Culture Vulture

A compilation of interesting—and, most important, free—lectures, cultural events, and more throughout the week.

By: Sarah Zlotnick

Monday, July 27
Show your support for universal access to clean water at the Science Club in DC’s downtown. The Global Water Challenge throws its launch party from 6 to 8 PM, where you’ll find out more about the water crisis and what the organization is doing to help. To RSVP, click here. Free.

Tuesday, July 28
Humidity is reaching a summertime high, but the seals at the National Zoo aren’t feeling it. Meet at the sea-lion pool at 11:30 AM for a free training demo with the friendly ocean mammals.

Wednesday, July 29
A graphic-arts specialist at the American History Museum demonstrates how Civil War generals used tabletop printing presses to give orders to their troops. Meet on the first floor. 11 AM to 1 PM.

In case you missed it last month, Community Night at the Spy Museum means free admission from 5 to 9 PM. Click here to reserve a spot.

Thursday, July 30
Football fans will be happy to hear that the first of eight open-to-the-public Redskins training sessions is today from 8:30 to 10:30 AM. Bring folding chairs, a picnic breakfast, and a camera (no video allowed) and watch the team prepare for the season. Parking lots (free) will open 90 minutes before practice, and gates will open one hour before. Call 703-726-7411 for more information, or click here for the complete schedule. The registration form is available here. 21300 Redskins Park Dr., Ashburn.

Versus, Ryuhei Kitamura’s “nonstop action gore fest” (Scott Tobias, Onion AV Club), plays in the Freer Gallery’s Meyer Auditorium at 7 PM as part of the Asia Trash series. Free tickets to the event can be picked up on a first-come, first-served basis at the theater an hour before showtime.

Friday, July 31
Never jumped on the vampire bandwagon? Now’s the time to see what all the fuss is about. Bethesda’s Stars on the Avenue outdoor movie series hosts a free screening of Twilight at the corner of Norfolk and Auburn avenues. The film begins at 9, but make sure to get there early to secure some of the festival-provided seating. To learn more, click here.

Saturday, August 1
At the Gadsby’s Tavern Museum’s (134 North Royal St., Alexandria) open house, costumed guides will lead you through the 18th century five-star hotel, where period music, light refreshments, and even the occasional dance lesson will make you feel like a Revolutionary traveler. 1 to 5 PM. To learn more, call 703-838-4242 or click here.

Also in Alexandria: The Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association (107 South Alfred St.) holds its annual Firehouse Festival. The event includes admission to the Friendship Firehouse Museum, the chance to climb inside a fire truck, free fire helmets, and a slew of outdoor activities. Food and beverages available. Call 703-838-3891 for more information.

Uncover the next big thing in the Washington arts scene at Academy 2009, invitational survey of local student artwork. Recent graduates from the Corcoran and Savannah Colleges of Art and Design, American University, and more will be on hand to discuss their pieces at the opening-night ceremony (6 to 8 PM). Washington Project for the Arts hosts the authors of Art/Work for a workshop on the career-management, business, and legal issues of professional artistry from 4 to 6. Click Conner Contemporary Art’shere for more information.

Drama junkies can explore old costumes, props, and set pieces at the annual Studio Theater garage sale. Special finds include Edie Beale-style hats and scarves from Grey Gardens and abstract paintings from A Year of Magical Thinking. 10 to 4 at the intersection of 14th and P streets, Northwest. For more information, click here.

Sunday, August 2
The National Museum of Women in the Arts offers free admission from noon to 5 today. We recommend using the first-Sunday-of-the-month deal to check out American fashion: Louise Dahl-Wolfe’s iconic Harper’s Bazaar photography and Mary McFadden’s haute-couture gowns, inspired by ancient civilizations, are two of three current exhibits. For more information, visit nmwa.org.

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