Things to Do

Where & When: What to Do This Weekend

A fashion show, art openings, aviation demonstration, and plenty of parties and spring festivals

Thursday, May 19
Get a taste of the tropics at “This IS Hawai’i,” the new exhibit at the National Museum of the American Indian. On display through July 4, it showcases works from the island state’s contemporary art scene, including illustrations, sculpture, and mixed media.

Opening tonight at Artisphere is “Contain, Maintain, Sustain,” which uses art to examine the cyclical nature of material. There will be multimedia projects, several site-specific works, and pieces that transform old everyday objects into art. The opening reception, from 7 to 9, is free.

MUSIC: The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra presents SuperPops, featuring music from Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, such as The King and I, The Sound of Music, and more. Get tickets ($33 to $93) at Strathmore’s Web site. 8 PM.

FASHION: Pick up some new summer style at the Trashcat Clothing Exchange at Sova. Buy, sell, and trade vintage and gently used contemporary clothing, set to the sounds of live bluegrass music. 8 PM; free.

Friday, May 20
Tonight’s headline event of Bethesda Row’s Front Row event is an outdoor fashion show and a special appearance by author and PR star Kelly Cutrone, who’s promoting her new book, Normal Gets You Nowhere. The weekend also includes a screening of the fashion-filled documentary Bill Cunningham New York, about the New York Times photographer-about-town; a display of the world’s fashion capitals made out of Legos; and discounts and promotions at many of the area’s boutiques and restaurants. For a complete schedule, visit Bethesda Row’s Web site.

PARTY: Brightest Young Things and Vitamin Water are teaming up and taking over the corner of DC’s 14th Street and Florida Avenue, Northwest, for a month of music, fashion, and entertainment. There will be parties, such as tonight’s opening reception (6 PM) and May 21’s End of the World bash, daily drink specials, and other events through June 17. Visit BYT’s site for more details.

The National Museum of African Art hosts Africa Underground, a party celebrating the cultures of West Africa and the Caribbean. There will be music and dancing as well as food and drink available for purchase. The event will also feature a spoken-word performance and head wrapping. 7 to 11; buy tickets ($25) at the museum’s Web site.

MUSIC: Nineties girl group En Vogue is staging a comeback at the Birchmere. Best known for hits such as “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)” and “Free Your Mind,” the band is also performing newer material. 7:30 PM; get tickets ($59.90) at Ticketmaster.

Saturday, May 21
The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary today and May 22 with more than 200 artists. There will also be plenty of live entertainment, food, and kids activities. 10 to 6 both days in Reston Town Center; no cover.

The DC Craft Mafia is hosting the Spring Thing craft show and market in the parking lot of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church (15th and P sts., NW). The 40-plus vendors include jewelry designers, toy makers, and more—click here for a complete list. Shoppers can grab a snack from the Fojol Bros. food truck or the nearby Whole Foods (which is also providing free bananas) and there will be live music from local bands. 11 to 5; no cover.

BOOKS: The Gaithersburg Book Festival is back for a second year. Participating authors include Maryland poet laureate Stanley Plumly and NPR’s Scott Simon, who wrote Baby We Were Meant for Each Other: In Praise of Adoption. There will be a children’s area and writers’ workshops. 10 to 6; no cover.

Exercise your mind and body at Tour de DCPL II, a bike tour of DC’s public libraries. The event starts at the new Tenley-Friendship Library (4450 Wisconsin Ave., NW) at 9:30 AM, with stops in Georgetown, Cleveland Park, Mount Pleasant, and Petworth. Free; register here.

BENEFIT: Bluebrain, Painted Face, and Protect-U are playing a concert to benefit the Brain Injury Association of Washington. At St. Stephen’s Church beginning at 5:30. A minimum donation of $5 is requested. 

Sunday, May 22
Head to Ellsworth Drive in downtown Silver Spring for the Handmade Mart featuring 75 craftmakers and artists from the East Coast. They’ll be selling clothing, accessories, home goods, and more, plus some will be offering workshops for both adults and kids. 10 to 5; free. Click here for a map and list of the vendors.

MUSIC: Pay tribute to the legendary Bob Dylan on his 70th birthday at Jammin Java with a concert featuring local acts who will perform covers of Dylan’s work as well as their own. 7 PM; tickets are $15 at the venue’s site.

FESTIVAL: The annual Joint Service House Open House and Air Show at Andrews Air Force Base is happening this weekend. Featured air performers include the US Air Force Thunderbirds and US Army Golden Knights parachute team, plus other air and skydiving demonstrations. There will also be a display of aircraft and other machinery. 8 to 5; also Saturday, May 21. Free. For more information, visit the event’s Web site.

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