Things to Do

Arepas, Classical Music, and Flying Squirrels: Things to Do in Washington, January 21-24

Plus: What does Joe Biden mean for DC?

Illustration by Hannah Good.

Hi folks!

We’ve got arepas, classical music, and flying squirrels.

Anyone want some arepas? I know I do.

Here’s what you should check out this weekend:

Classical fun: Watch a virtual concert from vocalist Davóne Tines, who will perform works by African American composers Tyshawn Sorely, Margaret Bonds, Moses Hogan, and more with pianist Adam Nielson. They’ll also premiere new works by Pulitzer-winner Caroline Shaw. From Vocal Arts DC, the pre-recorded performance “uses the Catholic mass to explore the diversity of the human experience.” Streams online from Thursday 1/21 through Monday 2/1; $20, buy tickets here.

Yum: Explore the delicious comfort food of arepas in a “virtual arepera” event led by New York-based cook Mercedes Golip. She’ll walk you through how to make arepas in this part-cooking class, part-lecture. The event kicks off the Washington Project for the Arts’ online exhibit, “Notions of Exile,” which focuses on the current refugee crisis in Venezuela. Saturday 1/23 at 6:30 PM; Free, register here.

Sweet and sour: DC Brau is teaming up with District Doughnut for a virtual beer-and-doughnut pairing event on Zoom. Try four special pastries with four seasonal beers, like sipping the Corruption IPA and munching on a gingerbread doughnut. Thursday 1/28 (must register by Monday 1/25); $26.50, buy tickets here.

Acorny holiday: It’s National Squirrel Appreciation Day, which is weird, but if you’re really, really into the fuzzy tailed nutters, head to the Brookside Nature Center to catch a glimpse of Maryland’s flying squirrels. Friday 1/22 at 5:45 PM; $6, register here.

If you can’t stop laughing at the mittens: Everyone’s talking about Bernie Sanders and his iconic inauguration moment yesterday. Scroll through some of the funniest memes here; when you’re done, you might be inspired to buy the Mitten Bernie bobblehead that is already on sale.

Meet the families: We’ve got a new first and second family. If you’re still catching up on who’s who, here’s a good introduction. For those of you who can’t wait to learn more about the sequined show stopper Ella Emhoff, Vice President Kamala Harris’s stepdaughter, my coworker Daniella Byck has everything you need to know about DC’s newest fashion icon.

Something new: 

It’s a new day in DC.
The Biden-Harris White House is up and running—but what does that mean for Washington? For our January issue, we talked to a handful of local experts about what we might expect to see in our town as we enter this new political era. I asked Wendi Manuel-Scott, a professor of history, race, and gender at George Mason and Howard alum, about what the new administration means for race relations; here’s what she had to say:

“When Biden selected Harris, there was absolutely a sense of pride. My husband immediately bought a big Howard flag. Representation matters. Seeing a Black Asian American woman as [Vice President] matters, but it also matters that part of her education was at an HBCU. I hope some of the funding and opportunities starting to flow to Howard [such as the school’s upcoming Center for Women, Gender and Global Leadership] continues. I think Kamala’s rise helps to engender a curiosity about the role of Howard students in DC and national politics, as leaders and change agents. There’s a long history of Howard grads having an important voice in DC politics.

“Literally seeing our President-elect say ‘systemic racism’ out loud was a momentous occasion. I vividly recall the Trump administration critiquing anti-racist training, anti-bias training, and critical race studies. It seemed illogical when we heard about the new policy [prohibiting implicit-bias training inside the federal government], because one of the arguments was that America is not racist. As a historian, all the evidence suggests otherwise. I have no doubt [the Biden administration] will roll that back.

“I remember the Obama administration would have these incredible cultural events, like when some Hamilton members performed at the White House. They highlighted the kaleidoscope of artists and new cultural leaders, to showcase the diversity of who we are as Americans for all the world to see. It is one way the Biden administration can begin to stitch back together the dynamic American quilt.”

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.