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Have you ever come back from a city like New York or Chicago and thought D.C.’s parks seemed a bit empty? Sure, there are statues and occasionally benches—for sitting and contemplating the statues. But by and large, our green spaces are for outsiders to protest and promenade, and not much else. Today, a bunch of big thinkers will chat about the next generation of public space in sites like the National Mall, currently a vast and patchy savanna that could be filled with things to do and see. Tupper Thomas, the president of Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Alliance—often held up as a model for public-private partnerships—will be on hand to discuss the issue, along with others who have pioneered the use of “urban interventions” for these kinds of sadly underused spots. (Next, they’ll just have to talk the National Park Service into going along with them.) “(r)Evolutionary Parks: The Future of Public Space” begins at 7 p.m. at the National Archives’ William C. McGowan Theater.. Free. archives.gov.


Thievery Corporation! The homegrown masters of pseudo-worldly electronic chill play three nights at 9:30 Club—-but they’re all sold out.

Best highbrow option: Pierre de Gaillande and his band perform the songs of the great French poet and singer Georges Brassens. Free at Millennium Stage.


Big-deal cut-out artist Kara Walker discusses Andy Warhol and considers his “Shadows” paintings at the Hirshhorn. Free. 7 p.m.