We’ve got anime, cocktail hour, and new art.
Here’s what you should check out this weekend:
Add to your reading list: In his latest book, The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song, scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. takes a comprehensive look at the importance of Black churches in the past 500 years. As gathering places, sanctuaries, and centers of political organizing and resistance, these churches are pillars of Black history and culture that have persisted amidst racist attacks from bombings to burnings to mass shootings. Gates will discuss his work, and his own personal connection to his childhood church in West Virginia, with Eddie S. Glaude Jr., an academic who authored Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul, in this virtual book talk from Politics and Prose. Thursday 3/25 at 4 PM; Prices are capped at $38 (book included), buy tickets here.
Creativity chat: Meet and hear from printmaking artist Jonathan Herrera Soto, who uses mixed media like wood and acid to create haunting pieces that visually represent people who have been killed by the state. Soto will talk about his work and processes with University of Maryland graduate student Martin Esteban Gonzales in this virtual artist talk from the Phillips Collection. Thursday 3/25 at 6:30 PM; Free, register here.
Watch what you’re listening to: Tune into a live recording of a podcast online. In Harry Potter and The Sacred Text, Vanessa Zoltan and Casper ter Kuile approach and discuss the series as “sacred,” meaning they read very closely (sometimes repeatedly) to glean lessons and wisdom from the pages. In this virtual Sixth & I event, they are recording the final episode focusing on the first chapter of the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and they’ll talk about the history of the podcast as well as the recent conversations around J.K. Rowling’s transphobia. Thursday 3/25 at 7 PM; $15, buy tickets here.
Explore a new dance: See an online performance of the classical Khmer dance of Cambodia from the National Museum of Asian Art. Dancer/choreographer Sophiline Cheam Shapiro and curator Emma Natalya Stein will discuss how these traditional royal court dances depict stories about the serpent god naga. Thursday 3/25 at 8 PM; Free, register here.
New views: Oakland-based artist Adia Millett creates vibrant, colorful geometric paintings and textiles that examine Black identity and what she describes as “the fragile interconnectivity among all living things.” Her new show at Truxton Circle gallery Morton Fine Art, “The Moon is Always Full,” features seven of her recent cosmology-inspired pieces. Thursday 3/25 through April 22; Free, visitors can make appointments by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org (indoors, masks up).
Sit under the stars: Head to the Wharf for the new outdoor screening series Anime Movie Days. The lineup of 13 films, curated by Awesome Con, includes Cowboy Bebop the Movie, Children of the Sea, Pokémon Detective Pikachu, and the new Sonic the Hedgehog. Friday 3/26 through April 11 at various times; $40 (which covers up to four people), buy tickets here.
Sip something new: Thamee is teaming up with DC-based virtual happy hour company Happied for a special “#StopAsianHate Solidarity Cocktail Hour.” Learn how to make a South East Daiquiri and a citrusy gin drink called Teatime in Assam from Thamee mixologist Toyz and hear from DC foodie Anela Malik (who runs @feedthemalik). Proceeds will go to Asian Americans Advancing Justice. Friday 3/26 at 8 PM; $25-$85, buy tickets here.
Heart-warming theater: LOVE/language is a collection of monologues about all types of love (romantic, familial, platonic, etc.) and isolation. The ten stories come from local playwrights including Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi, Farah Lawal Harris (who runs the Young Playwrights’ Theater), and Annalisa Dias. See a filmed performance of the staged production from Howard Community College’s Rep Stage. Watch it Friday 3/26 through Monday 3/29; $15-$25, buy tickets here.
Chef célèbre: Popular TV chef Carla Hall–former Top Chef and co-host of ABC’s The Chew—will be at Middleburg’s Salamander Resort & Spa this weekend, collaborating to serve a special Sunday four-course supper and concluding with a reception where you can meet Hall and the chefs at the resort’s restaurant. The small-scale event will be indoors and follow Covid-safety protocols. Sunday 3/28 at 3 PM; $250 (including a signed copy of Carla Hall’s Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration), make reservations by calling 540-326-4070.
On Wednesday, the Library of Congress announced the 25 new recordings and songs that it will add to its National Recording Registry, including the first podcast (This American Life), first frog (Kermit, played by Jim Henson), and audio that Thomas Edison captured on tinfoil in 1878. The collection, which now holds 575 titles, highlights these selections as “audio treasures worthy of preservation for all time based on their cultural, historical or aesthetic importance in the nation’s recorded sound heritage,” the library said in a press release.
The registry started in 2002 with a mission to preserve music and recordings that are crucial to the country’s history and culture that are at least ten years old. While the library considers public nominations, ultimately the decisions are up to LOC curators and the National Recording Preservation Board.
Another major track added to the list: Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814, the 1989 dance-pop protest anthem that was a very popular vote in the registry’s public nomination process. Her lyrics about police brutality, social justice, and racism still resonate today.
Kermit the Frog, who got his start on Jim Henson’s first puppet show Sam and Friends on the Washington channel WRC-TV in 1955, will now be memorialized for “The Rainbow Connection.” Adding the first podcast, the registry will include a 2008 episode of This American Life, hosted by Ira Glass, that explains the mortgage crisis at the time. Other artists to join the registry include Louis Armstrong (“When the Saints Go Marching In”), Patti LaBelle’s trio Labelle (“Lady Marmalade”), Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (“Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World”) Nas (Illmatic), and Kool & the Gang (“Celebration”).
According to the LOC, Thomas Edison’s recording is possibly the “oldest playable recording of an American voice and the earliest known recording of a musical performance.” It’s a 78-second clip that was recorded on a phonograph in St. Louis back in 1878.
You can listen to a playlist of the registry’s newly added recordings here.
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