Cultural Tourism DC Calendar

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Apr
27
Sat
Reimagining Arab America with Omar Offendum
Apr 27 @ 2:00 pm – 2:00 pm

What is the early history of Arab immigrants to the United States, and why aren’t their stories more widely known? Join hip-hop artist and activist Omar Offendum for a performance and discussion about his current creative project, which focuses on the history of Manhattan’s fabled Little Syria neighborhood. Immigrants from the Arab world first settled Little Syria over a century ago, forming the foundations of contemporary Arab American culture.

Offendum’s unique performance project blends hip-hop with live Arabic instrumentation and the time-honored Hakawati storytelling traditions of the Levant. For this event, he will be joined by oud virtuoso Ronnie Malley, beatmaker Thanks Joey, and scholar Elizabeth Saylor to uncover what life in the heart of Arab America was like over a century ago. They’ll also explore how these origins continue to  inform what is (still) happening today in terms of immigration, xenophobia, Syria, and the ever-evolving notion of an “American dream.”

Omar Offendum is a Syrian American rapper and poet based in Los Angeles. He was born in Saudi Arabia and raised in Washington, DC. Known for his unique blend of hip-hop and Arabic poetry, he has collaborated with major museums and cultural organizations and helped raise millions of dollars for humanitarian relief groups. Offendum is a Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow for 2018–19.

Ronnie Malley is a multi-instrumentalist, actor, producer, and educator. He has a degree in global music studies from DePaul University, and he is a teaching artist with Chicago Public Schools and a faculty member at Old Town School of Folk Music. He has performed internationally in India, Spain, China, and Vietnam. 

Thanks Joey is a musician and music producer born in Brooklyn to Syrian immigrants. In 2009, he established the Colours Of The Culture record label; in 2018, he released his first instrumental album, On Beats, inspired by the work of Khalil Gibran. He produced the 2018 NIKO IS album UNIKO, which featured artists from around the world.

Elizabeth Saylor is visiting assistant professor of Arabic at Middlebury College. She holds a PhD in Arabic literature from the University of California, Berkeley. A native New Yorker, she serves as secretary of the Washington Street Historical Society, which promotes the legacy of New York City’s Little Syria neighborhood and fosters awareness about Arab immigration and culture in America.

Image courtesy of Omar Offendum

May
1
Wed
Brown Bag Lunch: Riverdale Goes to War @ College Park Aviation Museum
May 1 @ 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm

Bring your lunch and join us for a presentation and discussion about aviation, history, or College Park. Lectures are presented by museum staff or invited guest speakers and last approximately 25 minutes.

Riverdale Goes to War: Life and Work At Engineering and Research Corporation During the Second World War. 

The presentation describes the little-known history of what was once a thriving aircraft manufacturer and Prince George’s County’s largest employer once located on the present-day site of the Whole Foods market in Riverdale. Besides being known for its unique Ercoupe aircraft, the corporation had a tremendous impact on the local community and made a substantial contribution to the US war effort.

Joel Carlson is an MA candidate at the University of Maryland specializing in the History of Technology and Museum Scholarship. He is also a volunteer researcher at the Museum and is collaborating on a new display about the Corporation and the Ercoupe aircraft.

All Ages
FREE
Cookies will be served

A Musical Legacy of the Sephardic Diaspora @ Yunus Emre Institute
May 1 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
During the beautiful cherry blossom season, Yunus Emre Institute in Washington, D.C. is delighted to share one more exciting update with you: we would like to invite you to join us the music lecture and performance “A Musical Legacy of Sephardic Diaspora” which will be held on 6:00 P.M. Wednesday, May 1st, 2019 at our institution.
In this two-part event, Turkish mezzo-soprano and music scholar Lori Şen will present a lecture on the history, language, and culture of the Sephardim, and elements and stylistic features of Sephardic music. The lecture will be followed by a recital of Sephardic songs performed by Lori Şen and guitarist Jeremy Lyons. The program will feature works by Roberto Pla, Manuel Valls, Lorenzo Palomo, Andrew Zohn, Ulrike Merk, and Matilde Salvador.

Lori Şen, Turkish mezzo-soprano, and music scholar is known for her versatility in many vocal genres, including opera, art song, musical theatre, and jazz, as well as for her teaching and research interests in vocal literature, voice pedagogy, and voice science. She regularly collaborates with musicians and composers across a variety of genres and has performed in Turkey, Europe, and the United States. Lori’s more recent performances include solo recitals, jazz performances, Angelina/La Cenerentola with Opera NOVA, and she was featured as the alto soloist in the Mozart Requiem performance of the Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia (SONOVA) in their last season.

Jeremy Lyons, the guitarist, has been performing in the Baltimore area and beyond for more than ten years. He regularly gives solo recitals and has collaborated with orchestras and chamber ensembles. In addition to solo endeavors, Jeremy is a member of two Baltimore-based contemporary music ensembles: Mind on Fire and the Pique Collective. Additionally, Jeremy applies his extensive background in Renaissance and Baroque music by performing on period instruments such as the Renaissance lute, Baroque guitar, and viola da gamba. As a composer, Jeremy works on projects that combine music and other artistic mediums such as poetry, theater, and sculpture. Jeremy received a BM in guitar performance from Florida State University and holds a MM in Guitar Performance and Pedagogy, a MM in Musicology, and a DMA all from the Peabody Conservatory.

May
3
Fri
Coffee with a Curator: Furniture @ DAR Museum
May 3 @ 9:00 am – 10:00 am
Coffee with a Curator: Furniture @ DAR Museum

Would you like to start your morning with some coffee, pastries, and a dash of American history? Then join us the first Friday of every month for our new Coffee with a Curator series! Every month the DAR Museum curators will highlight different objects in our Study Gallery collection, providing insights, pointing out significant details, and answering questions. This unique, informal environment provides the opportunity for in-depth, intimate conversations with curators about objects within their specialty.

In order to facilitate meaningful conversation and close-looking, this program is capped at 15 attendees. Coffee, tea, and pastries provided for all program participants.

This month, join Patrick Sheary, Curator of Furnishings and Historic Interiors, in conversation about 18th and early 19th century upholstery. The discussion will focus on two items from the DAR Museum collections: the reupholstery of a Philadelphia sofa that originally belonged to Colonel Thomas Mckean (a signer of the Declaration of Independence) and an arm chair made by the Parisian furniture maker Pierre Antoine Bellange for the White House in 1817. What can these objects tell us about upholstery techniques and social status in early America?

Grab a cup and let’s start the conversation.

May
4
Sat
Curator Perspectives on Empresses of China’s Forbidden City
May 4 @ 2:00 pm – 2:00 pm

How is a major exhibition created across two continents and three museums? Join Empresses cocurators Jan Stuart and Daisy Yiyou Wang to learn about the origins of this groundbreaking exhibition, which highlights accomplishments of women at the Qing dynasty court. Stuart and Wang will discuss the process of creating the exhibition in collaboration with the Palace Museum in Beijing. Plus, they’ll share how empresses of the period exerted influence in the arts, religion, politics, and diplomacy.

Stuart is Melvin R. Seiden Curator of Chinese Art at the Freer|Sackler. Wang is the Robert N. Shapiro Curator of Chinese and East Asian Art at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.

May
11
Sat
Women of the Qing Court: History and Fantasy
May 11 @ 2:00 pm – 2:00 pm

What does the way the past is depicted tell us about the present? Scholar Dr. Tobie Meyer-Fong explores the history of women in the Chinese imperial court during the Qing dynasty, delving into themes raised in Empresses of China’s Forbidden City, 1644–1912. Dr. Meyer-Fong will describe aspects of women’s lives at court based on historical evidence. She’ll also examine media representations of the period, including a 2018 TV drama that became a megahit in China, The Story of Yanxi Palace. Is it possible to separate the reality of Qing imperial women’s lives from how we currently imagine them? What is fact and what is fiction?

Meyer-Fong is professor of history and director of the East Asian Studies program at Johns Hopkins University. She is an expert in the history of China from 1600 to the present and served as editor of the journal Late Imperial China. Her previous work draws upon a wide range of sources to explore responses to war in the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, and her recent research examines images of the Qing dynasty (and the past more generally) in contemporary China.

May
14
Tue
Tuesday Talk: Dressing Tables, Portraits, and Peg Legs @ DAR Museum
May 14 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

What do men’s wooden legs and women’s dressing tables have in common? Anglo-American residents of early American port cities amassed a variety of fine and decorative arts to assert their polite status. This talk will concentrate on the dressing furniture women used to prepare themselves for public scrutiny, the portraits artists painted of young women in courtship, and the wooden legs that men donned after the American Revolution. Together they reveal how material artifacts were vital for colonists’ transformation of themselves into polite people and for the creation of civil society in early America.

Speaker: Jennifer Van Horn, author of The Power of Objects in Eighteenth-Century British America and Assistant Professor of History and Art History at the University of Delaware

Free Landmark Lecture: the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 @ Tudor Place Historic House & Garden
May 14 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

The Peter Family and the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, presented by Grant Quertermous, Curator, Tudor Place Historic House & Garden

In August of 1893, Britannia W. Kennon, the seventy-eight year-old owner of Tudor Place, traveled by train from Washington to Chicago to experience the World’s Columbian Exposition, also known as the White City because of the gleaming white facades of the fair’s neoclassical buildings.

Accompanied by two of her grandchildren, Britannia spent a week at the fair exploring the exhibition buildings and even appearing as a guest of honor at the Virginia Building—an exact replica of Mount Vernon—since she was the only living great-grandchild of Martha Washington.

Curator Grant Quertermous will discuss the family’s experiences during the trip as well as the significance of the Columbian Exposition to American history and culture. Surviving letters and postcards found in the Tudor Place archive record the details of the trip as well as each traveler’s reaction to what they experienced during this weeklong visit to the Exposition. Ephemera and souvenirs from the family’s 1893 trip now in the Tudor Place collection will also be exhibited for this evening event.

Admission is free/pay what you can, with donations welcome. Doors open at 6 p.m., lecture begins at 6:30 p.m.

May
15
Wed
See Me at the Freer|Sackler
May 15 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Experience an interactive tour of the museums that is tailored to individuals with dementia and their care partners. Free registration is required. For more information and to register, contact access@si.edu or 202.633.2921.

May
18
Sat
James A. Garfield and the First Decoration Day – May 30, 1868 @ Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office Museum
May 18 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

James A. Garfield and the First Decoration Day – May 30, 1868

On Saturday May 18 at the Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office Museum, join the Site Manager of James A. Garfield National Historic Site Todd Arrington as he discusses the first Memorial Day.

The holiday we now call Memorial Day was founded after the Civil War and known initially as Decoration Day. The first national Decoration Day ceremony took place in Arlington National Cemetery on May 30, 1868. The keynote speaker that day was a young Ohio congressman and former Union general named James A. Garfield. In the shadow of the home once inhabited by Robert E. Lee, Garfield memorialized the Northern war dead but also reminded everyone what the war had truly been about, discussing slavery, freedom, civil rights, and more. This presentation will explore the origins of Decoration Day but also the themes on which future President James A. Garfield spoke on that first Decoration Day and their lasting importance.

The presentation begins at 11 AM on May 18 at the Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office Museum. The presentation will be pay-what-you-please.

Todd Arrington is the Site Manager of James A. Garfield National Historic Site in Mentor, Ohio. As a career National Park Service historian and park ranger, he has also worked at Homestead National Monument of America in Nebraska and Gettysburg National Historic Site & Eisenhower National Historic Site, both in Pennsylvania. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army and holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Arrington has been published many times on subjects related to the American Civil War and westward expansion. His essay “Industry and Economy during the Civil War” was published in The Civil War Remembered, the National Park Service’s official handbook commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. He writes and edits for the popular history blogs We’re History and Emerging Civil War, and his book ‘The Triumphs of Liberty and Law’: The Presidential Election of 1880 will be published later this year by the University Press of Kansas. In discussing relevant history and National Park Service news and events, he has spoken at dozens of academic conferences and appeared on PBS, C-SPAN, numerous television and radio news programs, Radio Free Europe, and National Public Radio. He appeared in the PBS American Experience documentary Murder of a President about James A. Garfield in 2016.

Arrington has taught history and humanities courses at several northeast Ohio colleges, including Lake Erie College, John Carroll University, Lorain County Community College, and Lakeland Community College. He is a member of the Organization of American Historians and the Northeast Ohio Civil War Round Table.

May
19
Sun
Gallery Talk: Whistler in Watercolor
May 19 @ 1:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Celebrate the opening of Whistler in Watercolor, the first in-depth examination of the Freer’s unparalleled collection of James McNeill Whistler’s watercolors, with Lee Glazer, director of the Lunder Institute for American Art at Colby College.

Watercolor Rediscovered: Whistler in the Nineteenth Century
May 19 @ 2:00 pm – 2:00 pm

In conjunction with the opening of Whistler in Watercolor, explore the development of watercolor in the Victorian era and James McNeill Whistler’s contributions to the genre. This program features talks by experts in British and American art history (Kathleen Foster, Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Curator of American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Robyn Asleson, curator of prints and drawings at the National Portrait Gallery) and a paper conservation specialist (Emily Jacobson, paper and photographs conservator at the Freer|Sackler). The discussion will be moderated by Lee Glazer, director of the Lunder Institute for American Art at Colby College. Beforehand, join us for a 1 pm gallery talk about the exhibition in Freer gallery 10.

May
23
Thu
Garden Luncheon: Amanda Nisbet Design @ Tudor Place Historic House & Garden
May 23 @ 11:30 am – 2:00 pm

Join us at a Garden Luncheon with lauded interior designer and author of Dazzling Design, Amanda Nisbet of Amanda Nisbet Design.

Nisbet, a self-described “color whisperer,” has an inherent ability to create spaces that are simultaneously comfortable and elegant.

Enjoy a lovely lunch with friends under the tent on the sprawling South Lawn, and a presentation by this design guru, who is based in New York City and Richmond. Nisbet is known for mixing seemingly opposite materials, styles, classic motifs, and contemporary idioms to create inspiring spaces that are beautiful, joyful and unforgettable.

May
30
Thu
Gallery Talk: Whistler in Watercolor
May 30 @ 1:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Celebrate the opening of Whistler in Watercolor, the first in-depth examination of the Freer’s unparalleled collection of James McNeill Whistler’s watercolors, with Luce Fellow for American Art Kerry Roeder.

Jun
1
Sat
Historical Tea @ DAR Museum
Jun 1 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

You’ve probably heard of Martha Washington and Abigail Adams, but there were plenty of other women who helped the United States gain independence. Meet a diverse array of historical figures through their work and records, and celebrate the women who made this country possible while you enjoy tea and pastries with your friends. All are welcome!

Included in the ticket price:

  • Finger-sandwiches and pastries
  • A tasting of teas popular in the 18th century
  • Activities related to the theme
  • Special access to objects from the museum collection
Gallery Talk: Fashion and Power: Clothing of the Qing Dynasty Empresses
Jun 1 @ 2:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Explore the intricate artisanship and history of court robes worn by empresses of China’s Qing dynasty with Dr. Young Yang Chung. A scholar and master embroiderer, Dr. Chung is the author of Silken Threads: A History of Embroidery in China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.

Jun
6
Thu
Gallery Talk: Empresses of China’s Forbidden City
Jun 6 @ 1:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Peek inside the Forbidden City and learn about the lives of Chinese empresses during the Qing dynasty with Jan Stuart, Melvin R. Seiden Curator of Chinese Art.

Jun
7
Fri
Coffee with a Curator: Cooking Tools @ DAR Museum
Jun 7 @ 9:00 am – 10:00 am

Would you like to start your morning with some coffee, pastries, and a dash of American history? Then join us the first Friday of every month for our new Coffee with a Curator series! Every month the DAR Museum curators will highlight different objects in our Study Gallery collection, providing insights, pointing out significant details, and answering questions. This unique, informal environment provides the opportunity for in-depth, intimate conversations with curators about objects within their specialty.

In order to facilitate meaningful conversation and close-looking, this program is capped at 15 attendees. Coffee, tea, and pastries provided for all program participants.

This month, join Carrie Blough, Assistant Registrar/Associate Curator, in conversation about 18th century cooking tools from the DAR Museum collection. How were these tools used? What can they tell us about foodways of the period?

Grab a cup and let’s start the conversation.

Jun
8
Sat
Making Levantine Cuisine: A Critical Food Studies Symposium
Jun 8 @ 12:30 pm – 5:00 pm

The Levant is home to some of the most storied cuisines in the world, from the refined cuisine of Aleppo to popular street foods like falafel. Yet much of its centuries-old history remains unwritten, and there are few academic studies of its contemporary food cultures. What is Levantine cuisine historically, gastronomically, and culturally? Can studying the region’s food and foodways help us understand what constitutes “the Levant” or what counts as “Levantine,” and how it came to be? What does writing a region’s culinary history entail? This symposium aims to answer these questions and more with perspectives from history, anthropology, literature, and other disciplines.

The symposium is organized by Graham Pitts and Anny Gaul, with generous support from the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies and the US Department of Education Title VI grant supporting the National Resource Center-Middle East/North Africa at Georgetown University.

12:30–2 pm: Food and Displacement: Cooking as Refuge, Resistance, and Memory
This panel discussion brings together scholars and documentarians to discuss the role of food in communities of displaced Syrians and Palestinians. From Vancouver to Gaza, food represents a means to earn income and disrupt stereotypes, a force of resistance against loss and oppression, and a source of comfort and hope when returning home becomes impossible.

2:15–3:45 pm: Writing Middle Eastern Cuisine: Recipes, Stories, and Politics
Join us for a roundtable discussion on food writing, featuring perspectives from journalism, cookbook publishing, and creative writing. Panelists will share advice and stories from their experiences writing about the diverse cuisines of the Levant. A tasting will follow.

4 pm: Tasting
Freer conference room

Jun
11
Tue
Tuesday Talk— “An Amazing Aptness for Learning Trades:” The Role of Enslaved Craftsmen in Charleston Cabinetmaking Shops @ DAR Museum
Jun 11 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

When historic furniture is put on display, most of the attention goes to the quality of the work and the master craftsman from whose shop the piece came. However, little is said about those involved in creating such a piece.  This talk will examine the role of enslaved craftsmen in Charleston cabinetmaking shops during the late eighteenth century and how wealthy Charlestonians’ desire for fashionable goods fueled the demand for this labor force.

Speaker: William Strollo, Curator of Exhibitions