A compilation of interesting—and, most important, free—lectures, cultural events, and more throughout the week.
Head to the Black Cat’s Red Room Bar (1811 14th St., NW; 202-667-4490)—the laid-back, cover-free version of the main music venue. Tonight is Couch Night—a Black Cat staple where you can listen to DJ stylings all night. DJs Sebadoh Boy and Roulette spin vintage vinyl starting at 6.
Tuesday, February 2
The award-winning book Invisible Man was the only Ralph Ellison novel published while he was still alive. Sixteen years after his death, Modern Library has published his unfinished novel, Three Days Before the Shooting, following Juneteenth, which was a condensed version of the manuscript. A discussion by the book’s coeditors, John Callahan and Adam Bradley, start at 6:30 at the National Museum of American History’s Charmichael Auditorium. Washington Post staff writer Wil Haygood moderates the talk. There’ll be a book signing after the discussion.
Wednesday, February 3
If you want more Anne Kornblut besides her appearances on Hardball With Chris Matthews and her White House coverage for the Washington Post, catch her at Politics and Prose. With CNN’s Candy Crowley, she’ll talk about her new book, Notes From the Cracked Ceiling, which discusses why women still haven’t been elected to the highest public offices, with a particular focus on Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton. The event starts at 7.
Thursday, February 4
It’s not Valentine’s Day yet, but you can set the mood early at Art & Romance at Phillips After 5, the Phillips Collection’s monthly event. At 5, the poet Shani Jamila reads love letters written by Georgia O’Keeffe, and violinist Lucan Klyne and DJ Adrian Loving provide background music. At 6 and 7, there are gallery talks about the love life of the collection’s founders, Duncan and Marjorie Phillips. Champagne and Brazilian tapas will be available.
Friday, February 5
Calling all wedding crashers: Dana Ellyn and Matt Sesow are having not just an art opening but also exchanging vows—and everyone is invited. Their joint exhibit, “Till Death Do Us Part,” is a collection of quirky paintings that shows the couple’s interpretation of the meaning of marriage. The opening reception starts at 6:30, and the official ceremony begins at 7:30 at the Long View Gallery (1234 Ninth St., NW; 202-232-4788). As with any wedding, you have to RSVP, so e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a spot. The exhibit will be up through March 1.
Saturday, February 6
Happy Chinese New Year! The National Geographic Museum and P.F. Chang’s are hosting a family festival with table tennis, martial-arts demonstrations, and raffles. Starting at 11, 150 free tickets to the exhibit “Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of China’s First Emperor” will be distributed at the at museum’s M Street entrance. Noon to 3.
Sunday, February 7
The Iranian Film Festival continues with Two-Legged Horse. Directed by Samira Makhmalbaf, the film is about a wealthy child with no legs who pays a poor boy to carry him around on his back for a dollar a day. The film is at 2 in the Freer Gallery’s Meyer Auditorium. Tickets, limited to two per person, will be distributed one hour before the show starts.