Things to Do

Culture Agenda

Clown-size cars, cultural criticism, and the mysteries of the mind

Monday, November 1
After last night’s festivities, is there a way to keep the party going? Of course! In the wake of Halloween, Arlington Arts Center rings in Dia de Los Muertos, the Mexican Day of the Dead. The festivities include a mariachi band, food and drink, and the decoration of a traditional Day of the Dead altar. You can RSVP (which is requested) here. 6 to 8 PM.

Tuesday, November 2
There’s a lot to being a critic. But how do reviewers do what they do and know what they know? How can someone become an expert in art, theater, drama, etc.? A panel of critics—including Bob Mondello of NPR and Washington City Paper and Nelson Pressley of the Washington Post—seeks to answer those questions tonight in the Terrace Gallery at the Kennedy Center. 7 PM.

Wednesday, November 3
In case you haven’t had enough of the Kennedy Center, you can return this evening for a program of big-band favorites as the American University Jazz Ensemble plays the free Millennium Stage. 6 PM.

Thursday, November 4
The curtain rises on the Alexandria Film Festival at the Torpedo Factory Art Center (105 N. Union St., Alexandria; 703-838-4565). Over the course of the weekend, 39 films will be screened throughout the DC area. But it all kicks off with the opening-night party. Read more about the festival here. 6 to 9.

Friday, November 5
In the follow up to his bestseller Musicophilia, Oliver Sacks offers The Mind’s Eye. The book chronicles the stories of various people who suddenly find themselves lacking a core sensory ability (such as depth perception and the ability to speak, see, or even visually recognize their own family). Sacks, who lost half of his vision after being diagnosed with cancer, discusses and signs his latest book at Politics and Prose. 7 PM.

Saturday, November 6
As far as we're aware, East Germany under Communism didn’t have an official vehicle. But if it had, it probably would have been the Trabant. The little cars that (sometimes) could are rolling to the International Spy Museum for the Fourth Annual Parade of Trabants. Attendees can listen to German music, inspect vintage Trabants parked outside of the museum, hear about the car’s place in Cold War culture, and even win a ride in one of the fabled automobiles. 10 to 4.

Sunday, November 7
A Thousand Roads weaves together four narratives, each centering on a different Native American living in modern times. The film, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005, features American Indian actors working together with non-actors from the Native communities depicted in each story. The film screens at the National Museum of the American Indian every day this month. 3:30 PM.

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