There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Read the Arlington County Sit-Ins timeline
Sixty years ago, the multiracial Nonviolent Action Group integrated lunch counters in Arlington, Virginia, with a series of sit-ins between June 9 and June 22, 1960, where activists endured violent harassment and arrests. Now, Arlington County offers a day-by-day online history of this period. Through succinct text and reproduced newspaper photos, the timeline explains how a group of black and white college students, inspired by the February 1960 actions of North Carolina students, sat in at a number of segregated Arlington lunch counters. Time and time again, the drug stores served the white demonstrators of the Nonviolent Action Group, who passed the food to the black demonstrators; the stores responded by closing down the counters and removing the remaining seats. While some customers were supportive of the protesters, many more were not. At the Cherrydale Drug Fair, white Washington-Lee High School students shoved lit cigarettes into one black protester’s pocket and flicked a belt against another black protester, shouting the n-word at the group of six. At a Peoples Drug, four members of the Arlington-based American Nazi Party, wearing swastika arm bands, viciously harassed demonstrators. After days of protests, the Nonviolent Action Group called for mediation with the Arlington County Board and sent letters to Arlington businesses. When that was unsuccessful, they resumed sit-ins on June 18. On June 22, one by one, Arlington establishments announced they would desegregate. The Nonviolent Action Group then moved on to desegregate Glen Echo Park in Maryland. And today, some members of the Nonviolent Action Group, like Dion Diamond and Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, are still supporting movements for racial justice in Arlington, like the Black Lives Matter protests that are taking place nearly 60 years to the day after their sit-ins. The timeline is available at projects.arlingtonva.us. Free. —Steve Kiviat
Angel Olsen plays Half Way Home
In the era of piracy and Spotify, independent musicians have learned to live in a Groundhog Day grind of perpetual touring in order to make ends meet. Artists had to scramble to adapt when the pandemic made tours impossible, organizing ad hoc live shows on Instagram Live and YouTube. The results have so far been mixed, but Angel Olsen may have perfected the formula. In the first installment of her “Cosmic Streams” series, brought to you in part by D.C.’s 9:30 Club, Olsen will perform her album Half Way Home “almost in its entirety” from a North Carolina church-turned-fully-equipped-recording-studio. Contrary to popular belief, Half Way Home is not Olsen’s first release—that distinction belongs to Strange Cacti, which consists of six jagged, underproduced songs originally released on cassette tape. Half Way Home is, however, a foundational text of Angel Olsen fandom, and the mold in which the Olsen of the popular imagination was cast. In spite of the fact that she’s since released a face-melter of a rock album, MY WOMAN, and an epic melodrama featuring a 12-piece string section, All Mirrors, Olsen’s brand is still that of the enigmatic singer-songwriter with the haunting, warbly voice who proclaimed “losing your mind, it ain’t half as bad as it seems” on “Lonely Universe” from Half Way Home. You can live stream Olsen’s performance on June 18 for $15, and you can get a digital download of the show with your ticket for $25. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Asheville, North Carolina YWCA, whose objective is to “eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.” The live stream begins June 18 at 9 p.m at noonchorus.com. $15–$25. —Will Lennon