The optimism found in the art of Ilya and Emilia Kabakov is contagious but it also comments on something much darker: the oppression both of the artists encountered while growing up in the Soviet Union. The couple now live and work on Long Island and are the subject of two major exhibitions this fall. The Hirshhorn’s exhibit focuses on models for work made after 1985. This includes original plans for “The Man Who Flew Into Space From His Apartment,” an expansive installation and tribute to the human spirit first seen in D.C. in 1990, and “The Ship of Tolerance,” an ongoing installation mounted in different bodies of water around the world with the assistance of children. Read more >>> The exhibition is on view daily 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., to March 4, at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 7th Street and Independence Avenue SW. Free. (202) 633-4674. hirshhorn.si.edu(Caroline Jones)

EAT THIS

Be one of the first 50 people in line at Graffiato when the doors open at 5 p.m. tonight and you’ll receive a free beer. The Chinatown restaurant is hosting a keg-tapping party to celebrate the release of Mike Isabella Concepts Saison, a collaboration brew with 3 Stars Brewing CompanyThe beer, which will be available at all of Mike Isabella’s restaurants this month, incorporates flavors from ancient grains and coriander. Food and drink will be available for purchase at happy hour prices throughout the evening. Graffiato, 707 6th St. NW. (202) 289-3600. graffiatobymic.com/dc. (Laura Hayes)

OH AND ALSO

Tracy K. Smith gives her inaugural reading as U.S. Poet Laureate tonight at the Library of Congress Coolidge Auditorium. 7 p.m. at 10 First Street SE. Free.

Joseph, an emerging pop trio featuring sisters Allison, Meegan, and Natalie Closner, performs at 9:30 Club with another family band, Bailen. 7 p.m. at 815 V St. NW. $20.

Songwriter Julian Velard plays an intimate show at DC9, featuring songs from his most recent album, Fancy Words for Failure. 9 p.m. at 1940 9th St. NW. $10–$12.

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