North Carolina bluegrass master Ola Belle Reed has enjoyed something of a D.C. revival in recent years. In 2010, Smithsonian Folkways earned an Independent Music Award for Rising Sun Melodies, an album of recordings and archival material by Reed that includes live performances from her appearances at Smithsonian Folklife Festival concerts in the 1970s. Now, 10 years after Reed’s death, a D.C. theater artist is writing a solo show based on her life and work. Tonight, Wyckham Avery, theater director for the New School of Northern Virginia and a founding member of dog & pony dc, presents excerpts from her Reed tribute, “Just Sing Me a Song,” at the Luce Foundation Center through a program sponsored by Cultural DC’s Flashpoint Gallery. What’s Reed’s bluegrass or Avery’s theater got to do with visual art? The Luce Foundation’s open art storage center is chock-a-block with folk art objects and artifacts. If there’s a visual-art connection to hardscrabble Appalachian music anywhere in this city, it can be found on the third floor of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
The program begins at 1:30 p.m. at the Luce Foundation Center at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and F streets NW. Free. (202) 633-7970. americanart.si.edu.