Forget, for a moment, “Whistler’s Mother.” That austere image of maternity may be the most famous work by James Abbott McNeill Whistler, but it’s hardly representative of a career that included murals, landscapes, and etchings in addition to traditional portraits. Fortunately for D.C. art fans, the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery possesses the world’s largest collection of the artist’s work. Starting today, the gallery’s focus turns to Whistler’s early years in London, where he created the first of his many “nocturnes” and captured the seedy shores of the Thames. Read more >>> The exhibition is on view daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., to August 17 at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 1050 Independence Ave. SW. Free. (202) 633-4880. asia.si.edu. (Caroline Jones)
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo early with a taco competition this Saturday at Del Campo. “The Bamba Bowl” will include tacos from Taco Bamba, Mexicana Bakery, Oyamel, and Casa Oaxaca, from which guests will vote for their favorites. The $30 ticket price includes food and drinks. The event goes from noon to 3 p.m. Purchase tickets here. Del Campo, 777 I St. NW. (202) 289-7377. delcampodc.com. (Jessica Sidman)
OH AND ALSO
Friday: Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars bring their traditional African funk sounds to Artisphere with local Togolese performer Elikeh. 8 p.m. at 1101 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. $25–$35.
Friday: The Both, Aimee Mann and Ted Leo‘s alt-rock project, takes the stage at 9:30 Club with Nick Diamond of Islands. 8 p.m. at 815 U St. NW. $25.
Friday: Athens, Ga., rock trio the Whigs play Rock & Roll Hotel. Nashville singer-songwriter Nikki Lane opens the show. 9 p.m. at 1353 H St. NE. $15.
Saturday: When the weekend arrives, there’s rarely a dull moment on U Street NW—and this one will be particularly active, thanks to the inaugural D.C. Funk Parade. Beginning at noon, the neighborhood will host a street festival between 9th and 16th Streets, complete with dance groups, art workshops, and music. The actual parade will features the world’s first “Flash Mop”—a flurry of simultaneous dancing and cleaning—and the celebration concludes with free shows at 11 neighborhood venues. Read more >>> The D.C. Funk Parade begins at noon at 9th and U streets NW. Free. funkparade.com. (Julian Kimble)
Saturday: The Nats are out of town, leaving room at the ballpark for the Washington National Opera’s simulcast of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. 7 p.m. at 1500 South Capitol St. SE. Free.
Saturday: Irish folk band I Draw Slow brings its music to this side of the Atlantic at Atlas Performing Arts Center. 8 p.m. at 1333 H St. NE. $20–$33.50.
Sunday: When I was a kid, going to summer camp meant sleeping on moldy cots, guzzling Tang, and failing year after year to pass a swim test in the deep end of the lake. Campers at Girls Rock! DC have it way better: The young aspiring musicians learn to write killer hooks, spin dance tracks, and melt tweenage faces on electric guitar. To raise financial-aid funds for this summer’s program, GR!DC is hosting an all-star line-up of local female musicians at U Street Music Hall. Read more >>> The concert begins at 6 p.m. at U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. $20–$25. (202) 588-1880. ustreetmusichall.com. (Christina Cauterucci)
Sunday: Head to the Half Street Fairgrounds for El Mundo de los Luchadores, a Mexican wrestling festival sponsored by Art Whino featuring live music, Mexican street food, and mural painting. 2 p.m. at 1299 Half St. SE. $20–$100.
Sunday: The National Gallery of Art celebrates its acquisition of Andrew Wyeth’s “Wind from the Sea” with a large exhibition of the artist’s work. Read more in our Spring Arts Guide. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 6th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free.
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