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Culture Vulture
A compilation of interesting—and, most important, free—lectures, cultural events, and more throughout the week. By Molly Lehman
Comments () | Published November 16, 2009
Monday, November 16
Christina Scheppelmann, director of artistic operations at the Washington National Opera, and Brandy Hawkins, a mezzo-soprano with the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist program, present “So You Want to Be a Singer? An Opera Career Talk.” They’ll discuss how to build an opera-friendly résumé, career options in the opera arts, and answer questions. The event will be held in the Abramson Family Recital Hall at the Katzen Arts Center at American University. To make reservations, call 202-448-3465.

Tuesday, November 17
Stop by the Church of the Epiphany (1317 G St., NW; 202-347-2635) during your lunch hour to enjoy some classical music with your Five Guys fries. This week’s installment of the Tuesday Concert Series commemorates the 200th anniversary of Franz Joseph Haydn’s death with a program of his compositions performed by pianist Sonya Suhnhee Kim. It can be heard in the main sanctuary from 12:10 to 1. Donations, which benefit local musicians, are welcome.

Wednesday, November 18
Beginning with September 11, 2001, and ending with the election of Barack Obama, George Packer’s aptly named essay series Interesting Times —which was previously published in the New Yorker and elsewhere—chronicles seven tumultuous years in the US. Topics such as the war on terror, the Iraq invasion, fellow writers, America’s working class, global trade, and the Sierra Leone all fall under Packer’s eye. He’ll be at Politics and Prose on Wednesday at 7 to discuss the book.

Thursday, November 19
The former director of the National Museum of American History, Roger Kennedy, released a book, When Art Worked: The New Deal, Art, and Democracy, earlier this month. Kennedy looks at the way the Great Depression demanded that artists—from filmmakers to landscape designers, composers, and architects—bring the country out of economic ruin, an idea that sounds pretty comforting right now. A book discussion and signing will take place at 7 in the McEvoy Auditorium of the American Art Museum.

Friday, November 20
Is empathy what makes us human—or does it make it even harder to distinguish us from animals? Cognitive ethologist Frans de Waal, named one of Time magazine’s World’s 100 Most Influential People in 2007, examines these complexities of being human in a new book, The Age of Empathy: Nature’s Lessons for a Kinder Society. The National Zoo will host a lecture by de Waal on Friday at 7; come at 6 if you’d like to meet the author. A cash bar will open at 6. Click here to RSVP. 

Saturday, November 21
Part Edward Gorey, part Nicoletta Ceccoli, and part Where the Wild Things Are, the oil paintings and ink drawings of the Massachusetts-born artist Graham Franciose are expressive, imaginative studies of childhood emotion. His work is part of a new exhibition at the Art Whino Gallery, which begins today and runs through December 21. An opening reception of the exhibit, “Quiet Little Stories: The Art of Graham Francoise,” will be held tonight from 6 to midnight. Music will be provided by the funk/blues rock band Sol.

Sunday, November 22
What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than at a vintage murder thriller at the National Gallery of Art? Joseph Losey’s M is a 1951 remake of Fritz Lang’s 1931 German drama about a murderer of children who’s being pursued by police and the criminal underworld. Losey’s version is set in Los Angeles, although not long after the film’s release, he was blacklisted as a Communist and left the United States. The screening is part of the American Abroad series presented by the British Film Institute with the Harvard Film Archive, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Library of Congress. The show starts at 4:30 in the East Building Auditorium. Seating is on a first come, first served basis. Doors open at 4.

Sahar Ullah’s Hijabi Monologues, begun when she was a graduate student in Chicago, is a series of stories collected from Muslim women about their identities, symbolized by the head scarf called “hijab.” Ullah’s format, inspired by Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues, allows her to discuss everything from lighthearted jokes about Muslim men to serious issues such as the war on terror, HIV, and the death of a child. Hijabi Monologues will be performed at 6 at the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center.

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