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Don’t let the Monday blues get you down. The sun is shining, there’s a warm week ahead, and it really feels like D.C. is coming back to its full glory with major art openings (such as Afro-Atlantic Histories at the National Gallery of Art) and a slew of event announcements. Get your art-related headlines here.
All Things Go: October might be a ways away—and I’m not trying to make this year pass any faster than it already has—but music festival lovers should rejoice now (and get ready to snag tickets). All Things Go has announced its 2022 lineup. Headliners Lorde, Mitski, and Bleachers are nothing to scoff at (who hasn’t listened to Laurel Hell on repeat?) and Mitski’s recent D.C. performance at The Anthem was a sell out. Other noteworthy acts include Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker (yes, that is two-thirds of Boygenius), King Princess, and Goth Babe. (Lez take a second to note the queerness of this lineup?!) Tix to the Merriweather Post Pavilion festival go on sale Friday, April 15, but there are lots of pre-sale options.
Hirshhorn Hosts Gilliam: More than two years after the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden announced it would host a major exhibition featuring the work of legendary D.C. artist Sam Gilliam, we finally have revised details and an opening date. Sam Gilliam: Full Circle will open May 25 and feature a variety of circular paintings Gilliam created in 2021 alongside “Rail,” a 1977 work that’s part of the Hirshhorn’s permanent collection. According to the Hirshhorn, the circular paintings, spanning 3 to 5 feet in diameter, begin “with a beveled wood panel, which the artist loads with layers of dense, vibrant pigments, their aggregate effect heightened through the addition of thickening agents, sawdust, shimmering metal fragments, wood scraps and other studio debris. Using a stiff metal rake along with more traditional tools, Gilliam then abrades, smears and scrapes the coarse surfaces to reveal a constellation of textures and colors below.” The exhibition will be on view in the Hirshhorn’s second-floor inner circle gallery through Sept. 4.
If you can’t wait until next month to get your Gilliam fix, check out his glass mosaic installed at the Takoma Metro station as part of WMATA’s Art in Transit program in the meantime. You can also read Kriston Capps’ 2015 City Paper profile of Gilliam here. —Caroline Jones
Take 2022: After two pandemic-filled years, D.C.’s largest and longest running film festival returns next week with 65 films screening over 11 days. Though this year’s Filmfest DC highlights films from 35 countries, local filmmakers will also feel the spotlight thanks to the festival’s DC4Reel programming, which screens four D.C.-made documentaries including Michelle Parkinson’s Fierceness Served, on the city’s thriving Black LGBTQ arts space of the 1970s, and Life After the Gunshot, which details Joseph Rirchardson and Che Bullock’s work with shooting survivors.
Another film this arts editor is excited about is The Janes, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January. The documentary, which was supposed to be a look at the past, pre-Roe v. Wade America, is now a timely and pressing discussion as state legislatures across the country continue to gut abortion access and the conservative-stacked Supreme Court will soon decide a legal challenge that could overturn the 1973 ruling that made abortion legal. The film’s co-directors, Tia Lessin and Emma Pildes, will take part in a discussion following the screening. Featuring a hybrid of in-person and virtual screenings, Filmfest DC runs from April 21 to May 1.
Notre Damage: On April 15, 2019, the iconic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris broke out in flames, which severely damaged the structure, and put a pause on visits to the tourist favorite. Three years later, the National Building Museum is giving D.C. a chance to tour the building—kind of. Notre-Dame de Paris: The Augmented Exhibition, which opens this April 15, uses interactive technology to create an immersive experience centered around the cathedral, delving into its 850-year history through its ongoing restoration. Developed by French start-up Histovery, the exhibit runs through Sept. 26. Admission is $10, which is certainly a lot cheaper than a flight to France. — Ella Feldman
Blaze It: The National Cannabis Festival might be a couple weekends away, but 420 Week kicks off this Saturday at DC Brau, where the local brewery will release its 2022 NCF Legalize It! Lager. Grab a pint while DC Brau’s Jeff Hancock and Kat Rust of the National Cannabis Festival discuss the relationship between hemp and hops. Eaton Hotel will also host events, including a cannabis themed storytelling session, panels, and a 4/20 party. Register online.
Open House: Ford’s Theatre is famous for being the place where Abraham Lincoln was shot, but it’s across the street at the Petersen House where the former president actually took his last breath, on April 15, 1865. After a long pandemic-related closure, that house is reopening to the public on April 13. Ford’s Theatre and the National Parks Service have also planned a number of events to commemorate Lincoln’s death, including a wreath laying service on April 15, and walking tours on April 14 and 15 recounting the events and aftermath of his assassination. Buy advance tickets online. — Ella Feldman
Dynamic Duo: Washington Performing Arts and Songbyrd Music House have partnered to celebrate and showcase local music artists and the diversity of sound and style in D.C. Mars Arts D.C. Concert Series returns for its second installment on April 13 when Venezuelan-born, D.C.-based singer-songwriter, cuatro player, and composer Jonathan Acosta takes the stage. Following Acosta’s performance, two shows of the four-part series remain (May 18 with DuPont Brass and June 22 with Broadway singer Frenchie Davis and the Experience Band & Show). Washington Performing Arts’s signature community engagement project, Mars Arts D.C. seeks to elevate the city’s art community while also supporting local businesses. This ongoing concert series at Songbyrd hopes to introduce local musicians to wider audiences. Shows are free, but registration is required.