Things to Do

Protests, Cocktails, and New Reggaeton: Things to Do in Washington, August 24-26

Arts, entertainment, and fun in DC, Maryland, and Virginia right now.

Illustration by Hannah Good.

Happy Monday,

We’ve got protests, Women’s Equality Day, and some great cocktails.

We have urgent panda baby news.

Here’s what you should check out this week:

A new show for kids: The indomitable youth activist Naomi Wadler—whom you might remember as one of the inspiring speakers in the 2018 March for Our Lives—just started a free web series called NowThis Kids. Wadler, a 13-year-old who grew up in Alexandria, is the host of the weekly show that targets kids ages 6-11. The first episodes are already available on YouTube.

Protests and politics: There’s going to be a lot of action on the streets of DC this week. On Tuesday, there will be demonstrations from Maryland Republican organizations in Lafayette Park. On Thursday, Trump will be accepting his GOP nomination from the White House, with a fireworks show to follow that night. Finally, on Friday Al Sharpton, along with various activist organizations against police violence, will walk in the long-awaited “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks Commitment March” in honor of George Floyd. Find out more here.

A workplace workshop: The Melanin Collective is a local organization dedicated to anti-racism and racial justice, particularly for Black women and women of color in professional workplaces. On Tuesday, they’ll host “You’ve Got the Power,” a workshop that they describe as a “no-fragility space to talk about white privilege and power in the workplace for white leaders.” Tuesday 8/25 at 2 PM; $250 per person, learn more here.

Lights up: Wednesday is Women’s Equality Day, marking the date the 19th Amendment was formally adopted into the US Constitution. Lights of purple and gold, the colors of the women’s suffrage movement, will illuminate the National Archives and other DC institutions on August 26 in honor of the slogan, “Forward Through the Darkness, Into the Light.” Make it a nighttime tour downtown to see purple and gold on the Kennedy Center, the Library of Congress, and the DAR National Headquarters. Wednesday 8/26 at sundown.

Attend a lecture: Black women’s fight for suffrage continued long after 1920. In her new book Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All, Dr. Martha S. Jones details this under-examined history. (This is the same Dr. Jones whom I excerpted in last week’s newsletter.) The Johns Hopkins history professor will speak about her research with journalist A’Lelia Bundles in a virtual event hosted by the National Archives Foundation. Wednesday 8/26 at 6 PM; Free; register here.

Books: Congressman John Lewis spent his entire life fighting for civil rights and became a towering, influential figure in American history. Lewis is the latest subject for renowned biographer Jon Meacham, who is releasing His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope this week. Meacham will chat about his interviews with Lewis and more at a virtual book event hosted by Politics and Prose. Wednesday 8/26 at 8 PM; $31-$36 (book included in admission price), buy tickets here.

Tune into a live show: The Women Take the Stage will be a massive live-streamed concert and rally commemorating the centennial of the 19th Amendment featuring big names including activists Dolores Huerta, Alicia Garza, and Gloria Steinem, singers Vanessa Williams and Idina Menzel, Lily Tomlin, and more. Hear from leading the heads of women’s rights organizations like Time’s Up and ERA Coalition as well. Wednesday 8/26 at 9 PM; free; watch it here.

Pandaaaaa: The National Zoo’s giant panda Mei Xiang gave birth to a precious little cub last Friday 🎉. The news is practically a miracle because it can be very difficult for pandas to conceive (as I am just learning now). You can see the baby, whose name and gender won’t be assigned for another few months, in the zoo’s popular Panda Cam. As for seeing the cutie IRL, you might have to wait a while.

Drink up: Looking for a smashing new cocktail? Our food editors have tried a lot of them around town (where was my invite?) and these are their four favorites.

Bring me a beignet: The team behind Bayou Bakery has spent much of the past few months serving thousands of free meals to families in the area. Now, the Courthouse spot will reopen for carryout with a pared-down menu—but no worries, you can still get a frozen hurricane to-go.

Something fun:

Ayyyyy.
Colombian crooner Maluma dropped a surprise new album last Friday and I’m already blasting it. Papi Juancho is a horny ode to the reggaetonero’s “Dirty Boy” alter ego and we love to see it. There are great collabs with reggaeton heavy-hitters Zion, Yandel, Ñego Flow, and more. If you started the month trying to learn the TikTok dance to “WAP,” you’re gonna want to end it with the hip-swinging Juancho. Besides the popular thirst tracks that have come out of this stay-home summer, what albums have you put on to get through the pandemic? I’ve been in awe of—and super grateful for—the artists continuing to make music in lockdown. My personal favorite has been Bad Bunny’s Las Que No Iban a Salir, which he partially recorded in quarantine with big names like Nicky Jam and Don Omar. “PA’ ROMPERLA” is a banger that has definitely gotten me through some rough patches. I’m always looking for something new, though, so send your listening recs my way.

Thanks for reading! Tell me what you’re up to at home by dropping me a line at rcartagena@washingtonian.com.

Web Producer/Writer

Rosa joined Washingtonian in 2016 after graduating from Mount Holyoke College. She covers arts and culture for the magazine. She’s written about anti-racism efforts at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, dinosaurs in the revamped fossil hall at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum, and the horrors of taking a digital detox. When she can, she performs with her family’s Puerto Rican folkloric music ensemble based in Jersey City. She lives in Adams Morgan.