Things to Do

Lots of Artsy Fun, a Jazz Concert, and the Water Lantern Festival: Things to Do in DC, August 5-8

Plus: Saying hello.

Happy pre-Friday, y’all! It’s Damare, one of the assistant editors. You may have seen me before when I subbed for Rosa a bit ago, but I’ll be running this newsletter for a while now.  I’m super excited to share the wonderful things that are happening in the area with y’all, so let’s get into it! 

We’ve got lots of art-themed events, a jazz concert, and the Water Lantern Festival.

We’re so close to Friday, y’all. Just keep hanging in there. Here’s what you should check out this week:

Street art: Much like the rest of DC, NoMa and Union Market are filled with artists from both local and visiting artists. Take the time to explore old and new street art in the two neighborhoods on the DC Mural Tour this weekend. You can see more than 25 murals and learn about the artists who created them. Thursday 8/5 through Saturday 8/7; Tickets start at $30, find out more here.

Bringing art to life:  Have you ever wished that you could step into a painting? Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience will turn that dream into reality. You can view more than 300 of Van Gogh’s sketches, drawings, and paintings  through a 360-degree, floor-to-ceiling digital projection on display at the Rhode Island Center. The exhibition starts on Friday, August 6. Tickets start at $36, find out more here.

Jazz it up:  A summer Saturday is a great day for a road trip out to the Eastern Shore. Combine that with Chesapeake Music’s Summer Jazz Concert in Easton and jam out to the jazzy tunes of vocalist and pianist Alison Crockett at. She will be performing  her “Echoes of an Era” show, which features music from Chaka Khan, jazz composer Chick Corea, and the Great American Songbook. Saturday 8/7 at 8 PM; $35, register here.

Books and new beginnings: Celebrate the grand opening of Black-owned bookstore MahoganyBooks’s second location at National Harbor. The bookstore is hosting a Black Books Matter Party that will feature a ribbon cutting and book signings from notable Black authors, such as Kwame Alexander, Christine Platt, and David Crownson. Saturday 8/7 from 12 PM to 6 PM; Free, find out more here.

Telling a story through art: 20th-century painter Jacob Lawrence, who is best known for his 60-piece “The Migration Series,” has influenced others to use art to tell stories of struggle and triumph. The Phillips Collection has invited local artist Helen Zughaib to share how Lawrence inspired her to use different artistic elements to share her experience as a Lebanese migrant. Under the guidance of Zughaib, you will also have the opportunity to tell your own story in paint. Lawrence’s “The Migration Series” and “The American Struggle” will be available for viewing in the galleries. Saturday 8/7 at 10:15 AM; $21 for non-member adults (free for children), register here.

Floating lights: If you’re looking for something beautiful, the Water Lantern Festival is coming to National Harbor this weekend. You can purchase a lantern kit and decorate your own lantern and watch them float on water at sunset. Before the launch, you can enjoy food, games, and a mediation session. Saturday 8/7 and Sunday 8/8 at 5 PM; Tickets start at $14.47; register here.

Baking fun: Learn out to make bagels in real time with Hannah Wolfman-Arent from Sonny’s Pizza. In this virtual class hosted by Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, you will learn a classic bagel recipe and how to customize them with mix-ins. Sunday 8/8 at 4 PM; register here.

Something new:

You’re stuck with me now, whether you like it or not! I’m gonna keep this short and sweet, but I just want to let y’all know how excited I am to continue this newsletter and experiment with this project. I’m not exactly sure what this will become in the future, but I do know that it’s gonna be great and lots of fun. Anyways, I look forward to sharing the things that I am interested in, as well as hearing about your interests.

Thanks for reading! Hit me up at and let me know what you’re up to at home (or outside of your home).

Damare Baker
Research Editor

Before becoming Research Editor, Damare Baker was an Editorial Fellow and Assistant Editor for Washingtonian. She has previously written for Voice of America and The Hill. She is a graduate of Georgetown University, where she studied international relations, Korean, and journalism.