You are here
Calendar of Events
Learn about what’s to come in DC this spring and summer, from arts and cultural debuts to renovations and new festivals.
Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement
The modern gay rights movement is examined on the 50th anniversary of the police raid on the Stonewall Inn and subsequent riots in NYC’s Greenwich Village that inspired a national awakening.
National Cherry Blossom Festival
Citywide/March 20-April 14
The perennial favorite, the nation’s largest springtime celebration packs weekends with spectacular family-friendly events including the Blossom Kite Festival (March 30); Petalpalooza at The Wharf (April 6) and the nationally televised parade (April 13) as well as the sublime if unpredictable arrival of the cherry blossoms that ring the Tidal Basin.
Tintoretto: Artist of Renaissance Venice
National Gallery of Art/March 24-July 7, 2019
In celebration of the 500th anniversary of the birth of Jacopo Tintoretto, a major exhibition from Palazzo Ducale in Venice will travel to DC – its only other venue. As the first retrospective of the artist in North America, the exhibition will present 50 paintings as well as more than a dozen works on paper spanning the artist’s entire career. His subjects range from regal portraits of Venetian aristocracy to religious and mythological narrative scenes.
Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence, 1840-1920
National Portrait Gallery/March 29, 2019-Jan. 5, 2020
To usher the centennial anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, this exhibit considers the often-overlooked women and organizations that pushed the complex narrative of suffrage forward. Additional exhibits, symposia and performances inspired by the 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment are expected to be announced.
Empresses of China’s Forbidden City: 1644-1912
Freer|Sackler/March 30-June 23
The exhibition is the first to explore the role of empresses in shaping China’s last dynasty - the Qing dynasty - from 1644 to 1912. Nearly 200 spectacular objects from the Palace Museum in Beijing tell the little-known stories of how imperial women influenced court politics, art and religion. The display is timed to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of U.S.-China diplomatic relations.
Washington Auto Show
Walter E. Washington Convention Center/April 4-15
The largest annual exposition in the District, the annual event wows crowds with the latest models, demos and historic vehicles as well as live art car painting and meet-and-greets with sports stars and celebs.
The 3rd Annual Ella Fitzgerald Jazz Vocal Competition
Lisner Auditorium/April 26-28
Timed to coincide with “Jazz Appreciation Month,” the Blues Alley Jazz Society presents an international competition themed to the seminal record, “Ella and Basie.”
Arena Stage/April 26-June 2
The world premiere of Tazewell Thompson’s acapella musical about the legacy of the African American ensemble Fisk Jubilee Singers who have shattered racial barriers abroad and at home.
Shakespeare Theatre/April 30-June 2
Veteran director Michael Kahn closes the season and his career with Ellen McLoughlin’s adaption of Aeschylus’ trilogy about the doomed house of Atreus. Kahn’s final season boasts two world premieres including Vanity Fair by Kate Hamill, The Wall Street Journal’s Playwright of the Year 2017.
RFK Redevelopment: Phase 1 Opening
RFK Stadium/Spring 2019, date TBD
The first major change to the 190-acre sports campus is underway with three fields: two for soccer and lacrosse, one for baseball and softball plus a large pavilion and support buildings are expected to deliver in the first half of 2019.
Washington Monument Reopens
National Mall/Spring 2019, date TBD
After a significant modernization, the popular monument reopens with a new visitor center, ticket booth and elevator.
A monthlong journey through DC’s international pathways invites celebrants to explore the offerings by more than 70 embassies and 40 cultural organizations. Among the unique and most popular events are the Embassy Row open houses, an invitation to trip to sovereign soil.
National Portrait Gallery/May 3, 2019-March 29, 2020
Photographs are largely replete with words unspoken; however, In Mid-Sentnce is devoted to presenting moments of communication: intimate exchanges, political speeches, inside jokes, lecture and more. Among the communicators captured: John F. Kennedy, Daniel Ellsberg and Diane Arbus.
The Life of Animals in Japanese Art
National Gallery of Art/May 5-July 29
Representations of animals—real or imaginary, religious or secular—span the full breadth and splendor of Japanese art. The first exhibition devoted to the subject covers 16 centuries (from the sixth century to the present day) and a wide variety of media—sculpture, painting, lacquerwork, ceramics, metalwork, textile and the woodblock print. A selection of some 315 works displayed across 18,000-feet includes seven that are designated as Important Cultural Property by the Japanese government. The artists represented range from Katsushika Hokusai and Utagawa Kuniyoshi, to Issey Miyake, Yayoi Kusama and Murakami Takashi.
Relocation of the International Spy Museum
L’Enfant Plaza/May 11
The museum dedicated to espionage moves from 800 F Street, NW to L’Enfant Plaza SW, between the National Mall and The Wharf. The new space is 140,000 square feet, more than twice the size of the original location, and will include space for educational programing, a lecture hall/theater and multifunction rooftop event space with sweeping views of the city.
DC Bike Ride
Bike 20 miles on a closed-road scenic family-friendly ride throughout Washington, DC. The Finish Festival sports food trucks and entertainment. Proceeds support community partners working to making cycling in DC a safe, enjoyable pastime.
National Memorial Day Concert
U.S. Capitol Building, West Lawn/May 26
The free annual concert is held on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol salutes the sacrifice made by the men and women in uniform as well as their families.
National Memorial Day Parade
Constitution Avenue/May 27
One of the largest Memorial Day parades in the country ushers marching bands, youth groups, floats, performers and, of course, veterans, down Constitution Avenue. The televised parade is the largest of its kind in the U.S. and honors those who have served or presently serve in the U.S. military.