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Things to Do in DC This Weekend (March 5-8): African Films, Furries, and International Women’s Day Events

Black Girls Rock!’s BGR!FEST takes place at the Kennedy Center this weekend. Photograph by Jati Lindsay.


EVENT The Austrian Embassy is celebrating International Women’s Day (3/8) a few days early with an installation and a talk highlighting women artists. The event will feature projected images onto the harp case of Viennese musician Stephanie “Steffy” Goldner, the first female member of the New York Philharmonic. After the installation is unveiled, there will be a panel discussion about women in music and the arts with the artist Nives Widauer, classical music critic Anne Midgette, Director of the Philharmonic Archives Gabryel Smith, and violinist Laura Colgate, who founded the Boulanger Initiative to promote music composed by women. Free, 7-9 PM.

FILM Watch 39 films from 25 African countries at AFI Silver’s New African Film Festival. The line-up includes the Fela Kuti documentary My Friend Fela (3/8 and 3/12) and a new 2K restoration of the 1983 survey of African cinema Caméra D’Afrique (3/19). Through March 19. $13 for individual screenings or $150 for a festival pass.


MUSIC The Kennedy Center is celebrating women of color with its annual BGR!FEST, presented with Black Girls Rock! In addition to headlining concerts of Ms. Lauryn Hill and Alice Smith (3/6 and 3/7), the weekend will feature free Millennium Stage performances, panel discussions on entrepreneurship and safety (3/7), and a closing party with Black Girls Rock! founder (and DJ) Beverly Bond (3/8). Through March 8. Free to $149.

MUSEUMS The National Museum of American History’s exhibit “Creating Icons: How We Remember Woman Suffrage” recognizes the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote. See a collection of artifacts surrounded by graphics and media to commemorate the achievements of women and celebrate women’s politics and activism. Through March 7, 2021.

CONVENTION Fans of furries (or anthropomorphics) can head over to the Hyatt Regency Crystal City for the eighth Fur the More convention. This year’s schedule has a number of creative workshops, such as a collaborative drawing exercise (“The Return Of… Draw or Die!”) and a panel about writing (“Writing Engaging Characters”). If you want to try a fursuit, head to the “If It Fits, I Sit” panel, and if you’ve already got one, there are plenty of performance opportunities (so check out “Furryoke” and the air guitar tournament). Through March 8. $55.

BEER Craft beer isn’t just a man’s world; ChurchKey will highlight several women in the craft beer industry with a panel discussion. Hear from Rachel Hotchko (Head of Planning and Strategic Operations for Modern Times), Katie Marisic (Federal Affairs Manager of the Brewers Association), Kimberly Bender (Executive Director of the Heurich House Museum), and Sarah Jane Curran, host of “Beer Me!” on Full Service Radio. While you’re there, taste one of the eight beers from Modern Times that will be on draft. Free to attend, 6 PM.


PARADE Don your green garb to watch the 39th Annual Alexandria St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which travels down King Street from Alfred Street towards Lee Street. See more than 2,000 participants in the parade, including Irish dancers, bagpipers, and the Notre Dame Alumni Band; the event kicks off with the Fun Dog Show on Market Square, where costumed canines will compete for Most Talented and Most St. Paddy’s Spirit. Fun Dog Show: 10:30 AM – noon; Parade: 12:30 PM – 2 PM.

RUN/WALK Celebrate National Women’s History Month and the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment with Mayor Muriel Bowser at the second annual Herstory 5K at Freedom Plaza. The event will highlight women-owned businesses and fitness brands and will also feature a women’s history exhibit courtesy of the National Women’s History Museum. Free, 7:45 AM (registration; race begins at 9 AM).


MUSIC The Direct Current festival at the Kennedy Center celebrates the avant-garde. The two-weeks fest kicks off with the spiritual event Beyoncé Mass (3/8) and includes a screening of the documentary 13TH, which frames the racial injustice in the prison system around the 13th Amendment (which abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime) (3/9). The festival also includes a ton of music performances, such as a live broadcast of “Live From Here” featuring Lucinda Williams and Lake Street Dive’s Rachael Price (3/14) and a concert by Patti Smith and her daughter Jesse Paris Smith (3/21). Through March 21. Prices vary.

MUSEUMS Celebrate International Women’s Day at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. In addition to free admission, enjoy Docent-led “conversation pieces” (hourly from 1 PM to 4 PM), live music, hands-on activities, and a book swap of works by women authors. There will also be vendors selling food (Georgetown Cupcake, Cheesemonster Studio) as well as crafts and artwork (Amy Wike Illustrations, Jiggy Puzzles). Free, 12 PM – 5 PM.

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

“in mid sentence” closes 3/8 at the National Portrait Gallery.