Things to Do

Things to Do in DC This Weekend (August 15-18): DC Black Film Festival, Tips for Becoming a Wine Pro, and the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock

“Me Time” will screen on Friday at the Miracle Theatre as part of the DC Black Film Festival, which runs from August 15 through August 17. Film still courtesy DC Black Film Festival.


FILM The DC Black Film Festival, held at the Miracle Theatre and the Mayflower Hotel, celebrates the movies, TV shows, and web content created by and about people of African descent with screenings, panels, and more. Film categories include “Never Back Down” (Friday) and “We’ve Been Here” (a selection of LGBTQ+ films on Saturday). One Child Left Behind: The Untold Atlanta Cheating Scandal (Saturday screening) is a documentary about the 2009 investigation into a standardized test cheating allegation in Atlanta, told through interviews with the convicted, the accused, the attorneys, and the students involved. Through August 17. $15 per screening session or $150 for an all-access pass.

BOOKS Think you love wine to the max? Certified Wine Educator Jim Laughren would like to challenge you with his new book 50 Ways to Love Wine More: Adventures in Wine Appreciation. At Kramerbooks, Laughren will talk about different facets of wine appreciation, from tasting to sharing to travel, including tips for wine bargains and how to saber a bottle of champagne. Free to attend (post-discussion wine tasting available for purchase), 6:30 PM.


FILM Alt-rock band Sonic Youth’s 1988 album Daydream Nation was their defining moment, a high point for alternative and independent music that combined punk, rock, and avant-garde sounds into easily-accessible and catchy tunes. The band and its archivist Aaron Mullan are celebrating the album’s 30th anniversary with screenings at the 9:30 Club, starting with the Sonic Youth portion of the 1989 documentary Put Blood in the Music, which captures the New York music scene in the late 1980s. The event will also include selections from Sonic Youth’s archive of live footage and a panel discussion featuring SY drummer Steve Shelley, Brendan Canty (of Fugazi and The Messthetics), and Aaron Mullan. $25, 8 PM.

PARTY Celebrate summer at Smithsonian at 8’s Garden Party, held at the Enid A. Haupt Garden, National Museum of African Art, and Sackler Gallery. Explore the African and Asian art after hours at these museums (most notably, the exhibits “I Am… Contemporary Women Artists of Africa” at the African Art museum and “My Iran: Six Women Photographers” at the Sackler). In addition to the art and curators’ talks, enjoy specialty cocktails, DJ-spun tunes, and a scavenger hunt throughout both museums. $30 in advance or $35 at the door, 8 PM.

GAMES If you loved Pokémon Detective Pikachu, go nerd out at the 2019 Pokémon World Championships at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. There are three categories to the tournament—Trading Card Game, Video Game, and Pokkén Tournament (a fighting game that combines Pokémon with Tekken). Spectator badges ($10) allow access to the entire event, which includes demos of upcoming (and historical) Pokémon games, plus non-competitive or beginner trading card play. Through August 18.


MUSIC There has been so much chaos around the 50th anniversary of Woodstock—a celebratory concert that was originally scheduled for New York state was moved to Merriweather Post Pavilion, only to be cancelled a few days later. But a separate (and unrelated) tribute show is still happening on Saturday at the Warner Theatre: hear locals such as Last Train Home, In Gratitude, Margot MacDonald, and the Bumper Jacksons perform music by original Woodstock artists Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Santana, and more. $23-$43, 8 PM.

FOOD Try samples from various countries and cultures at the Around The World Cultural Food Festival at Freedom Plaza. Yemen, India, Jamaica, China, and Australia will be present, among others; the festival also features traditional dance performances, arts and crafts, and small businesses. Free to attend, 11 AM – 7 PM.


DANCE The Korean Cultural Center of Washington, DC is highlighting its OnStage Korea 2019 season with a showcase at the Kennedy Center’s Family Theater featuring the Choe Contemporary Dance Company. Performing two modern dance works, “Chaos” and “Liar,” the group will integrate multimedia and technology into its performance to capture a representation of the modern world. Free (reservations required), 7:30 PM.

THEATRE Signature Theatre’s annual Open House features performances every fifteen minutes, season preview concerts, games, and crafts. The event will wrap up with a “Broadway on the Plaza” finale performance. Throughout the day, throw your name in a lottery for a chance to win tickets to a post-performance of Assassins at 7:30 PM (must be present to accept tickets). Free, noon – 7 PM.

LAST CALL: Here’s what’s closing this weekend

“Eye to I: Self-Portraits from 1900 to Today” closes 8/18 at the National Portrait Gallery.

“Artists Respond: American Art and the Vietnam War, 1965-1975” closes 8/18 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

“The Life of Animals in Japanese Art” closes 8/18 at the National Gallery of Art.