If your first interaction with installation art was seeing and hating the grotty objects at the foot of Tracey Emin’s “My Bed,” Sandra Cisneros’ new piece at the Smithsonian might be a good place to give the medium another try. Like Emin’s infamous piece, Cisneros’ “A Room of Her Own: My Mother’s Altar” recreates a bedroom in a museum space, but the author has skipped the shock-inducing condoms in favor of tapestries, hand-painted Mexican boxes, embroidery, and flowers: items owned by her deceased mother, Elvira Cordero Cisneros, who only had a room of her own in the waning years of her life. Read more >>> The exhibition is on view daily 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., to Jan. 12, at the National Museum of American History, 14th St. and Constitution Ave. NW. Free. (202) 633-1000. americanhistory.si.edu. (Jenny Rogers and Jamie Slater)

EAT THIS

The real reason to vote today: discounted beer and free cupcakes. Lots of bars and restaurants are offering deals on food and drinks in honor of election day. Check out the full round-up on Young & Hungry. (Jessica Sidman)

OH AND ALSO

California rock act Avi Buffalo plays DC9 with Baltimore groove band Joy Classic. 8:30 p.m. at 1940 9th St. NW. $12.

The south rises again at the Black Cat when Tennessee-based rock band PUJOL takes the stage with New Jersey’s Screaming Females. 8 p.m. at 1811 14th St. NW. $13.

The Birchmere hosts Texas folk-rock act James McMurtry and his band for an intimate night of Americana. 7:30 p.m. at 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. $29.50.

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