Things to Do

Where & When: What To Do This Weekend

This weekend is full of fall festivals, free art, the start of the DC Shorts Film Festival, a Black Cat anniversary party, and loads more.

This weekend is full of fall festivals, free art, the start of the DC Shorts Film Festival, a Black Cat anniversary party, and loads more.

Thursday, September 11: More than 106 short films will be featured in the fifth annual DC Shorts Film Festival, which kicks off tonight. Beyond the shorts (films on a variety subjects around ten minutes in length), the festival features Q&As with directors, parties, and more. Read our interview with DC Shorts organizer Jon Gann here.

Friday, September 12: The Black Cat celebrates its 15th anniversary tonight. It’s all grown up! Owner Dante Ferrando’s old band Gray Matter will reunite for a set, and the Shirks and Domino Team will play as well. 9 PM;  $10.

There’ll be a good art opening tonight at Transformer Gallery, as it presents “ID-entity,” featuring the work of ten emerging artists from Mexico City. 6 to 9 PM.

Saturday, September 13: Get your opera fix in a baseball park. Yup, you heard that right. Opening night of Verdi’s La Traviata at the Kennedy Center will be screened on the Nationals Park scoreboard tonight at 7. You can bring blankets and chairs but not outside food or beverages (some concessions stands will be open during the performance). Enter the park through the center-field gate, which will open at 5:30. Best of all, it’s free!

We can’t imagine that anyone would actually bother counting the days left to St. Patrick’s Day, but apparently somebody is, because there’s a bar crawl tonight called the Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day Bar Tour. Hooray? If you’re into it, all the usual midtown bars are stops along the way—Porter’s, Recessions, Madhatter, and more. Sign up at Rumors, and pay $10 if you bring two cans of food charity, $13 if not. 3 PM to 11 PM.

If you’re into capoeira, the Brazilian blend of martial arts and dance, then head today to the Capoeira Festival at the Historical Society of Washington. From 11 to 4, there will be discussions, workshops, and capoeira performances. Free.

Today, downtown DC’s restaurant-and-gallery-filled Penn Quarter becomes a lively street fair for the annual Arts on Foot festival. There’s an art market with works for sale by local artists, a restaurant-sampling area, and arts and crafts for kids. More than 45 venues throughout the neighborhood will host events including author talks and film screenings. For a full list, visit

Artists come from all over the country will exhibit paintings, sculpture, jewelry, photography, ceramics, and more at the annual Alexandria Festival of the Arts on Saturday and Sunday, September 13 and 14. More than $15 million in art will be displayed along Old Town’s King Street. Individual works range from $20 to $20,000. King St. between Union and Washington sts.; 703-838-5005;

Sunday, September 14: Every September since 1978, the Adams Morgan Day Festival has taken over one of DC’s liveliest neighborhoods, and it’s the same story today. Eighteenth Street is blocked off to cars and lined with vendors, and there are live music stages at either end. On Belmont Street, you can browse the work of local artists and artisans offering everything from jewelry to photography. 18th St., NW, between Florida Ave. and Columbia Rd.; 202-232-1960;

Did you know that DC Architecture Week just kicked off? There are events throughout the coming week, but one highlight today is the student architecture competition at the National Building Museum. Students from local architecture schools will have to solve a design problem (which they only found out about a week before the competition) and will be working hard all day on their projects. Drop by an time between 9 and 5 to see the teams working. More DC Architecture Week events can be found here.

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