Things to Do

The DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival, a Rooftop Concert, and the Washington Ballet’s Return to the Live Stage: Things to Do in DC, October 21-24

Plus: another #FreeBritney rally

Illustration by Melissa Santoyo.

Hey y’all!

We’ve got the DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival, the Washington Ballet’s opening show, and a rooftop concert.

Check out some sweet dance moves at Red Bull Dance Your Style this weekend.

Here’s what you should check out this weekend:

Art as resistance: Now in its 11th year, the DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival returns to the virtual stage to celebrate Palestinian creativity through films and arts programs. The event will kick off with a screening of 2020 feature film 200 Meters, which tells the story of a Palestinian family that is separated by the Israeli wall. Throughout the next few days, you can watch several short films about unity, strength, and community; hear from award-winning author Hala Alyan, who wrote Salt Houses, Tallahassee, and The Arsonists’ City; and take a virtual tour of street art around the world and learn from the Palestinian artists who created the pieces about their work. Thursday 10/21 through Sunday 10/24 (showtimes vary); $50, buy tickets here.

A night at the ballet: The Washington Ballet will open its new season with two in-person, live shows at the National Building Museum in Judiciary Square. The 80-minute program will feature both classic compositions, such as Flames of Paris, as well as contemporary works like Sinatra Suite. Other performances this season include The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and Giselle. Thursday 10/21 and Friday 10/22 at 7:30 PM; $80-$110, buy tickets here.

Perspectives from the Capitol: Four Hours at the Capitol is a new documentary on HBO that chronicles the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Watch never-before-seen footage and first-hand accounts from lawmakers, staffers, police officers, protestors, and rioters who participated in and witnessed the events that day. You can view the film on HBO throughout the week or stream it on demand. Find TV listings and streaming info here.

A tour through life’s blueprint: The Smithsonian’s popular genome exhibition, “Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code,” is back at the National Museum of Natural History after a six-year tour of North America. The 4,400-square-foot exposition features all four themed areas from the original, with interactive pieces, 3D models, custom animations, and video footage that showcase the genomic revolution’s influence on people’s lives, science, medicine, and nature.
Through Summer 2022; Free, find out more here.

Spooky pups: The Rosslyn Business Improvement District and the Rosslyn Dog Owners Group are hosting a dog-friendly Halloween party to celebrate the opening of the neighborhood’s new Interim Dog Park at Gateway park West. There will be local pet-themed vendors, speakers, and a social media dog costume contest. Stick around afterwards for an outdoor screening of The Nightmare Before Christmas at Gateway Park East. Friday 10/22 from 3 PM-7 PM; Free, find out more here.

Red Bull boogie: Catch the world’s largest dance competition, Red Bull Dance Your Style, at the historic Howard Theater in Shaw. Contestants will compete in a variety of music genres in Friday’s pre-finals, followed by the final national competition on Saturday, with the national title up for grabs. A number of dance workshops will be open to the public all day leading up to the competition too. Friday 10/22 and Saturday 10/23 (times vary); $10-$15, buy tickets here.

#FreeBritney Part III: Britney Spears’ father has been suspended from the pop star’s conservatorship, and Free Britney America is rallying at the White House to celebrate. However, this rally won’t just focus on Spears, but also the work that still needs to be done to get more federal oversight over the conservatorship process. Libra Max, the daughter of renowned artist Peter Max, and Jonathan Martinis, a civil rights attorney who represented Jennedy Hatch in the nationally acclaimed “Justice for Jenny” case will speak at the event. Saturday 10/23 at 1 PM; Free, find out more here.

African art show: African Art Beats Contemporary Art Gallery in Cleveland Park is opening its newest exhibit, “Microcosms,” by Saadio. The Senegalese artist is known for his bright and animated style that captures and draws inspiration from the busy streets of Dakar, Senegal’s capital. Outside of the public opening, the exposition will remain on show until December 11 to private tours by request. Saturday 10/23 and Sunday 10/24; Free, find out more here.

Halloween parade: For some seasonal fun with the whole family, check out the 25th annual Halloween parade in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria. The event starts at Mount Vernon Ave. and goes down to the fields at Mount Vernon Recreation Center. Come dressed up for the holiday and the chance to win one of a number of costume contest honors. Sunday 10/24 at 2 PM; Free, register here.

Rooftop jams: Emergent Seed, a local organization that supports and highlights emerging artists, is hosting a night of live music and poetry on the rooftop of WILD DAYS in Downtown DC. There, individuals who won grants from the organization will showcase their work, followed up with an open mic night and jam session. A percentage of proceeds will go toward Emergent Seed artists. Sunday 10/24 from 5 PM-10 PM; Free, register here.

Halloween is just around the corner, and the amount of Halloween-themed events around DC is never ending.

That’s all for this week! Drop me a line at to let me know what you’re up to.

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.

Zach Bright

Zach joined Washingtonian in October 2021. In the past, he’s written for The Colorado Sun, The Nevada Independent and SRQ Magazine.