Monthly Archives: July 2015

This Week in the DMV – 7/24/15

The Paul Reed Smith Band with Special Guests Dennis Chambers and Junior Marvin (of The Wailers)

July 26th.  We are The Paul Reed Smith Band and we’re glad you found us. Rooted in Annapolis, we carry our music as far as sound can reach. We’ve traveled all over the world, including our favorite venues in Germany, Italy and Japan, to spread love through good music. The heart of our music can best be described as Chesapeake Gumbo, true to our roots with a heart of funky rock. We are anchored by the world-famous Grainger Brothers in our rhythm section, Michael Ault & Bill Nelson on guitars, Mia Samone on killer vocals, and Paul Reed Smith on guitar. Come on out to a show and see what we do best.

Gallery Talk: Super Natural and Organic Matters — Women to Watch 2015

July 29th.  Most Wednesdays, museum staff members facilitate interactive talks that encourage close looking and discussion about works on view in special exhibitions and the museum’s collection.  This week, Assistant Educator Ashley W. Harris discusses selections from the special exhibitions, Organic Matters—Women to Watch 2015 and Super Natural.

Enabling Acts:  The Hidden Story of How the Americans with Disabilities Act Gave the Largest US Minority Its Rights

July 29th.  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the widest-ranging piece of civil rights legislation ever passed in the history of the United States, and it has become the model for most civil rights laws around the world. In his book Enabling Acts, author and professor Lennard Davis tells the untold story behind the act, which is a fascinating story of how a group of leftist Berkeley hippies managed to make an alliance with upper-crust, conservative Republicans to bring about a truly bipartisan bill. A book signing will follow the program.


July 31st.  Tuareg guitarist and singer Omara “Bombino” Moctar made his Nonesuch Records debut with the release of Nomad on April 2, 2013. The album was recorded with 2013 Grammy Award-winning Producer of the Year Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys at his Nashville studio, Easy Eye Sound. Nomad debuted at #1 on the Billboard World Music album chart and iTunes World chart and has earned rave reviews from top media outlets around the world including BBC World Service, which calls it “utterly, utterly fantastic” and Rolling Stone, which calls Nomad “a perfect match of sound and soul [that] introduces a new guitar hero.”


This Week in the DMV – 7/19/15

Scenes and Songs from “Fannie Lou”

July 21st.  “Scenes and Songs from Fannie Lou” presents selected dialogue and music from the new musical Fannie Lou, inspired by the life of voting rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer. The original work is written by composer/lyricist Felicia Hunter. The event is being presented to mark this, the 50th anniversary year of the signing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

March on Washington Film Festival

July 21st.  March on Washington Film Festival and the National Museum of Women in the Arts present Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson and renowned visual artist Joyce J. Scott, discussing the impulse to migrate for southern descendants of slaves. Their stories of migration speak to the ever-present threat of violence, economic deprivation and institutionalized racism that drove millions north in search of a freer way of life. Together, the new arrivals to the northern states carried with them generations of inventive expressions and cultural markers that helped ensure their survival while providing creative fuel for the Civil Rights movement.

Gallery Talk: Special Selections: Super Natural and Organic Matters—Women to Watch 2015

July 22nd.  Museum staff members facilitate interactive talks that encourage close looking and discussion about works on view in special exhibitions and the museum’s collection.

The Creole Affair: The Slave Rebellion that Led the U.S. and Great Britain to the Brink of War

July 22nd.  Author Arthur Downey discusses The Creole Affair, the story of the most successful slave rebellion in American history, and the effects of that rebellion on diplomacy, the domestic slave trade, and the definition of slavery itself. Held against their will aboard the Creole-a slave ship on its way from Richmond to New Orleans in 1841-the rebels seized control of the ship and changed course to the Bahamas. Because the Bahamas were subject to British rule of law, the slaves were eventually set free, and these American slaves’ presence on foreign soil sparked one of America’s most contentious diplomatic battles with the United Kingdom. A book signing follows the program.

A Vintage Evening: Prohibition and Gin in D.C.

July 22nd.  Many Washington, D.C., residents-like Larz and Isabel Anderson-opposed Prohibition in the 1920s and 1930s. Learn about the capital’s underworld of speakeasies and bootleggers with remarks from Garrett Peck, author of Prohibition in Washington, D.C.: How Dry We Weren’t, and sample Green Hat Gin from New Columbia Distillers, the first distillery to open in D.C. since Prohibition.

4th Annual Beer Fest presented by Drink the District

July 25th.  This is the event that started it all. Three years ago during the last weekend in July we threw our first beer fest at the same location. Join us as we celebrate our 4th Annual Beer Fest at the Block! Drink the District Beer Fest is a celebration of beer, summer, and youth in the Nation’s Capital.

Color Palette

July 25th.

Inspired by acts like Washed Out and Wild Nothing, Color Palette blends a sunny West Coast sound with a natural northern edge. The brainchild of vocalist Jay Nemeyer, Color.  Palette was formed after Nemeyer’s former band The Silver Liners split. He quickly recruited Jon Jester (percussion) and Nico Grossfeld (bass) to travel with him to Los Angeles and record their debut full-length, set to be released this summer.

The Week in the DMV – 7/12/15

Literary Event: Transformations

July 12th.  Kim Todd, author of Chrysalis: Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis, presents a lecture on Maria Sibylla Merian’s 1699 trip to Suriname, looking at the ways her research there shaped her art and understanding of the natural world. Book sale and signing to follow.

6th Annual Government Contractor’s Summer Soiree

July 14th.  Meet with over 200 professionals in government contracting, including US Federal Government Agencies – DHS (Dpt of Homeland Security) and OPM (Office of Personnel Management) and more.

Melvin Laird and the Foundation of the Post-Vietnam Military, 1969 – 1973

July 14th.  Erin Mahan, chief historian of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, moderates a discussion on the contributions of former Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird (1969–73) during the Vietnam War. The panel features author Richard A. Hunt and others. Presented in partnership with the Historical Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Gallery Talk: Vanessa Bell

July 15th.  Director of the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center Heather Slania discusses selections from the special exhibition, Vanessa Bell’s Hogarth Press Designs.

Author Debriefing: The Billion Dollar Spy

July 15th.  While getting into his car on the evening of February 16, 1978, the chief of the CIA’s Moscow station was handed an envelope by an unknown Russian. Its contents stunned the Americans: details of top secret Soviet research and development in military technology that was totally unknown to the United States. From David Hoffman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Dead Hand, comes the riveting story of the CIA’s most valuable spy in the Soviet Union and an evocative portrait of the agency’s Moscow station, an outpost of daring espionage in the last years of the Cold War. Drawing on previously secret documents obtained from the CIA, as well as interviews with participants, Hoffman will reveal how the depredations of the Soviet state motivated one man to master the craft of spying against his own nation until he was betrayed to the KGB by a disgruntled former CIA trainee. No one has ever told this story before in such detail, and Hoffman’s deep knowledge of spycraft, the Cold War, and military technology makes him uniquely qualified to bring to the International Spy Museum this real life espionage thriller.

Potsdam: The End of World War II and the Remaking of Europe

July 15th.  After Germany’s defeat in World War II, the victorious Allies faced the daunting task of negotiating a lasting peace. On July 17, 1945, Harry Truman, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin gathered in a quiet suburb of Berlin to discuss, as Churchill put it, “the gravest matters in the world.” Award-winning historian Michael Neiberg vividly captures the delegates’ personalities and discusses their dramatic debates over how to end the war. A book signing will follow the program.

Writers and Scholars Roundtable on Civil Rights

July 16th.  Join us for a dynamic discussion with revealing personal accounts from four giants of the historical canon as they explore some of the critical and little known events of the Civil Rights Era. With Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Gilbert King (Devil In the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America), Diane McWhorter (Carry Me Home), Taylor Branch (Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63) and Clarence Jones, noted civil rights activist, personal counsel and adviser to the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The program will be moderated by NPR host and special correspondent Michele Norris-Johnson. A book signing will follow the program.

This Week in the DMV – 7/5/15

Gallery Talk: Daisy Makeig-Jones

July 8th.  These bite-size lunchtime talks are offered every Wednesday. Museum staff members facilitate interactive conversations, encouraging close looking and the investigation of the overarching themes of special exhibitions throughout the museum. This week, Curatorial Assistant Stephanie Midon discusses ceramics in the special exhibition, Casting a Spell: Ceramics by Daisy Makeig-Jones.

Code Name: CYNTHIA – A Spy Musical

July 9th.  Join us for a staged reading and singing of the action-packed new spy musical celebrating the exploits of Betty Thorpe whose real spy career ranged from Madrid to Warsaw to Washington. Presented by the Pallas Theatre Collective, code name: CYNTHIA opens as Paris falls to the Nazis and master spy Betty Thorpe (code name: Cynthia) barely escapes with her life. When a mysterious mastermind blackmails the stunning beauty back into intelligence for the Allies, Betty resolves to seduce the enemy, steal France’s naval codes from the Vichy Embassy in Washington, DC, and save her own delicate world from falling to pieces. This lyrical homage features music by Karen Multer and book and lyrics by Steve Multer, a 2014 finalist for the Kleban Prize in Musical Theatre.

Our Crime was Being Jewish

July 9th.  Six million Jews were killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust. In his latest book, Our Crime was Being Jewish, award-winning historian Anthony S. Pitch, has collected the true stories and memories of hundreds of Holocaust survivors and compiled them into one of the most important books of our time. These recollections begin with the persecutions at the start of the war as well as the daily hell of the concentration camps and what actually happened inside. A book signing will follow the program.

Cirque Italia Water Circus

July 10th – 11th.  Get ready for an experience that will take you far, far away to the wonders of Italy and the magic of an immersion into its culture. And into water! Yes, you heard well. Our circus features a 35,000 gallons water stage! Isn’t that crazy? We’re like no other circus in the United States, you can be sure- and we take pride in our uniqueness.

Crab Leg Feast Cruise

July 12th.  It’s the ultimate celebration of summer! Come enjoy an exciting cruise along the Potomac River complete with stunning views, interactive DJ entertainment and a special Crab Leg Feast Buffet Menu.

Comedian John Witherspoon

July 9th – July 12th.  John Witherspoon is a comedy institution. Most people know him from TV and movies — he’s the crazy father figure from “Friday,” “The Wayans Brothers” and “The Boondocks.” He’ll do anything to entertain his fans – he once cut a rap album, and he had his own internet cooking show. The guy could live off catchphrases alone, if he wanted. But he’s also a great stand-up comedian who’s endearing, honest and knows how to send a crowd home happy. One of our favorites!

Literary Event: Transformations

July 12th.  Kim Todd, author of Chrysalis: Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis, presents a lecture on Maria Sibylla Merian’s 1699 trip to Suriname, looking at the ways her research there shaped her art and understanding of the natural world. Book sale and signing to follow.