Things to Do

Culture Vulture

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

Monday, July 13
A stroll through the flowers is always lovely, but every now and again it’s nice to know what the heck you’re looking at. Take a guided tour of the National Garden—part of the US Botanic Garden—tonight and you’ll hear the folktales and stories that surround the beautiful plants. 5:30 to 6:30 PM. 245 First St., SW. Meet on the lawn terrace adjacent to the conservatory.

Tuesday, July 14
Use your lunch break to bust a move. Coyaba Theater’s Slyvia Soumah hosts a West African dance workshop, where you’ll get the chance to move your body to the sounds of Cuban-infused drumbeats. 11 to noon at the African Art Museum. Space is limited, so call 633-4640 to RSVP.

Wednesday, July 15
Head to Georgetown University’s Gonda Theater for a free preview of Our Town. This rendition of Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play features Georgetown undergrads and students from the Duke Ellington School for the Performing Arts in the story of love unfolding between two characters in small-town America. 8 PM; no ticket required. For more information, click here.

Thursday, July 16
Do-it-yourselfers, rejoice: Faythe Levine hosts a free screening of Handmade Nation, her popular documentary on how arts and crafts became cool again in the indie community. Be sure to stick around after the screening, as Levine will be on hand for a book signing (the movie springs from a text of the same title). Noon. Grand salon, Renwick Gallery.

Friday, July 17
Jack Rasmussen, Director of American University's Katzen Center Museum, gives his take on the "Strange Bodies" exhibit at the Hirshhorn during this week's Friday Gallery Talk. Spend the morning meandering through the exhibit, then meet at the information desk at 12:30 to hear Rasmussen's opinion on artistic representation of human form throughout history.

Saturday, July 18
Mint Fitness (1724 California St., NW), is hosting a Pilates open house, where you’ll get the opportunity to try out an abbreviated Pilates-machine class, meet instructors, watch demonstrations, and enter to win free classes. If you’re looking to get long and lean for an upcoming beach trip, this is worth checking out. 10 to 4 PM.

At the National Air and Space Museum, a class called “In the Stars Tonight” helps you see stars, constellations, and other celestial highlights on the Albert Einstein Planetarium projector. Free; 11:30 AM Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Click here for more information.

Sunday, July 19
For those shopaholics feeling the credit crunch, the Capital Fringe Festival is here for you. Gather any clothes, books, and music you no longer need and head to the Trading Post (1013 Seventh St., NW) for the Free Store. At this community project dedicated to promoting recycling and reuse, you can trade your undesirables for anything you find more appealing. Think of it as a clothing swap among a vastly extended circle of friends. Open July 9 to 26, Wednesday through Friday 5 to 8, Saturday and Sunday 2 to 8. All clothing must be washed and in fair condition. E-mail with questions.

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Sarah is the Editor-in-Chief of Washingtonian Bride & Groom, and writes about weddings, fashion, and shopping. Her work has also appeared in Refinery29, Bethesda Magazine, and Washington City Paper, among others. She is a Georgetown University graduate, lives in Columbia Heights, and you can find her on Instagram at @washbridegroom and @sarahzlot.