as principal deputy assistant secretary for public affairs. He also worked in the early days of the George W. Bush White House, where he advised the president on appointments to the State Department, Defense Department, Veterans Department, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Peace Corps, FEMA, NASA, USAID and various ambassadorships.

Holliday said his tenure at the State Department allowed him to wear two hats. “One was a policy hat — when I was at the U.N. working on the Security Council — and one was a diplomatic hat, and it was a great fit,” he said. “It’s helped me understand better how we can serve as a resource of the State Department having worked at the State Department.”

State’s longstanding relationship with Meridian made Holliday a natural fit for the job because he understood the organization’s mission and he had some ideas for how to expand it. Holliday said that today’s challenging global environment calls for strong leadership skills, and Meridian provides that to thousands of aspiring government leaders from around the world every year.

“We’ve had a long relationship with the State Department in terms of Meridian’s identity and our role with respect to public diplomacy and exchange,” Holliday explained. “The landscape has changed in terms of the need for more leadership collaboration to include the private sector more, and to look at what we would call an exchange.

“In the old days, it was really about building goodwill,” Holliday said about Meridian’s early mission. “What I’ve tried to do at Meridian is first, include the private sector more in programs, create public-private partnerships where we can, help support bridging the State Department and private sector in terms of expanding the impact of their programs, and take advantage of our relationships with our corporate council, which we’ve developed.”

In addition to partnerships that connect U.S. and foreign governments with the private sector, Meridian works with the State Department and America’s embassies worldwide to forge international partnerships through leadership and cultural exchanges. To date, Meridian has conducted exchange programs for more than 65,000 foreign professionals over the last 50 years and organized cultural exhibitions for 357 host venues in 44 U.S. states and 55 countries.

Events hosted by the Meridian run the gamut (also see “With Flurry of New Programs, Meridian Moves With the Times” in the October 2012 issue of The Washington Diplomat). In recent months, Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, gave a talk on U.S.-India relations; Undersecretary of State Robert Hormats discussed anti-poaching efforts; Meridian arranged four “Capitol Hill Day” job-shadowing sessions for 78 undergraduate students representing 14 countries; ambassadors explored the importance of culinary diplomacy; and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities awarded Meridian a $20,000 Sister Cities International Arts Grant to deepen ties between D.C. and Ankara, Turkey.

But under Holliday, Meridian has honed its focus on cultivating leadership skills. Last year, the center introduced its Global Leadership Summit, held alongside its widely anticipated Meridian Ball.

The summit drew corporate heavyweights such as David M. Rubenstein of the Carlyle Group, Jay L. Johnson of General Dynamics, and ambassadors from India, Saudi Arabia, Panama, Gambia and the United Arab Emirates. This year’s summit will feature Ambassadors Ashok Mirpuri of Singapore and Eduardo Medina Mora of Mexico; as well as Shaygan Kheradpir, chief operations and technology officer of Barclays; Chairman and CEO of the Corporate Executive Board Co. Tom Monahan; Tomicah S. Tillemann of the State Department; Peter Palumbo, chairman of the Pritzker Architecture Prize; and Gallup Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton. 

The summit is part of Meridian’s Global Leadership Project, which brings U.S. and international experts together to examine perceptions of U.S. global leadership and the key factors and issues that drive these perceptions. The annual release of Meridian’s U.S. Global Leadership Track, a joint project with Gallup, provides a continuing assessment of how the world views American leadership (also see “Gallup and Meridian Examine World Views of U.S. Leadership” in the April 2013 edition of the Diplomatic Pouch online).

Leadership events in recent years have highlighted current U.S. initiatives and broader efforts by the international community on key issues, including global health and food security; disaster response; energy and the environment; economic growth and development; innovation and technology; and women’s leadership.

“We have put together a curriculum that includes subjects like culture, political risks, public diplomacy, government relations, stability, innovation — really looking at how people now need to engage stakeholders around the world to move their agendas forward,” Holliday said.

The Meridian CEO said the organization isn’t trying to compete with numerous international graduate programs in town, but to offer something different that supports more formal educational programs.

“We don’t seek to be a school,” Holliday said. “We’re not trying to compete with universities, but we’re trying to offer our own program that can be built in and expand and support higher education programs. It’s about practical information as well as theory.”

Holliday said Meridian’s reputation as an even-handed, nonpartisan organization in a town filled with groups pushing overt political agendas is a breath of fresh air.

“Meridian fulfills a need in Washington for a neutral, nonpartisan — both domestically and globally — convening forum,” he said. “More perspectives make better policy. We’re trying to be different. There are many think tanks in Washington. We want to create content, but it’s not about advocacy. Our content really is more of a way to gain insight into global trends and issues, as well as to educate and inform.”

One of the ways Meridian spreads its influence around the globe is through the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Since its launch in the 1940s, the program has given leaders from all over the world a chance to exchange knowledge and ideas in their professional fields.

The program invites more than 4,000 distinguished visitors to the United States every year and is funded by the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. For half a century, Meridian has been one of the State Department’s principal partners in implementing program, now administering roughly 40 percent of all IVLP projects annually.

a1.powi.holliday.envoys.story
Stuart Holliday, president and chief executive officer of the Meridian International Center, welcomes Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates Yousef Al Otaiba, left, and Ambassador of India Nirupama Rao, right, to the center, which has been advancing America's public and cultural diplomacy efforts since 1960.

Each visitor meets with professional counterparts in Washington and other communities across the country. Because most projects include travel to three or four cities, visitors are also able to sample America’s geographic diversity and gain insights into its culture and society.

In a typical year at Meridian, programming teams carefully design and implement IVLP projects for more than 1,500 international visitors. Project themes vary widely but generally focus on issues of importance to the United States, the visitor’s country or the world. During an IVLP project, most visitors spend three weeks in the United States, meeting with experts in their fields of interest from both the public and private sectors, attending cultural events, and enjoying the hospitality of American families. Many participants visit U.S. schools and may also contribute their time to a volunteer activity along the way.

“The International Visitor Leadership Program is the cornerstone of Meridian,” Holliday explained. “It is the main program to bring emerging leaders from around the world to the United States for three weeks — a week in Washington and two weeks out in other cities — to help them understand the United States and to build partnerships and lasting cooperation that can help the United States, but also help strengthen African entrepreneurs or help deal with trafficking persons or women’s economic development in Burma.”

Burmese religious and civil society leaders, for instance, visited D.C. in August as part of the program, which has also attracted luminaries from around the world. Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair are just two of the many international dignitaries who are IVLP graduates.

Holliday said the global leadership skills taught at Meridian are increasingly in demand.

“The demand for more global skills has increased,” he said. “Even in small- and medium-size businesses and states — economic development organizations at the state and city level — there has been an explosion of global economic cooperation. Frankly, shared risk has driven this demand up almost for everyone who comes out to have more of a global point of view. And traditional institutions are not able to solve big problems on their own.

“Among governments, international financial institutions and companies, there is this sense we all have to pitch in and take care of the economic needs of the people,” Holliday continued. “In a sense it’s a challenge for almost every citizen to view themselves as a leader in their own right — to try to develop some ownership of the shared future they will have.”

While Meridian is working to groom the world’s next leaders, it is also succeeding at bridging political divides through culture. The center regularly hosts art exhibitions that showcase other countries and the issues they are facing. The 2009 exhibition “Metropolis Now! A Selection of Chinese Contemporary Art” was a smash hit in Washington, enticing thousands of visitors to the Meridian, including China’s ambassador in Washington.

The exhibit — which revealed the challenges and opportunities of China’s rapidly urbanizing landscape — was born out of a memorandum of understanding between Meridian and China that has brought other artistic displays to D.C., including a recent one on fan paintings (also see “Much Fanfare at Meridian” in the July 2013 edition of the Diplomatic Pouch online).

Meridian recently signed another MOU with the United Arab Emirates to organize an exhibit of contemporary artworks depicting traditional Emirati culture. Last month, the center also hosted a series of concerts by five emerging jazz musicians from Ankara as part of its U.S.-Turkish Jazz Exchange.

“Culture is central to Meridian’s identity,” Holliday said. “It’s not just art, but the way Meridian uses art as a catalyst to help understand other cultures.

“In the case of the United States, we’ve been commissioned by some of our embassies to create historical narratives about the bilateral relationships with those countries in pictures,” he added. “They’re not only beautiful but tell a story. In the case of other embassies like the UAE or China or India, it’s helping them tell their story in a way that creates common ground.”

Holliday rejected the notion that Meridian soft scrubs the exhibitions to blunt any political statements they may — or may not — make.

“We’re very careful that we don’t,” he said. “We’re very careful no one has a veto over what we share and what we do. We’re not looking simply to promote one country’s viewpoint of how they want to be seen. That’s not what we do and we’re very clear about that.”

Holliday said the exhibitions provide another opportunity for dialogue, sometimes with countries that have little other common ground.

“Going back to ping pong diplomacy or wrestling diplomacy, culture is viewed as a way to have a dialogue even when things are just very difficult on the economic or security side,” he said.

Not everything Meridian tackles is serious, though. The Meridian Ball is a prime example of how the center uses its elegant space — including the Meridian House and White-Meyer House — to bring the city’s elite together. Holliday said the Meridian Ball started as a fundraiser for buildings and programs but has evolved into a pinnacle of the fall social calendar. Now in its 45th year, it remains one of the few events that features intimate dinners at embassies and ambassador residences around town (followed by desserts and dancing at the Meridian).

“It still is a fundraiser, but it’s also one of Washington’s major events bringing together the diplomatic corps, U.S. government leaders and the private sector,” Holliday said of the ball, slated for Oct. 18. “It has a special place on the calendar and we wanted to build on that and add a substantive element to it.”

That element is the Global Leadership Summit, hosted over lunch, that allows for a deeper dialogue than is possible at a glitzy ball. The summit is held in partnership with Gallup and the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.

“We didn’t want to have a long event with a lot of speeches, for example, at the ball,” Holliday said. “But we wanted to highlight our thought leadership so we created a summit that focuses on a couple of things.

“One is with our terrific partner the Gallup organization, so we released a survey about how countries feel about their leadership in a number of different areas,” he said. “We bring together government and private sector leaders to talk about how we cooperate and respond to what citizens want from their leaders.”


About the Author

Michael Coleman is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.

   

U.S. Response to Debt Debacle: Don’t Cry for Argentina

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By Larry Luxner

Read more: U.S. Response to Debt Debacle: Don’t Cry for Argentina
   

Bullies and Beacons: What Drives Senate Foreign Relations Chair

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By Luke Jerod Kummer

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Pakistani Government Takes Aim at Terrorism

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By Saba Imtiaz

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Iraq: Powder Keg Waiting to Explode?

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By Larry Luxner

Read more: Iraq: Powder Keg Waiting to Explode?
   

Black Hole in Heart of Africa: West Turns Blind Eye to CAR

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By Dave Seminara

Read more: Black Hole in Heart of Africa: West Turns Blind Eye to CAR
   

One of Washington’s Own Takes No Prisoners in ‘This Town’

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By John Shaw

Read more: One of Washington’s Own Takes No Prisoners in ‘This Town’
   

Patients: You Better Shop Around To Avoid Sickening Sticker Shock

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By Gina Shaw

Read more: Patients: You Better Shop Around To Avoid Sickening Sticker Shock
   

Boarding Schools Offer Home Away From Home

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By Audrey Hoffer

Read more: Boarding Schools Offer Home Away From Home
   

Catania on D.C. School Reforms: Mission Not Accomplished

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By Martin Austermuhle

Read more: Catania on D.C. School Reforms: Mission Not Accomplished
   

Sustainability Replaces Splurging As Hotels Take Eating Well to Heart

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By Stephanie Kanowitz

Read more: Sustainability Replaces Splurging As Hotels Take Eating Well to Heart
   

Spa Treatments Help Skin Weather Seasonal Chill

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By Stephanie Kanowitz

Read more: Spa Treatments Help Skin Weather Seasonal Chill
   

Airlines Offer One-Stop Shop To Simplify Vacation Planning

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By Stephanie Kanowitz

Read more: Airlines Offer One-Stop Shop To Simplify Vacation Planning
   

NMWA Highlights Racial Inequality and Fantastical Musings

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By Gary Tischler

Read more: NMWA Highlights Racial Inequality and Fantastical Musings
   

Laura Denise: Italy’s Cultural, Social Maven in Washington

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By Gail Scott

Read more: Laura Denise: Italy’s Cultural, Social Maven in Washington
   

Czech Embassy Showcases Many Sides of Václav Havel

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By Kat Lucero

Read more: Czech Embassy Showcases Many Sides of Václav Havel
   

Abstract Paintings Speak to Complexities of Brazil’s Evolution

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By Molly McCluskey

Read more: Abstract Paintings Speak to Complexities of Brazil’s Evolution
   

Fierstein’s Tale of Gay Acceptance Proves Old Themes Never Die

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By Lisa Troshinsky

Read more: Fierstein’s Tale of Gay Acceptance Proves Old Themes Never Die
   

Friedman’s Newton’s Table Is Apple of Bethesda’s Eye

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By Rachel G. Hunt

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‘Inequality for All’ Asks What’s Left of American Dream

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By Ky N. Nguyen

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Films - October 2013

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By Cari

Languages

Arabic

French

Japanese

Portuguese


Czech

German

Khmer

Spanish


English

Hebrew

Korean

 

Farsi

Italian

Mandarin

 

Arabic

Wadjda
Directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour
(Saudi Arabia/Germany, 2012, 97 min.)
An enterprising Saudi girl signs on for her school's Koran recitation competition as a way to raise the remaining funds she needs in order to buy the green bicycle that has captured her interest.
Landmark's E Street Cinema

Czech

And the Beggar's Opera Again
(A znovu Žebrácká opera)
Directed by Olga Sommerová
(Czech Republic, 1996, 60 min.)
Through Olga Sommerová's creatively intercut film, two productions of Václav Havel's "Beggar's Opera" reveal the political dynamics of the former Czechoslovakia before and after the Velvet Revolution in 1989 (screens with "Joseph Kilian" (Czechoslovakia, 1963, 38 min.) and "Who is Václav Havel... (Czechoslovakia, 1977, 11 min.)).
National Gallery of Art
Sat., Oct. 12, 4 p.m.

Every Young Man
(Kazky Mlady Muz)
Directed by Pavel Juráček
(Czechoslovakia, 1966, 83 min.)
A soldier's life under socialism is the focus of "Every Young Man," Pavel Juráček's absurdist drama in two parts (preceded by "The Uninvited Guest" (Czechoslovakia, 1969, 22 min.) about a boorish official who makes himself at home in a young couple's flat).
National Gallery of Art
Sat., Oct. 5, 2 p.m.

The Heart above the Castle
(Srdce nad Hradem)
Directed by Jan Němec
(Czech Republic, 2007, 48 min.)
Jan Němec travels behind the scenes of the 2002 NATO Summit in Prague, showing a surprisingly "human side" of top politicians, capturing comical commentaries, hesitancies and small stresses, and bringing the formal world of politics into the realm of the everyday.
National Gallery of Art
Fri., Oct. 11, 12:30 p.m.

Leaving
(Odcházení)
Directed by Václav Havel
(Czech Republic, 2011, 94 min.)
In 2008, Václav Havel returned to the theater with a new play, "Leaving," in which an ex-government official tries to reenter his former life, with the film version premiering shortly before his death in December 2011.
National Gallery of Art
Sun., Oct. 13, 4 p.m.

A Report on the Party and the Guests
(O slavnosti a hostech).
Directed by Jan Nemec
(Czechoslovakia, 1966, 68 min.)
A pleasant afternoon outing is cut short when a few pushy intruders force a group of friends to play a round of ridiculous party games (preceded by "The Mist" (Czechoslovakia, 1966, 28 min.), which poetically captures the celebrated Theatre on the Balustrade from different perspectives).
National Gallery of Art
Sat., Oct. 5, 4:30 p.m.

English

The Counselor
Directed by Ridley Scott
(U.S./U.K., 2013, 111 min.)
A lawyer finds himself in over his head when he gets involved in drug trafficking.
Angelika Mosaic
Opens Fri., Oct. 25

The Fifth Estate
Directed by Bill Condon
(U.S./Belgium, 2013, 124 min.)
This dramatic thriller based on WikiLeaks reveals the quest to expose the deceptions and corruptions of power that turned an Internet upstart into the 21st century's most fiercely debated organization.
Angelika Mosaic
Opens Fri., Oct. 11

Gravity
Directed by Alfonso Cuarón
(U.S./U.K., 2013, 90 min.)
A medical engineer and an astronaut work together to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space.
Angelika Mosaic
Opens Fri., Oct. 4

Inequality for All
Directed by Jacob Kornbluth
(U.S., 2013, 89 min.)
In this timely and entertaining documentary, noted economic policy expert Robert Reich takes on the enormous question of what has been happening to our economy.
Angelika Mosaic
Landmark's E Street Cinema

Kinky Boots
Directed by Julian Jarrold
(U.S./U.K., 2005, 107 min.)
A traditional Northampton shoemaker turns to producing fetish footwear in order to save the failing family business and the jobs of his workers.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Oct. 12, 4:30 p.m.,
Thu., Oct. 17, 5:15 p.m.

Mademoiselle C
Directed by Fabien Constant
(France, 2013, 93 min.)
This documentary focuses on former Vogue Paris editor-in-chief and fashion stylist Carine Roitfeld as she moves to New York to launch her own magazine.
Angelika Mosaic

Melancholia
Directed by Lars von Trier
(Denmark/Sweden/France/Germany, 2011, 136 min.)
Two sisters find their already strained relationship challenged as a mysterious new planet threatens to collide with Earth.
National Gallery of Art
Sun., Oct. 20, 5:30 p.m.

Men at Lunch
Directed by Seán Ó Cualáin
(Ireland, 2012, 67 min.)
Director Seán Ó Cualáin investigates the engrossing story of the iconic photograph taken during the construction of the RCA Building (now the GE Building) at Rockefeller Center that depicts 11 workmen taking their lunch break while casually perched along a steel girder, 850 feet above the ground.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Oct. 12, 2:45 p.m.

Money for Nothing: Inside the Federal Reserve
Directed by Jim Bruce
(U.S./Canada, 2013, 104 min.)
A century after its creation, the power of the Federal Reserve has never been greater. Yet the average American knows very little about the most powerful financial institution on earth. This first-of-its-kind documentary reveals the impact of Fed policies on our lives.
Landmark's E Street Cinema

Paris the Luminous Years
Directed by Perry Miller Adato
(U.K./U.S., 2010, 120 min.)
Paris was the focal point for modernism during the early decades of the 20th century, when Picasso, Matisse, Stravinsky, Hemingway, Nijinsky, Diaghilev and many artists were habitués of the city's cafes, concert halls and studios. This documentary explores Paris as muse from a range of perspectives, personalities and works of art.
National Gallery of Art
Thu., Oct. 3, 12:30 p.m.,
Fri., Oct. 4, 12:30 p.m.

Romeo and Juliet
Directed by Carlo Carlei
(U.K./Italy/Switzerland, 2013)
When the star-crossed lovers of two enemy families meet, forbidden love ensues.
Angelika Mosaic
Landmark's E Street Cinema
Opens Fri., Oct. 11

The Summit
Directed by Nick Ryan
(Ireland/U.K./Switzerland/U.S., 2012, 95 min.)
This is the story of the deadliest day on the world's most dangerous mountain, when 11 climbers mysteriously perished on K2.
Landmark's E Street Cinema
Opens Fri., Oct. 11

The Trials of Muhammad Ali
Directed by Bill Siegel
(U.S., 2013, 94 min.)
The toughest fight of Muhammad Ali's career was not against Sonny Liston or Joe Frazier in the ring, but in the court of public opinion when he refused to serve in the Vietnam War and was vilified as the fighter who would not fight for America.
Landmark's E Street Cinema

Who Is Dayani Cristal
Directed by Marc Silver
(Mexico/U.K., 2013, 85 min.)
An unidentified body is found just over the Mexican border in the arid desert of Arizona, a tattoo on the man's chest, "Dayani Cristal," the only clue to his identity. As forensic scientists in the U.S. do their best to solve the mystery, Gael García Bernal retraces the man's tough journey from Honduras, hopping on trains and hoofing it on foot through Mexico toward the border.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Oct. 5, 7 p.m.,
Sun., Oct. 6, 1 p.m.

Farsi

The Patience Stone
Directed by Atiq Rahimi
(Afghanistan/France/Germany/U.K., 2012, 102 min.)
In a war-torn country, a woman begins to speak truth to her comatose husband, telling him about her childhood, her suffering, her frustrations, her loneliness, her dreams, desires and secrets — after years of living under his control, with no voice of her own.
Landmark's E Street Cinema

French

L'Age d'Or
Directed by Luis Buñuel
(France, 1930, 63 min.)
One of the most celebrated artistic collaborations of all time, Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí's "L'Age d'Or" is a surreal commentary on lust and the absurdities of modern bourgeois living.
National Gallery of Art
Sun., Oct. 20, 4 p.m.

Haute Cuisine
(Les saveurs du Palais)
Directed by Christian Vincent
(France, 2012, 95 min.)
Based on the extraordinary true story of French President François Mitterand's private chef, "Haute Cuisine" follows the impassioned and talented Hortense Laborie, a successful cook living in relative obscurity in the Périgord.
Landmark's E Street Cinema

My Piece of the Pie
(Ma part du gateau)
Directed by Cédric Klapisch
(France, 2011, 109 min.)
After losing her job at a local factory in the port city of Dunkirk, a single mother enrolls in a housekeeper training program, soon landing work cleaning the Paris apartment of a handsome but cocky powerbroker, who happens to be the one responsible for the layoffs at her factory.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., Oct. 13, 5:40 p.m.

Populaire
Directed by
(France, 2012, 111 min.)
In 1958, 21-year-old Rose seems destined for the quiet, drudgery-filled life of a housewife, until she becomes a secretary for a charismatic insurance agency boss who aims to turn her into the fastest typist in the world (French, English and German).
Landmark's E Street Cinema

The Women on the 6th Floor
(Les femmes du 6ème étage)
Directed by Philippe Le Guay
(France, 2010, 106 min.)
A stellar cast serves up a riotous upstairs/downstairs comedy in Philippe Le Guay's charming box office hit, demonstrating that people of different social classes, living under the same roof, can affect each other's outlooks and lives.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., Oct. 13, 3:30 p.m.

You Will Be My Son
(Tu seras mon fils)
Directed by Gilles Legrand
(France, 2011, 101 min.)
The passionate, demanding proprietor of a prestigious family wine estate has no faith in his son and looks to the son of his dying estate manager to carry on the family property.
Landmark's E Street Cinema

German

Coded Message for the Boss
(Chiffriet an Chef – Ausfall Nummer 5)
Directed by Helmut Dzuiba
(East Germany, 1979, 96 min.)
An electrical engineering student living in East Berlin gets recruited by the CIA and immediately notifies the Stasi, but his work as a double agent inevitably strains his personal life (in German only; no English subtitles).
Goethe-Institut
Mon., Oct. 28, 6:30 p.m.

For Eyes Only – Top Secret
(Streng geheim)
Directed by János Veiczi
(East Germany, 1963, 98 min.)
In the first spy thriller from East Germany, a double agent working for the East German secret service (Stasi) is sent on a mission to steal classified American military intelligence documents related to a planned invasion of East Germany.
Goethe-Institut
Mon., Oct. 21, 6:30 p.m.

Hebrew

Zaytoun
Directed by Eran Riklis
(U.K./Israel, 2012, 110 min.)
In 1982, amid the Lebanese Civil War, an Israeli pilot taken prisoner by the inhabitants of a Palestinian refugee camp and a 10-year-old Palestinian boy team up to get past the Lebanese border and plant the boy's father's beloved olive tree in his ancestral homeland.
The Avalon Theatre

Italian

The Organizer
(I Compagni)
Directed by Mario Monicelli
(Italy/France/Yugoslavia, 1963, 130 min.)
Nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, this film gives Marcello Mastroianni one of his best roles, as a late-19th-century labor leader orchestrating a strike at a Turin textile plant.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Oct. 12, 3 p.m.,
Tue., Oct. 15, 5:15 p.m.

Japanese

5 Centimeters Per Second
(Byôsoku 5 senchimêtoru)
Directed by Makoto Shinkai
(Japan, 2007, 62 min.)
The title of Makoto Shinkai's wistful coming-of-age film, which he adapted from his own manga comic book, describes the velocity at which cherry blossom petals fall. This metaphor for the impermanence of human relationships is the theme of the film's three connected stories.
Freer Gallery of Art
Sun., Oct. 20, 2 p.m.

Khmer

Gibier d'Elevage
Directed by Rithy Panh
(Cambodia/France, 2011, 93 min.)
Kenzaburo Oe's provocative story about an African American bomber pilot who crashes in a remote Japanese village during World War II and becomes both a prisoner and an object of curiosity is transplanted to Cambodia during the Vietnam War as an allegory about the Khmer Rouge.
Freer Gallery of Art
Fri., Oct. 11, 7 p.m.

Korean

Perfect Number
(Yong-eui-ja X)
Directed by Pang Eun-jin
(South Korea, 2012, 119 min.)
A single mother accidentally murders her abusive ex-husband during a fight and her neighbor, a mild-mannered math teacher who's secretly obsessed with her, comes to her aid, disposing of the body and devising an ingenious alibi.
Freer Gallery of Art
Sun., Oct. 13, 2 p.m.

Mandarin

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?
(Ming tian ji de ai shang wo)
Directed by Arvin Chen
(Taiwan, 2013, 100 min.)
In this lighthearted comedic romp, introverted optometrist Weichung begins to question his marriage with his wife when she wants to have another baby. At his sister's engagement party, Weichung bumps into an old friend, a wedding photographer who, though also married, is living the high life of a younger, single gay man. Dormant emotions are awakened and Weichung sets off on a quest for true romance.
Freer Gallery of Art
Sun., Oct. 6, 2 p.m.

Portuguese

Once Upon a Time Veronica
(Era uma vez eu, Verônica)
Directed by Marcelo Gomes
(Brazil/France, 2012, 91 min.)
Veronica is a young woman in the throes of a quarter-life crisis: Fresh out of med school, she lives with her ailing father in the coastal town of Recife and finds out the hard way that adult life isn't all that it's cracked up to be.
AFI Silver Theatre
Fri., Oct. 4, 5 p.m.,
Sun., Oct. 6, 9:05 p.m.

Rio 2096: A Story of Love and Fury
(Uma História de Amor e Fúria)
Directed by Luiz Bolognesi
(Brazil, 2013, 98 min.)
Spanning 600 years of tumultuous Brazilian history, this bold animated epic follows the passionate romance of an immortal warrior and the love of his many lives, as they are reincarnated, persecuted, torn apart and reunited again.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., Oct. 6, 5 p.m.,
Mon., Oct. 7, 9 p.m.

Spanish

3
(Tres)
Directed by Pablo Stoll Ward
(Uruguay/Argentina/Germany, 2012, 119 min.)
Rodolfo is filled with regret. His ex-wife and his teenage daughter are wary about letting him back into their lives, but Rodolfo is determined to ingratiate himself with them both, thinking up ways to help around the house, eventually camping out on the couch.
AFI Silver Theatre
Thu., Oct. 3, 9:05 p.m.

Anina
Directed by Alfredo Soderguit
(Uruguay/Colombia, 2013, 80 min.)
A young girl must endure a weeklong suspension after a schoolyard fight and ultimately learn a lesson in friendship and acceptance in this heart-warming animated film.
AFI Silver Theatre
Tue., Oct. 1, 5 p.m.

The Body
(El cuerpo)
Directed by Oriol Paulo
(Spain, 2012, 108 min.)
As baffled by his the disappearance of his wife's body as the lead investigator, a husband is subjected to hours of grueling interrogation. But when he receives a note from his dead wife, he is caught in a psychological game of cat and mouse — yet with whom, he does not know.
AFI Silver Theatre
Fri., Oct. 4, 9:30 p.m.,
Sat., Oct. 5, 3:10 p.m.

The Cleaner
(El limpiador)
Directed by Adrián Saba
(Peru, 2012, 95 min.)
A forensic cleaner lives his routine and solitary life even as a devastating and mysterious epidemic sweeps Lima, but as the city crumbles around him, he discovers a scared 8-year-old boy and reluctantly agrees to take him in.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Oct. 5, 3 p.m.,
Tue., Oct. 8, 7:15 p.m.

The Critic
(El crítico)
Directed by Hernán Guerschuny
(Argentina, 2013, 90 min.)
A devotee of the French New Wave finds himself in the middle of a movie he would normally laugh off the screen before the second act. But when he meets his own manic pixie dream girl, he starts to fall in love and might even write a positive review for the latest chick flick.
AFI Silver Theatre
Thu., Oct. 3, 7 p.m.

The Dead Man and Being Happy
(El muerto y ser feliz)
Directed by Javier Rebollo
(Spain/Argentina/France, 2013, 92 min.)
Spanish filmmaker Javier Rebollo's oddball road movie centers on an aging, cancer-stricken hit man who goes on the lam in his Ford Falcon after flaking out on his most recent assignment.
AFI Silver Theatre
Fri., Oct. 4, 7 p.m.,
Wed., Oct. 9, 6:30 p.m.

Dust
(Polvo)
Directed by Julio Hernández Cordón
(Guatemala/Spain/Chile/Germany, 2012, 80 min.)
The filmmakers set out to make a documentary about the indigenous survivors of the civil war who are still searching for lost family members. When they discover Juan, obsessed with finding his father, it appears they've found the perfect subject for their film, but Juan has other priorities: Getting revenge on those responsible for his father's disappearance.
AFI Silver Theatre
Thu., Oct. 3, 5 p.m.

Edificio Royal
Directed by Iván Wild
(Colombia/France/Venezuela, 2012, 90 min.)
Death, cockroaches and Tom Cruise come crashing together in this absurd black comedy from first-time filmmaker Iván Wild.
AFI Silver Theatre
Wed., Oct. 2, 5 p.m.

The End
(El fin)
Directed by Miguel Alejandro Gomez
(Costa Rica, 2012, 85 min.)
A Costa Rican companion to this summer's slew of apocalyptic comedies, Miguel Alejandro Gomez's film is a life-affirming bromance between downtrodden Nicolas and liberated Carlos.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Oct. 5, 1:15 p.m.,
Mon., Oct. 7, 5 p.m.

The Future
(Il futuro)
Directed by Alicia Scherson
(Italy/Chile/Germany/Spain, 2013, 94 min.)
Orphaned by a tragic car accident, teens Bianca and Tomas struggle to adapt to their new life and sudden adulthood (Spanish, English and Italian).
AFI Silver Theatre
Wed., Oct. 2, 9 p.m.

Last Call
(Tercera llamada)
Directed by Francisco Franco
(Mexico, 2013, 92 min.)
Doing theater is an act of faith, and this high-budget production of "Caligula" is teetering on the precipice of epic destruction.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Oct. 5, 5 p.m.,
Sun., Oct. 6, 3 p.m.

Leones
Directed by Jazmín López
(Argentina/France/Netherlands, 2012, 82 min.)
Deep in the forest, a group of five friends wanders around like a lion herd. Lost in their word games, they play and seduce each other while going back and forth into adult territory, in a desperate search to avoid their already written story.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., Oct. 6, 9:15 p.m.,
Mon., Oct. 7, 9:15 p.m.

The Metal Stork
(La cigüeña metálica)
Directed by Joan López Lloret
(Spain, 2012, 81 min.)
In this powerful documentary, filmed twenty years after the Chapultepec Peace Accords brought an end to the brutal civil war in El Salvador, three formerly missing children try to repair the damage and reconstruct their lives.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Oct. 5, 11:10 a.m.,
Wed., Oct. 9, 5 p.m.

Much Better Than You
(Soy mucho mejor que vos)
Directed by Che Sandoval
(Chile, 2013, 85 min.)
A balding 40-year-old degenerate reeling from the separation from his wife embarks on an endless night on the town in search of sex, drugs and happiness.
AFI Silver Theatre
Mon., Oct. 7, 7 p.m.,
Tue., Oct. 8, 9:15 p.m.

Pánico: The Band That Met the Sound Beneath
(La banda que buscó el sonido debajo)
Directed by James Schneider, Benjamín Echazarreta
(Chile/France, 2012, 85 min.)
After two decades of playing rock 'n' roll, these Santiago city slickers have their world rocked by the strange sounds and voices of the north, not to mention a major earthquake.
AFI Silver Theatre
Wed., Oct. 2, 7:30 p.m.

Rock, Paper, Scissors
(Piedra, Papel o Tijera)
Directed by Hernán Jabes
(Venezuela, 2012, 110 min.)
Héctor, an absent father and distant husband, discovers his wife has long been having an affair, while Cristian, a blue-collar laborer heavily in debt, kidnaps the well-to-do Héctor's son, initiating a series of events that will change the lives of both families forever.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Oct. 5, 11 a.m.,
Tue., Oct. 8, 5 p.m.

So Much Water
(Tanta agua)
Directed by Ana Guevara
(Uruguay/Mexico/Netherlands/Germany, 2013, 102 min.)
Sullen 14-year-old Lucía leaves her home in Montevideo with her brother to spend a week's vacation at a spa resort with her divorced dad, becoming fast friends with a local girl she meets at the arcade, not to mention the dreamy-looking Santiago.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., Oct. 6, 7 p.m.,
Tue., Oct. 8, 9 p.m.

   

Events - October 2013

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EVENT CATEGORIES

Art

Dance

Discussions

Festivals

Theater

Galas

Music


ART

Oct. 1 to 31
European Architectural Photography Prize 2013 "Focus of Attention" (Im Brennpunkt)
"Im Brennpunkt | Focus of Attention" was this year's theme of the European Architectural Photography Prize, which sought works focusing on subjects that generate public attention and controversy based on political, cultural or historical reasons, particularly in the realms of urban development and social justice.
Goethe-Institut

Oct. 1 to Jan. 12
Pakistani Voices: A Conversation with The Migration Series
In April 2013, the Phillips partnered with the State Department to conduct a series of workshops in Pakistan focusing on art and social change. This exhibition features 29 works by emerging Pakistani artists and 20 works by students and orphans who worked together to create visual narratives about identity, personal struggle and Pakistani history.
The Phillips Collection

Oct. 4 to Jan. 5
Wanderer: Travel Prints by Ellen Day Hale
A selection of prints, drawings and original printing plates demonstrates Ellen Day Hale 's passion for travel and her mastery of printmaking.
National Museum of Women in the Arts

Through Oct. 6
NOW at the Corcoran – Ellen Harvey: The Alien's Guide to the Ruins of Washington, D.C.
Ellen Harvey's new project is a glimpse into the world of the distant future. Human civilization having long since come to an end, the earth is populated now only by ruins, ripe for archeological interpretation by visitors from another planet. Attempting to make sense of what they find, Harvey's aliens immediately mine the potential of one of the greatest neo-classical cities — Washington, D.C. — as a tourist destination.
Corcoran Gallery of Art

Through Oct. 6
Peter Coffin: Here & There
Nature, science, pseudoscience, psychological displacement, urban happenstance and what-if brainstorms are among the myriad departure points for the works of New York-based artist Peter Coffin.
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Oct. 6 to March 2
Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections
In the first exhibition devoted to Byzantine art at the National Gallery, some 170 rare and important works, drawn exclusively from Greek collections, offer a fascinating glimpse of the soul and splendor of the mysterious Byzantine Empire.
National Gallery of Art

Oct. 12 to Jan. 26
Van Gogh Repetitions
In the first Vincent van Gogh (1853-90) exhibition in D.C. in 15 years, the Phillips Collection takes a fresh look at the van Gogh's artistic process, venturing beneath the surface of some of his best-known paintings to examine how and why he repeated certain compositions during his 10-year career.
The Phillips Collection

Through Oct. 13
Out of Southeast Asia: Art that Sustains
The last exhibition presented in the Textile Museum's historic location before the museum's 2014 reopening promises to be a beautiful pairing of tradition and innovation, demonstrating how four artists are reinventing traditional Southeast Asian textile techniques, designs and ideology in new and meaningful ways.
The Textile Museum

Through Oct. 15:
Guerrero: 7 Regions of Art and Tradition
The southwest Mexican state of Guerrero is a richly diverse blend of geography and ethnicity that's home to four major ethnic groups and seven regions, each with their own distinctive artistic culture. These regions celebrate material and immaterial heritage at once both communal and unique, inherent in their archeological sites, churches, parks and plazas. From these shared spaces come the crafts, clothing and artwork that help to underwrite Guerrero's larger identity.
Mexican Cultural Institute

Through Oct. 18
Brazil, My Brazil: Contrasts of Modernity
Brazilian artist Marília Bulhões offers a contemporary view of her country's people, natural beauty, modernity and troubles through the prism of both progress, such as aerospace technology and the futuristic architecture of Niemeyer, and ongoing challenges such as slums and deforestation.
Art Museum of the Americas F Street Gallery

Through Oct. 19
Comparisons in Jugendstil and Spanish Mission Private Residences
This exhibit compares two influential residences that share a common artistic impact on their respective cities: the Jugendstil house in Riga, a former artistic residence that is now home to the Riga Art Nouveau Museum, and the historic Alice Pike Barney Studio House, the current home of the Embassy of Latvia in D.C. built by Barney, a patron of the Washington arts scene in the early 20th century.
Latvian Embassy Art Space

Oct. 19 to Jan. 26
Yoga: The Art of Transformation
Through masterpieces of Indian sculpture and painting, "Yoga" — the first exhibit to present this leitmotif of Indian visual culture — explores yoga's goals; its Hindu as well as Buddhist, Jain and Sufi manifestations; its means of transforming body and consciousness; and its profound philosophical foundations.
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Through Oct. 22
Leonardo da Vinci's Codex on the Flight of Birds
One of Italy's greatest treasures, Leonardo da Vinci's "Codex on the Flight of Birds," created circa 1505, shows da Vinci's interest in human flight by exploring bird flight and behavior. It includes sketches and descriptions of devices and aerodynamic principles related to mechanical flight that predate the invention of the airplane by 400 years.
National Air and Space Museum

Oct. 24 to May 26
Damage Control: Art and Destruction Since 1950
The first in-depth exploration of the theme of destruction in international contemporary visual culture, this ground-breaking exhibition includes works by a diverse range of international artists working in painting, sculpture, photography, film, installation and performance.
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Through Oct. 25
Las Calles Hablan (Mapping Barcelona Public Art)
For thousands of years, public art, an age-old form of human expression, has existed on the streets, created by anonymous artists with loud voices, layers of imagination and opinions. This exhibit shows the evolution of street art in Barcelona.
Embassy of Spain

Oct. 25 to March 2
Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art
Nearly 100 works in all media by 72 leading modern and contemporary artists present the rich and varied contributions of Latino artists in the United States since the mid-20th century, when the concept of a collective Latino identity began to emerge.
Smithsonian American Art Museum

Through Oct. 31
The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo
Artist Pablo Amaringo (1938-2009) was introduced to the world outside of Peru with the 1991 publication of his book "Ayahuasca Visions: The Religious Iconography of a Peruvian Shaman." Recognized as one of the world's great visionary artists, Amaringo was renowned for his intricate, colorful paintings inspired by his shamanic visions.
Embassy of Peru
Fernando de Szyszlo Gallery

Through Nov. 8
Jorge Caligiuri: The Other Lands
Inspired by interior design and decorative objects, Argentine-born Jorge Caligiuri's latest body of work is a series of frescos where the primary intention is to create a simple visual experience working with ordinary elements: dots, squares, strips, texture and light playing off elements of repetition, geometry and color.
Embassy of Argentina

Through Nov. 10
American People, Black Light: Faith Ringgold's Paintings of the 1960s
Faith Ringgold is well known for originating the African American story quilt revival in the late 1970s. In the previous decade, she created bold, provocative paintings in direct response to the civil rights and feminist movements. Ringgold's unprecedented exploration of race and gender in America is examined in this comprehensive survey of 49 rarely exhibited paintings.
National Museum of Women in the Arts

Through Nov. 10
Awake in a Dream World: The Art of Audrey Niffenegger
The first major museum exhibition of visual artist and author of "The Time Traveler's Wife" reveals a mysterious, strange and whimsical world, both real and imagined, through 239 paintings, drawings, prints and book art.
National Museum of Women in the Arts

Through Dec. 31
S.O.S. Spanish Office Showroom
As part of the SPAIN arts & culture program (www.spainculture.us), "S.O.S. Spanish Office Showroom" presents the most avant-garde pieces of Spanish design conceived for modern working environments, highlighting how the creativity of contemporary Spanish designers adapts to any office space and how Spanish design companies are successfully competing in international markets, such as the United States.
Former Spanish Residence

Through Jan. 5
Charles Marville: Photographer of Paris
The first retrospective exhibition in the United States, and the only scholarly catalogue on the renowned 19th-century French photographer Charles Marville (1813-79), presents recent groundbreaking discoveries informing his art and biography, including the versatility of his photographic talents and his true identity, background and family life.
National Gallery of Art

Through Jan. 5
A Democracy of Images: Photographs from the Smithsonian American Art Museum
More than 100 photographs selected from the Smithsonian American Art Museum's permanent collection celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the museum's photography collection, examine photography's evolution in the United States from a documentary medium to a full-fledged artistic genre, and showcase the numerous ways in which it has captured the American experience.
American Art Museum

Through Jan. 5
Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa
Some 100 exceptional works of art from the late 18th to 21st centuries come together for the first major exhibition and scholarly endeavor to comprehensively examine the rich relationship between African artists and the land upon which they live, work and frame their days.
National Museum of African Art

Through Jan. 5
Northern Mannerist Prints from the Kainen Collection
Some 50 works embody the sophisticated imagery, extraordinary stylization and virtuoso technique of the printmaking industry that flourished in the northern Netherlands and at the imperial court of Prague in the late 16th century.
National Gallery of Art

Through Jan. 5
Yes, No, Maybe: Artists Working at Crown Point Press
Featuring 125 working proofs and edition prints produced between 1972 and 2010 at Crown Point Press in San Francisco, one of the most influential printmaking studios of the last half century, "Yes, No, Maybe" goes beyond celebrating the flash of inspiration to examine the artistic process as a sequence of decisions.
National Gallery of Art

Through Jan. 12
Living Artfully: At Home with Marjorie Merriweather Post
From the glamour of Palm Beach, to the rustic whimsy of the Adirondacks, to the distinguished social scene of Washington, D.C., heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post brought to her multiple residences a flawless style of living and entertaining that was made possible only through the gracious management of loyal staff.
Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

Through Jan. 25
A Night at the Opera
The grandeur of opera — its unforgettable music, stellar performers, and lavish scenery and costumes — has transfixed audiences for more than 400 years. This 50-item display will feature manuscripts, printed scores, librettos, photographs, correspondence and set designs dating from the late 18th century through the beginning of the 20th century.
Library of Congress
James Madison Building

Through Feb. 9
Lines, Marks, and Drawings: Through the Lens of Roger Ballen
This exhibit considers the 40-year-plus career of Roger Ballen, one of the more recognized photographic artists working today, through a new approach: an examination of line and drawing in his photographs.
National Museum of African Art

Through June 8, 2014
Perspectives: Rina Banerjee
Born in India and based in New York City, artist Rina Banerjee draws on her background as a scientist and her experience as an immigrant in her richly textured works that complicate the role of objects as representations of cultures and invite viewers to share her fascination in materials.
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

DANCE

Sat., Oct. 26, 8 p.m.
Tango Fire - Flames of Desire
Choreographed by critically acclaimed Argentine choreographer and dancer German Cornejo, the sensational Tango Fire Company of Buenos Aires presents their new show, featuring 10 torrid dancers, one of Argentina's finest young singers and a quartet of brilliant musicians. Tickets are $30 to $45.
GW Lisner Auditorium

Oct. 30 to Nov. 3
Giselle
Love, betrayal and forgiveness reign as the Washington Ballet takes on one of the world's most beautiful and technically difficult ballets. Tickets are $25 to $125.
Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theatre

DISCUSSIONS

Thu., Oct. 3, 6:45 p.m.
Siberia's Trans-Baikal: An Architectural Journey
William Brumfield, architectural historian and photographer, takes a journey deep in the eastern Siberian taiga, or boreal forest, home to some of Russia's most fascinating regions and territories known as the Trans-Baikal. Tickets are $42. For information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.
S. Dillon Ripley Center

Sat., Oct. 5, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Art and Architecture of Russia's Far North
Perched in northernmost Russia, the Arkhangelsk territory — between the Northern Dvina and Onega Rivers — is known for its stunning forests and towns that reflect a remarkably rich artistic heritage. Tickets are $130. For information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.
S. Dillon Ripley Center

Mon., Oct. 7, 6:45 p.m.
Mexican Home Cooking with Pati Jinich With Tasting
A self-described "overloaded soccer mom with three kids and a powerful blender," Pati Jinich, who was born and raised in Mexico City, is on a mission to show Americans that true Mexican home cooking isn't what they've come to expect. Tickets are $42. For information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.
S. Dillon Ripley Center

Wed., Oct. 9, 6:45 p.m.
Mingle at the Museum: Underwater Adventures Featuring Photographer Brian Skerry
Immerse yourself in the Natural History Museum after hours to explore the wonders that lie below the waves as you meet photojournalist, explorer and conservation advocate Brian Skerry, whose exhibition, "Portraits of Planet Ocean," reflects the amazing beauty, vitality and diversity of our resilient, though imperiled, ocean. Tickets are $50.
Natural History Museum

Wed., Oct. 23, 12 p.m.
All Nations under God: Sacred Spires, Stars, and Domes in Old German Washington
While floods of European immigrants lent 19th-century D.C.'s urban heart a strong German flair, new waves later turned it strongly Chinese, but vestiges of our cultural melting pot survive in the area's varied houses of worship. Led by guide Elizabeth Sherman, this tour hosted by the Goethe-Institut will illustrate how Washingtonians have honored God — from the airy spire of the German-American Calvary Baptist Church, to the rough-hewn Washington Hebrew Synagogue/New Hope Baptist Church, to the modest Cum Yum Buddhist Temple and grand domed Sixth & I Historic Synagogue.
National Portrait Gallery

Thu., Oct. 24, 6:45 p.m.
40 Chances: Howard G. Buffett on Finding Hope in a Hungry World
In 2006, philanthropist and farmer Howard G. Buffett set out to help the most vulnerable population on earth — nearly a billion people who lack basic food security — and gave himself 40 years to invest more than $3 billion in solutions to meet this challenge. Buffett discusses his efforts and new book "40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World." Tickets are $42. For information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.
Location TBA

Thu., Oct. 24, 6:30 p.m.
Pati's Mexican Table: Mex-Americana - The Evolution of Mexican Food in the U.S.
On the heels of Pati's sold-out first installment of "Mexican Table," she's back with the second demo dinner of the year, this time showcasing the rich, delicious history of Mexican food in the United States. Tickets are $70.
Mexican Cultural Institute

FESTIVALS

Oct. 10 to 12
VelocityDC Dance Festival
The annual event, showcasing the scope and talent of the Washington dance community, returns for its fifth year with more than 20 ensembles and individuals. Tickets are $18.
Sidney Harman Hall

Oct. 12, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.,
Oct. 13, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Russian Fall Bazaar
This annual fall bazaar held at St. Nicholas Cathedral on Massachusetts Avenue features an array of Russian, Ukrainian, Georgian and Central Asian cuisine, music and culture. Among the offerings are live music presented by different bands, a wide assortment of unique handicrafts, free tours in the cathedral, activities for children and more. Princess Putyatina (a branch of Romanov dynasty) and Countess Tolstoy (grandchild of famous Russian writer Leo Tolstoy) will also be present.
St. Nicholas Cathedral

Oct. 16 to Nov. 13
Kids Euro Festival 2013
The largest children's performing arts festival in the United States returns to the Washington area for its sixth edition, with more 200 free, family-friendly, European-themed events including performances, concerts, workshops, movies, storytelling, puppetry, dance, magic and cinema — all brought to you by the 28 European Union member states. For information, visit kidseurofestival.org.
Various locations

Oct. 19 to 20
Bethesda Row Arts Festival
The Bethesda Row Arts Festival features almost 190 of the nation's best artists and crafters and covers the four blocks of Bethesda Row with the finest in ceramics, drawings, fabrics, glass, graphics, jewelry, metalwork, paintings, pastels, photography, printmaking, sculpture, wood and mixed media.
Bethesda Row, Md.

Through Oct. 31
Mutual Inspirations Festival 2013-Václav Havel
The Czech Embassy celebrates the life and legacy of dissident, playwright and former Czech President Václav Havel with more than 30 events throughout Washington as part of its Mutual Inspirations Festival, an annual initiative focusing on the mutual inspirations between Czech and American cultures and featuring an extraordinary Czech personality who has greatly inspired others. With more than 20,000 visitors in the last two years, the festival incorporates theatrical performances, film screenings, concerts, lectures and exhibitions — reflecting the many hats Havel wore throughout his life as president, political leader, visionary, spiritual seeker, human rights activist, citizen, dissident, prisoner, playwright, writer and poet. For more information, visit www.mutualinspirations.org.
Various locations

GALAS

Sun., Oct. 6, 6 p.m.
Harman Center for the Arts Annual Gala
One of Washington's top 20 benefits and galas, the Harman Center for the Arts Gala provides indispensable funds for the Shakespeare Theatre's education and community engagement programs including the annual "Free For All." This year's gala presents the William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre to actress Elizabeth McGovern of "Downtown Abbey." Tickets are $750 to $1,000. For information, visit www.shakespearetheatre.org/info/support/special-events/harman-center-gala#.
Sidney Harman Hall

Thu., Oct. 17
Some Enlightened Evening
Diplomats, philanthropists, artists, yogis, and celebrities come together to celebrate the unveiling of "Yoga: The Art of Transformation," the world's first exhibition on the art of yoga. This sumptuous affair of exceptional art is complemented by cuisine created by Floyd Cardoz, winner of "Top Chef Masters" season three; a performance by Grammy-nominated vocalist Chandrika Tandon; and memorable mingling with yoga luminaries, including Hilaria and Alec Baldwin — under the patronage of Indian Ambassador Nirupama Rao and His Highness Gaj Singh II, the maharaja of Jodhpur-Marwar. Tickets are $1,000 or $2,500. For information, visit www.asia.si.edu/events/galas/some-enlightened-evening/.
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Fri., Oct. 18
Meridian Ball and Global Leadership Summit
Now in its 45th year, the Meridian Ball brings together public and private sector leaders to celebrate Meridian's efforts to nurture global leadership with ambassador-hosted dinners followed by desserts and dancing at the Meridian House. Earlier in the day, top international and domestic policymakers, corporate and diplomatic leaders, academics and media will convene at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center for Meridian's Global Leadership Summit to explore ways to address global challenges through collaboration and cooperation. Tickets are $450 to $650. For information, visit www.meridian.org/ball.
Meridian International Center

Wed., Oct. 23, 6:30 p.m.
Freedom House Annual Awards Dinner
At its annual awards dinner, Freedom House will present the Freedom Award to human rights activist Chen Guangcheng in recognition of his work on behalf of women and the rural poor in his native China. Also being honored at the event are Sens. Ben Cardin and John McCain and Reps. Jim McGovern and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen for their leadership in the passage of the Sergei Magnitsky Act, which denies visas and freezes the assets of Russian officials involved in human rights abuses. Tickets are $1,250. For information, visit www.freedomhouse.org/annual-dinner-2013.
Newseum

MUSIC

Sat., Oct. 5, 3 p.m.
Prem Raja Mahat
Prem Raja Mahat, who grew up listening to and singing the "rural Nepalese blues" as a young boy in the hills of west central Nepal, has contributed to the revival and tremendous appeal of folk music in Nepal. Tickets are $100 and include a Nepalese buffet. For information, visit www.embassyseries.org.
Nepal Ambassador's Residence

Tue., Oct. 8, 8 p.m.
Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club
When the 13-member Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club, a little known collective of veteran musicians from Cuba, recorded a self-titled album of lively folksongs, Latin jazz and passionate ballads in 1997, they immediately took the world by storm. For the first time in 15 years, original members Guajiro Mirabal, Aguaje Ramos, Barbarito Torres and Omara Portuondo embark on a U.S. tour with a stop in our nation's capital. Tickets are $35 to $75.
GW Lisner Auditorium

Fri., Oct. 11, 7:30 p.m.
Andrei Licaret, Piano
Bucharest-born pianist Andrei Licaret made his orchestral debut at the age of 11 and has since given concerts throughout Europe and the United States, winning prizes in several competitions. Tickets are $100 and include a buffet reception. For information, visit www.embassyseries.org.
Romanian Ambassador's Residence

Mon., Oct. 14, 7:30 p.m.
Washington Performing Arts Society: Mariinsky Orchestra, Valery Gergiev
One of Russia's oldest and most distinguished musical institutions, the Mariinsky Orchestra (formerly the Kirov Orchestra) and music director Valery Gergiev return to Washington with an all-Stravinsky program celebrating the 100th anniversary of the premiere of "The Rite of Spring." Tickets are $40 to $120.
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

Thu., Oct. 24, 7:30 p.m.
Gerdan - Kaleidoscope of World Music
Back by popular demand, the Gerdan ensemble specializes in the contrasting musical traditions of Ukraine, blending their authentic folk music roots with multicultural melodies. Tickets are $90 and include Ukrainian buffet. For information, visit www.embassyseries.org.
Embassy of Ukraine

Thu., Oct. 24, 8 p.m.
Kronos Quartet
To pay tribute to the Kronos Quartet's 40th anniversary, the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center has co-commissioned legendary American composer Philip Glass to write a new work, "String Quartet no. 6," that will be the centerpiece of this performance in its East Coast premiere. Tickets are $50.
Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center

Sat., Oct. 26, 8 p.m.
Lise Au Piano
The Alliance Française de Washington and Georgetown's Malmaison bring French pianist Lise Chemla to D.C., as she embarks on her first U.S. tour with a mix of English and French songs, as well as her covers of artists from an eclectic mix of genres, including rapper 50 Cent and rock band Noir Désir. Tickets are $15. For information, visit www.francedc.org.
Malmaison

THEATER

Through Oct. 6
Cabaret Barroco: Interludes of Spain's Golden Age
Embracing a carnavalesque topsy-turvy view of the world, the interlude questions and subverts the norms of society. This bawdy and playful cabaret will have you in stitches as characters riff on themes of love, jealousy, deception and entanglements. Tickets are $38 or $42.
GALA Hispanic Theatre

Through Oct. 6
Detroit
Lisa D'Amour's award-winning comedy "Detroit" is an incendiary take on suburbs, neighbors and the rapidly crumbling economic ladder that inaugurates Woolly's 34th season, "America's Tell-Tale Heart," which exposes the complex soul inside America's sunny exterior. Tickets start at $35.
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Oct. 9 to Nov. 3
This
Jane is a poet-without-a-muse, a single mother trying to reignite her life after she suddenly loses her husband. Her supportive friends try to help but only make things more complicated while a sexy, French Doctor-Without-Borders incites temptation — and perspective. Tickets are $10 to $45.
Round House Theatre

Through Oct. 11
The Marriage of Maria Braun
Scena Theater presents the passionate World War II drama made famous in the 1979 cult film by renowned German film director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, an important figure in the New German Cinema. Tickets are $20 to $40.
Atlas Performing Arts Center

Oct. 11 to Nov. 17
Love in Afghanistan
An emerging hip-hop artist and a high-level Afghan interpreter both fight to navigate the pitfalls of romance, religious differences and political unrest in war-torn Afghanistan. Tickets are $40 to $90.
Arena Stage

Oct. 12 to 26
The Force of Destiny
The Washington National Opera honors the 200th birthday of Giuseppe Verdi with the composer's epic romantic and political drama, which hasn't been seen in Washington in nearly 25 years. A displaced marquis, desperate to hold on to his family's wealth and power, tries to prevent the union of his daughter with a foreigner, but when the marquis accidentally ties, the last ties binding the family are shredded. Tickets start at $25.
Kennedy Center Opera House

Oct. 15 to Dec. 8
Pride in the Falls of Autrey Mill
The Falls of Autrey Mill is the most desired zipcode in town. From the outside, the flawless neighborhood glitters with elegant roman column porches and exquisitely manicured lawns. However, demons lurk behind the designer window treatments when one seemingly perfect family disintegrates from the inside out. Please call for ticket information.
Signature Theatre

Oct. 15 to Dec. 1
Romeo and Juliet
Shakespeare's timeless story of young, passionate love set against a sea of hate is retold by three-time Helen Hayes Award-winning director Aaron Posner. Tickets are $40 to $72.
Folger Shakespeare Library

Oct. 16 to Nov. 24
16th International Festival of Hispanic Theater
Teatro de la Luna presents the 16th International Festival of Hispanic Theater with troupes from Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Puerto Rica, Uruguay and the United States — including an opening-night reception at the Embassy of Ecuador on Oct. 16. Tickets are $35. For information, visit www.teatrodelaluna.org.
Gunston Arts Center

Through Oct. 20
Saint Joan and Hamlet
Bedlam Theatre takes on two literary greats in rotating repertory: Shakespeare's penultimate tragedy about revenge and madness, as well as George Bernard Shaw's portrayal of Joan of Arc not as a saint, a witch or a madwoman, but as a French farm girl who is anything but simple. Tickets are $32.50 to $65.
Olney Theatre Center

Through Oct. 27
Goodnight Moon
In this Adventure Theatre season-opener, a Little Old Lady whispers "hush" — in vain — as the humorous antics of a very nocturnal bunny, his magical room, dancing bears, and a red balloon bring to life the most iconic children's books of all time. Tickets are $19.
Adventure Theatre in Glen Echo Park

The Laramie Project
"The Laramie Project" presents a deeply complex portrait of a community's response to the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man living in Laramie, Wyoming. In a series of poignant reflections, the residents react to the hate crime and surrounding media storm with anger, bewilderment and sorrow. Tickets start at $18.
Ford's Theatre

Through Oct. 27
Measure for Measure
Director Jonathan Munby places Shakespeare's "Measure for Measure" in a fascist, late-1930s Europe steeped in cabaret culture, reflecting on the dual nature of humanity as both tragic and comic through the story of a novice nun who must decide whether to sacrifice her virginity to save her brother's life. Tickets are $40 to $100.
Shakespeare Theatre Company
Lansburgh Theatre

Oct. 29 to Nov. 10
Sister Act
In this crowd-pleasing musical based on the hit film, a wannabe diva witnesses a crime and hides out in a convent, where, under Mother Superior's watchful eye, she helps her fellow sisters find their voices, not to mention her own. Tickets are $39 to $120.
Kennedy Center Opera House

Through Nov. 3
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Synetic Theater reinvents Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray" in a unique fusion of visual and verbal poetry that explores Wilde's only novel, which many consider his most personal work — a timelessly supernatural story of man's endless conflict with the nature of mortality. Tickets start at $35.
Synetic Theater

   

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