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Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Future of Orchids: Conservation and Collaboration

Things to Do This Week in Washington, DC

Things to do the week of Feb. 19-22, 2024

We've gathered up some things to do across the nation's capital, including museum exhibits, concerts, only-in-DC events and much more. Don't miss our things to do this weekend and things to do this month as well.

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The Anxious Eye: German Expressionism and Its Legacy 
One of the 20th century’s most important artistic movements takes center stage at the National Gallery of Art. German Expressionists who first came to prominence in the early part of the 20th century are featured throughout, including Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Erich Heckel and Emil Nolde. Their influence can be registered through the contemporary pieces in the exhibition, including work by Leonard Baskin, Nicole Eisenman and Orit Hofshi. In total, visitors can marvel at more than 70 prints, drawings, illustrated books, portfolios and sculptures.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Gallery of Art, 6th Street & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC


ARTECHOUSE: Beyond the Light
In collaboration with NASA, ARTECHOUSE's latest installation delivers an artistic expression of space exploration, technology and innovation. The cinematic experience explores the history of our universe through light and immersive audio, based on groundbreaking discoveries. Purchase tickets through the link below for a 10% discount.
Tickets (10% discount)
ARTECHOUSE, 1238 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024


1898: U.S. Imperial Visions and Revisions – Final Week
On the 125th anniversary of the Spanish-American-Cuban-Philippine War, the National Portrait Gallery will open the first exhibition to examine this pivotal period through the lens of portraiture and visual culture. In 1898, the U.S. became an empire, conquering overseas territories and dramatically altering (or destroying) cultures in the process. Portraits of U.S. expansionists sit beside portraits of gallant rebels who fought U.S. imperialism, allowing for multifaceted viewpoints. More than 90 artworks from collections in Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Guam, Spain and the United States constitute the fascinating exhibit that revisits the consequences of the Spanish-American War (1898), the Congressional Joint Resolution to annex Hawai‘i (July 1898) and the Philippine-American War (1899–1913).
11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Portrait Gallery, 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC 20001



Book a winter excursion with DC Design Tours
Make it a design date. Get out and enjoy a guided walk around the city while learning about fascinating architecture with DC Design Tours. Excursion options include treks through Dupont Circle, Georgetown, U Street, Adams Morgan, the National Mall and more. Book a private winter tour and receive $50 off with coupon code "DCDESIGNDATE”. Also special for February: a 10% discount with the code “DCDESIGNPRES” for select tours on Presidents Day Weekend.


Jennifer Bartlett: In and Out of the Garden 
One of the most ambitious projects of Jennifer Bartlett’s career is the centerpiece of the latest exhibit at The Phillips Collection. During a 1979-80 winter stay at a friend’s rented house in Nice, France, Bartlett embarked on what would turn into a years-long quest to depict a small, rundown garden on the property from literally hundreds of perspectives. Known for her rigorous combination of mathematical elements, abstract expressionism and minimalism, Bartlett’s artistic interpretations of the garden evolved from freehand drawings to paintings on steel plates, canvas and glass, many of which are featured in the exhibition.
Hours & Admission
The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20009


The Future of Orchids: Conservation and Collaboration 
The Smithsonian American Art Museum features 200 varieties of orchids in the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard during a special exhibition. Organized by Smithsonian Gardens in collaboration with the U.S. Botanic Garden, visitors can admire living collections and a series of newly commissioned and loaned paintings and sculptures by multimedia artist Phaan Howng. The exhibit also highlights the challenges facing wild orchids today and examines the work done by conservationists to protect the flower.
11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. |  Free Admission
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC 20004


Tempestuous Elements 
Arena Stage's February marquee reveals the struggle of Anna Julia Cooper, a Black teacher who fought for her students’ rights to an advanced curriculum. In a scandal concocted by the government, her time as principal of DC's historic M Street School was sabotaged by her colleagues and neighbors. Witness the journey of this formidable Black feminist’s fight for educational equity and legitimacy at the turn of the 20th century.
Arena Stage, 1101 6th Street SW, Washington, DC 20024



Ancestral Places: People of African Descent at Tudor Place 
Tudor Place will be outfitted to showcase the historic house from the perspective of the enslaved and free individuals who worked and lived on the property. Through maps, artifacts, photos and audio recordings, visitors will be educated on the ways these individuals dealt with everyday life at Tudor Place as well as how they practiced resistance and activism.
Tudor Place, 1644 31st Street NW, Washington, DC 20007


Where We Belong 
Debuted virtually to DC audiences in 2021, this one-woman piece comes home after a successful national tour. In association with the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, the Folger Theatre hosts Mohegan theatre-maker Madeline Sayet’s riveting tale. Set in 2015, Where We Belong follows Sayet on a voyage to England to pursue a PhD in Shakespeare. She finds a country that will not acknowledge its own role in colonialism just as the Brexit vote is set to occur. Madeline’s story echoes the journey taken by her ancestors in the 1700s following treatise betrayals in the U.S. and in turn, presents what it means to live and belong in a world increasingly globalized.
Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol Street SE, Washington DC 20003


The Sensational Sea Mink-ettes 
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company’s new production follows the Sensational Sea Mink-ettes as the group prepares for its homecoming half-time dance show. Their fellow students, the administration, the alumni and their families all have high expectations, and as the moment draws near, the Sea Mink-ettes have a fair share of drama to sort out. Vivian J.O. Barnes’ hilarious new play about the value of teamwork receives its world premiere.
Woolly Mammoth Theatre, 641 D Street NW, Washington, DC 20004


American Ballet Theatre: Swan Lake 
Swan Lake reveals the tragic love story of Prince Siegfried and a swan princess, a dizzying tale full of magic and suspense. Audiences will be treated to beautiful costume designs, jaw-dropping sets and staging and choreography that will take your breath away. The American Ballet Theatre’s quintessential production brings the glorious story to life like never before.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566



The Juke Joint

The Juke Joint

The Juke Joint 
Travel back in time and savor a night curated to perfection at The Westin Washington, DC City Center. The Juke Joint offers food and drink pairings that will highlight Black cuisine through the decades; we're talking chicken and waffles, fried catfish, five-cheese mac and cheese, collard greens and much, much more. Your ticket includes a three-course menu packed with culinary greatness.
6 p.m. |  Tickets
The Westin Washington, DC City Center, 1400 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20005


Merrily We Roll Along 
Stephen Sondheim and George Furth collaborated on this beloved play that turns the traditional musical on its ear. The Keegan Theatre stages the duo’s brilliant rumination on friendship, compromise and the cost of success. The audience follows a trio of close friends across 20 years, tracing the narrative backwards in time from their lowest moment to their highest, with the journey marked by incredible songs and routines.
Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church Street NW, Washington, DC 20036


The Lehman Trilogy 
Three actors portray various generations of the Lehman family in the 2022 Tony Award winner for Best Play. What begins as three immigrants attempting to live their American dream turns into a disaster for future generations, which eventually leads to the biggest financial crisis in U.S. history. Edward Gero, Mark Nelson and René Thornton, Jr. give unforgettable performances across 160 years of family history.
Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004


Love, Love, Love 
Head to London circa 1967 in this exciting play at Studio Theatre. Instead of Austin Powers, you’ll meet Ken and Sandra – two free spirits who honestly could have run into Austin at a party. Love, Love, Love then follows the couple over the next four decades, cataloguing their journey from free love all the way to retirement. By the time 2011 rolls around, their adult daughter has accused them of throwing away the world they inherited.
Studio Theatre, 1501 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005


#Only1DC Photo of the Week


Do you know where you’ll be dining pre- or post-event? From pop-up restaurants to Michelin-starred hot spots to laid-back food halls, our DC food guide is perfect for helping you plan a more memorable experience.


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