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Sticking around town this Labor Day weekend? Worry not! There are plenty of free things happening and it’s a great chance to check out museums and other venues usually packed with tourists. Below are select highlights from my site, Free in DC, where you can find some of the coolest and most interesting free and low cost things to do in D.C.
Thursday Author Rob Verchick, currently the Deputy Associate Administrator at the EPA’s Office of Policy, Economics, and Innovation, discusses his new book about the environment, Facing Catastrophe: Environmental Action for a Post-Katrina World, at Busboys & Poets 14th and V location at 6:30 p.m.
Jazz flutistArch Thompson offers up “Jazz to Mother Earth” tonight at BloomBars in Columbia Heights, beginning at 9:30 p.m. Tonight launches this monthly, all ages, donation-based event.
If you haven’t already seen Twelfth Night at the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Free for All, this is the last weekend of free performances for this comedy of errors. You can show up a half hour before the show to see if there are any extra tickets, or enter the online lottery starting at midnight tonight for your chance to secure two tickets for tomorrow’s showing. Runs through Sunday.
Friday Galleries in Dupont Circle stay open late every “First Friday” and its a great chance to stroll through the neighborhood and explore the art on view at participating galleries, such as Q Street Gallery, WPA and Gallery 10, which are open from 6 to 8 p.m. Hillyer Art Space, a cool gallery hidden in the alley between the Phillips Collection buildings, stays open ’til 9 p.m. and celebrates the opening of “Puzzling (a) Space,” a site-specific exhibition of painting, installation, video, and performance by four contemporary Asian artists.
Relax in the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden to the sounds of guitarist Josh Bayer, who will be performing at this week’s free Jazz in the Garden from 5 to 8:30 p.m.
Musician John Davis, formerly of bands Q and Not U and Georgie James, kicks off the second season of “Story/Stereo” with two featured readers, Aryn Kyle and Allison Benis White, at The Writer’s Center, close to the Bethesda Metro. This free, all ages event starts at 8 p.m.
Over in Arlington, you can enjoy not one but two free film screenings. At 8 p.m. the Lower Arlington Bar & Grill screens the indie Please God Someone Normal, which was shot entirely in South Arlington. It’s also the final film of the I Love the 90s series in Rosslyn, so bring your blanket or chairs and enjoy Billy Madison under the stars. The film starts at dusk.
Saturday Spend the day outdoors at the Carter Barron Amphitheatre, where the 22nd annual D.C. Blues Festival will commence at noon. Admission to this family-friendly event—which will feature performances by Bryan Lee, Cheryl Renee, and more—is free.
The Washington Revels, a local institution for over 25 years, perform two free concerts at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. It’s also your final chance to enjoy free admission to the museum during the Free Summer Saturdays program.
If you’re not museum-ed out, this is your last weekend to see the “Beat Memories” exhibit of Allen Ginsberg‘s photography at the National Gallery of Art. Check out the always-amazing photography on view at the National Geographic Museum, including “Rare: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species”, and “Simply Beautiful”, which opens this weekend.
The ninth annual Page-to-Stage Festival is this weekend, Saturday through Monday, from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. each day. The festival includes free readings, rehearsals, and performances by more than 40 D.C. area theater companies. Watch the enchanting Synetic Theater at work, take in the quirky Taffety Punk, enjoy the improvised antics of Washington Improv Theater, and enjoy lots of other great performances at venues throughout the Kennedy Center. No tickets are required, but seating is limited. limited seating available.
Sunday It’s the first Sunday of the month, meaning it’s community day at the National Museum of Women in the Arts: Enjoy some art and air conditioning for free from noon to 5 p.m.
The National Symphony Orchestra performs their annual free Labor Day Concert on the Capitol’s West Lawn starting at 8 p.m.—as always, it’s best to arrive early to secure a spot.
Amy Melrose is the creator of Free in DC, a blog that highlights low-cost and free events in the D.C. metro area. For complete details about the events mentioned above, visitFree in DC or follow Free in DC onFacebook.