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This town is full of fabulous free arts and cultural events—some of which I’ve highlighted for you below. All events, as well as posts on my site Free in DC, are all ages, free, and in D.C. unless otherwise noted. Hope you get to enjoy some of these picks for tonight and this weekend.
Tonight With lots of talk on TV, the radio and internet these days about the harassment of gay teens in schools, tonight’s screening of Bullied: A Student, a School and a Case that Made History is sure to be a great springboard for even more conversation. The documentary ” chronicles the story of a student who stood up to his anti-gay tormentors and filed a federal lawsuit against his school district. A Q & A will follow the film, which starts at 6:30 p.m. at Busboys and Poets 5th & K.
On Barracks Row, near the Eastern Market Metro, you can check out the art opening for interdisciplinary artist Karl Burke at the Fridge, in the rear alley behind Belga Cafe at 516 8th St. SE, from 7 to 9 p.m. Burke, an Irish artist and musician, is in D.C. through a residency with the Irish arts organization Solas Nua.
BMI’s Hungry for Music series continues at the Hard Rock Cafe from 8 to 11 p.m. The evening will include performances by local acts Lucky Dub, Jim and Ashley Cash of Woven Green, David Andrew Smith, Ryan Hammer. Donations and musical instruments collected during the show support the Hungry for Music organization, which reaches out to underprivileged kids to teach and share the power of music.
If you’re in the mood for some funk and soul jams, head over to Bossa in Adams Morgan where House of Soul, featuring bassist Matt Grason, will be performing their signature blend of improvised grooves and remixes along with the vocal assistance of Rochelle Rice from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. This is a 21+ event and there’s a $3 cover.
Friday The Natural History Museum hosts a mid-day talk on the “Scientific and Religious Perspectives on Human Evolution” with Rick Potts, curator of the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins, and Connie Bertka, research scientist and lecturer at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, from 3 to 4 p.m.
The DC Arts Center in Adams Morgan hosts an art opening from 7 to 9 p.m. for the show “Focus Group: Four Walls, Four Five Women,” which spotlights five female artists under 40— Jamea Richmond-Edwards, Kristen Hayes, Amber Robles-Gordon, Danielle Scruggs, and curator Zoma Wallace.
Saturday The Museum of African Art hosts an artist talk at 2 p.m. with Senegalese artist Ousmane Sow. He’ll speak about his monumental sculptures, including his striking work, “Toussaint Louverture et la vieille esclave” (Toussaint Louverture and the elderly slave). Sow will be joined by his wife, photographer and filmmaker Béatrice Soulé.
Flashpoint Gallery in Chinatown hosts an art opening from 6 to 8 p.m. for Heather Bursch’s Unreleased, a single-channel video installation that consists of a grid of tiny videos, each animated by the artist’s hand.
The creative collective The Dunes hosts a party celebrating an installation by Baltimore-based sculptor Mark Eisendrath from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. It’s in a new exhibition Dupont Circle, at 1503 Connecticut Ave., top floor. After you down a few cocktails and check out the art, hit the dance floor as DJ Sam “The Man” Burns and “Doc Rok” DJ Ben Garlock spin tunes. All donations from the event, and a portion of all art sales, will support Pediatric AIDS/HIV Care, Inc.
Sunday From 1 and 3 p.m, award-winning violinist, flutist, and storyteller Arvel Bird weaves haunting melodies with stories of Native American spirituality at the American Indian Museum.
At 2 p.m. at the Freer Gallery’s Meyer Auditorium, view the original 1972 Russian version of the film Solaris. Andrei Tarkovsky‘s poetic sci-fi film tells the story of a psychologist sent to investigate mysterious emanations from a planet that seem to be driving the crew of an orbiting space station mad.
Looking for some poetry? Head over to Busboys and Poets 14th & V at 4 p.m. for “Sunday Kind of Love,” a monthly reading and open mic co-hosted by Sarah Browning and Katy Richey. This month’s reading is co-hosted by the Split this Rock Poetry Festival and Letras Latinas, the literary program of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Featured guests include Steven Cordova, author of the new poetry collection Long Distance and a member of the Macondo Writer’s Workshop, Dan Vera, local poet and co-founder of Vrzhu Press.
You are in for a real treat as D.C.’s own Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist and “human beatbox” Christylez Bacon hits BloomBars for the “Seed the Sound” event, from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. He’ll be joined by local band Fathers Children, whose blend of vocals and harmonies has gained compared to Earth, Wind and Fire. A $10 donation is suggested.
Amy Melrose is the creator of Free in DC, an arts, culture, and consciousness blog highlighting free and low-cost events that are all Metro accessible in the D.C. area. You can also follow Free in DC on Twitter and Facebook.