Things to Do

Outdoor Music, New Art, and a Sing-Along: Things to Do in DC, July 22-25

Plus: What are we wearing?

Illustration by Hannah Good.

Hey hey!

We’ve got outdoor shows, salsa dancing, and a new mural.

Break out your dancing shoes.

Here’s what you should check out this weekend:

It’s live: Four shows are coming to the Entertainment & Sports Arena for Events DC’s Summer Concert Series. See pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph and his Family Band on Thursday; go-go stars Junkyard Band on Friday; and electro-music duo Thievery Corporation on Saturday. Finally on Sunday there will be a performance from Alexandria Latin-pop crooner Jason Cerda who will share the stage with Los Adolescentes, a big salsa band from Venezuela, for a showcase that includes salsa lessons—so bring your dancing shoes. Thursday 7/22 through Sunday 7/25; Tickets range from $5-$50; find out more here.

Bring the tissues: Wolf Trap Opera and the National Symphony Orchestra are coming together to present “STARias: Opera’s Most Powerful Moments,” a concert celebrating 50 years of the Wolf Trap Opera at the outdoor amphitheater, the Filene Center. Renowned opera stars Tamara Wilson, Paul Groves, Michelle DeYoung, Raymond Aceto, and more will sing emotional classics from Verdi, Gounod, and Puccini from the NSO, led by Christopher Allen. Friday 7/23 at 8 PM; Prices start at $37, buy tickets here.

Fresh sights: A massive new mural is coming to Union Market this weekend from a team of painters including Kaliq Crosby, who worked on the Amanda Gorman mural in Dupont Circle. Featuring designs from Shepard Fairey, the artist who made Barack Obama’s “Hope” posters, the new work will be unveiled with a show from the local Crush Funk Brass band and Krystal Butler. It’s part of an effort called Power to the Patients, a campaign aimed at improving the transparency of healthcare costs for individuals. Friday 7/23 at 4 PM; Free, find out more here.

Try something new: If you’re still in the dancing mood, Joy of Motion Dance Center is kicking off a “Hoy Joy Summer” series of workshops open to all experience levels. This weekend choreographer Cat Foster, who has danced on Broadway and beyond, will lead a lesson in Afro-Fusion dance forms at Atlas Performing Arts Center on H Street. There will be a Q&A following the session. Saturday 7/24 at 2 PM; $35-$40, register here.

A look back: For nearly a year, nine Black artists collectively crafted nine collage-like books of visual art. Each book includes works from every woman in the group exploring the pandemic, social justice, racial inequality, and other issues that they faced during their time of isolation and creativity. The artwork will be displayed at the Pyramid Atlantic Art Center in Hyattsville, MD with a complementing virtual exhibit as well. Saturday 7/24 through August 29; Free, find out more here.

In the sunshine: Washington National Cathedral is offering new outdoor performances. Vocal enthusiasts can join in with SummerSings, from the Cathedral Choral Society, in a series of free events that will include spirituals, Mozart, and more. If dancing is more your rhythm, bring a picnic blanket and catch the Washington Ballet on the front lawn of the cathedral. SummerSings: July 25 through September 19; Free, registration required. Ballet: Saturday 7/24 at 6 PM; Free, RSVP required.

Watch party: The Olympic Games are starting this weekend and we have recommendations for where you find food and drink specials around town to enjoy while you follow along with your favorite athletes.

Roll out the red carpet: The Kennedy Center Honors is back on this year and they recently named the honorees. The star-studded event will recognize Justino Díaz, Berry Gordy, Lorne Michaels, Bette Midler, and Joni Mitchell.

Something fun:

Fashion forward.
What is everyone wearing these days? I’m not gonna lie, it’s been tough to get out of the stretchy pants/big t-shirt mentality that I’ve had for the past 16 months. I find myself leaning more towards comfy long dresses that I don’t have to think about too much before I throw them on and walk out the door. Be honest—how many of you have bought the TikTok-famous exercise dress? My coworker Damare Baker recently wrote about the trendy athleisure dress that’s like a tennis outfit with built-in shorts (a skort, if you will) and pockets. It’s not too surprising that it’s one of the summer’s most coveted clothing items. Another Washingtonian writer, Melissa Santoyo, chatted with consignment stores about the sales they’ve seen thus far as customers are getting back out there and the bottom line is: “In post-pandemic Washington, stiff, formal clothes are out, and anything fun, breathable, and comfy is in.” Finally! Throw out the Ann Taylor and bring on the Athleta.

But for those of you who are jumping back into the local nightlife scene, this might be a totally different conversation. Washingtonian’s Jennifer Albarracin Moya went out in Dupont Circle last weekend to get a look at what club-goers were sporting that night and she saw everything from t-shirts with a social justice message to bright pink strappy crop tops. Many folks expressed a similar idea—that they were going all-out in their fashion choices and caring less about the opinions of others. As one woman put it: “I’ve become more comfortable in my style because I stopped caring what people think.”

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

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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.