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Virtual Puppet Slam

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Except for when they are haunted, puppets are fun for the whole family! A good puppet show allows us to tell cartoony stories in a three-dimensional world, one where a talking frog can meet Elton John and sentient robots can riff on B-movies in space. If you’re a felt-head who has been starved for content since the suits hid Muppet Treasure Island behind the Disney+ paywall, there’s good news on the horizon. Thanks to Rhizome DC, a community art space located in Takoma, there’s a virtual puppet slam headed your way via Facebook Live. Normally, Rhizome hosts a range of performance events, including theater, concerts, and poetry readings. Though the space is currently closed due to COVID-19, Rhizome has committed to “offering online programming … to promote creativity as a force for personal empowerment and community engagement.” You know what that means: puppets. On July 24, local and international puppeteers will come together for a puppet slam you can enjoy from your home. The suggested donation is $10, but you can pay whatever you like, no strings attached—except for the strings holding up the puppets, of course. Those will be firmly attached to the puppets, meaning it will be impossible for them to escape and come after you, not that it matters, because they are not haunted. The virtual puppet slam begins at 7:30 p.m. on July 24. Registration is available at rhizomedc.org. Pay what you want; $10 suggested donation. —Will Lennon

Muriel Hasbun: Pulse and Memory/Pulso y Memoria

In her exhibition as a 2020 Sondheim Artscape Prize finalist, D.C.-based artist Muriel Hasbun offers three separate, but linked, series of works, all touching on her complicated family history; she’s an immigrant who grew up in El Salvador with Palestinian Christian, Polish, and French Jewish heritage. Hasbun’s newest project, “Pulse: New Cultural Registers/Pulso: Nuevos registros culturales,” features “constructed photographs” that draw on relics of her family’s gallery in El Salvador and geometrical abstractions and visualizations of seismic waves. The second project, from 2016, is the video “Scheherazade or (Per)forming the Archive,” in which Hasbun unites the sounds of her son’s heartbeats in utero with her mother’s final breaths. The third project, also from 2016, is a selection of photographs from “si je meurs/if I die,” which explores the life of her mother, Janine Janowski, and her career in the arts, using close-ups of hair and eyes as well as such personal effects as film reels and old passport photos. Society’s fabric, Hasbun says, is “made of countless individual stories like mine” that can become “seismic pulses reverberating in the territory of our collective home.” The virtual exhibition is available at artspaces.kunstmatrix.com. The online award ceremony on begins at 7 p.m. on July 25 at promotionandarts.org. —Louis Jacobson