Things to Do

Culture Vulture

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

Monday, August 17
In the Points of View tour, docents from the National Gallery of Art challenge the notion that paintings are the product of pure genius. Meet at 2:30 under the Rotunda of the West Building to hear tales of the hundreds of technical decisions that go into creating the masterpieces you’ll encounter.

Tuesday, August 18

Each of the artists featured in Flashpoint Gallery’s “M3: MCs, Mics and Metaphors” exhibit looked to a favorite hip-hip verse, song, or emcee for inspiration. You can see what they came up with in media such as paintings, video animation, and fashion design. Tuesday through Saturday noon to 6.

Wednesday, August 19
At the Black Cat’s backstage, women from DC’s Mothertongue perform spoken word in their quest to create a space for females to artistically express their opinions. 9 PM.

Thursday, August 20
Slumdog Millionaire takes the screen at Strathmore as part of Comcast’s Outdoor Film festival. The show begins at 8:10, with grounds and food vendors open at 6:30. If you haven’t experienced the unique story line and striking Indian scenery of last winter’s blockbuster, we highly recommend attending.

Medical nerds and wannabe doctors should head to the National Museum of American History today for the “Eye Models, Geiger Counters, and Synthetic Dyes, Oh My!” demonstration. Four members of the museum’s Medicine and Science Division will present some of their favorite objects from the collection vaults, with potential topics to include biotechnology, medical history, pharmaceuticals, and dentistry. Noon to 1; Flag Hall.

Friday, August 21
What better place to end the work week than the fairgrounds? The 33rd Arlington County Fair runs Wednesday through Sunday. There’s no cost to the enter the grounds, and additional free activities include a petting zoo, movie nights, and an indoor exhibitor hall, where there’ll be photography, baked goods, agricultural competitions, and more. Thomas Jefferson Community Center, 3501 S. Second St. 10 to 9.

Saturday, August 22
Get over your inner wallflower at the Dance Institute of Washington’s open house this Saturday. Free half-hour classes (in everything from hip-hop to ballet), performances by the studio’s pre-professional students, and question-and-answer sessions with founder Fabian Barnes are scheduled from noon to 4 today. To register for classes, e-mail The full schedule is available under the events section of

Sunday, August 23
In Touchstone Gallery’s “My Space on 7th” exhibition, 90 local emerging artists get the hard-to-find chance to display their work at low-investment costs. If you missed the last two showcases, now’s the time to head over—proposed renovations of the venue may make this the last rendition of the popular exhibit. Noon to 5.

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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.