It’s a week of free commemorative events: from Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s “Running Fence” to the ascension of Henry VIII to the first ever televised presidential debate.
Monday, September 20
Get a good dose of fiddle when Jim “Texas Shorty” Chancellor rolls into the Kennedy Center tonight. Chancellor, a five-time Texas champion fiddler, passes down the lore to a next generation of fiddlers, and he’s one of the National Endowment of Arts’ Heritage fellows. At the free Millennium Stage; 6 PM.
Tuesday, September 21
Thirty-four years after Christo and Jeanne-Claude took over the countryside just north of San Francisco to create “Running Fence,” the Smithsonian is hosting a final tour of its commemorative exhibition—the show closes Sunday. Join deputy chief curator George Gurney as he leads guests through the installation. 6 PM.
Wednesday, September 22
One word: plastics. Join professor Lenny Steinhorn as he discusses Benjamin Braddock, Mrs. Robinson, and all else that is The Graduate as a part of American University’s Baby Boomer Film Series. Weschler Theater at 7.
Thursday, September 23
To many, hearing the voice of one of their favorite authors can be quite jarring if it doesn’t match what the person sounds like on the page. But for fans of humorist David Rakoff, a frequent contributor to NPR’s This American Life, the question is whether he’ll sound different in person than he does in the studio. Hear Rakoff read from and discuss his latest book, Half Empty, at Politics and Prose tonight. 7.
Friday, September 24
Five hundred years ago, Henry VIII ascended to the throne of England. In commemoration, a new exhibit opens today at the Folger Shakespeare Library. “Vivat Rex!,” a collection of rare letters and manuscripts, provides an intimate look at the man who would be, er, was king. 10 to 5.
Saturday, September 25
As soon as candidates John F. Kennedy and then-Vice President Richard Nixon stepped in front of television cameras, the act of running for President changed forever. The Newseum is hosting a panel to mark the event, which occurred 50 years ago. Sander Vanocur, the last living participant in the debate, will be on hand to discuss it and its impact with Frank Fahrenkopf, chairman of the Commission on Presidential Debates. 2:30.
Sunday, September 26
End the free-summer-movie season with a prehistoric yawp. That’s right, the Summer of Spielberg comes to a close tonight with Jurassic Park at National Harbor. Lysine optional. Movie begins at sunset.