Things to Do

FotoWeek DC: What, Where, and When

We’ve compiled a list of the not-to-miss happenings at Washington’s biggest photography festival.

“Evergreen Tower” by Yeondoo Jung, part of FotoWeek DC

Last year, more than 40,000 people attended FotoWeek DC, a weeklong celebration of all things photographic—and, naturally, a pretty gorgeous feast for the eyes. This Friday, the festival is back and bigger than ever, say organizers—and it’s headquartered smack dab in the middle of downtown DC at 18th and L Streets, Northwest. Here’s the rundown on what to do, where to find it, and when it’s happening.


Friday, November 4
FotoWeek DC Launch Party
It’s a twofer! At 5 PM, start the evening at FotoWeek Central (1800 L St., NW) for the official festival kickoff and a preview of the exhibitions, and then head to the Corcoran Gallery of Art at 8:30 for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, music courtesy of the Fatback DJs, multimedia projections, and after-hours access to the gallery’s photography collections. Tickets ($55) get you into both events.

Saturday, November 5
Spend the day perusing the exhibitions at the Corcoran. The gallery, which is a FotoWeek DC satellite location, is offering free admission throughout the festival.

Feeling inspired? Put your shutterbug skills to the test at NightVisions at FotoSpace (1838 Columbia Rd., NW). Beginning at 8 PM, photographers will gather to shoot and edit digital images on-site, ultimately competing for an Apple iPad and other prizes. Tickets are $10.

Sunday, November 6
Casseroles and Kodaks collide at FotoWeek Central, thanks to the folks at Slideluck Potshow, a nonprofit arts organization that brings together photographers and photo-lovers for mingling, dinner, and a slideshow of images. At the event, which starts at 7:30 PM, guests can nibble on homemade goodies (brought by those in attendance) while enjoying slide projections featuring DC-area photogs and artists, along with a selection of international pieces. Tickets are $10.

Monday, November 7
Swing by the Corcoran at noon any weekday during the festival for the (free!) Noon Lecture Series, held in the Gallery’s Francis & Hammer Auditorium. Curator Mariel Hasbun, Corcoran professor and chair of photography, has assembled a lineup of notable image-makers; on Monday, it’s “Stephanie Sinclair: Reflections on a Decade of Post-9/11 Conflict and Social Issues Reporting.” Preregistration is encouraged.

Beginning at 5:30 PM at George Washinton University’s Jack Morton Auditorium, the Pulitzer Center is hosting a free panel discussion titled “New Approaches to Crisis Photography.” Panel members including Richard Mosse, Sean Gallagher, Andre Lambertson, and James Whitlow Delano discuss the innovative ways they’re covering crises. Afterward, stay for a projection of Richard Mosse’s “Infra” on the south wall of GW’s Lisner Auditorium (805 21st St., NW). Free.

Tuesday, November 8
The Corcoran’s Noon Lecture Series continues with “Amy Yenkin: Intent and Image: Documentary Photography and Advocacy.” Free.

Starting at 5 PM, it’s FotoWeek DC’s turn to illuminate the exterior of the Lisner Auditorium with a night projection featuring images from its programs and partner exhibitions. Free.

Ever watch a friend’s vacation slideshow and wish you had a buzzer to keep them from rambling on and on? PechaKucha night has you covered. Founded in Tokyo, PechaKucha is a way for young artists to meet, mingle, and show their work—quickly and efficiently. Photographers present a maximum of 20 images for a maximum of 20 seconds a pop; consider it “Twitter for the visually inclined.” Intrigued? Good thing Capitol PechaKucha is holding its 16th event tonight at 7:30 at FotoWeek Central. Tickets are $10.

Wednesday, November 9
Corcoran’s Noon Lecture Series presents “Conversacíon: Photo Works by Muriel Hasbun and Pablo Ortiz Monasterio.” Free.

Can’t make it to the lecture? The Mexican Cultural Institute (2829 16th St., NW) is hosting an opening of the “Conversacíon” exhibition and “Maremágnum” by Jordi Socías at 6:30 PM.

FotoWeek DC’s night projection continues tonight—same time, same place.

Thursday, November 10
Corcoran’s Noon Lecture Series presents “Trevor Paglen: The Geography of Photography.” Free.

Tonight at FotoWeek Central, Brightest Young Things is showing off a sampling from its photographic archives (108,602 images and counting) of bright, young Washingtonians at work and at play. A few hundred favorite event photos will be on display starting at 6:30. Smile pretty, and you might end up in next year’s show. Tickets are $10.

Friday, November 11
Corcoran’s Noon Lecture Series presents “Doug DuBois: All the Days and Nights”. Free.

Photos by Metro Collective, sounds by Eric Hilton of Thievery Corporation, cocktails, and “preshow atmospherics” are all on offer tonight at Outernational DC. The party gets underway at 8 at FotoWeek Central. Tickets for the “photo-cinema” event are $30. Get ’em soon—last year’s event sold out.

Saturday, November 12
Emerging (and aspiring) photographers will have the opportunity to have their portfolios reviewed by experts (think Carol Guzy of the Washington Post, Andrea Nelson of the National Gallery of Art, and Elizabeth Cheng Christ of National Geographic) at the Corcoran Gallery of Art from 10 AM to 5 PM. The Expert Portfolio Reviews, which usually sell out quickly, are scheduled in 30-minute blocks. Spots are still available, but they won’t last long.

The festival winds down at FotoSpace (1838 Columbia Rd., NW) at 8 PM, with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, and winning images from the mobile phone photo contest projected onto walls. Tickets will be available on the FotoWeek Web site soon.


At the Corcoran Gallery of Art:
“Gordon Parks: Photographs from the Collection”
“Hank Willis Thomas: Strange Fruit”
“Photo Todos: Works by Corcoran College of Art + Design and Latin American Youth Center Students”
“Selections from the Indie Photobook Library”
“Prix Pictet: Growth”
“Fine Art Photography and Photojournalism Thesis Preview Exhibition”

At FotoWeek Central:
Fifteen exhibitions will be on display at FotoWeekDC’s hub, including the 2011 FotoWeekDC Fourth Annual International Awards Competition winners.

Around Town:
FotoWeek DC’s Web site
details the best exhibitions happening in galleries and museums in the District and beyond.


Internationally renowned photographers, editors, and curators will be on hand for a variety of lectures and discussions, many of which will take place at FotoWeek Central. Click here for a list.


Numerous FotoWeek-affiliated workshops are on offer, ranging from food photography to capturing the unique light of the fall to cyanotyping. Click here for a list