Things to Do

Culture Vulture

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

Tuesday, May 12
Richard N. Haass, director of policy planning in the State Department under Colin Powell, reflects on the differences between the 1991 and 2003 Iraq wars in War of Neccessity, War of Choice: A Memoir of Two Iraq Wars. Haas will read from and discuss his book at Politics & Prose at 7.

Wednesday, May 13
Author Vincent Bzdek brings The Kennedy Legacy: Jack, Bobby and Ted and a Family Dream Fulfilled to the L Street location of Borders at 12:30. Bzdek argues that each Kennedy brother’s accomplishments can been seen as a means of fulfilling the interrupted promise of the brother before him. The author will read from the book and discuss who now carries the family’s torch.

Thursday, May 14
Mary Lee Coe Fowler , daughter of a World War II submarine skipper, will discuss Full Fathom Five: A Daughter’s Search at the United States Navy Memorial at noon. Born after her father was lost at sea in 1943, Fowler writes about her search for information on a man she never knew. A signing and Q&A with the author follows.

Friday, May 15
The Brazilian Embassy hosts its second annual documentary film festival this weekend. Cosponsored by the Smithsonian Latino Center, it kicks off with a screening of the award-winning Palavra (En)cantada (The Enchanted Word) in the Hirshhorn Museum’s Ring Auditorium at 7 with free Brazilian snacks. American University will screen the rest of the films in its Greenberg Theater, including Pan-Cinema Permanente at 4 and Panair do Brasil at 6 on Saturday and Só Dez Por Cento é Mentira at 4 and Simonal—Ninguém Sabe O Duro que Dei at 6 on Sunday. For more information, visit

Saturday, May 16
The National Museum of the American Indian hosts a performance of The Conversion of Ka’ahumanu, a theater piece by Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl, in its Rasmuson Theater at 2. Set in Hawaii, the play explores the relationships between Christian missionaries and indigenous women during the early 19th century. A discussion with Kneubuhl follows.

Sunday, May 17
Tour the National Portrait Gallery’s “Inventing Marcel Duchamp: The Dynamics of Portraiture” exhibition with curators Anne Goodyear and James McManus at 2. Participants will learn about the French artist’s life and how he influenced his contemporaries as well as today’s artists. Guests should meet in the entrance of the exhibition on the museum’s second floor.

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