DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities
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Free Events in Metro DC

Find free events and activities throughout Metro DC on CultureCapital. Check here for free concerts, free films, free classes, free tours, free museum programs and more for adults and children. The CultureCapital free section is a great resource for people on a budget.

Browse Free Events By: All Free Events ... Classes & Lectures (19) ... Dance (5) ... Family Events (2) ... Festivals (1) ... Film & Movies (52) ... Galleries (77) ... Historic Sites (11) ... Literature (5) ... Museums (85) ... Music (36) ... Science & Nature (1) ... Theatre (11) ...

Hot Hits
Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage
District of Columbia
Free Performances every day at 6pm. As part of the Kennedy Center's "Performing Arts for Everyone" initiative, visitors can enjoy local, national, and international artists as they showcase their talents in music, dance, theater, and more.
National Gallery of Art - Jazz in the Garden: Now thru Aug 29, 2014
The Jazz in the Garden Series begins its 14th season in May. The free concert series features jazz artists performing a wide variety of styles—salsa, blues fusion, xylophone, Afrofunk, and more—every Friday evening from 5:00-8:30 pm in the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. Click here for full schedule.
National Gallery of Art Film Series: Canyon Cinema 16mm: July 12-August 31, 2014
For this year’s edition of the Gallery’s summer preservation festival, eight programs of new and archival film prints survey the exceptional legacy and cultural vitality of Canyon, from its beginnings in 1960 through the present day. All films are screened in 16 mm format.
Free Summer Outdoor Concert: Conjunto Chappottin
Wed, July 23
Sail away to Havana for a night of Cuban ''son'' music that’s steeped in tradition and bursting with Latin jazz and sultry salsa.
Let There Be Light (Film)
National Archives
Wed, July 23
Let There Be Light follows the treatment of emotionally traumatized GIs from their admission at a psychiatric hospital to their reentry into civilian life.
Tom Principato
BlackRock Center for the Arts
Sat, July 26
Tom Principato is one of the most unique guitarists around, combining his rich blues background with high-energy rock, and a highly charged, emotionally expressive delivery.
Gold Rush
Thru Sun, July 27
Tomas Xenakis is a DC-based artist whose quest is “to bring the realms of sacred and secular art together”—and what better way to do this than with gold? Finnish artist Marita Liulia works with many mediums including painting, photography and short film, which are all encompassed by the themes of gold and tranquility.
Da'Originalz featuring “Beat Ya Feet”
Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum
Sun, July 27
Hip Hop dancers Da'Originalz guide participants in creating their own form of self-expression through original dance movements. Join in this fun workshop, demonstration, and group practice session.
Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment (Film)
National Archives
Tue, July 29
A landmark in American documentary films, Robert Drew’s cinéma vérité work Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment chronicles how President John F. Kennedy, along with his brother Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, clashed with Alabama Governor George Wallace over racial integration at the University of Alabama in 1963.
Free Summer Outdoor Concert: Chuck Brown All Star Band
Wed, July 30
The band of a legend. Come early for the Elijah Balbed Go Go Band from 6:30 - 7:10pm.
Free Community Day: August 2014
National Museum of Women in the Arts
Sun, August 3
The first Sunday of the month is Community Day at NMWA! Visit us on Community Day for FREE admission to the museum—take this opportunity to explore our current exhibitions as well as our permanent collection.
The Nixon Tapes
National Archives
Fri, August 8
In his latest book, The Nixon Tapes, historian and author Douglas Brinkley and co-author Luke Nichter have transcribed Nixon's tapes, permitting us to read an unprecedented account of one of the most controversial presidencies in U.S. history.
Free Summer Saturdays: Sketching Workshop and "Art + ___" Trivia Series
Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design
Sat, August 9
The Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art and Design's Free Summer Saturdays series of programming includes gallery tours, workshops, demonstrations, and performances. Admission to the museum and to these special programs and workshops is free every Saturday between Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day Weekend. This week, participate in a Sketching Workshop from 10:30am-12:30pm.
Handwriting Analysis Workshop
National Archives
Wed, August 13
Join us for a special evening viewing of the "Making Their Mark" exhibit and learn the basics of Handwriting Analysis from Edda Manley. Come see what you can discover about a person from the mark they make!
Film Series: Master Class: Pina and Tanaquil: Pina
National Gallery of Art
Thu, August 14
A visionary whose cogent and compelling work with the Tanztheater Wuppertal transformed the history of dance, Bausch believed in blending the formal vocabularies of theater, dance, sound, and design.
Film Event: Sol LeWitt
National Gallery of Art
Tue, August 12 thru Fri, August 15
Dutch filmmaker Chris Teerinks portrait of Sol LeWitt is the firstever documentary on the American conceptual artist who famously refused awards, interviews, and media coverage.
American Experience: The Panama Canal (2008; 81 min.)
Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum
Fri, August 15
The museum presents this PBS documentary in recognition of the 100th anniversary of one of the world’s most significant technological achievements. Discussion with a museum educator follows the film.
Film Event: Watermark
National Gallery of Art
Wed, August 27
In Watermark, Burtynsky, co-director Jennifer Baichwal, and cinematographer Nick de Pencier take a contemplative (if sobering) approach to that most fundamental of all the elements—water.
Film Series: Master Class: Pina and Tanaquil: Afternooon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq
National Gallery of Art
Thu, August 28
The story of prima ballerina Tanaquil Le Clercq is an epic tale of genius, grace, uncertainty, and ultimate tragedy.
Mount Vernon Nights: Chaise Lounge Band (Jazz/Lounge/Swing)
Workhouse Arts Center
Sat, August 30
Chaise Lounge’s album The Early Years takes the listener to the Sands hotel in Las Vegas. The year could be 1958 or 2008, so timeless is their music.
National Symphony Orchestra: Labor Day Capitol Concert 2014
West Lawn US Capital
Sun, August 31
The National Symphony Orchestra celebrates the beginning of its 2014-2015 season with its annual Labor Day Capitol Concert. Participating artists and program to be announced.
Gina Matchitt: Being There
Thru Sun, September 21
Matchitt uses weaving to further explore her photography, taking photographs of tourists then creating woven photographic objects using Maori techniques.
Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures
National Archives
Thru Monday, January 5, 2015
Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures features original signatures from our nationwide holdings. From developing a signature style to signing groundbreaking policy into law, they illustrate the many ways people have “made their mark” on history.
Afternoon Aviators
Fri, July 25
College Park Aviation Museum
Patricia Davis and Kyoko Mori
Sun, July 27
The Writer's Center
Jane Austen Film Fest: Pride & Prejudice (2005)
Wed, August 6
Dumbarton House
A Collections Conversation: Dolley Madison and the War of 1812
Wed, August 13
Dumbarton House
Art Material Market
Sun, August 24
Torpedo Factory Art Center