Best Things to Do in the DC Area 3/13-3/19: Ireland at the Wharf, Environmental Film Festival, and “Pixelbloom” at Artechouse

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“Pixelbloom: Timeless Butterflies.” Photograph courtesy of ARTECHOUSE.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Try your luck this week at the Wharf’s Irish Festival, or binge-watch enlightening films about nature at this year’s hybrid Environmental Film Festival.

Best Things to Do This Week

  1. Ireland at the Wharf. The luck of the Irish will take over the waterfront this Saint Patrick’s weekend. The Wharf and Kirwan’s Irish Pub are inviting all ages to join in on an Irish festival featuring a march and performance by DCFD Emerald Society Pipe and Drum Band, music by the 19th Street Band, Irish dance performances by an array of groups, food, Irish coffee, adult beverages, and more fun (Sat, free, Wharf).
  2. Environmental Film Festival. The Environmental Film Festival returns to the nation’s capital to share a collection of documentaries, shorts, and movies that enlighten viewers on the issues of climate change, wildlife, equity and justice, and nature. The call-to-action festival also includes social forums and panel discussions (Wed through March 26, free, $60 all-access pass, virtual, various locations).
  3. “Pixelbloom” exhibit at Artechouse. The cherry blossom-themed digital experience returns to Artechouse with a new exhibition “Pixelbloom: Timeless Butterflies.” You can walk through colorful butterfly interactive installations and “Digital Flower Experiments” created by Japanese digital designer Mei Tamazawa, and drink cherry blossom-inspired XR mocktails and cocktails at the bar (through June 11, $25, free for children under 4, Southwest DC).
  4. “Blue” opera. This highly-anticipated award-winning new opera premieres in DC after a postponement in 2020. Blue tells Tazewell Thompson’s story of a Harlem Black family and community struggling with the aftermath of police violence. The production features music by Tony Award–winning composer Jeanine Tesori (through March 25, $35+, Kennedy Center).
  5. Capital Cabaret Festival. Celebrate National Cabaret Month at Crazy Aunt Helen’s with a lineup of live musical shows, drag, jazz, master classes with artists, and more. The Capital Cabaret is bringing local and national soloists such as Richard Skipper and Anna Bergman, drag chanteuse Arnaldo, and vocalist Amanda King to the festival stage (Sat through March 25, $30+, Capitol Hill).

Ireland at the Wharf. Photograph courtesy of the Wharf.

Want More Things to Do?

Budget-friendly. Shop pastries, cookies, pottery and more from Iranian, Black, and Brown vendors at the Norooz Market at Hook Hall (Sat, free, Petworth). Learn about the Freedom of Information Act from National Archives experts (Mon, free, virtual).

Arts and culture. Watch the new documentary Ithaka about Julian Assange’s father, John Shipton, on a campaign to free his son; there’s a post-screening Q&A with Shipton (Wed, $15, Northeast DC). Folklorists Sara Cleto and Brittany Warman talk about feminist fairy tales (Mon, $25, virtual). The Kreeger Museum collaborates with several artists from Stable studios to present the exhibition “Interlude(through March 25, free, but donations suggested, Northwest DC). Artist Jimmy James Greene narrates the lives of Black people in his collection of paintings “The Human Vibe: Patterned Portraits and Color(through April 3, free, Alexandria). Tap into your creative side and learn how to watercolor with local artist and author Marcella Kriebel (Mon, $80, Northwest DC). Author Jasmine Brown discusses her new book about the history of Black women physicians Twice as Hard at Politics and Prose (Mon, free, book is $24.95, virtual, Northwest DC). Authors Amanda Freeman and Lisa Dodsen’s are teaming up with Busboys and Poets to talk about their new book highlighting low-wage women workers Getting Me Cheap (Mon, free, Book is $40, virtual). View artist Kara Walker’s signature silhouettes and drawings at Glenstone (every Thurs-Sun, free, but timed passes required, Potomac). Discover Javanese Culture through music, dance, food, and film at the Indonesian Embassy (Tues, $79, Northwest DC).

History and heritage. Discover the iconography of classical prayer rugs from the Islamic world at the Textile Museum at the George Washington University’s “Prayer and Transcendence” exhibit (through July 1, free, Northwest DC). Sit in on a conversation with scholars about Ireland’s history (Wed, $14, Penn Quarter). Learn about the 1970 DC Sanitation Strike (Mon, free, virtual).

Theater and shows. Story District presents their annual Women’s History Month showcase She Comes First at Miracle Theatre (Tues, $25, Capitol Hill). Don’t miss your chance to laugh with comedian Chris Gethard at Union Stage (Sat, $20, Wharf). Signature Theatre’s Selling Kabul tells the suspenseful story of an Afghan translator forced to shelter in place (through April 2, $40+, Arlington). The LGBTQ+ community and allies are welcome to learn the spontaneous techniques of acting at a workshop hosted by Washington Improv Theater (Mon, free, Northwest DC). Get tickets to the opening of Broadway’s new musical Jagged Little Pill (Tues through March 26, $45+, National Theatre).

Music and concerts. The Smithsonian Chamber Players celebrate French musician Marin Marais (Sat, $35, Smithsonian National Museum of American History). Singer-songwriter and pianist Regina Spektor performs live in concert (Wed, $89+, Warner Theatre). Listen to Ukrainian music performed by the Capitol Hill Chorale (Sat-Sun, pay-what-you-can, virtual, Capitol Hill). Experience the sound of the classical choral work Mass in B Minor played by the National Philharmonic Chorale (Sat, $19+, free for children, Bethesda). This big band performance by the Washington Women in Jazz is all about swing, avant-garde, and ballads (Fri, $32, H Street Corridor). Vocalist and composer Akua Allrich pays tribute to legendary artists Nina Simone and Miriam Makeba (Sat, $25+, H Street Corridor). Put on your best dancing shoes and head to Diablo’s Cantina for Latin Night. The evening offers free dance lessons, a live DJ, and dining specials (every Thurs, free, MGM National Harbor). Celebrate Pi Day at Pie Shop with a live band and pie specials (Tues, free, H Street Corridor). Grammy award-winning folk artist Aoife O’Donovan performs at the Birchmere (Wed, $39, Alexandria).

Exercise and wellness. Practice your arm balance at District Flow Yoga’s bird-focused yoga class (Sat, $35, Capitol Hill).

Game night. Compete in District Trivia and play corn hole (every Thurs, free, Petworth). There’s trivia and drink specials at Clubhouse (every Tues, free, Georgetown). Put your trivia knowledge to the test at Tap 99 (every Mon, free, Navy Yard). Geeks Who Drink hosts trivia at The Pub and the People (every Mon, free, Bloomingdale). Compete in trivia, shuffleboard or pool at Breadsoda (every Mon, free trivia, $6+ for shuffleboard and pool, Glover Park). There’s a weekly trivia fight at Wonderland Ballroom (Mon, free, Columbia Heights).

Things to do with kids. Have a family fun day at Hook Hall; there will be music and crafts for kids to enjoy (Sun, $5, Petworth). Play mini-golf at the library (Sat, $5+, Bowie).

Get involved. The third installment of the Craft Brew Dinner at The Commentary Social House teams up with Aslin Brewing to host a five-course dinner with specialty sips and expert pairing tips; proceeds will support Save the Children (Thurs, $75, Arlington).

If you enjoyed these events, please don’t forget to share this post with a friend on social media, and sign-up for our newsletter for more things to do.

Briana A. Thomas is a local journalist, historian, and tour guide who specializes in the research of D.C. history and culture. She is the author of the Black history book, Black Broadway in Washington, D.C., a story that was first published in Washingtonian in 2016.

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