Visitors to the 14th Street corridor will be steps away from reading and writing workshops hosted by members of the local LGBT writing community this weekend.
The fifth annual OutWrite Book Festival starts with a keynote speech from celebrated novelist James Earl Hardy tomorrow evening. Hardy will speak about his book series “B-Boy Blues” at the D.C. Center (2000 14th Street NW) from 6-9 p.m.
The festival will then host 37 vendors, workshops and authors from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. the following day.
David Mariner, Executive Director for the D.C. Center, says the festival’s exhibitors and speakers were selected by their interest or involvement within the LGBT community.
“While some LGBT voices are not kind of represented in mainstream media, those things are still few and far between and don’t necessarily reflect the diversity that’s within D.C.’s LGBT community,” Mariner says. “We have a wide variety of folks telling their stories. It’s a way to affirm and celebrate who we are.”
Outwrite will coincide with another popular 14th and U street festival, MidCity Dog Days.
But Mariner says that’s purposeful. He adds that he hopes Dog Days attendees will visit the book festival and that visiting LGBT publishing companies and authors will visit the surrounding neighborhood.
The book festival is free and open to the public. Used books will also be sold on site; paperbacks will cost $1 and hardbacks will cost $2.
Image via Facebook.com/OutWriteDC
Borderstan residents can now pick up a copy of the latest issue of D.C.’s free comic book newspaper, Magic Bullet.
The paper is organized and edited by small press comic book collective DC Conspiracy and features one-page comics and illustrations from dozens of locally sourced contributors.
This is the semi-annual newspaper’s 11th issue since it was created in 2010.
Copies can be found at the following Borderstan-area locations:
- Crooked Beat Records (2116 18th Street NW)
- Idle Time Books (2467 18th Street Northwest)
- Red Onion Records (1901 18th Street NW)
- Smash Records (2314 18th Street NW, 2nd Floor)
- Songbyrd (2475 18th Street NW)
- The Potter’s House (1658 Columbia Road NW)
- Tryst (2459 18th Street NW)
- Coffy Cafe (3310 14th Street NW)
- Flying Fish Coffee and Tea (3064 Mt Pleasant Street NW)
- Palace 5ive (2216 14th Street NW)
- The Coupe (3415 11th Street NW)
- Blind Dog Cafe (944 Florida Avenue NW)*
- Fantom Comics (2010 P Street NW)
- Miss Pixie’s (1626 14th Street NW)
- Peregrine Espresso (1718 14th Street NW)
- Som Records (1843 14th Street NW)*
- The Coffee Bar (1201 S Street NW)*
- Upshur Books (827 Upshur Street NW)
- Ben’s Chili Bowl (1213 U Street NW)
- Big Planet Comics (1520 U Street NW)
- Joint Custody (1530 U Street NW)
Image via Upshur Street Books
*Denotes a business that was lumped in with its closest neighborhood for clarity
Ward 2 residents can frolic in a giant ball pit for free tomorrow morning.
From 9 to 11 a.m., residents of Councilmember Jack Evans’ ward can freely enter The BEACH, a National Building Museum (401 F Street NW) exhibit with nearly one million translucent plastic balls and a “shoreline” decked with beach chairs and tables.
Visitors are welcome to dive into the massive ball pit, play beach games like paddleball and bring a book to read in the beach furniture.
Attendees must show a valid form of I.D. at the admissions desk to enter the BEACH. Visitors must use the F Street entrance between 5th and 6th streets.
The event is part of the museum’s Ward Days series.
Photo via Flickr.com/NationalBuildingMuseum
Canden Schwantes Arciniega, author of Wicked Georgetown and Wild Women of Washington, D.C., will talk about notorious figures in D.C. history at the Mt. Pleasant Library (3160 16th Street NW) at 7 p.m.
Arciniega, a volunteer docent and researcher for the D.C. Historical Society and Kiplinger Library, has spent years exploring the city and learning about its infamous individuals.
Copies of Arciniega’s books will be available for purchase and signing at the event.
Photo via Canden Schwantes Arciniega
More than 55 artists will set up shop at St. Stephen Incarnate (1525 Newton Street NW) in Columbia Heights this weekend as part of this year’s DC Zinefest.
Attendees will be able to view and buy small-press comics and zines from artists and creators from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Local artists in attendance will include Andrew Cohen, creator of Howzit Funnies, Fantom Comics manager Esther Kim, DC Conspiracy co-founder and DC Punk creator Evan Keeling and comic book journalist Josh Kramer.
The event is free to the public.
Photo via DC Zinefest
An art space will screen a looped compilation of short films all weekend near Farragut Square.
Films from artists James Huckenpahler, Marc Ganzglass, Sue Wrbican, Sean Watkins, Anne Smith, Justin Plakas, Rachel Debuque, Casey Smith, Kate Plourde and Colby Caldwell will be screened starting Friday at 7 p.m.
The premiere will include free popcorn and a discussion of the project with members of the collective.
Caitlin Berry, Associate Director of Hemphill Art Gallery, says the artists’ films are meant to “reflect on the analog creation of media in a now mostly digital age.”
Following the film premiere, the short films will be projected onto a wall behind a plywood recreation of the Early Bird, the world’s first commercial communications satellite.
The short films will be continuously looped inside the space, which is visible from the street, for the remainder of the weekend.
Image Courtesy of Hemphill Art Gallery
The Silent Disco Dance Party will return to Dupont Circle on Saturday, Aug. 29.
The first silent dance party in June attracted hundreds of earbud-wearing revelers in colorful costumes and party attire dancing to tunes that only they could hear.
With Love DC will again organize the event and assemble the party’s playlist.
“Our first silent dance party was so much fun we just have to do it again,” reads the event’s Facebook page.
“Again, the idea is simple,” continues the event listing. “Show up on time. We all push play. We dance. We smile. Joy spreads.”
Nearly 6,000 people have already RSVPed to attend the party.
Strangers will share their most awkward and imitate sex stories at Bier Baron Tavern next Friday.
Performers Natalie Wall, Ginny Leise, Carly Ann Filbin, Emmy Harrington, Jamie Leelo and Meghan O’Malley will share stories of embarrassing encounters during their traveling storytelling show, “Awkward Sex … and the City.”
Wall, who founded the show in 2013, says audiences should brace for funny, intimate tales of sex, dating and discovery.
“Myself and four other girls are going to tell a very awkward dating or awkward sex story, and you’re going to feel way better about yourself,” Wall says.
For instance, Wall says she will tell the tale of when she lost her virginity.
“I lost my virginity on Easter weekend in a very Christian Southern college town,” she says. “It’s pretty funny.”
Though the thought of awkward sex might leave some feeling a little squeamish, Wall says the show doesn’t exist for shock value.
“People forget that sex isn’t really that vulgar,” Wall says. “That’s one of the big parts of the show. Sex is not this perfect movie scene. It’s actually very awkward and vulnerable.”
Wall says the last show sold out well in advance, so attendees are encouraged to buy tickets online in advance to avoid missing out.
Photo by Meredith Traux
The U Street Movies Series will pay homage to D.C.’s pot law by screening two beloved stoner films tonight.
Attendees can view the original “Reefer Madness” and “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” tonight at 8:20 p.m. at the Harrison Recreation Center (1330 V Street NW) in honor of Initiative 71, which legalized in February the possession and cultivation of marijuana in D.C.
Reefer Madness, which lasts just over an hour, starts at sundown. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure begins shortly after.
The film series is free and residents can bring food and drinks. Bringing along pets, alcohol or pot is prohibited.
The next film in the series will be Monsoon Wedding, which plays on Aug. 19. Check out the full schedule on the U Street Movie Series Facebook page.
Photo via Facebook.com/ustreetmovieseries
A mob of artists showed up yesterday and today to pay $15 to hang up to five pieces of art on the gallery’s walls.
Executive Artistic Director B. Stanley said the event regularly attracts up to 100 artists from around the District. This year was no exception.
Artists lined up outside the gallery door before the submission period yesterday, said Stanley.
“Everybody was trying to get the middle row. It was sort of like a race to the great frontier,” Stanley said.
Tomorrow night at 7 p.m., a group of judges will survey the art and award one artist with $100 and a a “Best Use of Space” superlative.
Artist Steve Wanna won top honors at last year’s show.
“As an experimental artist, it inspires to come up innovative ways of using the space,” said Wanna in an e-mail. “It’s the perfect lab to test out some ideas in a playful, encouraging space.”
The exhibition runs until Aug. 30.
Check the DC Arts Center website for details on attending the event and submitting your own artwork.
Local theater company The District Arts Collaborative is staging a play to celebrate today’s monumental marriage equality ruling.
Tonight and tomorrow night at 8 p.m., the company will perform “8,” a staged reading that chronicles the trial in the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8.
The play will be performed by a cast of 21 actors on the third floor of Cobalt, located at 1639 R Street NW.
Though opening night coincides with the most important marriage equality ruling ever, director Amy Tolbert Harris says she’s been working on the performance since April.
“It was kind of fate,” says Harris. “When I heard the news, I was in my office, and I just started tearing up.”
“I’m hopeful that people will come based on the ruling,” Harris adds.
Tickets are $20 at the door. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.
— Dupont Underground (@DupontUndergrnd) June 26, 2015
Good news: It just got a little easier to spot the Dupont Underground entrance.
Bad news: The underground art gallery’s opening date has been delayed.
Earlier this week, a bright red coat of paint was applied to the entrance doors and a nearby lamppost just north of Dupont Circle.
The sign was designed by D.C. branding agency Ripe, and the Sherwin Williams store at 2511 14th Street NW donated the red paint, says Dupont Underground Managing Director Braulio.
But Dupont residents might have to wait a little longer for that bright red entrance to swing open.
Though the Washington Post reported in May that the underground art space was aiming for a July opening, Agnese says the opening has been further delayed due to a snag in the permissions process.
“The timeline has been pushed back,” says Agnese. “Hiccups are an inevitable part of the development process, no matter how hard you try to avoid them.”
What’s equal parts live art, wacky costumed characters, glow-sticks and nostalgia? Super Art Fight, that’s what.
Ten artists will face off in a test of speed, creativity and scribbling during the show on the Black Cat main stage Saturday night at 9:30 p.m.
“Super Art Fight is Pictionary meets pro wrestling,” says Ross Nover, who co-hosts the show he calls the “greatest live art competition in the known universe.”
“But unlike pro-wrestling, none of the show is pre-planned,” says Nover. “It’s less about how great the art work comes out, and more about how funny and great the moment was when it was created.”
During the bout, artists are encouraged to undermine each other’s illustrations by adding their own mischievous input to their opponent’s work. At the end, audience applause determines the winner.
Nover says the audience vote encourages artists to create eccentric personas and outfits for audience love.
Attendees should expect the show’s usual wacky decorations and costumes to be kicked up a notch for Saturday’s 80’s-themed show. Michael Bracco, known as Baron Von Sexyful on stage, created two decorations that Nover describes as “the worlds craziest mash-up T-shirt” of cartoon characters and pop culture icons.
Tickets are available online for $15 and a $3.90 service fee. The show is for all ages.
Photo via Super Art Fight’s Facebook
The Keegan Theatre (1742 Church St NW) is almost ready to debut a new look after 10 months of renovations.
Starting this Saturday, patrons will enter the theater through a new glass and steel atrium, walk up the atrium’s bright staircase and take a seat in one of the new burnt orange chairs to watch the opening of famed Tennessee Williams play, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”
Apart from the new atrium, the renovation also includes a new lighting grid, dressing rooms, bathrooms and a bar.
“It’s like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Jeff Klein, media relations manager for Keegan Theater. “We had a lot of obstacles that we overcame. There’s still work to be done in the basement, which we call the artist space, but everything else is pretty much ready to go.”
“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” runs until July 25. Click here to view the theater’s 2015-16 season.
“Hook,” starring the late Robin Williams, will play on the big screen in Farragut Square on Friday as part of Golden Triangle BID‘s Golden Cinema series.
Though the film begins at sunset, attendees can start setting up lawn chairs and blankets at 7:30 p.m.
This is the sixth film in the Golden Cinema series. The next film, “Nine to Five,” plays on July 10.
Photo via Golden Cinema BID