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 (27) ... Dance (9) ... Family Events (13) ... Festivals (1) ... Film & Movies (53) ... Galleries (136) ... Historic Sites (11) ... Literature (20) ... Multi-Cultural (1) ... Museums (51) ... Music (64) ... Theatre (10) ... Tours (5) ...

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.
The 5x5 Project
Presented by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, The 5x5 Project is an ambitious District-wide program of contemporary, temporary public art dedicated to exploring new perspectives on our city through the lens of five curators.
The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps
National Archives
Thu, October 23
Author Michael Blanding, in his book The Map Thief, describes the life of E. Forbes Smiley, a once considered respectable antiquarian map dealer, who spent years doubling as a map thief—until he was finally arrested for slipping maps out of books in the Yale University library.
Washington National Opera presents Highlights from La bohème
Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage
Thu, October 23
Enjoy a free preview of musical highlights from La Bohème, featuring members of Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program and other artists from the WNO production in the Opera House this November.
East of the River Photography Project
Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum
Sat, October 25
Local artist Bruce McNeil leads program participants in a photography shoot along the Northeast Branch of the Anacostia River.
Harvest Festival
National Geographic
Sat, October 25
Watch demonstrations by local chefs for both kids and adults, ride a smoothie-bike, taste healthy and delicious treats, explore a mini-farmers market complete with a produce scavenger hunt, explore your inner artist with fruit and veggie watercolor painting, and much more.
Landscape Painting Demonstration by Maryland Artist Bill Schmidt
BlackRock Center for the Arts
Sat, October 25
Landscape painter Bill Schmidt will demonstrate how he creates an on-site landscape painting from the initial pencil sketch to the finished work.
Howard Feinstein and Adele Levine
The Writer's Center
Sun, October 26
Howard Feinstein reads from Fire on the Bayou. He is joined by Adele Levine, who reads from Run, Dont Walk. The reading will be followed by a reception and book signing.
The 5x5 Project: Soda_Jerk: Hollywood Burn
National Gallery of Art
Sun, October 26
Hollywood Burn is Soda_Jerk's narrative feature constructed entirely from hundreds of sampled audiovisual fragments. In this anti-copyright epic, Elvis Presley and a league of video pirates are pitted against the evil tyrant Moses and his Copyright Commandments.
Codebreaker (Film Screening)
National Archives
Mon, October 27
This feature-length docu-drama details the highs and lows of Alan Turing’s life, tracking his extraordinary accomplishments, his government persecution, and his tragic death in 1954. (2011; 81 minutes.) Following the film, Executive Producer Patrick Sammon will discuss and answer audience questions.
29th Annual Mayor's Arts Awards
GW Lisner Auditorium
Wed, October 29
Celebrating the District’s most talented artists, arts organizations and arts supporters!
Shenson Chamber Music Concert: Cicely Parnas
National Museum of Women in the Arts
Wed, October 29
American cellist Cicely Parnas is recognized for bringing “velvety sound, articulate passagework and keen imagination” to her performances (The New York Times).
Founder’s Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln
National Archives
Thu, October 30
In Founder’s Son, Richard Brookhiser brings Abraham Lincoln’s career and mind to thrilling life, showing how a frontier boy became the most influential man of his era.
Concert: Prague Philharmonic Choir
National Gallery of Art
Fri, October 31
Music by Dvorak and other composers.
Beware the Ides of March
Folger Theatre
Sat, November 1
Explore Julius Caesar and learn how Shakespeare helped translate historical events into thrilling drama.
Annual artReston Regional Fine Art Exhibit
Reston Community Center at Lake Anne
Thru Mon, November 3
An exhibit of 2-dimensional paintings and mixed media art from members of the League of Reston Artists (LRA), a non-profit organization open to all Washington DC Metro art lovers.
The Art League Gallery
Thru Mon, November 3
This exhibit acts as a conclusion to the year-long retrospective exhibit series. In Art NOW, artists will celebrate creativity today. Works must have been completed between October 2013 and October 2014.
Grace Hartigan: 1922–2008
Thru Sun, November 9
Compatriot of mid-century masters Jackson Pollock, Larry Rivers, Helen Frankenthaler, Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Knox Martin and Frank O’Hara, the groundbreaking artists of the “New York School,” or as they were known then, the Cedar Tavern Circle.
Rhythm Cafe: Charlie Parker with Strings
Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum
Sat, November 15
This month's popular live jazz music program focuses on the influential saxophonist who was a leading figure in the development of bebop, a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos, virtuosic technique, and improvisation.
Decoding the Renaissance
Folger Shakespeare Library
Tue, November 11 thru Sunday, March 1, 2015
This exhibition features the best collection ever assembled of early works on codes and ciphers.
Big Band Halloween Scream
Mon, October 27
The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
Before and After the Wall: Music & Art in East & West Germany
Sat, November 8
Early Keepers at The Mall at Prince Georges
Sat, November 8
The Mall at Prince George's
Generations of Service: Honoring Veterans
Tue, November 11
Tudor Place Historic House and Garden
The Wall in Our Heads: An Exhibition of American Artists and Kai Wiedenhöfer
Sat, October 25 thru Mon, December 15
Chamber Music Recital
Sun, October 26 thru Sunday, April 12, 2015
The Lyceum