Things to Do

Inauguration Week Balls and Concerts for People Who Didn’t Vote for Trump

Priests play the Black Cat on Friday.

Here are the events that will help keep your mind off that other thing happening on January 20.

The Technically Neutral Ball

Busboys and Poets owner Andy Shallal is hosting the Peace Ball at the National Museum of African American History and Culture on January 19. The tagline is “Voices of Hope and Resistance,” and the guest list includes Angela Davis, Van Jones, Melissa Harris-Perry, and Naomi KleinShallal says the ball, which features performances by Solange Knowles and Esperanza Spaldingis nonpartisan

For Staying Woke (And Chance the Rapper Fans)

Howard’s Student Association and the Youth Division of the NAACP are putting on “The People’s Inauguration” on January 21. The event will launch the NAACP’s “Stay Woke and Fight Campaign.” Speakers include a mix of activists and CNN commentator Symone SandersChance the Rapper will also be there.

Worth a Shot

On January 19, Common and The National are putting on a free show for Planned Parenthood and the abortion-rights group All Access at the 9:30 Club. It will not be easy to get into this one: All tickets have been distributed, according to Washington City Paper.

Not Mincing Words

Black Cat is hosting a “No Thanks” concert on Inauguration Night. It’s billed as a “night of anti-fascist sounds in the capital of the USA.” Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee is at the top of the list. Priests, the Irreversible Ways Ensemble, and Pure Disgust are playing as well. It’s a benefit for Casa Ruby and ONEDC. 

On Saturday, Black Cat is also hosting “The Anti-Ball” with Afrobeat stars Antibalas, Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio, and Kimya Dawson.


The two-day Rise Above conference will teach the nuts and bolts of resisting the Trump administration. The talks and breakouts are happening at the Lincoln Theater and the Mayflower Hotel on January 21 and 22. Topics include gerrymandering and “The Reality of 2018 and the Hope for 2020.” Ani DiFranco will also perform.

And If You’re Completely Sick of Politics

The 202 Ball is probably a good place to start. The description—“A  non-inaugural inaugural ball celebrating the best of DC”—is about as neutral as they come. The proceeds go to an equally unobjectionable cause: She Should Run, a nonpartisan group that encourages women to run for office. The laid-back ball, which features Cava Grill and Panas Gourmet Empanadas, is planned for Friday at Atlas Brewery.

Editorial fellow

Noah Lanard is an editorial fellow. Before Washingtonian, he freelanced for the Guardian, Fusion, and Vice in Mexico City. He was born in DC, grew up in New Jersey, and went to college in Montreal.