Things to Do

Culture Vulture

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

Monday, December 14
The Reynolds Center (Eighth and F sts., NW; 202-633-1000) presents a special performance reenacting moments from the life of former President Harry S. Truman as part its Cultures in Motion series. The Man From Independence will shed light on this sometimes-controversial figure in American history at 7 in the McEvoy Auditorium. To reserve seats, call 202-633-8520 or e-mail

Tuesday, December 15
Explore the hidden side of Death Valley at National Geographic Live! as part of its Tuesdays at Noon film series. As one of Earth’s most inhospitable places, this seemingly barren landscape teems with species of plants and animals found nowhere else on the planet. America’s Wild Spaces: Death Valley begins at noon.

Wednesday, December 16
Join Rocco Landesman, National Endowment for the Arts chairman, for a conversation with Washington arts organizations to explore how art works within the community, the individual, and the economy. The event will be held at Busboys and Poets at 11 AM.

Thursday, December 17
Loosen up the December stress with some holiday-inspired jazz from Krewe’tet at the Reynolds Center (Eighth and F sts., NW; 202-633-1000). The concert is part of the museum’s Take Five! series and will run from 5 to 7 in the Kogod Courtyard.

Friday, December 18
Strathmore artist-in-residence Margot MacDonald brings her acoustic quartet to the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage to display her mix of rock, folk, jazz, R&B, and ballads. The concert starts at 6.

Saturday, December 19
The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage puts on another free concert with the Peace Ringers, playing a variety of holiday music on traditional hand bells. The performance begins at 6.

Sunday, December 20
As Christmas gets closer, head to the National Gallery of Art to hear the Vocal Arts Ensemble sing in the museum’s West Garden Court. The group will be performing a free Christmas concert at 6:30.

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Staff Writer

Michael J. Gaynor has written about fake Navy SEALs, a town without cell phones, his Russian spy landlord, and many more weird and fascinating stories for the Washingtonian. He lives in DC, where his landlord is no longer a Russian spy.