Home The Washington Diplomat April 2017 Events – April 2017

Events – April 2017











April 1 to 30

Kung Fu Wildstyle

To celebrate the new National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Sackler presents a month-long exhibition and program series highlighting connections between African American and East Asian art, music and film. The exhibition, “Kung Fu Wildstyle,” explores pop culture through contemporary street art, featuring works by legendary street artist and hip-hop impresario Fab 5 Freddy and Hong Kong graffiti and hip-hop pioneer MC Yan. They examine how Bruce Lee and kung fu affected New York City’s street culture and emerging hip-hop scene in the 1970s.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery


April 1 to May 28

Green Machine: The Art of Carlos Luna

Cuban artist Carlos Luna’s exhibit features more than 65 works, with some created in new media the artist has been experimenting with during the past four years, including Jacquard tapestries, works on metal sheets with patina and aluminum leaf, and layers of natural materials rubbed into strong, thick, dense, smooth and un-sized French paper.

American University Museum


April 1 to Aug. 13

Escape: Foon Sham

“Escape” showcases Foon Sham’s mastery of wood sculpture. To be within one of his vessel sculptures is to experience the palpable space of a woodland creature’s habitat, or the place of concealment. At the American University Museum, Sham has built one horizontal tunnel measuring 62 feet long and one vertical tunnel towering 36 feet high. “Escape” is one of a series of participatory sculptures, begun in the 1990s, meant to be experienced with all the body’s senses and to resonate socially.

American University Museum


April 4 to May 5

Forgotten Corners with Artist Iurro

“Forgotten Corners” is about the places that we pass every day, but rarely stop and take time to look at them. These can be, for example, alleys in downtown D.C. and New York City or small villages we pass through to larger towns and cities in the Czech Republic. Often, these places are not even interesting during the day. However, at night, they become romantic, even mysterious.

Embassy of the Czech Republic


April 6 to June 4

Alternativas/Alternatives: The Thirteenth Spanish Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism (XIII Beau)

“Alternativas/Alternatives” features 22 jury-selected projects completed between Jan. 1, 2013 through Dec. 31, 2015 by contemporary Spanish architects. The installation, which also includes an additional 20 shortlisted works, presents large-scale image displays and audiovisual commentary about the winning projects, as well as drawing reproductions and architectural models.

Former Residence of the Spanish Ambassador


April 6 to June 4

Export: Spanish Architecture Abroad

“Export” covers Spanish architecture abroad from an open perspective that takes into account practices organized by profiles (Insiders, Young Achievers, Producers, Scholars, Healers and Outsiders), as well as the role of other agents (Soft Power, Giants of Construction, Publishing and Retail Empire), which help us gain a richer and more plural vision of the sector and serve as the structure for the exhibition discourse.

Former Residence of the Spanish Ambassador


April 7 to 28


A new exhibition of photography and installation works by four contemporary Korean artists embraces the real, virtual, and imagined spaces crowding our lives in a modern, technology-infused society. From the ubiquitous computer screen bursting with overlapping windows and tabs, to image-editing software and augmented reality games, many of the spaces we inhabit in our daily lives are a blend of real, virtual and imagined. Each artist featured in “Space” experiments with these layers of reality, incorporating photography and painting, mixed media installation, transparent overlays, casting and ultraviolet filters to express their own unique perspective on the co-existence of past and present, real and imaginary.

Korean Cultural Center


April 8 to July 9

Inventing Utamaro: A Japanese Masterpiece Rediscovered

In 2014, the Okada Museum of Art in Hakone, Japan, made an announcement that startled the art world. The new arts center revealed it had discovered a long-lost painting by Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806), a legendary but mysterious Japanese artist. Titled “Snow at Fukagawa,” the immense work is one of three paintings by Utamaro that idealize famous pleasure districts in Edo (now Tokyo). For the first time in nearly 140 years, these paintings reunite in Inventing Utamaro at the Freer|Sackler, the only location to show all three original pieces.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery


April 9 to July 9

Frédéric Bazille and the Birth of Impressionism

Frédéric Bazille (1841-70) created paintings inspired by contemporary life that challenged the aesthetic conventions of his day and helped to lay the groundwork of impressionism. In celebration of the 175th anniversary of the artist’s birth, this exhibit brings together some 75 paintings that examine Bazille as a central figure of impressionism.

National Gallery of Art


Through April 23

Jacob Lawrence: The Life of Toussaint L’Ouverture

Featuring a series of 15 rarely seen silkscreen prints created by American artist Jacob Lawrence between 1986 and 1997, this exhibition portrays the life of Toussaint L’Ouverture (1742-1803), the former slave turned leader of Haiti’s independence movement.

The Phillips Collection


Through April 30

500 Years of Treasures from Oxford

Founded 500 years ago in 1517, the library of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, is a repository of extraordinary treasures, few of which have ever been seen by the public. To mark the 500th anniversary, a selection of 50 manuscripts and early printed books, ranging in date from the 10th to the 17th centuries, is being brought to America for the first time.

Folger Shakespeare Library


Through April 30

Toulouse-Lautrec Illustrates the Belle Époque

Through his lithographs and posters, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec captured the heart of Parisian nightlife in dynamic cabaret and café-concert scenes inspired by the city’s burgeoning entertainment district. This special exhibition presents, for the first time in the United States, one of the foremost collections of the artist’s prints and posters. Nearly 100 examples of incomparable quality and color celebrate daily life and the premier performers of the belle époque — Aristide Bruant, Marcelle Lender, Cha-U-Kao and others — cleverly caricatured through Toulouse-Lautrec’s perceptive skills of observation and transformation.

The Phillips Collection


Through May 13


This contemporary video exhibit curated by Othón Castañeda features nine short films with borders as their main concept. The works were among a number of films submitted by international artists to the Bienal de las Fronteras, an artistic initiative that offers a platform to emerging artists of diverse backgrounds. This selection questions the boundaries of the biennial itself, including participating artists that establish an alternative view of the border, this time “from the inside out.”

Mexican Cultural Institute


Through May 14

Border Crossing: Jami Porter Lara

While visiting a remote area along the U.S.–Mexico border, Albuquerque-based artist Jami Porter Lara found the remains of ancient pottery as well as plastic bottles discarded by migrants moving through the region. Intrigued by this juxtaposition, she began to reconceptualize the plastic bottle.

National Museum of Women in the Arts


Through May 14

New Ground: The Southwest of Maria Martinez and Laura Gilpin

Contemporaries and friends, potter Maria Martinez (ca. 1887–1980) and photographer Laura Gilpin (1891–1979) brought the American Southwest into focus as a culturally rich region that fostered artistic expression. Martinez’s bold adaptation of an ancient black-on-black pottery design technique reflected Pueblo artistic traditions and also appealed to the modernist sensibility. Gilpin was one of the first women to capture the landscape and peoples of the American West on film.

National Museum of Women in the Arts


Through May 14

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors

“Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” is a celebration of the legendary Japanese artist’s 65-year career and promises to be one of 2017’s essential art experiences. Visitors will have the unprecedented opportunity to discover six of Kusama’s captivating Infinity Mirror Rooms alongside a selection of her other key works, including a number of paintings from her most recent series “My Eternal Soul” that have never been shown in the U.S.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden


Through May 26

Designing Paraguay: Emerging Artists from the Heart of South America

“Designing Paraguay” highlights emerging talent that is lighting the way for future innovations in the creative industries. As Paraguay looks ahead, it is moving away from an agricultural and industrial economy toward a more competitive global, knowledge-based economy. One such area of growth is the cultural and creative industries, which drive innovation and contribute to economic diversification. This exhibit showcases Paraguayan innovation across a variety of disciplines, which represent a shift away from traditional craft, but also a recognition of the importance of local knowledge and culture.

Inter-American Development Bank Cultural Center


Through May 31

El Vuelo y su Semilla

This exhibition of works by renowned Mexican artist Bestabeé Romero (Mexico City, 1963) is comprised of installation pieces and reflects on the identity and culture that Mexican immigrants carry with them. Romero’s works explore these phenomena through symbolic objects, such as papel picado and tires, and culinary components, like bread and corn, underscoring the role that eating and cooking play in the formation and transformation of Mexican identity. The result is a body of work that places Mexican culture as a fundamental part of the migrant journey from Mexico to the U.S.

Mexican Cultural Institute


Through June 2

From the Desk of Simone de Beauvoir

Consider the influence and intellect of feminist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir in an interpretation of her Paris studio alcove. This installation invites visitors to reflect on Beauvoir’s impact, not only in her time and not only as a feminist, but in our own time and in the areas of literature, philosophy and popular culture.

National Museum of Women in the Arts


Through June 4

Della Robbia: Sculpting with Color in Renaissance Florence

Luca della Robbia, a master sculptor in marble and bronze, invented a glazing technique for terracotta sculpture that positioned him as one of the most innovative artists of the 15th century. Today, the sculptures created by Luca and his family workshop retain their brilliant opaque whites, deep cerulean blues, and botanical greens, purples and yellows over modeling that makes them powerful and engaging examples of Italian Renaissance art.

National Gallery of Art


Through June 4

Where the Children Sleep

More than 2 million children have been forced from their homes by the war in Syria. Refugee children in neighboring countries or making journeys through Europe await an uncertain future. A few offered to show where they sleep now, when everything that once was, no longer exists, in this internationally acclaimed exhibition that features a moving series of photographs by award-winning Swedish photojournalist Magnus Wennman.

House of Sweden


Through June 11

Friends and Fashion: An American Diplomat in 1820s Russia

Focusing on 45 portraits from an album assembled by the family of politician and statesman Henry Middleton, this exhibition paints a captivating picture of diplomatic life in early 19th-century St. Petersburg. The intimate portraits, along with selected objects, images and publications, offer an exploration into a number of themes, including Middleton’s posting in St. Petersburg and the historical events surrounding his time there, the family’s social life in Russia, the artistic traditions of the period, and the elaborate fashions and hairstyles of the day.

Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens


Through July 24

Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Flair

For 50 years, the Ebony Fashion Fair shaped a new vision of black America through contemporary fashion. Founded by Eunice Walker Johnson in 1958, the traveling fashion show broke the color barrier to bring the pinnacle of global fashion to communities that were eager to celebrate black accomplishment, aspiration and success. The George Washington University Museum and the Textile Museum present the story of the Ebony Fashion Fair and its cultural impact with 40 garments, including stunning gowns, feathered coats and statement designs by Christian Dior, Vivienne Westwood and burgeoning designer Naeem Khan, who would go on to dress first lady Michelle Obama.

The George Washington University Museum and the Textile Museum


Through Aug. 6

The Urban Scene: 1920-1950

American artists of the early 20th century sought to interpret the beauty, power, and anxiety of the modern age in diverse ways. Through depictions of bustling city crowds and breathtaking metropolitan vistas, 25 black-and-white prints in this exhibition explore the spectacle of urban modernity.

National Gallery of Art


Through Aug. 6

José Gómez-Sicre’s Eye

A half-century ago, Cuban-born curator José Gómez-Sicre took the reins of the OAS’s art program, thrusting himself into the rapidly expanding Latin American art world and bringing young, emerging talent to the OAS’s budding exhibition space. Impassioned by the arts, Gómez-Sicre planted the seeds of what is today considered among world’s finest collections of modern and contemporary Latin American and Caribbean art. The OAS will be celebrating the centennial of Gómez-Sicre’s birth throughout 2016, honoring his contribution to the legacy of the hemisphere’s art.

OAS Art Museum of the Americas


Through Dec. 10

Stories of Migration – Sweden Beyond the Headlines

Migration is old news. It has helped shape countries and the world. But the current situation is unprecedented: More than 65 million people around the world have been forced to leave their homes. Migration is also an integral part of the history of Sweden; in today’s population, one in six was born in another country. Since the 1930s Sweden has been characterized by more immigration than emigration, including offering refuge to people fleeing war and political unrest. This exhibition aims to add new perspectives to the story of Sweden and migration and give insights into the current situation in the country. Beyond headlines of chaos and collapse, beyond politics and public authorities, there are people who try to build a life in a new country.

House of Sweden


Through Jan. 15, 2018

Architecture of an Asylum: St. Elizabeths 1852-2017

Established by Congress in 1855 as the Government Hospital for the Insane, St. Elizabeths is widely considered a pioneering psychiatric facility. The hospital is a prime example of the “Kirkbride Plan” for mental health hospitals, which promised to help patients with a specialized architecture and landscape. This exhibition traces St. Elizabeths’ evolution over time, reflecting shifting theories about how to care for the mentally ill, as well as the later reconfiguration of the campus as a federal workplace and a mixed-use urban development.

National Building Museum



Sat., April 8, 7 p.m.

Bhangra Blowout 24

Bhangra Blowout is a national intercollegiate dance competition that showcases traditional bhangra dance originating in Punjab. Bhangra Blowout is in its 24th year and features eight teams competing to be the collegiate champions.

GW Lisner Auditorium


April 17 to 23

Ballet Across America – Curated by Misty Copeland and Justin Peck

The Kennedy Center’s celebration of innovation and diversity in American ballet returns, with this season curated by stars Justin Peck and Misty Copeland, who will explore ideas central to the John F. Kennedy centennial with several companies across multiple programs. The week begins with a spectacular opening night celebration spotlighting two world premiere commissions among the performances along with several special guests. Tickets are $29 to $119.

Kennedy Center Opera House



Through April 17

The Brazil Initiative at GWU

Growing numbers of policymakers and scholars now appreciate the global importance of Brazil, but few understand vibrant, democratic nation-state’s mix of old world alongside the post-modern, its exceptional and comparable dimensions, and its national drive toward a modern economy that is both sustainable and socially inclusive. The Brazil Initiative of the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs was established in 2013 to promote the study of Brazil and deepen an understanding of its development and role in the world today. Upcoming events include: “The Odebrecht Effect” with Monica Arruda and Bruce Zagaris (March 30 at 12 p.m.); “Driving Sustainable Growth: A Seminar on Capital Market Development in Brazil” (April 5 at 2 p.m.); and “Saving Multilateralism: A Seminar on the Future of Brazilian Foreign Policy in the Age of Trump” (April 17 at 2 p.m.). For information, visit https://brazil.elliott.gwu.edu.

The George Washington University



Fri., April 7, 7:30 p.m.

Concert: Dorothy Khadem-Missagh

Austrian pianist Dorothy Khadem-Missagh has embarked on a promising musical career, performing on international stages and renowned festivals such as the “Wiener Konzerthaus” the “Styriarte Graz” the Norwegian Youth Chamber Music Festival and the Kyoto International Festival. Admission is free; to register, visit acfdc.org.

Embassy of Austria


Sat., April 8, 3 p.m.

Washington Performing Arts Presents Anne-Sopie Mutter, Violin, and Lambert Orkis, Piano

World-acclaimed violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter returns to the Concert Hall, in recital with her longtime duet partner, National Symphony Orchestra keyboardist Lambert Orkis. Tickets are $30 to $95.

Kennedy Center Concert Hall


Sun., April 9, 4 p.m.

Víkingur Ólafsson, Piano

“Iceland’s rising star of a pianist” (Sunday Times), Víkingur Ólafsson has been described as “born to play piano” (New York Sun) and praised for his “perfect continuity of thought” (Giornale della musica). Tickets are $110, including wine and reception; for information, visit www.embassyseries.org.

Icelandic Ambassador’s Residence


Wed., April 19, 8 p.m.


The winner of the Grammy Award for Best World Music Album, Tinariwen is “a brilliant live band who have deservedly built up an international following for their infectious, pounding fusion of desert blues and the styles of the nomadic Tuareg people of the Sahara” (The Guardian). Tickets are $38.

Wolf Trap


Fri., April 21, 7:30 p.m.

Daniel Lebhardt, Piano

Hungarian pianist Daniel Lebhardt, 23, has impressed audiences and critics alike with his thoughtful interpretations and outstanding virtuosity. Tickets are $100, including buffet reception and drinks; for information, visit www.embassyseries.org.

Embassy of Hungary


Mon., April 24, 7:30 p.m.

Songs Commemorating the Holocaust

Baritone Jerome Barry and Lithuanian pianist Edvinas Minkstimas replicate one of the most interesting and meaningful song recitals, highlighting Jewish music from Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Israel, Hungary and many others in commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day. Tickets are $90, including buffet reception and drinks; for information, visit www.embassyseries.org.

Embassy of Lithuania


Wed., April 26, 8 p.m.

Idan Raichel

Performing mainly in a fusion of Hebrew, Arabic and Ethiopian dialects, Idan Raichel acts as a musical ambassador representing a hopeful world in which artistic collaboration breaks down barriers between people of different backgrounds and beliefs. Tickets are $45 to $55.

Wolf Trap


Thu., April 27, 7 p.m.

Zofo Duet

Since joining forces as a professional duo in 2009, internationally acclaimed solo pianists Eva-Maria Zimmermann and Keisuke Nakagoshi-Zofo have electrified audiences from Carnegie Hall to Tokyo Japan with their dazzling artistry and outside-the-box thematic programming for piano-four-hands. Tickets are $110, including reception and wine; for information, visit www.embassyseries.org.

Residence of the Swiss Ambassador


Fri., April 28, 7 p.m.

Karim Nagi – Egyptian Multi-Instrumentalist and Friends

Karim Nagi has been an active performer of Arab music and dance in the United States for the past two decades. He has represented Egypt at regional Arab festivals in Michigan, Milwaukee, Virginia, Massachusetts and California, and has also performed at over 400 public school assemblies since 2001, introducing young audiences to Arab cultural arts in a campaign against stereotyping and racism. Tickets are $30, including reception; for information, visit www.embassyseries.org.

International Student House



Fri., April 7, 7:30 p.m.

The Displaced

Four Moroccans cross the Strait of Gibraltar in an inflatable boat bound for Spain. A Mexican village is left empty of men who have fled to the United States in search of economic opportunity. A new mother is trapped on the wrong side of the India-Pakistan border. Authors Laila Lalami, Luis Urrea and Shobha Rao speak to lives that are never stationary and to communities that have been uprooted. They’ll come together on-stage to read from their work, and discuss what it means to be a citizen in our volatile world. Tickets are $15

Folger Shakespeare Library


Through April 9


Jacqueline E. Lawton’s new political thriller explores the cost of deception and the consequences of speaking truth to power. “Intelligence” is a fictionalized account inspired by true events of a covert operative who, tasked with protecting the national security of the United States post-9/11, is racing to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. With her country at war, her cover is blown and the lives of her assets are put in jeopardy. Tickets are $40 to $90.

Arena Stage


Through April 9

The Night Alive

Playwright Conor McPherson’s touching drama explores lost souls and the hope of redemption, with an ample dose of Irish wit. Tommy is a disheartened schemer, estranged from his family. One night, he saves a young prostitute, Aimee, and begins to feel that his life may indeed have a purpose. Yet, all of that may end, as an ominous and unwelcome man from her past appears. Tickets are $35 to $40.

Atlas Performing Arts Center


April 14 to May 21

Smart People

Four intellectuals — a doctor, an actress, a psychologist and a neurobiologist studying the human brain’s response to race — search for love, acceptance and identity set against the backdrop of Barack Obama’s 2008 election. Tickets are $40 to $90.

Arena Stage


Through April 23

Pike St.

On the Lower East Side, a mother works hard to keep the electricity flowing for her daughter’s respirator while a hurricane looms nearby. As she prepares for disaster, a vibrant host of characters — a decorated war veteran, her ne’er-do-well father and her octogenarian downstairs neighbor — bring new meaning to the phrase “it takes a village” in this rich slice of Puerto Rican immigrant life by playwright Nilaja Sun. Tickets start at $20.

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company


April 25 to May 28


At a time when equivocation and the perils of power dominate the news and divide the nation, Liesl Tommy’s up-to-the-minute production will explore political themes that reverberate here in America and around the world. Though not always thought of as a political play, Shakespeare’s study of power and its abuses and insecurities is as relevant today as when it was written in response to the Gunpowder Plot in 1606. Please call for ticket information.

Shakespeare Theatre Company


Wed., April 26, 6:30 p.m.,

Thu., April 27, 6:30 p.m.

The Stand In (Záskok)

This brilliant comedy, set in 1910, tells the story of a small Czech theater company that, having lost some company members, recruits the renowned Czech actor Karel Infeld Prácheňský as “the stand-in” for the premiere of the new play “Vlasta” by Jára Cimrman. As Karel is unable to remember his lines, or the names of the other characters and even the play in which he is performing, chaos inevitably ensues. The play is an authentic, hilarious translation of a Czech comedy classic. Admission is free but tickets are required and can be ordered at www.nyu.edu/washington-dc/nyu-washington–dc-events/the-stand-in.html.

NYU Washington, DC


April 26 to 30

Maly Drama Theatre: Three Sisters

Lev Dodin, regarded as one of the world’s finest directors, and Maly Drama Theatre of St. Petersburg, one of Russia’s premier theater companies, present this luminous and emotionally raw retelling of Chekhov’s masterpiece about three sisters who are forced to leave Moscow for life in a provincial town. Tickets are $19 to $49.

Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater


Through May 7

A Raisin in the Sun

Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun” follows the Younger family yearning for a better life far from the cramped confines of their Chicago tenement. Hope arrives in the form of an unexpected financial windfall, but when they realize they have differing definitions of the American dream, which dreams get realized and which deferred? Tickets are $40 to $90.

Arena Stage


Through May 20


Based on E.L. Doctorow’s celebrated 1975 novel, the Tony Award-winning musical “Ragtime” confronts both the unbridled optimism and the stark reality of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. When the lives of a wealthy white family, a daring Harlem musician and a determined Jewish immigrant intersect, their fates are inextricably bound and profoundly changed. Tickets are $20 to $73.

Ford’s Theatre