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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 October 14, 2009
Monday, October 12
The Smithsonian is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with a series of events, including gallery tours such as this one on Latino art and culture. The tour, offered in English and Spanish, spotlights the past 200 years of Latino history in the United States, reflected in the work of Hispanic-American artists. Meet in the F Street lobby of the American Art Museum. 12:30. Call 202-633-5330 for more information.

Tuesday, October 13
On Tuesdays, stop by the weekly concert series at the Church of the Epiphany (1317 G St., NW). This week, you can listen to selections from Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, performed by Irina Katz from the Levine School of Music. Donations—all of which go to the performer—are encouraged. 12:10 to 1. You can download the full Tuesday Concert Series schedule here.

Make this your most relaxing Tuesday in a while: Free yoga classes are being held with Krista at BE Yoga in DC’s Cleveland Park. The hourlong, open-level class starts at 6:15, and the introductory class, also an hour, starts at 7:30. Both are the first classes of ten-week sessions; only the first class is free.

Wednesday, October 14
Stop by Sidney Harman Hall for its free weekly Happenings at the Harman concert from noon to 1. This week features a performance by the Russian Chamber Art Society. No reservations are needed; seating is first come, first served.

Thursday, October 15

If you haven’t yet watched Jefferson Smith, played by James Stewart, take on rampant political corruption with good old-fashioned patriotism—not to mention cinema’s most dramatic filibuster—then don’t miss this. It’s the 70th anniversary of the 1939 film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is celebrating with a free screening at 7. The film, directed by Frank Capra, was nominated for 11 Academy Awards. Robert Osborne, a film historian and a host of Turner Classic Movies, will introduce the movie, being shown at the William G. McGowan Theater (700 Pennsylvania Ave., NW). Reservations aren’t required. Call 202-501-5000 for more information.

Civil-rights activist and Princeton professor Cornel West will speak in the Langston Room at Busboys and Poets (14th and V sts., NW) at 6. West’s book Race Matters has been a shaping force in the nation’s ongoing discussion of race, politics, justice, and culture. His newest title, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, is a memoir.

Friday, October 16
In 2001, Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America upset widely held cultural conceptions of how working-class Americans lived, worked, and contributed to society. Ehrenreich’s newst book, Bright Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America, seeks to do the same with what she sees as the country’s excessive optimism—which, she says, has endangered the nation in times of crisis such as 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. Ehrenreich presents a free reading at Politics and Prose at 7.

Saturday, October 17
This weekend, try an inside-out museum trip—check out the home studios of dozens of local artists. Great Falls Studios is hosting a self-guided tour of 44 artists’ workplaces, including those of painters, sculptors, photographers, jewelers, and quilters. The route takes you on back roads to homes where you can watch demonstrations and to local galleries. All artists will have work for sale, and 10 percent of purchases will be donated to the Great Falls Foundation for the Arts. At the Irish pub the Old Brogue (760-C Walker Rd., Great Falls), lunch—including drink and tip—is $11.50 with a coupon, which can be picked up at any of the stops on the tour. Saturday and Sunday 10 and 5. Download a map of the studios, which can be visited in any order, here.  

Sunday, October 18
During World War II, Hilda Stern Cohen spent four years imprisoned in ghettos and camps—first in the Łódz ghetto, where her parents died, and then in Auschwitz. In that time, she wrote a collection of poems, lost at Auschwitz and later rewritten when she moved to a camp in Austria. Cohen passed away in 1997, but her collection of poetry, discovered by her husband after her death, has been published as Words That Burn Within Me: Faith, Values, Survival. This weekend, Gail Rosen will present a free reading of the poetry at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda as part of its Open Door Reading Series. Cohen’s husband will present a brief introduction. 2 to 4; reserve your seat here.

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