When you’re not outside enjoying the fabulous fall colors, here are some other things you can be doing for free—or close to it. Enjoy this list of happenings tonight and this weekend from Free in DC.


The Humanities Council of D.C. hosts “Caring for the World House: A Shared Responsibility” at the Embassy of Bangladesh, near the Van Ness Metro, from 6 to 8 p.m. The discussion features an international panel of experts on the environment.

FotoWeek DC‘s not over yet! Over in Anacostia you can check out the opening reception for “Likeness” at the Honfleur Gallery, from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibit, the brainchild of D.C. photographer Joshua Yospyn, includes collaborations by 20 artists—10 photographers and 10 visual/street artists. The end result is ten portraits and ten interpretations of those portraits.

Enjoylive Latin Jazz, the musical stylings of DJ Boris Gluck, and an extended happy hour at Alero in Columbia Heights, from 6 p.m. ‘til close, as they host a fundraising event for families of prisoners of conscience in China. The 21+, donation-based event is inspired by 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xioabo, currently serving an 11 year sentence in prison.

Enjoy a free lunchtime concert of opera arias with the Friday Morning Music Club. The event, which will take place from 12 to 1 p.m., is at the Sumner School Museum, at 17th & M Streets NW.

Poetry and alcohol is a natural combination—just ask Dylan Thomas. Imbibe as poets published in Poet Lore, Barrelhouse, Smartish Pace, Big Lucks, and the Potomac Review perform readings at the Black Squirrel in Adams Morgan, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Readers include Gregory Pardlo, Joe Hall, David Keplinger, Ramola D, and Doug Lang.

If you’re in the mood for more poetry, check out the “11th Hour Poetry Slam” at 11 p.m. at Busboys and Poets 14th & V. Shelly Bell, better known in poetry circles as She Seven, hosts the event. $5 cover.

BloomBars in Columbia Heights hosts its first silent auction, featuring works from 13 local artists and live music by Philip LoPiccolo, from 7 to 9:30 p.m.

Karim Abdul-Jabbar
, Michael Jordan, Lebron James—can you imagine pro basketball without African Americans? And yet that’s the way it was until 1950. Check out the all-day conference at Howard University on the Emergence and Legacy of African Americans in Basketball. Featured guests include NBA Hall of Famers Earl Lloyd, the first African American to play in the NBA; and Dave Bing, the Pistons legend and present mayor of Detroit.

Celebrate African Independence with “Africa in Motion,” an evening of poetry, drumming, music, and video art featuring local talent DJ EYE AM, Nigerian musicians Kuku and The Dri Fish, and Cameroonian poet Pages Matam. The National Museum of African Art hosts the event, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

At 1 p.m. the Washington Printmakers Gallery, at the Pyramid Atlantic Art Center in Silver Spring, hosts an artist talk and Q & A with Lee Newman, whose show “Glimpse” is presently on display.

It’s science time at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, with the panel discussion “Creativity, Science, and the Brain,” from 2 to 4 p.m. Biologist and poet Myra Sklarew moderates the panel, which will explore perspectives on the intersection between brain science, expression, and the nature of storytelling.

At 3 p.m. the Potter’s House in Adams Morgan hosts a discussion with Buzz Alexander, author and founder of the Prison Creative Arts Project, an organization that facilitates arts workshops in prisons and juvenile facilities and educates community members about incarceration. Alexander will read from his new book, Is William Martinez Not Our Brother?

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.