Editor’s note: The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted everyday life around the D.C. area and beyond. This is a collection of our favorite in-person and online events, updated every Thursday. Events are free unless otherwise noted.
Smithsonian Craft Show: Craft shows are a staple of the fall season, but there aren’t many that can hold a candle — or, for that matter, a candlestick holder — to the prestigious Smithsonian Craft Show, now in its 38th year. “Craft the Future” — the first all-virtual iteration of the annual marketplace for ceramists, fiber artists, woodworkers, jewelers, glass artists and other makers — features more than 100 artists who will hawk their handmade wares in an online marketplace, hosted on bidsquare.com because of the pandemic. Bidsquare will also present this year’s virtual gala and live online auction. Through Oct. 25. The gala and auction take place Wednesday at 8 p.m.
Eighteenth Street Lounge Weekend Selection: Pioneering Washington nightspot Eighteenth Street Lounge announced last week that it has closed “indefinitely” and won’t return to the same space once clubs are finally allowed to reopen, whenever that may be. In the meantime, fans can enjoy the eclectic, soulful and fascinating taste of ESL’s resident DJs through an ongoing stream of events, which usually run Monday through Saturday. (Time slots and lineup changes regularly, so check the Lounge’s Facebook feed for the latest schedule.) Expect to hear vintage funk, deep house, downtempo and Baltimore club bangers — all adding up to the perfect weekend soundtrack, whether you’re on a makeshift dance floor on Friday night or just chilling on your sofa on Wednesday evening. These events are fundraisers for DJs and staff, so make a donation to the club’s GoFundMe if you can.
Virtual Trivia Thursdays at Jackie Lee’s: The Brightwood Park bar is keeping its weekly trivia going in the same format — five rounds of general knowledge, music and various themes — using the Discord chat server and Google forms. Bring a group, or log on early to join the “I need a team” channel. The prizes are as virtual as the game itself, but can you really put a price on bragging rights? Log on beginning at 7:45 p.m.; the game begins around 8:10.
‘Monuments: Creative Forces’ at Strathmore: As Strathmore prepares for the return of live music later in October, its grounds have been opened for a tribute to six local artists. Australian video artist Craig Walsh has created video instillations paying tribute to six community icons in Strathmore’s trees, including Step Afrika! founder C. Brian Williams and boogie-woogie pianist and civil rights activist Daryl Davis, which visitors discover while walking around Strathmore’s campus. Open daily through Oct. 25, beginning at sunset. Pay what you can.
Soul Strolls at Congressional Cemetery: Those who prefer spooky settings without terrifying clowns leaping out of the darkness should check out Congressional Cemetery’s Soul Strolls, which stretch over two weekends at the historic D.C. burial ground. Docents lead small groups of living visitors to the graves of some of the cemetery’s most notorious permanent residents, where costumed interpreters tell stories of madams, assassins and (shudder) politicians. Beer, wine and cider are served before and during the hour-long tour, and the bobbing flashlights on headstones and grass are wonderfully atmospheric. Friday and Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m. $35-$40.
A Song and a Slice at Jammin Java: If you’re ready to log off Instagram and get back to listening to music in the real world, you can head to Jammin Java in Vienna. From Thursdays to Saturdays for the foreseeable, less-quarantined future, the suburban club will bring its stage outdoors, with an eclectic mix of local musicians performing on the patio. All shows are free, with donations being accepted for a charity selected by each artist. (Jammin Java will also donate $1 for every beer sold.) Take in the live tunes along with the newest outpost of Union Pie, which slings crispy bar-style pizzas on the Wharf. Capacity will be limited to encourage social distancing, so arrive early to ensure a spot. Thursday through Saturday at 7 p.m.
In Honor of Go-Go: We have plenty of museums in Washington, but there’s always room for one more, especially if it celebrates local culture. Go-go legends Backyard Band, the New Impressionz Band and DJ Malcolm X are featured at this Courvoisier-sponsored benefit for the D.C. Go-Go Museum and the National Association Advancement of Returning Citizens. The RSVP for the show is free, but a donation is requested. If you’re watching with family and friends, Ivy City Smokehouse has organized a party package with a platter of 35 wings, a pound of candied salmon, Courvoisier, mixers and swag. 8 p.m.
Aztec Sun at Union Stage: Aztec Sun has been laying low during the pandemic. The massive nine-piece funk and soul ensemble has skipped out on virtual shows, popping up live once as a quartet from the top floor of Big Bear Cafe. In the before times, you could see their flashy garb and lively performances on many area stages; On Saturday night, you’ll be able to see the band in your living room, as they’ll perform in full formation to a live-stream audience from Union Stage. 8 p.m. $10.
Travis Book and Andy Falco of the Infamous Stringdusters at B-Chord Brewing: The Infamous Stringdusters are known for their extensive touring schedule, which is on hold due to the pandemic. But the Grammy-winning bluegrass act’s guitarist and bassist are on the road together, performing at B-Chord Brewing, a brewery with a wide, grassy lawn at the foot of the Blue Ridge mountains. Groups can reserve picnic tables or bring their own chairs, but they’re asked to stay in a socially distant pod 10 feet from other fans. The brewery opens at 11 a.m., and food trucks will be on site if you want to show up early to stake out a space. 4 p.m. $25.
‘Air and Scare’ at home: You might be having a socially distant Halloween, but that doesn’t mean you can’t show off your creativity. The National Air and Space Museum’s popular Air and Scare family program has moved online, and while a number of activities are planned for Halloween weekend, the museum has set an Oct. 25 deadline for its virtual costume and pumpkin carving contests. Read the rules, upload your photos, and tune in on Oct. 31 to see if you’re the big winner.
Beethoven @ 250 Birthday Bash: What’s an orchestra to do when a global pandemic levels the whole season? Do it anyway. The National Philharmonic announced it would forge ahead with an entirely free, entirely virtual, 15-concert season, streaming every other Sunday. The season opener finds concertmasters Nurit Bar-Josef (of the NSO) and Jonathan Carney (of the BSO) joining the Phil for a 250th birthday celebration of Beethoven, pairing two of his Romances (Ops. 40 & 50) with his first symphony. (Party hats not required but encouraged — the guy’s had a rough semiquincentennial.) To make the occasion more festive, D.C.’s Kogod Liquors has assembled a “Bubbles for Beethoven” gift set that pairs each piece of music with a special bottle of sparkling wine. A portion of the $97.99 sale price benefits the Philharmonic. 2 p.m.
The Eavesdropping Sessions with Frédéric Yonnet and the Band With No Name: French-born harmonica ace Frédéric Yonnet is a fixture in Washington jazz venues, and his skills have found him touring with Prince and dueling with Stevie Wonder. But after the coronavirus postponed his band’s latest tour, Yonnet began hosting weekly jam sessions in his Capitol Hill home, opening the windows so neighbors and passersby could hear the sweet music coming from within. Each session is live-streamed on Facebook and Twitter, so the whole world can listen. 4 to 6 p.m.
National Museum of Asian Art film programming at Park Up D.C.: The National Museum of Asian Art already ,has one of the most thoughtful film programs in the city, and while they’ve been making do with virtual cinema, the museum is joining forces with the best pop-up film experience since the pandemic began. On Monday night, starting at 7 p.m., you’ll be able to catch the Akira Kurosawa classic “Rashomon” on the first leg of a double feature. If you stick around, you can watch one of the best films it influenced: “Hero,” starring Jet Li. Come back on Tuesday night for a true compare-and-contrast double feature with the thrilling Chinese crime saga “Infernal Affairs” at 6:30 p.m. , followed at 8:30 p.m. by its American rendition, “The Departed,” which earned Martin Scorsese his first Oscar for best director. Free.
Kris Funn’s Cornerstore at the Kennedy Center: Jazz finally makes its debut at the Kennedy Center’s weekly Sunset Concert series, and it’s a showcase for one of the area’s top talents. Bassist Kris Funn’s Cornerstore is a project that tugs at what jazz can be, with elements of heavy funk, soul, hip-hop grooves and wailing guitar. The group won the international DCJazzPrix competition at the 2018 DC Jazz Festival, and they should be a popular draw at this outdoor show at the Reach. Around 50 seats are available on a first come, first seated basis, beginning at 5:30 p.m., but there’s plenty of room to stretch out on the grassy lawn and listen. BYO picnic. 6 p.m.
Drive-in Movie Night: ‘Shazam!’ at Park Up D.C.: It’s a tough time to be a kid: Trick-or-treating is canceled, school is virtual, and you’re still growing up. Give the younger people in your life a treat with a drive-in screening of “Shazam!” at RFK Stadium sponsored by Park Up D.C. and Kidsave, a nonprofit group that works to find homes for foster youths. It’s not a spoiler to say that the hero of “Shazam!” is placed with foster parents — or that Washington Post comic book reporter David Betancourt swears the 2019 David Sandberg picture is “the most fun DC movie of all time.” Tickets are good for one car in a 15-foot-by-20-foot parking space. Admission is free, but Kidsave asks for a donation that will benefit local foster youth mentoring programs. 7 p.m. RSVP Required.
Profs and Pints: Poe’s Mastery of Horror: Sometimes you crave a spooky story to send a chill down your spine and raise the hair on your arm. (Maybe because you thought your nights have been too restful?) The Profs and Pints series has near-daily chats from now until Halloween examining the best in historical, mythological and psychological horror — think vampires, warlocks and Russian house spirits. But if you want to know why we get so creeped out by these kinds of tales, both “real” and imagined, look toward Wednesday’s talk about one of the finest of the form, Edgar Allan Poe. The Richmond-raised writer’s tales popularized and pioneered horror stories for generations to come, and what better person to dissect what makes “The Raven” or “The Masque of the Red Death” so compelling than Hal Poe, former president of Richmond’s Edgar Allan Poe Museum and a cousin of the author he’s discussing. 7 p.m. $12.
Day of the Dead Paint Night at Halfsmoke: Before the Day of the Dead, join artist Sarah Albert (aka Sarah Paints Rappers) to learn paint sugar skulls on the patio of U Street’s Halfsmoke. Tickets include materials and a Don Julio cocktail; Add bottomless happy hour snacks and drinks for $30 more. 6 p.m. $25.
Sugar Skull Sip N’ Paint at El Centro: If you’d rather decorate a skull at home, check out El Centro’s package: For $70, you pick up a package containing a ceramic sugar skull, paints and paintbrushes, plus a three-course dinner including chips and salsa, tacos, and a choice of churros or a margarita. Oct 28-30. $70.
Daily or almost daily
U.S. Army Band and U.S. Army Field Band concerts: Military bands are staples of the Washington area in the spring and summer, performing everywhere from the steps of the Capitol to regional parks. But with public events on hold, the U.S. Army’s bands have gone virtual. The U.S. Army Band, known as “Pershing’s Own,” hosts concerts on its Facebook page at 4 p.m. Fridays. Each screening features one of its ensembles, such the U.S. Army Blues jazz band and the pop-focused Downrange. The U.S. Army Field Band, meanwhile, broadcasts concerts from Fort Meade, with themes including “the World War II Songbook” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone: Uplifting Songs of Broadway.” If you can’t tune in live, the streams are archived. (Swamp Romp, the New Orleans-inspired unit of the U.S. Army Blues, has a Jazz Appreciation Month concert from April 9 that’s worth replaying.) U.S. Army Band: Fridays at 4 p.m. U.S. Army Field Band: Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m.
Meditation and Mindfulness Workshops at the Freer Gallery of Art: We could all use some stress relief, and we’re thankful that the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art has moved its regular lunchtime meditation series online. Four times each week, local meditation teachers offer 30 minutes of stillness and peace. You don’t need meditation experience to join the sessions — just an open mind. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m.
#HirshhornInsideOut: Your fingers (and brain) might want a change of pace from all the sourdough concoctions you’ve been whipping up, so how about trying your hand at crafting some modern art? The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden was priming itself for Round 2 of the wildly popular Yayoi Kusama installation before the widespread shutdowns, but instead the museum brings art into your home across social media platforms with #HirshhornInsideOut. Each day offers a post with a brief history lesson on an artist featured in the museum’s collection, along with a way you can emulate that artist while stuck inside. You just need some basic art supplies: A recent post considered artist Annette Lemieux’s work on body and space, simulating her work “Nomad” by suggesting you paint the bottoms of your feet and walking around a sheet of paper. Daily.
D.C. Library at Home: Now that you’ve cleaned your closet or reorganized your kitchen for the umpteenth time, it’s probably time to pick up that book you’ve been meaning to finish. If you’re more of a social reader, the D.C. Public Library is offering a few online resources to make sure you have someone to talk with about whatever you’re reading. The library’s Twitter feed has a bevy of hashtags to follow along with daily: Fans of audiobooks use #audiobookafternoon Mondays at noon, while those who want to keep up with what the local community is writing about join #DCwriterschat Thursdays at 8 p.m. Even younger readers can stay engaged with a virtual story time on Facebook (facebook.com/dclibrary) with a D.C. librarian at 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. Daily programming varies.