Things to Do

Things To Do in DC This Weekend (May 11-14): Mother’s Day Beer and Cupcakes, the Mystics Season Opener, and an Urban Photography Exhibit

The Smithsonian American Art Museum’s exhibit Down These Mean Streets: Community and Place in Urban Photography opens Friday. Pictured is Frank Espada’s Untitled (Three boys, Sheldon Cafe, Hartford, Connecticut) from 1981; image courtesy SAAM.


COMEDY Stand-up comic Tom Papa performs five shows from Thursday to Saturday night at the DC Improv. In addition to his podcast Come to Papa, Papa has also appeared in the HBO film Behind the Candelabra and in Rob Zombie’s animated feature The Haunted World of El Superbeasto. $20, 7:30 PM.

MUSIC Country singer-songwriter Dwight Yoakam has released over a dozen albums since his 1986 debut, garnering multiple Grammy awards and nominations over his nearly thirty-year career. He’s also a regular actor, most recently in the Amazon web series Goliath. Yoakam performs at the Lincoln Theatre on Thursday night. Down the street at the Black Cat, local dream-pop group Humble Fire celebrates the release of their new single Taliesin. Dwight Yoakam: $55 to $75, 8 PM. Humble Fire: $12, 7:30 PM.


MUSEUMS After World War II, populations shifted from the city to the suburbs, leaving isolated pockets within urban centers. The Smithsonian American Art Museum’s new photography exhibit, “Down These Mean Streets: Community and Place in Urban Photography,” highlights the work of ten photographers who documented these changing cities, returning to the same sites over and over to document the passage of time. The museum is also hosting a poetry reading on Friday night to celebrate the exhibit’s launch, featuring poets Martín Espada, Naomi Ayala, and Sami Miranda. Free, 11:30 AM (exhibit) and 6:30 PM (poetry reading).

BOOKS Much has been written about Barack Obama’s presidency, but Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Garrow takes a look Obama’s career before he decided to run for president. The book, Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama, draws on more than a thousand interviews and follows his political education as a community organizer and state senator. Garrow will discuss his book at Politics and Prose. Free, 7 PM.


KIDS Saturday is Space Day at the National Air and Space Museum in DC. Visitors can enjoy hands-on STEM-inspired activities and learn about space from experts. At 1 PM, there will be a presentation by NASA Planetary Science Division director Jim Green and Museum curator Valerie Neal, and all day there will be opportunities to learn how space-based technology affects our daily lives and about the upcoming total solar eclipse. Free, 10 AM-3 PM.

SHOPPING If you’re doing last-minute Mother’s Day shopping—or if you just like to browse local artisans’ wares—head over to the Night Market in Takoma Park’s Takoma/Langley Crossroads neighborhood for a mix of handmade items and international food, along with a moon bounce and live Latin fusion music from the band Zakke. Free, 5-8 PM.

MUSIC The National Chamber Ensemble’s season concludes on Saturday with Music Of Our Time at the Rosslyn Spectrum. The Ensemble will be joined by Bowen McCauley Dance, with a program celebrating musical compositions inspired by theater and film, including the Washington area premiere of Giya Kancheli’s “Miniatures for Clarinet and Piano – Music of Cinema”. This will be the Ensemble’s final performance at the Rosslyn Spectrum. $33, 7:30 PM.


SPORTS The WNBA’s Washington Mystics kick off their four-month season on Sunday afternoon against the San Antonio Stars at the Verizon Center. The Mystics had the worst record in the Eastern Conference last year, but as all Redskins fans know, every season starts with a blank slate and fresh opportunities. $25 to $65, 3 PM.

BEER Celebrate Mother’s Day at New District Brewing Company with a beer and cupcake pairing on Sunday afternoon. The brewery is working with Cakes by Happy Eatery to pair four beers with four mini-cupcakes. $18.50 to $20, 12-5 PM.