Saturday, February 17, 2018

Still Life with Robin: Snow, Followed by Tropical Breezes

by Peggy Robin

Snow is falling at a fast clip right now, as I’m typing this. Whoa, I’m so confused. Two days ago -- Thursday, February 15 -- it was 73 crazy degrees outside. I was perfectly comfortable outside in my T-shirt and jeans….watching guys jog past me in shorts. Meanwhile, out at Dulles, it hit 76◦F (see
The next day, the daytime temperature had dropped by a few degrees for a high of 66. But today I could do a few winter sports in my driveway, including the Downhill Slip-and-Fall and the Double Hip-Break (Over 55 Division).

So far, this sort of thing is unusual, but not unheard of. It’s what’s happening next week that brings us into the twilight zone. Just a few days into the future, the temperatures will rebound for a few days in the mid-70s. Tuesday’s supposed to be around 74 and Wednesday will be higher than that (see:

It all makes me wonder, where am I, really? What kind of a place is this? Let me answer my own question. Apparently, it’s a place where you keep a snowbrush/ice scraper in your car and make sure that your car AC is working at the same time. But you need to take care, as you’re sweeping the snow off your front steps that you don’t throw your back out, or you might not be able to play tennis or just go for a run in the heat of the days to come. Expect more records to be shattered. You’re not likely to be disappointed!

Still Life with Robin is published on The Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Get Out! - The Events Column

George Washington by Gilbert Stuart
(Public Domain)
We wanted to share some events and activities that list members might be interested in. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 17,400+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv   

Friday, February 16 at 12:30 PM, Lunch Bites: Patriot Printer Robert Aitken. Society of the Cincinnati’s Library Director Ellen McCallister Clark discusses the career of the Philadelphia printer, binder and bookseller Robert Aitken. Born in Scotland, Aitken immigrated to America in 1771 and soon became one of the key printers in Philadelphia whose work supported the cause of American independence. He is best remembered as the printer of the first English-language Bible published in America, which received the endorsement of Congress during the war in 1782. A number of works issued from Aitken’s shop are on view in the Society’s current exhibition, "Books in the Field: Studying the Art of War in Revolutionary America," and several other examples will be on display during the talk. The presentation will last approximately 30 minutes with time afterwards for up-close viewing of these rare items. Free. At Anderson House, Society of the Cincinnati, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue NW,

Friday, February 16 at 1:15 PM, Lubana Al Quntar, Soprano: From Syria With Love. Lubana Al Quntar, soprano, Eylem Basaldi, violin, April Centrone, percussion and oud. Bridging centuries, this program highlights the creative brilliance of Syria through Syriac music sung in Aramaic (language of Christ); a variety of Muwashahat (strophic songs sung in classical Arabic) from Aleppo; and folk song cycles originally sung by women at gatherings in Damascus. Presented in partnership with the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. Part of the Georgetown University Friday Music Series. Free. In McNeir Auditorium, 37th and O St NW. More info:  

Friday, February 16 at 2 PM, African Art on the Go: Unmasked - What Do Masks Really Reveal? Learn about the cultural significance of masks and discover the role they play in rituals, ceremonies, rites of passage, and entertainment in societies throughout Africa. Ages 6 and up, under 9 with adult. Free. At Chevy Chase Library, 5625 Connecticut Ave. NW, More info:

Saturday, February 17 from 10 AM - 4:30 PM, Discover Engineering Family Day. Nearly 30 Family Day exhibitors present basic engineering principles through hands-on and mind-challenging activities. Special demonstrations are also sprinkled throughout the day. Past Past appearances have included astronauts, racecar designers, and a model of the Mars Rover. For children ages 4 - 12. Free. At the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW,   

Saturday, February 17  at 2 PM, Living When There Was Slavery in the United States - presented by Civil War Defenses of Washington. A park ranger from the National Park Service’s Civil War Defenses of Washington will present an interactive, educational program that will teach its audience about the hardships enslaved people endured as well as how they overcame those hardships. Families with older children are encouraged to attend. Free. At the Southwest Library, 900 Wesley Place SW,

Saturday February 17 from 4 - 5 PM, Gallery Talk by Artist Brian Dailey. Brian Dailey’s towering 13-screen video installation is a contemporary turn on the Tower of Babel story explaining the worldwide diversity of languages, a tale with parallels in ancient Sumerian and Assyrian myths. WORDS is the artist’s creative summation of his global experiences in over 90 countries on all seven continents, compelling viewers to come to terms with the fluid relationship between language and concept, between interpretation and meaning. The Gallery Talk is free and open to all. At the Katzen Arts Center at American University, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW,

Sunday, February 18 at 2 PM,  Chinese New Year Parade. DC Chinatown celebrates the year of the dog! The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) is holding its biggest and most diverse parade ever to ring in the 4716 Chinese Lunar New Year. This dynamic community-based parade will include traditional lion and dragon dances, Kung Fu demonstrations, firecrackers, live music and marching bands, beauty pageant winners, VIPs, and other community talents! The fun starts at 2 PM; the parade starts at 6th and Eye Streets NW - see the route here: Take the metro to Gallery Place/Chinatown. More details at    

Sunday, February 18 at 3 PM, Year of the Dog Canine Parade. Why celebrate the year of the dog with lion dances and fireworks? Dogs hate fireworks! They’re probably not so great with lions, either. For this year of the dog, bring your pooch to the parade that’s got everything a canine could love: People tossing kibble from floats, baton twirlers who throw their sticks for dogs to fetch; marching bands that play Who Let the Dogs Out and Atomic Dog, and lots of beautiful bitches in heat. There will never be a dog parade as amazing as this one - and that’s because it's the Weekly Fake Event.

Sunday February 18 at 4 PM, Music at National Presbyterian Church. James Madison University presents their President’s Day Concert. This concert is free and open to the public. In the Sanctuary of National Presbyterian Church, 4101 Nebraska Avenue NW,  

Monday, February 19 at 6 PM, Profs & Pints: The Radicalization of George Washington. As we celebrate Presidents’ Day, it’s easy to forget that our nation’s first president, George Washington, once lived comfortably as a proud British subject. What led him to become the first member of America’s elite to pledge his life for independence? Hear Washington’s transformation explained by Denver Brunsman, an associate professor of history at George Washington University, who will trace the steps of our first president’s radicalization, describing how a mix of financial ambition, political ideology, and intuition turned Washington into an agitator, a risk-taker, and a revolutionary who rejected the crown. Tickets $10 in advance at - $12 at the door. At Bier Baron Tavern, 1523 22nd St. NW.

Tuesday, February 20 at 4 PM, Black History Month Celebrates Artists. Celebrate Black History Month by learning about famous black artists through stories and a craft. This program is recommended for ages 5 and up. Free. At Georgetown Neighborhood Library, 3260 R St. NW,  

Wednesday, February 21 at 12:30 PM, “Advocating for the Invisibles: Defending Migrants’ Rights at the U.S.-Mexico Border and Beyond.” In recent years, a significant number of the hundreds of thousands of migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border have been unaccompanied children and family units fleeing violence and persecution in Central America who seek protection in the US. Others attempt to cross the U.S. border’s harsh terrain undetected in the hope of a better life or to reunite with their family and live in a place they consider home. It is a dangerous journey for all. Maureen Meyer, Director of Washington Office on Latin America's Mexico program, will present information about efforts to seek justice for the widespread crimes and abuses against migrants in transit through Mexico and to denounce practices by US Border Patrol and other agencies that put migrants at risk at the border. This program is part of The Exploring Social Justice Series, cosponsored by the American University Library, the Center for Diversity & Inclusion, and the Kay Spiritual Life Center, which brings to campus exemplary leaders from diverse backgrounds who have advocated for various human rights and social justice issues. Free and open to the public. Please register at: In the Mary Graydon Center at American University, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW.  

Wednesday, February 21 at 4:30 PM, Black History Month: Special Visit From a Navy Diver. Children ages 8-12 and their families are invited to meet Commander Carl Parks, a diver in the US Navy. He will speak on his experience in the military and participate in a Q&A session. Children under 9 years old must be accompanied by a caregiver. Free. At the Southwest Library, 900 Wesley Place SW,

Thursday, February 22 at 6 PM, Lecture and Book Signing: George Washington: A Life in Books. Marking the 286th anniversary of George Washington’s birth, Kevin J. Hayes, emeritus professor at the University of Central Oklahoma, discusses and signs copies of his book on the intellectual life of George Washington revealed through the study of his papers, journals, and personal collection of books. The talk will last about 45 minutes, followed by a book signing and refreshments.Free. At the Society of the Cincinnati, Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Ave. NW.  

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Still Life with Robin: Fun and Winter Games 2018

A Winter's Game - Photo by Krazytea (via Creative Commons)
by Peggy Robin

We’re off to a great start with the 2018 Winter Games, with all the spectacle, drama, and controversy needed to make it worthwhile for you to set a recorder and put in the time needed to fast-forward through each day’s tape to find the nuggets of gold (or silver or bronze) in the endless hours of coverage

Not into it yet? Here’s a brief recap of the razzle-dazzle opening ceremonies, shown last night:

There were:
* Larger-than-life dancing tiger puppets
* Thousands of light-up flying drones forming pictures of peace doves and a snowboarder, and the Olympic rings in the sky
* Wowie-zowie fireworks, occurring not just once, but in colorful bursts throughout the evening’s festivities
* Many precision human formations, making good use of some light-up props and special effects
* A long, long, long parade of athletes of all the nations, the highlight of which was this Tongan guy [] – you might remember him from the Summer Games in Brazil, appearing with his naked torso oiled to brilliant sheen, grass skirt below – but this time around he was bopping along in the 17◦F cold, waving the Tongan flag. He’s back as a cross-country skier (in the Rio games, he did taekwondo), but deserves his own special medal for the Half-naked High-stepping Frigid Flag Handling Event.
* The  parade of nations finished up with the entrance of the combined South Korean/North Korean teams, all in white, all smiling as if joined together in peace and harmony from this day forward, as if all the bloodshed and horrors of the past decades could be so easily set aside, not to mention the threats of nuclear annihilation of just the last few months.
* The cauldron was lit and the games declared open – although several events had already occurred, including a new, mixed doubles curling event.

Here’s NBC’s highlights reel -- the best minute and fifteen seconds out of the whole 3-hour shebang:  

As for the next two weeks: I’ll be glued to the figure skating, the big skiing events, and ice hockey. And women’s bobsledding – as this time around there are TWO teams from tropical/no-snow countries to liven things up with their fish-out-of-water-and-sliding-down-a-bobsled-run story-line. There’s the Jamaican women’s team, with their sled named “Cool Bolt,” with a nod to both the Disney movie “Cool Runnings” and the greatest Jamaican Olympian ever, Usain Bolt. And there’s the Nigerian women’s bobsled team, four Texas-educated track stars with Nigerian roots, who live and train in the US. Too bad neither women’s team is thought to have a chance! Learn about the Jamaican women here: And the Nigerian women here:

But what I’m really looking forward to most is watching the curling. Why curling? Because there are brooms. And rocks. And pebbled ice. And it looks like shuffleboard on skates. Gives me the illusion (well, more like delusion) that I could do that! Here’s what you need to know to watch curling:

This and so much more will keep me off the streets for the next two weeks….

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland ParkListserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays. 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Get Out! - The Events Column

Photo by Infrogmation - via Wikimedia Creative Commons
We wanted to share some events and activities that list members might be interested in. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 17,400+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv      

Friday, February 9 at 7 PM, “Men of Bronze” - A Documentary Directed by William Miles (1977 - 60 min). This event is presented in conjunction with Black History Month. Men of Bronze is the definitive story of black American soldiers of the 369th US combat regiment and the 15th Infantry from New York, known as the "Harlem Hellfighters," who served with the French army in World War I. The film uses photographs, interviews with veterans, and film from the French and American National Archives to recount the saga of the "Harlem Hellfighters," offering an inspiring tribute to these unsung heroes and an unforgettable look at World War I. Following the film will be a panel discussion including scholars, jazz artists, and historians. The event will conclude with a wine reception. Free - registration required at: - ID at the door must match registration information. At La Maison Française, Embassy of France, 4101 Reservoir Road NW. 

Saturday, February 10 from 11 AM - 4 PM, Mardi Gras Family Day at the Anacostia Museum. In celebration of the museum's 50th anniversary, we are pulling out all the stops. For the first time ever, the museum will hold its annual Mardi Gras event in our own 2,500 square foot main gallery! That means more space for exciting art workshops, clowns, magicians, living statues, fortune tellers, face painting, balloon art, Marie Laveau (storyteller), live music, a family-style "second-line" parade down Bourbon Street's red carpet, vendor’s marketplace, food vendor and more! This a free, public event. At the Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Place SW. A shuttle will run to and from the Anacostia Metro Station (green line) every half hour from 10:45 to 4:30 PM. Shuttle meets across the street from the Metro Station in the Shannon Place circle. Tickets and/or registration are not required for entry. This is a free, public event. More info:

Saturday, February 10 at 2 PM, The Legacy of Harriet Tubman: A One-Woman Performance by Cortenia Smith. Discover the true spirit of Harriet Tubman, a legendary former slave, abolitionist and hero who defined courage and strength. Drawn from the pages of history and passionately retold by brilliant actress, Ms. Cortenia Smith, The Legacy of Harriet Tubman tells a story of survival, endurance and faith. Cortenia Kay Smith has been studying and working on the life of Harriet Tubman since 2009. She continues to keep the dream and Harriet’s legacy alive with her one-woman performance. Free. At the Petworth Library, 4200 Kansas Avenue NW, 

Saturday, February 10 and Sunday, February 11, 10 AM - 4 PM (both days), Valentine’s Day Card Workshop at the National Postal Museum. The museum provides a bountiful spread of patterned papers, postage and rubber stamps, gems and other 3-D embellishments, special cut-out scissors, washi tape, stickers, markers of every color (with a surplus of red and pink!) and more! Following their own creative instincts, kids and adults can choose whichever supplies they would like to design one-of-a-kind Valentine greetings. Once finished, cards can then be placed in envelopes, addressed and adorned with a distinctive National Postal Museum postmark at the museum’s stamp store. The workshop takes place in the museum’s lower-level Atrium, 2 Massachusetts Ave, NE. Free, no advance registration needed. More info:   

Sunday, February 11 from 3:30 - 4:30 PM, Valentine's Day Craft. Get ready for Valentine's Day with a heart-y craft!  We provide the hearts, you provide the love and care. This is a drop-in event. Crafts will be open from 3:30 - 4:30 PM while supplies last. For toddlers to age 12, with their caregivers. Free. Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Avenue NW, 

Sunday, February 11 at 4 PM, Contemporary Classical Concert: District5 is a daring wind quintet based in Washington DC that specializes in new music and new transcriptions. They are recipients of a 2016 CMA Classical Commissioning Grant with composer Evis Sammoutis. District5 has recently performed at the US Department of State, Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival, Library of Congress, Barns at Wolf Trap, and Washington Arts Club. Free. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. At the Society of the Cincinnati, Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Ave. NW, 

Monday, February 12 at 4 PM, Reader's Theatre Features 'Joe Louis: My Champion'. Calling all readers and actors! Please join us in the children's room for Reader's Theatre. Joe Louis, My Champion by William Miller is the featured piece. After listening to the radio broadcast of the heavyweight championship boxing fight of his hero, Joe Louis, a young African American boy realizes that he can emulate the boxer's persistence and strive to become whatever he wants to be. Let’s read! Let’s act!  Free. At the Petworth Library, 3160 16th Street NW, 

Tuesday, February 13 from 11 - 11:40 AM, Shrove Tuesday Pancake Races at the National Cathedral. Join in the fun for the last day of frivolity before Lent as the Cathedral celebrates “Mardi Gras” with races in the nave on Shrove Tuesday. Staff, school students, clergy, and area college mascots compete in races including the Gargoyle Gallop and the Satterlee Special, in attempts to win the grand prize of the Golden Skillet! All are welcome. The National Cathedral is at Wisconsin and Massachusetts Avenues, NW, 

Tuesday, February 13 at 4 PM, Explorer's Club: Mardi Gras Floats. Join us to explore all things STEAM. (That's science, technology, engineering, arts and math—something for everyone.)
 It's Mardi Gras! Come celebrate with us by designing your own float for our Mardi Gras parade. The parade will take place in the Children's Programming Room at the end of the program.
 Recommended for children ages 5 and older and their caregivers. Free. At the Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Avenue NW, 

Tuesday, February 13 at 4 PM,  Valentine's Day Party. Come celebrate love. Enjoy refreshments, stories and make valentines for someone special. This program is recommended for all ages. Free. At the Georgetown Neighborhood Library, 3260 R Street NW, 

Tuesday, February 13 from 6 - 8 PM A Vintage Evening: Eighteenth-Century Chocolate Tasting. Indulge in the taste of chocolate while learning about its early American origins at this Vintage Evening. Watch Mount Vernon historical interpreter Samuel Murphy transform cacao beans into chocolate while he relates the history of chocolate in eighteenth-century America. After the demonstration, sample different types of delicious chocolates and craft historically inspired Valentine’s Day cards for friends or family. At the Society of the Cincinnati at Anderson House, 
2118 Massachusetts Avenue, NW. Tickets: $15 general public; $10 Members of the Society of the Cincinnati, available here: 

Tuesday, February 13 from 6 - 8 PM, Mardi Gras Festivities at the Wharf. Celebrate Fat Tuesday at the DC Wharf ‘s extravaganza featuring a spirited parade along the waterfront, followed by a dance party on District Pier, and a fireworks finale. The parade will be set to the sounds of classic NOLA brass band music and feature custom-designed floats created by the Wharf’s restaurants and retailers, along with high-flying balloons and, of course, bead tossing. Parade starts at 6 PM at 7th Street and travels along Wharf Street to District Pier. Dance party at District Pier starts at 6:30 PM. The 10-minute fireworks finale starts at 7:50 PM. Free admission. 

Wednesday, February 14 at 4 PM, Canadian Authors: S.K. Ali, Amal El-Mohtar and Canisia Lubrin. The Canadian Embassy, the Ottawa Writer's Festival and DC Public Library are proud to present S.K. Ali, Amal El-Mohtar and Canisia Lubrin. These Canadian authors will read excerpts from their work and speak on their experiences as writers. The event will take place in the large conference room and is open to teens and adults. Free. At the  Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Avenue NW. To learn more about the authors, go to: 

Thursday, February 15 at 8:30 - 10 AM, Post-Valentine’s Day Card Recycling and Candy Dump for Parents. Did your children bring home a shoebox full of construction-paper hearts, red-and silver glitter-spattered cards, and those little boxes of those chalky candy hearts pirnted with little love sayings? Now that Valentine’s day is done for another year, do you just want to get this stuff out of your house? Don’t throw it in the trash -- it adds more to the landfill and besides, your kids might find it there when they come home from school! Recycle it! We’ll send the cards to a paper plant to be repulped into more paper, and we’ll use those little candy hearts in science experiments on tooth enamel to find out just how destructive they are! To find the cards-and-candies drop-off nearest your house, go to:  

Thursday, February 15 at 6:30 PM, Black Women Directors Spotlight: Their Eyes Were Watching God. Darnell Martin's adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston's classic novel Their Eyes Were Watching God stars Halle Berry as Janie and Michael Ely as Tea Cake. Oprah Winfrey produced and sponsored this adaptation, which also featured a screenplay co-written by Suzan-Lori Parks, the first African-American Pulitzer Prize winning playwright. Unrated, but contains adult material. 113 minutes. Free. At the Chevy Chase Library 5625 Connecticut Ave. NW,     

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Still Life with Robin: Pick a Side

Photo by Seney Natural History Assoc.
vis Wikimedia Creative Commons
by Peggy Robin

I’ve never been much of a football fan – OK, I’ve always been something of an ANTI-fan; I have to own up to past columns like this one, arguing against watching the Big Game altogether. But curiously, this year, I find myself actually excited over it -- because, for the first time ever, I like one team quite a bit more than another. Today I'm wearing green. Chalk it up to having family in Philadelphia now, who have exerted their pressure on me. Also, I have never much cared for Tom Brady, Trump’s golfing pal, or the Patriot’s coach, Bill Belichick, another big Trump booster (see: Conversely, I do like that young, scrappy Nick Foles, and even more, his teammate Malcolm Jenkins, who seems to be unusually thoughtful about the impact of social protest by players (see:

I realize that most of my reasons for liking the Eagles or dissing the Patriots are unrelated to the way they play the game. But I am still going to sit down and watch the three-plus hours extravaganza – and not just for the creative commercials or the pull-out-all-stops halftime show. As Bruce Weber put it brilliantly in the New York Times, the Super Bowl is “not so much a ballgame as a happening, like the Oscars but with concussions.” []. Weber’s main point, however, is that he thinks the game has become too dangerous and feels uncomfortable about enjoying it at all anymore, as he used to do.  

Last night, Saturday Night Live hilariously captured the dilemma of those who can’t root for either team in this skit:

Earlier this week in The Nation magazine, writers outlined the case for those who are left-of-center politically (like 70-90 percent of DC voters, depending on which polls you use) to root for one team over the other.

Here's the case for the Patriots:

And the case for the Eagles:

There, I think I have done my duty to present both sides, and no side – at least a bit. And now, my conclusion:

Fly, Eagles, Fly!   

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local usually on Saturdays but sometimes (like today) on Sundays. 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Get Out! - The Events Column

Black History Month - STEM Programs
at Petworth Library
We wanted to share some events and activities that list members might be interested in. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 17,400+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv       

Friday, February 2 at 8:30 AM, Groundhog Day Festival at Dupont Circle. Potomac Phil, the National Groundhog, will make an appearance and offer weather and political predictions. Phil will let us know whether to expect six more weeks of winter or an early spring. Live accordion music, polka dancers, puppet show, VIP celebrities and more. Dupont Circle, at the fountain. Potomac Phil will emerge at approximately 8:30 AM or whenever he damn well pleases. More info:     

Friday, February 2 at 8:30 AM, Marmot Day. It’s time to retire the name “groundhog,” which is full of negative associations with nasty, rooting hogs, and things that get ground down. Given that the groundhog is a member of the marmot species (Marmota monax), let’s rebrand it as a marmot. What a euphonious word! If you’re into this cause, then come to the DC Groundhog Day Festival (see above) in time to sign and present a petition to change the name to Marmot Day. To add your name to our online petition in advance, go here: All advance petitioners who come to the festival will get a free button inscribed with the slogan, “Groundhog = Marmot!” and a bumper sticker: “A Groundhog by Any Other Name Is Still a Marmot.” While supplies last.

Friday, February 2 from 6:30 - 8:30 PM, The Arts Club of Washington Presents an Opening Reception for Art Exhibit Featuring Works by Residents and Artistic Director of Lisner-Louise-Dickson-Hurt Home. During February works by residents of the LLDH Home will fill the Monroe Gallery and works by Chris Alvear, artistic director, will hang in the MacFeely Gallery. Erich Keel, Head of Education at the Kreeger Museum (Emeritus) curated the show. The reception and exhibit are free and open to the public. At the Historic James Monroe House, 2017 I Street NW. RSVP:

Saturday, February 3 at 9:30 AM, Civil War Roundtable: Filtered "Glory," Euro-Centric Messages in an Afro-Centric Film. Asa Gordon, Civil War Historian, Lecturer, and Re-Enactor, will speak about the representation of African Americans in the Civil War film, “Glory.” Glory's deliberately superficial treatment of the dynamics of white racism in this shared adventure of black and white Americans, suppresses the heightened cinematic dramatic impact that is inherent in the actual historical events. In 2016, Mr. Gordon was the keynote speaker and presenter at the National Civil Rights Conference (NCRC) in Meridian and Philadelphia, Mississippi. He serves as Secretary-General of the Sons & Daughters of the United States Colored Troops (S&DUSCT) heritage organization. The S&DUSCT is chartered by the African American Civil War Memorial Freedom Foundation. The program is free and open to the public. At Rock Creek Park Nature Center, 5200 Glover Road, NW,       

Saturday, February 3 from 10 AM - 5 PM, Crêpe Day: Celebrate La Chandeleur at Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens. La Chandeleur, also known as Crêpe Day, marks the halfway point between winter and spring. In France, families celebrate by eating crêpes, which are round and golden like the springtime sun. In addition to eating crepes, you can also: listen to classic French tales inspired by scenes from La Fontaine fables that are pictured on tapestries covering chairs from France displayed in the mansion; explore Hillwood's French treasures through interactive, docent-led, family-friendly gallery talks and a printed activity guide; decorate a plate with fanciful designs and flourishes inspired by Hillwood's French Sèvres porcelain. For complete schedule of activities and tickets, go to:  $18 General admission; $15 Senior; $12 Member; $10 Student; $5 Child (ages 3-18); free for children under 3. Ticket includes 3 crepes per person. Hillwood Estate Museum & Gardens is at 4155 Linnean Avenue NW.

Saturday, February 3 from 10:30 AM - 12 noon, La Chandeleur at Alliance Francaise de Washington, DC. Come and celebrate La Chandeleur with many fun events: 10:30-11:15AM Do Re Mi les amis/music hour; 11:15-11:30AM Dégustation de Crêpes/Crêpe tasting; 11:30AM-12PM, Atelier et Jeux/Games and crafts. Tickets $5 Alliance Francaise members; $8 non-members. Register here: Questions? Please email library @ or children @ Alliance Française is at 2142 Wyoming Avenue NW.

Saturday, February 3 from 2 - 4:15 PM, You Should Run for Congress - by John Krizel. The world premiere staged reading of You Should Run for Congress - Starring Ellen Barr, Josh Benjamin, Evan Chiacchiaro, Cameron Chong, Samantha Dercher, Lindsay Filardo, and Micah Lubens. Synopsis: March 2017. Emboldened by the Women's March and horrified by the first two months of the Trump administration, former Hillary Clinton field organizer Alex Mackenzie urges her best friend, high school social studies teacher James Crandall, to run for Congress in the Northern Virginia district where he teaches. Encouraged (and occasionally foiled) by his campaign staff, entirely consisting of his friends and students, James attempts to overcome his inexperience, and establishment politics, to earn a shocking victory. Free. At the West End Library, 2301 L St NW

Sunday, February 4 from 12:30 – 2 PM, Super Bowl Sunday Pre-Game Sweat & Sip to Help Tackle Cancer. Join Team In Training and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at District Hardware & Bike, where you can earn those nachos and wings by getting an indoor cycling workout in before the big game and learn more about Team In Training over a drink in the café directly following. Please note that this event is B.Y.O.T. (Bring Your Own Bike Trainer). No trainer? No problem! Come for a drink and learn more about the incredible endurance events you can participate in with Team In Training. What to bring: Your bike, an indoor cycle trainer, water bottle, sweat towel, Garmin or similar watch/fitness tracker, and a smile! At District Hardware And Bike, 730 Maine Avenue SW. More info and registration:

Sunday, February 4 at 2 PM, Fighting for Freedom: Black Women in the Women’s Army Corps. During World War II, African-American women were allowed to join the military for the first time. The first contingent of African-American women who joined the Women's Army Corps trained in Fort Des Moines, Iowa, where they were housed in segregated barracks, ate at separate dining tables and used segregated recreational facilities. Despite the hardships and discrimination, the women persevered and 36 of the original group graduated and were assigned to Officers Candidate School, Cooks and Bakers School, the Transportation Pool or the Clerical School. A PowerPoint presentation by Janet Sims-Wood discusses the courageous example set by the first African-American WAC units in the United States and Europe. Free. At the Shepherd Park (Juanita E. Thornton) Library, 7420 Georgia Ave. NW,       

Monday, February 5 at 4:30 PM, STEM Time: Black History Month Edition. This month, each Monday afternoon activity will be inspired by the discoveries and work of a different black scientist, engineer, mathematician or inventor. Inspirational figures include: Norma Merrick Sklarek, Mae Jemison, Granville Woods, Madame C.J. Walker, Benjamin Banneker, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Dr. Daniel Hale. Kids ages 5-12 are invited to come learn, experiment, build and create. Free. At the Petworth Library, 4200 Kansas Avenue NW,   

Monday, February 5, sessions at 6:30; 7:15 or 8 PM, Seeing Deeper: Space, Light, and Sound.  Experience the darkened interior of Washington National Cathedral bathed in moving lights. Please note that the light show will be held for one night only. Free. Space is limited. Please RSVP for one of three 45 minute sessions - go to:   

Tuesday, February 6 at 4:30 PM,  Valentine's Day Card Workshop. Why buy Valentine's Day cards when you can make them for free at the library? We will also be collecting hand made cards to donate to the Children's National Medical Center. All supplies will be provided. Recommended for ages 4 and up. Free. At the Petworth Library, 4200 Kansas Avenue NW,     

Tuesday, February 6 at 6:30 PM, Frederick Douglass, Haiti and the Civil War. Local film producer Marvin Jones will speak about Frederick Douglass's service as US Minister to Haiti and provide an overview of the island's history during the 19th century.Free. At the Shepherd Park (Juanita E. Thornton) Library, 7420 Georgia Avenue NW, 

Wednesday, February 7 at 6:30 PM, Mass Incarceration: Racial Disparities in the United States. Racial disparities in the criminal justice system continue to be a concern in the United States today. According to data from the D.C. based organization, The Sentencing Project,  the number of incarcerated Americans increased from approximately half a million in 1980 to slightly over 2.2 million by 2015. However, African Americans are imprisoned at more than five times the rate of whites. In recognition of Black History Month, Karl A. Racine, the first elected Attorney General of the District of Columbia, will discuss mass incarceration and other ways that the criminal justice system perpetuates racial disparities. Free. At the Francis A. Gregory Library, 3660 Alabama Ave. SE,   

Thursday, February 8 at 4 PM, Valentines for Veterans. This Valentine's Day, make a veteran smile. The library will provide card-making supplies and ideas, you supply the cheer. Cards will be given to veterans living at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington, DC. Free. At the  Shepherd Park (Juanita E. Thornton) Library, 7420 Georgia Ave. NW,   

Thursday, February 8 at 7:30 PM, History Talk: Who Was George Parkins? Tracking the Exploits of George Parkins, Takoma Resident Who Left His Mark in the Grand Canyon in 1903 - presented by Dr. Jonathan Upchurch. For decades the inscription "Geo Parkins DC 1903" on the rock wall along the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon was a mystery. Who was Parkins? Our speaker was curious enough to research the question. That led him to Takoma Park where Parkins grew up in the 1890s before leaving for a career as a builder and a rancher out West. Dr. Upchurch tells how he deciphered George W. Parkins' story, clue by clue, from many different sources. His findings include Parkins' connection to Takoma's Trinity Episcopal Church. This kind of painstaking research in history expands what we know about our community. We hope you will join us for this journey. Presented by Historic Takoma. Free - All Welcome. Location: 7328 Carroll Avenue, Takoma Park, MD,    

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Still Life with Robin: From Kazoo Day to Groundhog Day

by Peggy Robin

The next days ahead are marked by some fun and useful events:

Sunday, January 28 is National Kazoo Day – for the 166th time! If you’ve got 4 minutes to waste, take a look at this video history of the kazoo: I'm sure you'll learn something - I know I did!

Monday, January 29 is National Puzzle Day. You can observe this day by doing any sort of puzzle you like, whether jigsaw, crossword, or sudoku, or the Jumble in today’s Post. More about National Puzzle Day here: (just to prove I’m not making this one up!)

Tuesday, January 30 is National Croissant Day. Food days are the easiest to celebrate. Eat, eat! Go to a bakery and get yourself a nice, flaky crescent pastry – and tell them it’s National Croissant Day. Maybe you’ll get a discount….

Wednesday, January 31: Now we get to the most splendid event of the week, the triple play in the sky: It’s the Super Blue Moon/Blood Moon/Lunar Eclipse. According to the Washington Post, “the last time we had an eclipse on the second full moon of a calendar month in the Americas was in late March 1866, more than 150 years ago.” (See: For a readable but accurate scientific description of this coming celestial stunner, go to
The best viewing will be out West, but NASA will be livestreaming it so that wherever you may be, you won’t miss the view:

Thursday, February 1: It’s National Change Your Password Day. Not the most exciting day of this eventful week, I grant you. If you’re like me, you’ve got too many passwords for too many sites, apps, and accounts to change them all on one day. I’ve got a password manager program that keeps track of all that for me. But if you are still handling it manually, go ahead and observe this special day in a cryptological way. See:

Friday, February 2: It’s that famous, popular holiday that tells us how long the rest of winter will last. Yes, it’s that furry little rodent’s shadow-or-no-shadow gambit called Groundhog Day. You don’t need to drive to Punxsutawney, PA to find out what the groundhog will do. Just get yourself down to Dupont Circle to see our own local version:“At 8:30 sharp Potomac Phil Potomac Phil, the National Groundhog, will make an appearance and offer weather and political predictions. Phil will let us know whether to expect six more weeks of winter or an early spring. Live accordion music, polka dancers, puppet show, VIP celebrities and more. Dupont Circle, at the fountain. Potomac Phil will emerge at approximately 8:30AM or whenever he damn well pleases.”

If that isn’t enough to keep you hopping until next weekend….I can’t imagine what would be!


Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.    

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Get Out! - The Events Column

Photo by David from Washington
via Wikimedia Commons
We wanted to share some events and activities that list members might be interested in. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 17,400+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv    

Friday, January 26 at 6 PM, The Murch Talent Show, featuring a great lineup of singers, dancers, instrumentalists, magicians, and more -- a mix of adorableness and budding talent! Enjoy Potomac Pizza before the show and support Murch at the same time. Pizza will be sold from 4:30-5:30 PM. Refreshment sales will end at 5:30 PM sharp (though you can still eat in the lobby until showtime.) All proceeds from refreshments and ticket sales support the arts and other important programs at Murch Elementary School. Everyone is invited -- friends, neighbors, Murch alumni, and extended family. To buy tickets and to purchase whole cheese pizza(s) in advance, go to Murch ES is at  4810 36th St NW.

Saturday, January 27 from 11 AM - 3 PM, Family Day: "Textiles 101" Open House, with Lori Kartchner, programs associate. Celebrate the opening of the new textile learning center at the George Washington University Museum and Textile Museum with live artist demonstrations and hands-on activities for all ages.Textiles 101 introduces visitors to the fundamentals of fiber, color, and structure, and will serve as a hub for the museum’s textile-making programs. Free, no reservations required. Location: 701 21st Street, NW. More info: 

Saturday, January 27 at 1 PM, Thaddeus Coates: Into the Podderverse. Thaddeus Coates will be on hand to autograph copies of his novel SHINE: The Podderite Chronicles, a children's graphic novel. The novel chronicles six futuristic Afro-punk children. Throughout their journey, they learn about their heritage and birthright. Thaddeus, who is a native Washingtonian, graduate of McKinley Technology High School and currently attends the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. His work is inspired by African-American culture with a focus on Afrofuturism. Free. At the Shaw/Watha T. Daniel Library,1630 7th St. NW, 

Saturday January 27 at 6 PM, Arteria - Exhibition Opening Reception for Czech artist Kateřina Vincourová, hosted by the Embassy of the Czech Republic. Kateřina Vincourová focuses on the fragile nuances of interpersonal relations and at the same time abstracts such notions into an examination of networks and shifts in time and space. The exhibition "Arteria" thus becomes a holistic system, a large-scale spatial drawing, rather than a collection of individual art works. Personal is political for Vincourová, who intersects her minimalistic compositions with textiles or household objects, playing out the notions of specificity, privacy and emotional charge of individual components on one side, and the ability to observe them from a distance on the other. Free. At American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW. More info:   

Sunday, January 28 at 10:30 AM, William Taubman on Gorbachev: His Life and Times. As memories of the Cold War fade and worries about a new era of tense relations between Russia and the West emerge, Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Taubman comes to the Amram Scholar Series at Washington Hebrew Congregation to revisit the decades when the United States and the Soviet Union – the world’s two “superpowers” – dictated geopolitical strategy, foreign policy, and economic stability. His talk will focus on this new biography, “Gorbachev: His Life and Times,” for which the former Soviet leader afforded him extensive access. Free. Washington Hebrew Congregation is at 3935 Macomb Street NW. More information:    

Sunday January 28 at 3 PM, The Navy Band Woodwind Quintet (flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, and horn) will give a concert at Metropolitan Memorial UMC (now officially National United Methodist Church), 3401 Nebraska Ave. NW. Parking lot entrance around the corner on New Mexico. The free concert will be followed by a reception and the opening of a show of landscape photographs by Mark Leatherman.

Monday, January 29 at 12 noon, Lecture: Stormwater Solutions Program - Partnership Between GW and THEARC. Presented by Tara Scully, teaching assistant professor, GW Biology Department; GW students. The goal of this initiative is to educate and galvanize the community to clean up and better protect the Oxon Run stream. Through a partnership with GW’s ArtReach program, located in THEARC in Southeast DC, students use a variety of art forms to help publicize the cleanups and educate the community about the problems of pollution in our waterways. Free and open to the general public. At The George Washington University Museum and the Textile Museum, 701 21st St. NW, 

Monday, January 29 at 4 PM, Reader's Theatre Features 'Bring Me Some Apples And I'll Make You Some Pie.' Calling all readers and actors! Bring Me Some Apples and I’ll Make You a Pie: A Story About Edna Lewis by Robbin Gourley is the featured piece. From the whippoorwill's call on the first day of spring through the first snowfall, Edna and members of her family gather fruits, berries, and vegetables from the fields, garden, and orchard on their Virginia farm and turn them into wonderful meals. Includes facts about the life of Edna Lewis, a descendant of enslaved people who grew up to be a famous chef, and five recipes. Let’s read! Let’s act! Join us in the children's room at the Mount Pleasant Library, 3160 16th Street NW, Free.  

Monday, January 29 at 7:30 PM, Strange Fruit: Music From - And Inspired By - The American Civil Rights Movement - a celebration of protest music, presented by the Washington Jewish Music Festival and Levine Music. Pulling from traditional spirituals and extending to the work of Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye, Gil Scott Heron and Billie Holiday, the 10-person jazz and R&B band promises an evening of big sound and revolutionary culture. Location: Edlavitch DCJCC, 1529 16th Street NW. Tickets $15 at

Tuesday, January 30 at 2 PM and 6:30 PM, Movie: The Big Sick (US, 2017, rated R, 119 minutes). A Pakistani American man hides his romance with a white grad student from his family. However, their relationship becomes more serious when she develops a serious illness. Starring Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, and Holly Hunter. Free. At the Chevy Chase Library, 5625 Connecticut Ave. NW,  

Wednesday, January 31 at 12 noon, Call It February! A Rally to Call for a Shorter January and a Longer February. January is waaay too long, And the alternation between 30-day and 31-day months is thrown off by a 31-day December followed by a 31-day January. (We’ll defer consideration of the July-August problem until a later date.) On top of that, everyone knows February is much too short! But there’s an easy way to solve the problem: Start February on what is now January 31 and make the month of February 29 days long in regular years, 30 days in leap years. Think what a gift this would be to everyone with a February 29 birthday! If you support this sensible reform movement, join us as we march on the the headquarters of our Nation’s timekeeper, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive in Gaithersburg, MD. Please register in advance so that we can hand out the appropriate number of protest signs and calendar-shaped hats! Go to:  

Wednesday, January 31 at 7 PM, Book Hill Talks: How the Ancient Greek Idea of 'Love of Humanity' (Philanthropia) Can Help Us Think About Good Leadership Today - a talk presented by Norman Sandridge, associate professor of Classics at Howard University and Fellow at the Harvard University Center for Hellenic Studies. Free. At Georgetown Neighborhood Library, 3260 R St. NW, 

Wednesday January 31 at 6:30 PM, "An Outrage” Film Screening and Discussion.  Documentary film (33 min) about lynching in the American South including the perspectives of descendants, community activists and scholars on how this history of injustice is reflected today. Light refreshments in theater lobby before program begins. Following screening, American University SOC professor Leena Jayaswal moderates a Q&A discussion with filmmakers Hannah Ayers and Lance Warren. Free and open to the public. First come, first seated. In the Malsi Doyle and Michael Forman Theater, McKinley Building at American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW, 

Thursday February 1 from 10 - 11:30 AM, Truly Unknown Soldiers — African Americans in the Civil War - a lecture by Frank Smith Jr. Frank Smith seeks to rectify one of the great injustices of American history, the erasure of the record of African-American soldiers during the Civil War. Soon after war started, slaves began to walk off plantations to join the Union Army. General Benjamin Butler refused to send them back to work for the enemy. He declared them “contraband” of war and eventually 209,000 “colored” men served in the Army and Navy. They fought important battles and took the lead after the Battle of Appomattox in integrating millions of new citizens into the nation. Correcting the narrative of the role of African Americans in their own liberation is Dr. Smith’s mission at the African American Civil War Museum in DC. Frank Smith, PhD, is the founding executive director of the African American Civil War Museum. He was a founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, registered sharecroppers to vote in Holly Springs, Mississippi, and founded a black cooperative community — Strike City. In the 1960s, he worked to support the Mississippi Freedom Party, which attempted to supplant the whites-only state delegation. Upon moving to the District, Smith was elected to the DC Board of Education and then to the DC City Council, where he represented Ward 1 for 16 years. This lecture is part of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute series. Free - registration required. The Eventbrite registration link will be available on Friday at The lecture will be in Room A of AU’s Spring Valley Building, 4801 Massachusetts Ave. NW.

Thursday, February 1 at 4 PM, Groundhog Day Craft. Will Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow in February? Come get ready for Phil's prediction with a fun Groundhog Day craft. According to legend, if Punxsutawney Phil comes out of his burrow on Feb. 2 and does not see his shadow, then spring will come early. If he sees his shadow and goes back into his burrow, winter will last six more weeks. Free. At the Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW, 

Thursday, February 1 at 6 PM, Harry Potter Book Night. Attention all muggles, wizards and witches! Feb. 1 is Harry Potter Book Night at Chevy Chase Library. Be ready for a night of wizarding fun with trivia, games and more to celebrate the magical world of Harry Potter. Wizarding dress is not required, but it is encouraged. Free. At Chevy Chase Library, 5625 Connecticut Ave. NW

Thursday, February 1 at 7 PM, C.R. Gibbs Lecture Series on African American History and Culture. In celebration of 2018 African American History Month, noted historian C.R. Gibbs will deliver a presentation from his African American History and Culture Series entitled "Bound for Freedom's Light: The Story of the US Colored Troops in the Civil War." Join us for this thought-provoking lecture. Free. At the Mount Pleasant Library, 3160 16th Street NW.       

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Still Life with Robin: January 20 Is a Special Day

Photo by Eva K.
by Peggy Robin

So much happening today. There’s the Women’s March on Washington (11 AM rally followed by the actual March to the White House at 1). And the start of the government shut-down (or is going to be un-shut by a last-minute deal?) And on a more local level, there’s the impending Johnson’s Garden Center shut-down. Or will there be a rescue here too? And then there’s a warming trend expected to bring balmy weather, so soon after the snow. Who knows? There could even be Christmas tree pickups today, too.

With all these important things going on (or not!), it's easy to lose sight of a special day that happens once a year – though you may not have celebrated it before. Well, now you know: It’s National Cheese Lovers Day! And yes, it’s a real thing -- not something cooked up by the Dairy Lobby. (Do people call that lobby “Big Cheese”? I wonder….) This is a day on the calendar of notable days, and you can google it if you don’t believe me. Or just go to:

But where can you celebrate it? I tried to google restaurants and cheese shops in this area that are hosting National Cheese Lovers Day events, and came up with a nice free cheese sampling party at Whole Foods….but not here. It’s  in Chattanooga, Tennessee:

I tried again but put “Washington, DC” up front in the search box. Well, that got me a little closer, I guess, with a hit in NC, but it’s still not DC. It’s this wine and cheese pairing event at Southern Season in Chapel Hill, North Carolina: If the third time’s the charm – then I offer up a dozen fine cheesemongers who recognize the importance of National Cheese Lovers Day….but every single last one of them is in The Big Apple. Go to to count all twelve.

If there’s a place here in DC hosting an official National Cheese Lovers Day party, I couldn’t find it. But that doesn’t mean we still can’t enjoy this day in our own cheesy way. Break out your gouda, your cheddar, your chevre, whatever you happen to have on hand, and have the happiest NCLD in DC!

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Get Out! - The Events Column

Statue of Liberty by J2M4W
(Creative Commons)
We wanted to share some events and activities that list members might be interested in. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 17,400+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv    

Friday, January 19 from 7 - 9 PM, What Feminism Looks Like * Nasty Women DC Art Reception & Auction - a benefit for Planned Parenthood. Intersectional feminism is the current terminology that expresses the empowerment of women to effect change across a diverse range of issues: women’s health, racial and gendered violence, equality under the law, poverty, immigration and refugee rights, environmental protections, rights of indigenous communities, etc. It recognizes that true and effective change in the global sphere results from women’s organizing, joining all minority groups and inclusive of men in these efforts. An all woman exhibition, the artists included in What Feminism Looks Like have contributed works that address the range of these issues in various media. Hosted by Art Watch DC at DC Arts Center, 2438 18th St NW. More info:;; 

Saturday, January 20 from 11 AM - 2 PM, Palisades Library Grand Opening. Join Mayor Bowser, DC Public Library executive director Richard Reyes-Gavilan and other elected officials as we cut the ribbon on the modernized Palisades Library. Immediately following the ribbon cutting, join us for story time, building tours and other special programs. Special Know-Your-Neighborhood Document Scanning -- Do you have memories of the Palisades neighborhood you would like to preserve? Bring photos and documents to be digitized. Up to 8 1/2 x 11. The Palisades Library is at 4901 V Street NW,  

Saturday, January 20 from 11 AM - 2 PM, Library Amnesty International Day. This is the day you can return any overdue library book to any library in the entire world and not have to pay the fine. Unload your guilt and at the same time unload those battered, plastic-covered books you've hidden away all these years out of fear and shame and anxiety about high fines. It doesn’t matter if you checked out the book in Palau and are returning it to the reopened Palisades Library in DC...or Denmark...or Denver. Library Amnesty Days are a real thing (like this one: but today’s event just happens to be our Weekly Fake Event.

Saturday, January 20 starting at 11 AM, Women’s March on Washington 2018. One year later, women and allies will once again take to the streets of the nation’s capitol to make a powerful statement to the current administration and the rest of the world. In a follow-up to the largest demonstration in US history, people from across the country will meet at the Reflecting Pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial at 11 AM for a rally showcasing several speakers followed by a march on the White House. More info: 

Saturday January 20 from 11 AM - 2 PM, Pop-Up Forts - A Family Activity at the National Building Museum. Construct an awe-inspiring fort from newspapers. Find out how a triangle’s strong shape can brace your structure and keep your fort standing longer. Create tetrahedral caverns small enough for one or big enough for your entire clan. Little ones can explore how to build forts all year round, even in the cold winter months, during a story time with Megan Wagner Lloyd, author of children's book, Fort Building Time. Free, drop in. All ages. The National Building Museum is at 401 F Street NW. More info: 

Saturday, January 20 at 2 PM, Kids Club: Paper Airplanes. Explore the science of flight in a fun way. Learn how to construct several kinds of paper airplanes, including the sonic dart, hammerhead, super plane, silent huntress and helicopter. Add decorations to make them unique. Then we'll try flying them. Which ones fly the farthest? Which ones fly for the longest duration of time? Recommended for children ages 3-12 (ages 8 and under must be accompanied by an adult). Free. At the Chevy Chase Public Library, 5625 Connecticut Avenue NW, 

Sunday, January 21 at 2 PM, Staged Reading for International Women's Voices Festival. The Guillotine Theatre in partnership with the Georgetown Branch of the DC Public library presents a staged reading of Lysistrata in Jerusalem. Many of the Washington, DC region’s professional theaters will join together to present the Women’s Voices Theater Festival. Theaters and theater-makers around the globe are invited to present public or private readings of unproduced works by women playwrights in celebration of the first anniversary of the worldwide Women’s Marches. Free. At Georgetown Neighborhood Library, 3260 R Street NW. More info: 

Monday, January 22 at 12 noon, Lecture: Stevens School and School Segregation in our Nation’s Capital, by Ralph Buglass, independent scholar. The history of Thaddeus Stevens School, built for African American students 150 years ago, provides insight into the segregated past of DC public schools up until the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. Free; no reservations required. At the George Washington University Museum and the Textile Museum, 701 21st Street NW, 

Tuesday, January 23 at 6:30 PM, Out There: The Self-Created Artist in DC. A musical performance from multi-instrumentalist Andrew White, who will introduce a panel discussion on the experimental and self-created artist in the District. Panelists will talk about the unique spaces they occupy and perspectives they share—from being a musician, a visual artist, a photographer, operating a venue to publishing a zine on defunct artist-run spaces. Panelists include: Andrew White; Bill Warrell; Cynthia Connolly; Blair Murphy; Marc Minsker, moderator. Free. At  the Goethe-Institut Washington at 1990 K St. NW (enter via 20th St. between Eye & K St. NW)  Presented by Library Express Take-Out. Free, for all ages, at an accessible venue. 

Wednesday, January 24  from 6 - 9 PM, Arts and Drafts. Cleaning out your closet for the new year? Go green in 2018! Bring your worn clothing to the George Washington Museum and Textile Museum,and we’ll help you repurpose it into an artful collage. Enjoy solar-powered beer from Atlas Brew Works and snacks as you craft, then head to the galleries for pop-up talks featuring: Creative ways to turn the food in your fridge into vibrant dyes; An inside look at the challenges of installing The Box Project: Uncommon Threads exhibition; An introduction to the work of Box Project artist Ai Kijima, who turns flea market finds into fine art collages. Bring as many clothes as you would like. All unused items in good condition will be donated to Martha’s Table. Fee: $10 - museum members and GW students, faculty, and staff; $15 - general public (includes snacks, two drinks, and craft supplies). Must be 21 or older to attend and present a valid ID. The GW Museum and Textile Museum is at 701 21st Street, NW. Register here: 

Thursday, January 25 from 10 - 11:30 AM, 65 Million and Counting - a lecture by Melanie Nezer, presented by the Osher Institute for Lifelong Learning (OLLI). There are more refugees and displaced people in the world in 2018 than at any time in recorded history — including after World War II. Refugees have only three “durable solutions” — returning home, integrating into the country to which they have fled, or resettling in a safe third country. The US, traditionally the recipient country of the most refugees, has retreated from its leadership in helping refugees. Few refugees can return home or fully integrate where they are. Solutions seem remote. Melanie Nezer outlines the facts and the demanding road ahead. Melanie Nezer is senior vice president for HIAS, a venerable organization that serves refugees of all faiths and backgrounds. She previously served as HIAS' migration policy counsel and director of the employment visa program representing at-risk Jewish professionals and religious workers seeking to work in the US during crises in their home countries. Earlier, she was immigration policy director for the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants and practiced criminal defense and immigration law in Miami. Free. In Room 601 of the AU Spring Valley Building, 4801 Massachusetts Avenue NW. Register on Eventbrite:

Thursday, January 25 from 12 - 12:45 PM, Cooking Demonstration: Winter Pick-Me-Ups, with Adrienne Cook, Gardening and Cooking Writer, and Danielle Cook, MS, Nutritionist and Cooking Instructor. From teas, to broths, to soups and stews, there are so many ways to inject feel-good and do-good ingredients that help chase away the winter blahs. The Cook Sisters bring you ideas to liven up and power up ordinary foods and beverages in a one-of-a-kind program. Program repeats at 12:50. Free, no pre-registration required. In the Garden Court of the US Botanic Garden Conservatory, 100 Maryland Avenue, SW. More info: