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The National Museum of African American History and Culture won’t open until 2016, but bits of its growing collection are now available to the public at the museum’s temporary home within the National Museum of American History. This exhibit, “Through the African-American Lens,” is confined to one small gallery; while representing everything from the Harlem Renaissance to the civil rights era to religious movements proved tricky, curators succeeded in getting 140 items into the space. Familiar faces, like track star Carl Lewis and Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman, appear, but the more compelling stories are the lesser known ones. Read more >>> The exhibition is on view daily 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the National Museum of American History, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 633-1000. americanhistory.si.edu. (Caroline Jones)
RAMMY award finalists for Cocktail Program of the Year are showcasing their drinks with special promotions today through Friday, May 22. 2 Birds 1 Stone will serve a special punch all week with blanco tequila, ginger, lemongrass, basil, citrus, and bitters for $10. Meanwhile, Iron Gate will offer a $30 tasting of gin and gin cocktails from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday. Call (202) 425-5202 to reserve a spot. Post a photo from these bars or fellow finalists Barmini, Bourbon Steak, and Trummer’s on Main on Instagram with the hashtag #RAMMYSCocktails and tagging @ramwdc for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the RAMMY Awards Gala on June 7. (Jessica Sidman)
OH AND ALSO
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden opens its latest exhibition, “Facing History,” a collection of photographs by Iranian artist Shirin Neshat. Read more in our Summer Entertainment Guide. 10 a.m. at 7th Street and Independence Avenue SW. Free.
Providence-based political dance-punk band Downtown Boys play the Black Cat Backstage with Gauche and Sneaks. 7:30 p.m. at 1811 14th St. NW. $10.
Author Reid Mitenbuler tells the story of how bourbon became an important part of American culture in Bourbon Empire: The Past and Future of America’s Whiskey. While he discusses the book at Busboys and Poets’ Takoma location, enjoy one of two bourbon tastings, costing between $25 and $30. 6:30 p.m. at 235 Carroll St. NW. Free.
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