Washington, D.C., has one of the most globally diverse cultural scenes in the country, if not the world. And every month, The Washington Diplomat highlights the various international offerings around town with our popular events and film calendars.
Sadly, because the coronavirus pandemic essentially shut down the nation’s capital, we did not print a new calendar in April for the first time in 25 years.
But just as we’ve been forced to adapt to a new normal, so have arts organizations, museums, and embassies, all of which are increasingly going digital to bring exhibitions, films, concerts, readings, dance performances, discussions, and other events directly to viewers at home.
As a newspaper, we are doing the same thing as we significantly expand our digital footprint. On that note, we recently introduced a new webcast called Global 360 that not only breaks down the important headlines of the day, but also continues our exclusive coverage of the local arts scene with a “cultural corner” that highlights what’s happening around town (or, for now, from home).
To view past episodes, click here.
On this page, you’ll find comprehensive information on the events happening around town that will be continually updated, along with other interesting cultural tidbits. Here’s the latest:
2020 Kids Euro Festival
Did you ever want to learn how to engrave gourds? Turn plastic bottles into butterflies? Make pancake puffs? Build your own piece of Finland in Minecraft? Play fado music? Cook Spanish food? Or maybe you want to learn what makes a computer work, experience German pianists playing the piano with tennis balls, watch Hungarian folk tales, partake in an art workshop inspired by Polish folklore, learn how immigration shaped America, or watch hours of exciting animated movies.
If so, then check out this year’s virtual Kids Euro Festival, which runs from Oct. 17 to Nov. 29 and features online programming curated by the embassies of the 27 member states of the European Union.
“Kids Euro Festival showcases some of Europe’s most creative and innovative programming for children,” said Maria Belovas of the EU Delegation to the U.S. “The diverse program will both entertain and educate – and provide a much-needed distraction for children during these challenging times.”
Join the Atlantic Council for Central Europe Week as the Visegrád group holds online discussions for a common post-COVID-19 agenda. Between Oct. 26 and Oct. 30, listen to key speakers talk on the Future Europe Initiative during this virtual event series.
- Oct. 26: “Shaping the Post-COVID-19 Transatlantic Agenda”
- Oct. 27: “Resilience and recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis”
- Oct. 28: A special broadcast of “A conversation on contemporary cinematography from the Visegrád 4 countries” available on their Twitter.
- Oct. 29: “Digitalization in Central and Eastern Europe: Building regional cooperation”
- Oct. 3: “Securing the next century of US-Romanian partnership”
Viewers may register for each event by clicking the event links or watch a recording of the event afterward.
Embassy of Italy
Celebrate Italian language and heritage this October with “Settimana Della Lingua Italiana Nel Mondo.” Known as “The Week of the Italian Language in the World” in English, this event is celebrated for one week every year with events and exhibitions all over the world. This year’s theme is “Italian Between Word and Image: Graffiti, Illustrations, Comic Book.” Join the Italian Embassy online with their virtual exhibition “Drawing Stories – The Evolution of the Italia Language in Comics.” Available through Nov. 15, 2020, “Drawing Stories” focuses on the evolution of language in comics. The exhibit will be accompanied by a series of webinars, such as “The Narrative Impact and Evolution of the Script,” as well as presentations by Tito Faraci, Alex Bertani, Barbara Baldi and other great Italian comic artists and authors.
As part of the “Kids Euro Festival,” the Italian Embassy also presents “Telephone Tales.” This family event features 12 short and sweet animated stories by beloved author Gianni Rodari. Translated to English by Antony Shugaar and illustrated by Valerio Vidali, “Telephone Tales” is whimsical fun for the whole family. All 12 videos are currently on the Italian Cultural Institute’s YouTube page.
Embassy of Spain / Spain arts & culture
Spain arts & culture, the cultural arm of the Spanish Embassy, presents the 2020 edition of the “Mujeres de Cine” online film series through Nov. 30. “Mujeres de Cine” began as a traveling film showcase to promote Spanish films created by women, and this year it’s moved online so that everyone can celebrate their cinematic accomplishments.
“The Spy Within,” directed by Ana Schulz and Cristóbal Fernández, follows Schulz’s father Juan and his unorthodox friendship with a man named Roberto. Juan, a mediator between the ETA and Spanish government, sought peace while Roberto, a secret service agent, sought to disrupt that. Follow Juan’s strange friendship with the man sent to spy on him, and Ana’s feelings towards her father’s choices. “The Spy Within” is streaming from Oct. 23 to Oct. 30.
“Staff Only,” directed by Neus Ballús, follows the jaded Barcelonan teen, Marta, on her vacation with her father and brother. Looking for fun, she meets Khouma, a boy working at the hotel who she finds herself drawn to. This coming of age film deals with love, friendship, and the social inequalities that act as barriers to deeper connection. “Staff Only” is streaming from Oct. 30 to Nov. 6.
“Ainhoa, that’s not me,” directed by Carolina Astudillo Muñoz, reveals the secret life of Ainhoa Mata Juanicotena. Her whole life was recorded and photographed, but her diaries provided privacy and solace. Now, after her death, get to know the real Ainhoa through her own written history and the history of Spain in the 1990s. “Ainhoa, that’s not me” is streaming from Nov. 6 to Nov. 13.
“Ojos Negros,” directed by Marta Lallana, Ivet Castelo, Iván Alarcón, and Sandra García is another coming of age film. Paula, a 14-year-old stifled by her suffocating family and grandmother, becomes friends with a girl named Alicia. Over the summer, Paula and Alicia grow up fast and learn the meaning of maturity as young women. “Ojos Negros” is streaming from Nov. 13 to Nov. 20.
“Love and Death. The Story of Enrique Granados,” directed by Arantxa Aguirre, follows the turbulent life of 19th-century composer Enrique Granados. This film chronicles his journeys to Madrid, Paris, New York, and his success and failures along the way. “Love and Death. The Story of Enrique Granados” is streaming from Nov. 20 to Nov. 27.
Meanwhile, the 2020 edition of “PHotoESPAÑA” is coming to D.C. with its inventive and creative exhibition centered around home life during the pandemic. “#PHEdesdemibalcón” is an open-air exhibit featuring the most representative images of Spanish balconies, which have become integral fixtures in today’s world. From Sept. 22 to Dec. 22, this free exhibit will showcase the changing nature of home life amidst global uncertainty and the “reflection of our society that goes beyond our own personal space.”
Embassy of Poland
Go on a journey through Central Europe with contemporary films from Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia in the “2020 Visegrád 4 Film Series.” In the first week, the series debuts with “Corpus Christi” and “Amnesty.” Directed by Jan Komasa, the 2019 Polish Academy Award Nominee for Best International Feature Film, “Corpus Christi” is a compelling story about faith and second chances set against a small mountain village in Southern Poland. Jonáš Karásek’s “Amnesty” is a political thriller in the heat of the Czechoslovakian dissolution and the Leopoldov prison revolts. Both “Corpus Christi” and “Amnesty” will be streaming from Oct. 15 to Oct. 22.
The series continues in the second week with “Kincsem – Bet on Revenge” and “Havel.” Directed by Gábor Herendi, “Kincsem” is a complex drama about revenge, and the record-breaking horse, Kincsem, used to exact it. Slávek Horák’s “Havel” is equal parts descriptive biopic and gripping drama about the playwright, Czech president, and icon Vaclav Havel. Both “Kincsem – Bet on Revenge” and “Havel” will be streaming from Oct. 22 to Oct. 28.
There’s even a special selection of cartoons for younger audience members. Families and children may enjoy beloved cartoons at the “Kids Corner,” presented in cooperation with the Polish Cartoon Film Studio (SFR in Bielsko-Biała), the Slovak Film Institute, the Czech National Film Archives, and the National Film Institute of Hungary. Watch classics like “Bolek and Lolek,” “Rabbit and Deer,” and other family-friendly shows from the comfort of your couch. The “Kids Corner” will be available till Oct. 28. Register here to watch the 2020 Visegrád 4 Film Series and the Kids Corner.
Embassy of Argentina
To celebrate Halloween, the Embassy of Argentina wants to bring their greatest contributions to the horror genre online with the Horror & Mystery Film Series. Like the Buenos Aires Rojo Sangre Festival (BARS) and the Blood Window Festival, the series celebrates Latin American influence in film and shares it with the world. Even if trick-or-treating is canceled across many Washington suburbs, horror fans can stay in and watch three foreign masterpieces in preparation for Halloween.
Premiering Oct. 24th, “Necrophobia” follows the tailor Dante and his descent into madness after the death of his twin brother. His acute fear of death and utter existential dread throws his life into a downward spiral when a trail of murders appears under his footsteps. Directed by Daniel de La Vaga, this film was nominated for the Silver Condor Award for Best Actor, Editing, and Art Direction.
Also directed by Daniel de la Vaga, “Dead Ends” premieres Oct. 27 and features the classic ‘Locked-room mystery.’ Luis Peñafiel has just completed his masterpiece novel: a gripping mystery about the perfect crime in a locked room. After gaining the admiration and recognition of his community for his work, a fellow writer is murdered to the exact detail of Peñafiel’s novel. For its innovative storytelling and stellar performances, Dead Ends won Best Film, Script, Music, and Actor.
Finishing off the series is “Terror 5” premiering Oct. 30th. Directed by Sebastian Rotstein and Federico Rotstein, “Terror 5” brings five urban legends to life in Buenos Aires. While most of the residents of a small town attend a funeral, a group of young teens skip the procession and unknowingly walk into a night of terrors. Tickets for “Terror 5,” “Dead Ends” and “Necrophobia” can be purchased here. All three films are available from their premiere date through Nov. 2.
Embassy of Mexico
In the wake of social distancing and isolation, the Mexican Cultural Institute is celebrating the Day of the Dead this year by bringing people together. The experience involves a self-guided tour called a “Journey through the Mictlán.” The institute will be decorated to represent the nine levels of Mictlán (the Aztec underworld) and will feature curated information on the symbolism of the decor. There will also be an altar prepared by the community at the end of the tour to honor all those who have passed this year. However, tickets are limited due to COVID-19 restrictions. Tickets go on sale Oct. 26 until capacity is met for the week. Tickets will then only be available on Mondays between Oct. 26 and Nov. 16. The Day of the Dead event runs from Oct. 31 to Nov. 26.
The Mexican Cultural Institute is also holding a hybrid art exhibit from Oct. 23 to Feb. 13, 2021. “A Mexican Portrait” by Martha Gabriela Driessen presents 30 black-and-white prints exploring Mexican identity through candid photos of everyday life. The exhibit can be visited via a virtual tour or by appointment at the Mexican Cultural Institute. Visitors are required to schedule an appointment by email at email@example.com with “A Mexican Portrait” as the subject, including the names of participants along with the desired date and time. Watch the virtual opening on YouTube, and listen to artist Martha Gabriela Driessen discuss the marriage of culture that inspired her work.
Embassy of France
With coronavirus dominating the headlines, an important, somber anniversary was overshadowed: the devastating fire on April 15, 2019, that almost burned down France’s iconic Notre Dame cathedral.
The medieval cathedral survived but the rebuilding process will be a long one. FrenchCulture.org is offering stunning virtual 3D tours of the cathedral both after the fire and exclusive footage filmed a few weeks before the flames erupted, allowing viewers to experience Notre Dame both before and after the tragic event.
In addition, the website is offering myriad ideas to experience French culture from home, including hundreds of classical, symphonic, chamber music and jazz concerts from the France Musique radio station; a virtual visit of the Lascaux prehistoric cave; original video works of the Paris Opera; and a “POP platform” created by the French Ministry of Culture that is gathering all digital content related to French national heritage and ancient collections in one place to make it accessible to a large audience. For more information about specific online events, check out the French Culture Events calendar.
The French Embassy is also participating in the “2020 Kids Euro Festival” with “Hervé Tullet at Kids Euro Festival.” Much like Tullet’s Harlem studio workshop last May, this whimsical re-visit teaches children how to craft beautiful flowers from supplies around the house. Children ages 3 to 10 are not only encouraged to be resourceful and imaginative but also share their creations with the world through social media or their very own window. This free workshop will be held from Oct. 17 to Nov. 29, 2020, in English. Start watching here and make your own little paper garden.
Embassy of the Czech Republic
Fashion in the Garden
The Embassy of the Czech Republic, in collaboration with Diplomacy & Fashion, presents “Fashion in the Garden-BOLD LOOKS” by Czech fashion designer Petra Ptáčková. Noted for her design philosophy of “magical realism,” Ptáčková’s collection features sustainable and versatile fashion created from recycled materials that reference old haute couture. Showcased in the Czech Embassy garden from Sept. 29 to Oct. 15, the collection blends nature and fashion into a larger narrative on sustainability.
During these strange times adrift in a global pandemic, Indira Gumarova calls the outdoor exhibition “a hidden oasis.” Gumarova, Diplomacy & Fashion co-founder and wife to the Czech ambassador, invites the community to walk through the garden and witness experience this eco-friendly collection in a naturalistic setting. While upholding proper social distancing measures, the event reminds the public of the beauty of the world outside our self-quarantine.
Separately, on Oct. 22 at 6 p.m., the Czech Embassy will host a classical recital outdoors featuring internationally recognized pianist David Kalhous.
Embassy of Sweden
#SwedenAtHome is the new digital campaign spearheaded by the House of Sweden to connect people to Swedish culture. Check out the embassy’s social media platforms for ideas such as Swedish television shows, art exhibitions, trivia, and family-friendly activities.
Also, while the embassy had the unfortunate timing of debuting its new year-long series of programming on “Smart Mobility: Taking Us into the Future” just as the coronavirus pandemic was closing everything around town, the embassy has now reopened and you can finally check out the exhibition in person. Or, you can still view the entire exhibition online to learn how Swedes have pioneered innovative mobility solutions with global impact. Two accompanying exhibitions showcase the country’s cutting-edge fashion designers.
The Swedish Embassy is also once again participating in “Films Across Borders,” an annual film series showcasing critically acclaimed films, documentaries, and shorts from around the world. This year, the Embassy of Sweden will feature the Swedish film “PUSH” by Fredrik Gertten. “PUSH” follows Leilani Farha, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing, and the housing crisis rampant across the globe. This documentary sheds light on not only the global impact of rising house prices but the local implications as well. Purchase tickets and watch the film here.
Join the Swedish Embassy for “Sweden Innovation Days,” a three-day worldwide online event that covers one of the greatest and most pertinent advancements of our times: Artificial Intelligence. In this series of webinars, participants will learn more about the Swedish strategy, the national AI ecosystem, and its challenges. Participants will also listen to thought leaders from the industry, public sector, and academia talk about key AI focus areas. “Sweden Innovation Days” takes place on Nov. 17 through Nov. 19. Register now for this three-day seminar and to connect with the amazing world of AI.
Premiering Nov 10 at 2 p.m., “Swedish Authors You Should Know” is a virtual panel focusing on great Swedish authors in modern literature. The event features the work of Athena Farrokhzad, Johannes Heldén, Mara Lee and Carolina Setterwall, and readings from the authors in their native language and English. The event also includes interviews and discussions with the authors. Audience members can even submit discussion questions ahead of the discussion by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Korean Cultural Center
“K-Culture at Home” presents weekly online content specials including webcast performances, educational activities, virtual gallery tours, cinema, lessons, discussions, and much more from one of the most active embassy cultural centers in town. The Online Korean Cultural Center also provides an archive of ballet, operas, music, plays, dances, and many other performances from years past.
The Rorschach Theatre presents “DISTANCE FREQUENCIES“, immersive, season-long experience across the DC landscape. This season-long narrative uses monthly installments to send patrons around DC in search of the mystery hidden in the natural and unnatural landscape. Each month, participants will receive a map of their next location along with a box of artifacts to be opened at the destination. From October to April, this immersive storytelling experience builds into a full, site-specific production in July. For those who don’t wish to leave their home during quarantine, an adapted version of the instructions that can be done from home will be provided.
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Just days away from opening, the “Alexander Von Humboldt and The United States: Art, Nature, and Culture” exhibition had to be put on hold due to COVID-19. Not only has the museum re-opened, but many of the new and previous exhibits have been extended to the end of the year. The Alexander Von Humboldt exhibit, for instance, will be on view until Jan. 3, 2021. The show reveals how the influential naturalist and explorer shaped American perceptions of nature and the way American cultural identity became grounded in our relationship with the environment.
In addition, a six-part lecture series will be hosted entirely online and examine Von Humboldt’s theories and ideas from nearly 200 years ago that are still relevant in today’s battle with climate change.
Washington Performing Arts
Washington Performing Arts is proud to announce “Mars Art DC: Virtual” for fall 2020 as part of its online programming focused on the D.C. arts scene. Featuring two separate free series, “Mars Art DC: Virtual” offers music and dance from a variety of genres including hip-hop, Afrobeats, Latinx and South Asian styles all in high-quality digital productions.
The event kicks off Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. ET with “Rhythm & Motion: Kara Jenelle.” Recorded in Los Angeles, dancer/choreographer Kara Jenelle leads a masterclass in Afrobeats dance, a style of dance with roots in West Africa that has quickly taken over the hip-hop scene. Jenelle has worked with Janet Jackson, Beyoncé, Khalid, Will Smith and many others to spread reverence and respect for the African diaspora in dance culture.
The second online masterclass comes from dancer/choreographer Ronald Ríos, winner of the Best Artistic Director Award by the Latin Community. Recorded locally at Dance Exchange, “Rhythm & Motion: Ronald Ríos” premieres Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. and features Latin dance styles. Ríos is a great influence in the Latin dance scene and has shaped the culture in Washington, D.C., New York, and Los Angeles with his performances and choreography.
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
The Woolly Mammoth Theater Company continues its online 2020-2021 series after the rousing success of “HUMAN RESOURCES.” Premiering late November is “The JOOKJOYNT,” a free five-part series created by Maker’s Lab in collaboration with Woolly Mammoth Theater and Black in Space. Travel to a new galaxy known as ‘The Jookjoynt’ with blues, dance, poetry, and other artistic expressions. “THE JOOKJOYNT” premieres online on Nov. 17 and plays through Nov. 22. Buy tickets at WoollyMammoth.net.
“This is Who I Am,” written by Amir Nizar Zuabi and directed by Evren Odcikin, is an online play in the intimacy of the actors’ kitchen. “This is Who I Am” explores grief and the fragility of connection across generational bounds. Estranged father and son, separated by countries and unsavory history, attempt to reconnect over a zoom call as they prepare dinner in their respective homes. The play runs from Nov. 29 to Dec. 27 and tickets can be purchased at WoollyMammoth.net.
Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens
October at the Hillwood Museum is filled with a wide variety of in-person and online exhibitions. Currently on view is “Natural Beauties: Exquisite Works of Minerals and Gems,” a collection of nearly 100 objects from collector Marjorie Merriweather Post showcasing fine stones, gems, and hardstones turned into art by master artisans.
For its virtual programming, Hillwood is also presenting several webinars alongside the “Natural Beauties” exhibition. The Cartiers and Marjorie Merriweather Post and the Virtual Mansion Tour go into greater depth on Post’s collection and how that collection is experienced today.
National Air and Space Museum
Though the Washington location is closed until further notice, the National Air and Space Museum offers some amazing online exhibits. Learn about the Wright Brothers and the success of the first airplane at “The Wright Brothers & The Invention of the Aerial Age” exhibit. Experience the rivalry between the U.S. and Soviet Union during the Race to the Moon and the militarization of space travel at the “Space Race.” And there are even kid-focused exhibitions like “How Things Fly” that teach children the mechanics of flying through hands-on video tutorials.
Visitors may also view these exhibits in person at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center of Chantilly, Virginia.
Virtual Smithsonian Folklife Festival
Even in these strange times, the Virtual Smithsonian Folklife Festival is adapting. All of its events have been postponed or moved online to accommodate social distancing requirements, meaning that you can still experience its myriad events, lectures, and conversations from your couch.
“Encuentro en el Smithsonian” is a series of online narrative sessions that seeks to connect people across borders through conversation and performance. The series features different artists, performers, and activists talking about various issues throughout the month. Eugenia León and La Marisoul take over the discussion on Oct. 29, as the celebrated vocalists explore their passion for music and how songs inspire change within.
Kennedy Center Digital Programming
For the first time in six months, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is presenting a live performance on its famed stage. Featuring vocal performances from acclaimed American singers Renée Fleming and Vanessa Williams, this concert begins the “On the Stage at the Opera” series. Designed to safely bring live performances back to the Kennedy Center, the stage has been re-envisioned to house 40 audience members safely during the pandemic.
The performance itself, “A Time to Sing: An Evening with Renée Fleming and Vanessa Williams,” explores the healing power of performance and the resilience we all demonstrate in these trying times through evocative songs. Rob Mathes leads the musical direction, and Tony Award nominee Andrew Lippa has also written a new song just for this concert.
The varied programming of the Smithsonian Associates has gone virtual. Highlights include “Lives Recalled: Great Autobiographies and Memoirs – Vincent van Gogh” (Oct. 11), “Remembering Apollo 13” (Oct. 15), “The Great Ones: Black Artists of Song from the Kennedy Center Honors” (Oct. 27), and many other virtual events through the end of the year.
The Smithsonian Associates will also be streaming “The Greatest Decade of Film: Beyond the ‘New Hollywood’ Directors of the 1970s.” Film critic Noah Gittell of the Washington City Paper dives into films 1970s cinematic gems redacted from the narrative. You can also peruse Gittel’s personal film recommendations for the 1970s-obsessed cinephile.
Art Museum of the Americas
One of the oldest mediums is being celebrated this month with “The Papermakers: Works on Paper AMA’s Collection” exhibit at the Art Museum of the Americas. Curated by Marco Polo Juarez Cruz, this 30-piece collection embodies the diversity of paper and the traditional, innovative and local importance of paper across the Americas. Featuring the work of 30 unique artists, “The Papermakers” exhibition is not just a celebration of the ancient medium but of the artists behind them.
The exhibit opens Nov. 5 at the Art Museum of the Americas in Washington, DC. If you can’t attend the exhibition in person, join the Curator’s Talk via Zoom on Friday, November 13th from 12:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EST. Discuss the exhibition and artists virtually with Curator Marco Polo Juarez Cruz and the creation of the exhibit.
In commemoration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Art Museum of the Americas presents several new permanent exhibits online. These curated exhibitions showcase over 2,000 pieces of art, providing a vital bridge between Latin American heritage and the Latinx artists of today. AMA’s Permanent Collection Part I, AMA’s Permanent Collection Part II, AMA’s Permanent Collection Part III, and AMA’s Permanent Collection Part IV are now viewable on their Google Arts and Culture page.
As part of its mission to create exhibitions and experiences for social media platforms, the Art Museum of the Americas has created “#BuildingDialogs.” Curated by Fabian Goncalves Borrega, this online exhibition utilizes AMA’s Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to weave a photo-narrative. The artists build the narrative of the exhibition by selecting pairings of one another’s work, facilitating an open conversation between the artists across multiple platforms. This online exhibition is as much an exhibition as it is a dialog between the artists Alejandra Delgado Uria, Thomas Kellner, Brad Temkin and Gesche Würfel. Contextualized by Incan mythology, #BuildingDialogs is a transformative artistic narrative facilitated by today’s hardships.
American University Museum
With its “AU Museum at Home” initiative, the American University Museum introduces several new exhibits and events for fall 2020. Every four years, American University Museum presents exhibitions during the run-up to presidential elections that address the most heavily contested issues. This year, necessitated by the ongoing pandemic, the museum is providing virtual space for these exhibitions and discussions. Art on view this fall explores themes around the climate crisis, particularly water as a dwindling resource, immigration policies, and truth and illusion in public discourse.
These online exhibits include:
- “Allen Gerson|Border Wall” and a gallery talk with curator Jennifer Sakai on Sept. 24.
- “Edward Burtynsky: Water” and a gallery talk with Burtynsky on Oct. 8.
- “Art and Authenticity in the Age of Fake News” along with a virtual discussion on Oct. 26.
- “Queer Threads, Fall 2020” featuring numerous LGBTQ artists remixing fiber and textile traditions.
ARTECHOUSE’S latest exhibition, “Crystalline,” is a surreal experience through an illusory, blue-hued castle exploring the dependable qualities of the color blue in connection with the earth and crystals through a technology-powered journey that is both an adventure and contemplation.
This timely art installation offers guests a familiar yet transcendent place to call home for the duration of their visit, and a tranquil place of refuge at the end of this challenging year.
The IN Series
The IN Series has created an entirely virtual season of opera-theater for 2020-21 to adapt to the pandemic. The group’s artistic director, Timothy Nelson, said “this will not operate as usual, shrunk down to the small screen,” but rather will include features such as a specially designed virtual opera house, interactive opera experiences inspired by gaming technology, and collaborations with filmmakers, animators, radio stations and others — all for free.
PostClassical Ensemble is an experimental orchestral laboratory founded in 2003 that integrates theater, dance, and film into the concert experience. Their latest “More Than Music” film, “Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony: A Lens on The American Experience of Race” poses Dvořák as a humanitarian visionary for his inclusion of black melodies in American classical music. In 1893, Dvořák theorized that black music would inform and enrich the American musical landscape. Not only did he theorize this blending, but he encouraged it in his own work and the work of others. The film explores Dvořák’s “New World” symphony through a multi-culture lens. It asks questions like “Why did American classical music “stay white” despite Dvořák’s theory?” and “Was Dvořák guilty of cultural appropriation?”
The event is free and can be viewed on the PostClassical website under More Than Music or on their YouTube channel.
GALA Hispanic Theatre
As one of the few theaters in Washington, D.C., reopening, GALA Hispanic Theatre invites members of the community to celebrate its 45th anniversary. Latinx stories, writers and experiences can be celebrated on stage once more with classic plays. From Oct. 29 to Nov. 22, GALA Hispanic Theatre will be performing “El Perro del Hortelano (The Dog in the Manger)” directed by José Zayas. Written by Lope de Vaga, “El Perro del Hortelano” is a charming comedy about love crossing classist boundaries. With this production, GALA continues its tradition of revitalizing classic plays for modern society.
National Museum of Women in the Arts
The NMWA’s sixth installment in its Woman to Watch exhibition series, “Paper Routes” showcases the use of paper in all forms — protest signs, tickets, bills, packaging, etc. — from 22 contemporary, underrepresented women artists. The exhibition will be on view at the National Museum of Women in the Arts from Oct. 8 to Jan. 18, 2021.
“The Women to Watch program offers an unprecedented opportunity for women artists to show their work, often for the first time, on a national and international level,” said NMWA Director Susan Fisher Sterling. “No other museum outreach effort is so targeted in its commitment to discovering and promoting women artists working today. We are delighted to welcome such a talented group to the museum.”
“RECLAMATION: Recipes, Remedies, and Rituals” is a participatory exhibition featuring the dining room table as the focal point of nine artists’ homelife. This virtual experience recontextualizes the role of women as healers and providers via their recipes and food as visual art. Online visitors are encouraged to contribute their own recipes, photos, and anecdotes for this participatory exhibit. The online exhibit opens on Nov. 15, 2020, and runs until Jan. 3, 2021. Accompanying the exhibit is “Fresh Talk: Place and Power,” a discussion on Nov. 15, 2020, on food access, gender, class, and labor around the world.
Shakespeare Theater Company
Kicking off the 2020-2021 season is “All the Devils are Here: How Shakespeare Invented the Villian.” Written and performed by Patrick Page (Hades in “Hadestown”), this one-man show launches STC Digital, a new online platform to reach a wider audience and feature amazing shows digitally. In this exclusive online show, Page explores the despicable allure of evil men and villainy in Shakespeare. Iago, Macbeth, Cladius—polarizing villains all encapsulated in a single performance. Tickets for “All the Devils are Here” go on sale Nov. 16. STC subscribers also have the chance to talk live with Patrick Page in a post-show conversation.
The theater is also taking small steps towards re-opening. After a sold-out summer performance, “Blindness” is back for the 2020-2021 season. This immersive sound installation invites guests back to Sidney Herman Hall for a poignant, thrilling story of a blindness-inducing pandemic. With a riveting recorded performance by Juliet Steveson, this play captures modern times in a startlingly accurate fashion. “Blindness” is a special add-on event when patrons purchase a subscription to the 2020-2021 season, which can be bought here.
For its 20th anniversary season, Synetic Theatre is transitioning back from entirely digital to in-person performances once more, with the production “Joy” kicking off part one of its two-part anniversary celebration. Performed by Vato Tsikurishvili and Maria Simpkins in separate but parallel versions, this intimate autobiographical performance follows Vato and Maria as they discover the joy in their own lives. Inspired by the current events of the world, “Joy” seeks to bring back that spark of happiness in us all.
The Studio Theater is proud to announce the “Studio In the Moment” 2020-2021 season, including Studio’s first-ever audio play. In addition to their traditional programming, Studio presents “STUDIO IN YOUR EARS”, a completely auditory experience through your headphones.
“Kings” by Sarah Burgess and directed by Marti Lyons follows newly-elected congresswoman Sydney Millsap as she combats the rules of special interests and her own party. Just in time for the November elections, this snappy audio play delves into our country’s true seat of political power. “Kings” will be available and free to stream in late October 2020.
“I Hate it Here: Stories from the End of the Old World,” written and directed by Ike Holter, explores all the ways people deal and don’t deal with the world coming to an end. Poignant and anthem-like, this Studio-commissioned play debuts in audio with sharp humor for a world racked in uncertainty. “I Hate it Here” will be available and free to stream in Winter 2020.
Embassy Series 2020 Season
For 27 years, the Embassy Series has brought international music to the nation’s capital, working with over 200 ambassadors and hosting over 600 concerts in 89 different embassies involving more than 900 international artists from 80 countries — not to mention over 300 artists from the D.C. area. And the pandemic isn’t slowing it down this year.
On Oct 14, the Embassy Series launched its 2020 season in conjunction with the Polish Embassy with a concert featuring 12-year-old award-winning classical pianist Matthew Chang, who will perform two of Chopin’s most consequential pieces. The concert also highlights two important anniversaries: the 40th anniversary of Poland’s Solidarity movement and the 210th anniversary of Chopin’s birth.
“Chopin once said that his goal was to ‘try to express the soul and heart of humanity,’ as well as the soul and heart of the people of Poland and around the world who share the same values of peace and freedom,” said Polish Ambassador Piotr Wilczek.
If your organization is presenting digital events, you can email press releases to email@example.com.
Rikileigh Perry is a graduate student at the University of North Texas and an Editorial Intern for The Washington Diplomat.