Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar; Credit: Renell Medrano, @renellaice

I can’t stop the rain, but I can get you caught up on the latest arts news in the District—from major tour announcements from Kendrick Lamar and Jimmie Allen to new museums and celebrations of local artists. Check back weekly for future Monday Arts Roundups.

I Think I’m Old Enough to Understand Now: Shortly after Kendrick Lamar dropped his long-awaited, double-length album Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers on Friday, May 13, his upcoming tour was announced. The Pulitzer-winning rapper will headline D.C.’s Capital One Arena on Aug. 4, 2022 and tickets will go on sale on May 20. His cousin Baby Keem will open. In the days since the 18-track album’s release, Lamar has been both praised and admonished by trans and queer listeners for his controversial track “Auntie Diaries,” in which he raps about two of his family members coming out as trans. Some trans fans have applauded Lamar for addressing transphobia and singing about the realities trans people still face today; others have noted, “You can show growth and development without using a slur and blatant misgendering”… and deadnaming. Both sides make good points, let’s keep the conversation going.

Carrie Underwood; by Randee St. Nicholas

Another One: Carrie Underwood’s Denim and Rhinestones Tour will also make a stop at Capital One Arena—but not until Feb. 15, 2023. Yes, we’re already looking at next year. Perhaps even more exciting, however: Jimmie Allen, the first Black solo performer to win New Male Artist of the Year at the 2021 Academy of Country Music Awards, will join Underwood on tour. Tickets go on sale on May 20 at 10 a.m. Underwood is currently working a Vegas residency, but her new album, for which the tour is named after, will drop on June 10.

Jimmie Allen; by Chris Beyrooty

Let There Be (More) Free Art: What began with two married art collectors in New York will become a new art museum in Southwest D.C. Don and Mera Rubell began their art collection in the mid-1960s; that collection has since ballooned into a multi-generational family project. In 1993, they launched the Rubell Family Collection/Contemporary Arts Foundation, and in 2019 the Rubell Museum opened in Miami. The second such Rubell Museum now has its sights set on the District. The museum, which will house paintings, sculptures, photographs, videos, and site-specific work by American and international artists, will take up residence at the former site of Cardozo Elementary and Randall Junior High School, historically Black public schools that operated from 1906 to 1978. (Marvin Gaye graduated from Randall in 1954.) The Rubell Museum DC is scheduled to open on Oct. 29 and will be free to all D.C. residents.

In addition to art, the site will also be connected to a new 492-unit apartment building, which promises 20 percent of the units will be dedicated to affordable housing. Local architecture firm Beyer Blinder Belle is the design architect for the museum and the apartment building. (Disclosure: This writer’s wife works for Beyer Blinder Belle, but she is not connected to this project.)

Rubell Museum DC Façade Rendering, Courtesy of Buyer Blender Belle

Musical Chairs: Anita Antenucci has been named chair-elect of Shakespeare Theatre Company’s board. Antenucci, who will take the reins from Michael R. Klein on Aug. 1, has been involved with STC since 2007 as a trustee and executive committee member. A senior managing director and member of the board of directors at Houlihan Lokey, an investment banking company, she’s been named one of the 2022 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market Mergers and Acquisitions. According to STC’s announcement, one of Antenucci’s biggest contributions to the theater was leadership of its Defense of the Arts initiative, which collected corporate contributions from defense industry businesses. Yeah. “She has always been core to the most active Trustee leadership,” Executive Director Chris Jennings said in the release. “Anita led an initiative to engage and foster young professionals, helping to cultivate the next generation of Patrons and Trustees for the arts. Passionate and driven, I know Anita will accept the challenges of this position with strength and grace.”

Klein, a corporate and securities lawyer who’s described by STC’s Artistic Director Simon Godwin as a “radiant, kind, and visionary leader,” has chaired the theater’s board for the past 14 years. 

Open the Southeast Streets: For the first time since D.C. began hosting Open Streets along Georgia Avenue NW, the event, which closes streets to car traffic and invites walkers, bikers, strollers, and more to explore local businesses and get outside, is coming to Anacostia. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, residents will be milling around MLK Avenue SE between Good Hope Road and Morris Road, connecting with neighbors, open spaces and more. 

Wesley Clark; by Jati Lindsay

That’s a Wrap: Last year, the Phillips Collection celebrated its centennial with numerous exhibits, specially curated installations, and more. The final of three commissioned works by D.C.-based artists intended to celebrate the museum’s 100th anniversary will be unveiled on June 18. New Beginning, the installation by local artist Wesley Clark, is site specific and will be found at the Phillips’ satellite campus at Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus in Southeast. Clark’s piece uses geometric forms to consider how creative spaces can generate new ideas. Like Nekisha Durrett and Victor Ekpuk’s commissions, this piece will also look to both the past and the future. “These many individual decisions reflect the various changes that are occurring in Southeast D.C.,” Clark says in the Phillips’ press release. “The increase in health and family services and the investment in community beautification. Collectively, these changes can lead to a unified renaissance taking place East of the River. The work mirrors the ability for the community to exercise transformative and creative change, defining its direction forward.” Before the final unveiling, the three commissioned artists will take part in a June 2 panel discussion on their work.