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This week’s cover package is our annual self-improvement guide, which compiles all many of classes you can take to make yourself a better—-which is to say less awful—-person. Win!

Ryan Little leads the arts section with his look back at Gold Leaf Studios, the longtime Mount Vernon Square DIY space that will shutter at the end of this month. Tricia Olszewski reviews two films about singular 20th century personalities: The Iron Lady, Phyllida Lloyd’s worth-it-for-the-acting biopic of Margaret Thatcher, and Corman’s World, a loving documentary about the Roger Corman, the master of B-movies. Chris Klimek reviews Studio Theatre’s Time Stands Still, about two journalists whose tours in the Middle East have left them physically and psychologically damaged. Trey Graham checks out Washington Stage Guild’s Amelia, a Civil War Odyssey that’s kind of like Cold Mountain in reverse. Marcus J. Moore reviews the new album by rapper SmCity, who loves the game but hates The Biz. In what might be the saddest-ever installment of One Track Mind, Little talks with local singer/songwriter Lightfoot about a song she wrote about drowning mice. And over in the news section, our colleague Lydia DePillis closely examines why filmmakers aren’t too jazzed about filming in D.C.