Things to Do

Culture Vulture

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

Steve Almond, author of Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America, will be at Olsson’s Books & Records at 7 PM on Wednesday. His new book—(Not That You Asked): Rants, Exploits, and Obsessions—is a collection of humorous essays that document his numerous clashes with modern culture, including encounters with Oprah Winfrey, Sean Hannity, and an enraged Red Sox Nation.

On Wednesday, the National Portrait Gallery is screening Tupac: Resurrection at 7 PM in the McEvoy Auditorium. The film, narrated by Tupac Shakur, chronicles the hip-hop legend’s journey from the Baltimore School for the Performing Arts to the streets of Oakland and his rise to fame.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum will also make use of the McEvoy Auditorium when it shows Selected Work: Steina and Woody Vasulka on Thursday at 6 PM. Pioneers Steina and Woody Vasulka developed a technology and language that helped shape video-art history. The film includes Steina’s Violin Power (1970-78), Woody’s Vocabulary (1973) and The Matter (1974), as well as several collaborations.

Four of the 100 authors in Our White House—a collection of essays, poetry, historical fiction, personal accounts, and art that look at American history through the lens of the White House—will read at Politics and Prose on Friday at 4:30. Stick around afterward for a screening of the presidential debate at 8.

Jazz in the Garden continues with guitarist Rob Levit and his trio, followed by the US Navy Commodores’ swinging jazz starting at 5 in the National Gallery of Art’s sculpture garden.

The grand opening of the Museum of Natural History’s Sant Ocean Hall, the museum’s largest permanent exhibition, is on Saturday. The exhibit—open from 11 to 5—features the seven-foot-tall jaws from a prehistoric shark, a 45-foot-long full-scale model of a North Atlantic right whale, and a 24-foot-long giant squid. The museum will also host two related lectures in the Baird Auditorium, “Bringing the Ocean to Life” at 1 PM and “Tracking Ocean Giants” at 3. A signing with Smithsonian Ocean author Deborah Cramer will take place in the store at 4 PM.

As part of the DC Dance Festival, the Pan American Symphony Orchestra will perform in the Kogod Courtyard of the Smithsonian American Art Museum on Sunday at 3. The 26-piece community-based ensemble will perform rhythmic combinations of traditional Latin music.

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