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15 Ways to Celebrate Women’s History Month Around DC

Watching plays written by women, shopping at women-owned stores, and supporting women artists are only a few ways you can celebrate the women of the DC area this month.

The 2017 Women's March. Photograph by Evy Mages

Women’s History Month has only just started, and there’s already so much you can do to honor the work and legacy of women around DC. Here’s a list of exhibits, festivals, and other events that highlight past, present, and even future women leaders, artists, and creators this month.

Women run the show: There are several theaters showing plays written by women playwrights this month. Here are a few shows to check out in the DC area:

  • In Iyona Blake’s Girls of Madison Street, the bond between a family of African-American sisters is put through the test after the passing of their mother. Find out if their relationship survives the conflict and tension at Creative Cauldron in Falls Church. Through Sunday, March 6 (showtimes vary); $35, buy tickets here.
  • Playwrights Nora and Delia Ephron’s Love, Loss And What I Wore explores the relationship between memory and clothing through the a series of monologues told by five women. Adult community theatre group Rooftop Productions is putting on a three-day showing of the play at ARTfactory in Manassas. Each showing will be followed by a talk-back with the director and cast. Friday, March 4, through Sunday, March 6 (showtimes vary); $20, buy ticket tickets here.
  • The Little Theatre of Alexandria is putting on a special performance of Blue Stockings, a historical drama that follows the story of four women fighting for an education at Cambridge University during the late 1800s—a time in which it was taboo for a woman to have an education. All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Alexandria Domestic Violence Program Safehouse. Tuesday, March 8, at 8 PM; $45, buy tickets here.

Pushing boundaries: Hear from National Geographic Explorers Clare Fieseler and Gabby Salazar as they discuss their book No Boundaries in an online conversation from Politics and Prose. The anthology profiles 25 female explorers and scientists on their journeys and gives useful tips for budding explorers who want to dive into the male-dominated field. The authors will be joined by fellow National Geographic Explorers Dr. Munazza Alam, Dr. M Jackson, and Dr. Moreangles Mbizah, who will share their own experiences as scientists and adventurers. Wednesday, March 2, from 6 PM-7 PM; purchase a donation ticket here.

Funny women: Catch nine comics at the Kennedy Center’s show RIOT! Funny Women Stand Up. The lineup features Cristela Alzona, the first Latina woman to create, produce, and star in her own network sitcom; Megan Stalter of the HBO Max comedy Hacks; and local comedy star Denise Taylor. Thursday, March 3, through Saturday, March 5 (showtimes vary); $29, buy tickets here.

A different lens: The DC Independent Film Festival will showcase two short films created by Iranian directors Sahar Nourmonavar and Sara Bahramjahan. Both films explore reproductive issues that girls and women face, such as a lack of sexual health resources and the negative stigma behind being childfree. The screening will be followed by a conservation with the directors at the E Street Cinema bar.  Saturday, March 5, from 5:15 PM-6 PM; $9, buy tickets here.

Women in STEM: You will soon be able to find 120 bright orange, 3D-printed statues of women in the STEM field around the Smithsonian and the National Mall. Each statue depicts a different scientist, engineer, or mathematician. Get a first look at them during opening weekend, which will feature pop-up talks, special tours, and hands-on demonstration. Saturday, March 5, through Sunday, March 27; learn more here.

Fierce and fearless: The Wild Women of Georgetown Walking Tour proves that well-behaved women seldom make history. Take a stroll through historic Georgetown and learn about the women who built and shaped the charming neighborhood, such as former Washington Post owner Katharine Graham and Jacqueline Kennedy. Sunday, March 6, from 2 PM-4 PM; $18-$20, buy tickets here.

Woman-owned, woman-run:

  • Shop stationery, home decor, pet goods, and more from local women-owned businesses at the Women’s History Month Market Series in Fairfax. Every Tuesday in March from 5 PM-9 PM; learn more here.
  • Celebrate women in business during She DC, a month-long celebration that highlights DC’s women business-owners. The festivities, which will all take place at Latin American marketplace La Cosecha, include an art show displaying 100 pieces of art created by DMV women artists, panel discussions, and pop-up shops. Friday, March 11, through Tuesday, March 29 (event times and prices vary); learn more here.

International Women’s Day: The National Museum of Women in the Arts may be closed for renovations, but that’s not stopping it from celebrating International Women’s Day this year. Join the museum for a day-long festival highlighting women in the arts. Festivities include art chats, drawing workshops, and a cocktail-making presentation. Tuesday, March 8, (event times vary); free, register here.

She-roes: The National Museum of the United States Army will celebrate its first Women’s History Month with a month full of special events that explore the role of women in American Revolution, Civil War, and World War I. There will also be displays highlighting women who broke barriers while serving in the military, such as Colonel Mary Louise Rasmuson, who was appointed by both President Dwight D. Eisenhower and President John F. Kennedy to serve as the Commandant of the Women’s Army Corps. Tuesday, March 8, through Wednesday, March 23 (event times vary); free, register here.

Let’s talk about sex: Got something you need to get off your chest, but you’re afraid that others will judge you? Pull up to Women Uncorked and have candid conversations with other women about sex-related topics, from STIs and unplanned pregnancies to sex toys and orgasms. Tuesday, March 8, from 7 PM-9 PM; $20-$30, buy tickets here.

Who run the world? Girls: Hotel Zena, which brands itself as a “female empowerment hotel,” is launching an art exhibit that highlights nine “Urban Queen Leaders,” or women who are creating meaningful change in their communities. The hotel will also host Ruth Bader Ginsburg-themed paint and sip, as well as weekly chats with women in the literary, wellness, and art industries. Wednesday, March 9, through Tuesday, March 22, at 6 PM; free, register here.

Her story: 

  • Women’s History Month can be fun for kids, too! The Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative will host short hands-on virtual workshops for children ages 3-6 where they can learn about art and history. From your home, kids can design skateboard art as they explore the roles of Black and Native women in the skateboarding world, or learn how to control an airplane like the Stinson Sisters. Friday, March 11, through Monday, March 21, at 11 AM; Free, register here.
  • Join the National Women’s History Museum for a Women’s History Month Brave Girls Virtual Storytime with Black author Sulma Arzu-Brown. She will read her children’s book Bad Hair Does Not Exist in both English and Spanish and will answer questions from the audience. Wednesday, March 16, at 12 PM; Free, register here.

Femininity through music: Embrace your divine femininity at YEMAYA, a dance party hosted by woman-owned DC-based music collectives Sisters in Sound, Forever and a Day, and Connectribe. The event, named after the river goddess of the Yoruba religion, will feature live performances and DJ sets, an art gallery, and a vendor market. Guests are encouraged to wear costumes honoring Yemaya. If you’re unfamiliar with the goddess, think of all things mystical ocean, blue, and mer-people. Friday, March 11, at 9 PM; $10-$20, buy tickets here.

Put on your runnin’ shoes: Head out for a run (or walk) with Pacers Running, November Project, and other athletic organizations. Along the route, you’ll see murals of Amanda Gorman and late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, painted by DC muralists Kaliq Crosby and Rose Jaffe, respectively. There will also be complimentary mimosas from Yours Truly DC Hotel, zero-proof cans from Athletic Brewing Company, and treats from woman-owned social enterprise Homemade in DC available for purchase. Sunday, March 13, from 10 AM-12 PM; free, register here.

A well-deserved reward: Watch the National Museum of American History honor late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with the Great Americans Medal in a virtual ceremony with her daughter and son. The award, which is the museum’s signature honor, has been previously award to Dr. Anthony Fauci and Madeline K. Albright. Wednesday, March 30, at 6:30 PM; Free, register here.

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.