Things to Do

A Talk on Vaccines, a Sondheim Show, and Black History: Things to Do in DC, February 1-3

Plus: Snow much fun.

Illustration by Hannah Good.

Happy snow day!

We’ve got book talks, a Sondheim show, and a lecture on the history of vaccines.

Same, Meryl. Hear songs from Stephen Sondheim classics (like Into the Woods) in a new show.

Here’s what you should check out this week:

A dedication: Explore the legacy of pioneering Black artist and scholar David C. Driskell, who died last year, with a new virtual exhibit from the University of Maryland’s David C. Driskell Center for the Study of Visual Arts & Culture of African Americans & the African Diaspora. Click through the exhibit of work from 33 artists Driskell taught. Some sections feature personal messages and anecdotes about the impact Driskell had on their careers. Opens Monday 2/1; Free, view it here.

Black history: Antiracism scholar Ibram X. Kendi and historian Keisha N. Blain collaborated to edit Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019, an impressive new book of historical essays and vignettes from 90 writers. Kendi and Blain will speak with contributing writers Herb Boyd, Kali Nicole Gross, Peniel Joseph, and Annette Gordon Reed in a virtual book event moderated by Mary N. Elliot, curator at the National Museum of African American History & Culture. Tuesday 2/2 at 7 PM; watch it here.

If you want to sing along: Stephen Sondheim’s music takes center stage in this new filmed performance from Signature Theatre. Simply Sondheim includes more than 30 popular show tunes from the composer’s career. The revue showcases a 16-person orchestra and a dozen different singers. Stream the show online from February 2 through March 26; $35, single tickets are on sale here starting Tuesday 2/2.

New release: Silver Spring native Chad Sanders explores the challenges he faced as a Black man in the tech industry in the new book, BLACK MAGIC: What Black Leaders Learned From Trauma and Triumph. Sanders opens up about the racism he experienced and the lessons he’s learned, while sharing insights from Black activists, scientists, and leaders on how they’ve navigated predominantly white industries. He’ll speak with Lyft executive Nicole Cooper, HalfSmoke founder Andre McCain, and actor/comedian Abdul Harris in a virtual event from Politics and Prose. Tuesday 2/2 at 8 PM; Free (or a $1 minimum donation), register here.

In memoriam: The National Building Museum, though it’s closed at the moment, has a display of the Gun Violence Memorial Project installation. The piece visually represents statistics about gun violence in four houses made from 700 bricks of glass, each representing a victim of gun violence. Learn more about the design and the installation in a Zoom event featuring designer Jha D. Williams, Pam Bosley and Annette Nance-Holt, cofounders of the organization Purpose over Pain, and Debbie Weir, a lead organizer with Everytown for Gun Safety. Tuesday 2/2 at 6:30 PM; Free, register here.

How did we get here?: As vaccines are rolling out across the country, you might be wondering about the history of certain medical treatments. In “Infections, Vaccines, Evolution and Medicine,” an online lecture from Profs and Pints, Howard anatomy professor Rui Diogo will walk through evolutionary medicine—how what we know about human evolution impacts how we medicate—in the US. (It apparently involves poop treatments???). Wednesday 2/3 at 7 PM; $12, buy tickets here.

Something fun: 

Snow cutie!
Who all was at the snowball fight yesterday? What a total, genuine joy to see. The sparkly snowfall has been gorgeous and I know folks have gotten creative. Did you, by chance, make one of the snow people that popped up around town? (Yes, there’s even a Bernie mittens version.) The best thing I’ve seen from this winter weather is the adorable video of pandas rolling around and playing in the snow.

Since it’s been chilly, I’ve been cozying up indoors, obsessively playing Zelda: Breath of the Wild and making comfort food, like ravioli. What’s your go-to winter meal? I’m dreaming about making some good ramen, let me know if you’ve got any recipe suggestions.

Thanks for reading! Tell me what you’re up to at home by dropping me a line at

Update: A previous version of this story incorrectly described the subject of the Profs and Pints talk.

Rosa is a senior editor at Bitch Magazine. She’s written for Washingtonian and Smithsonian magazine.