Things to Do

Things To Do in DC This Week (April 10-12): A Czech Film Festival, Alt-Country at 9:30 Club, and a Conversation About Abstract Art

The Smithsonian American Art Museum’s “Contemporary Art Crash Course” lecture on Wednesday night will discuss the ways artists use color, form, and texture in pieces such as Luis Cruz Azaceta’s Shifting States: Iraq (2011). Image courtesy the SAAM.


FOOD & DRINK Jaleo Crystal City’s Rioja Wine Dinner is a five-course dinner featuring a selection of bottles from Rioja, one of Spain’s best wine regions. The pairings will feature popular red wines as well as Rioja’s unique whites and rosés as well. $85 per person, 6 PM.

BOOKS Cartoonist Gene Luen Yang was recently appointed the fifth National Ambassador of Young People’s Literature by the Library of Congress, Children’s Book Council, and Every Child a Reader. As National Ambassador, he’s issued a Reading Without Walls challenge: to read something outside one’s comfort zone, either an unfamiliar character, topic, or format. Yang, who is known for his comics American Born Chinese, Boxers & Saints, and Avatar: the Last Airbender, will be signing his work at Big Planet Comics on U Street. Free to attend, 6 PM.

BEER The Craft Brewers’ Conference officially starts on Monday, which means that local bars and restaurants are already starting to serve out-of-market beers and host other special events. We have rounded-up our best recommendations for all kinds of events throughout the week, from brewery-sponsored concerts to tap takeovers showcasing hazy East Coast IPAs.


MUSIC After the breakup of seminal alt-country band Uncle Tupelo in 1994, songwriter Jay Farrar formed the country/rock band Son Volt. They haven’t had the same commercial success as the other ex-Uncle Tupelo musicians (who formed the band Wilco), but Farrar and his band have steadily released solid albums ever since the mid-1990s, including this year’s Notes of Blue. Son Volt performs at the 9:30 Club on Tuesday night with singer-songwriter Anders Parker. $25, 7 PM.

BOOKS Journalist and author Frances FitzGerald’s sixth book, The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America, looks at the history of American evangelical Protestant culture from the Puritan era to the 2016 presidential election. FitzGerald describes how Evangelicals–who now make up 25% of the American population–were split along North-South lines with the Civil War, then into modernist-fundamentalist factions. FitzGerald will read from her book on Tuesday at Politics & Prose.  Free, 7 PM.


DISCUSSION The Smithsonian American Art Museum is hosting a conversation about contemporary art on Wednesday night. “Contemporary Art Crash Course: Abstraction from Pollock to the Present” will focus on the evolution of contemporary abstraction and the ways that artists use color, form, texture, and technology to create a visual experience. (Free, 5:30 PM).

FILM The sixth annual Czech That Film Festival comes to The Avalon on Wednesday and Thursday nights with two days of film, food, and drink. Wednesday’s film, Tiger Theory, is a comedy about an aging veterinarian; the film’s director Radek Bajgar will participate in a Q&A after the screening. Thursday’s features are The Teacher, a drama about corruption and blackmail at a school, and the dark WWII drama The Devil’s Mistress. $12.25 (individual films) or $30 (Thursday all-access pass); Various times.