Arts Desk

Freestylin’ D.C.: Poetry, Rap, and the Inspiration for Oklahoma!

The city is hopping right now with free and fabulous things to do. Here are some of my top picks from my site, Free in DC.

Tonight
Check out “Dance History To Go” at 7 p.m. at the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in Takoma Park, where a panel of dancers, choreographers and experts will discuss select morsels from a buffet of dance history.

If you enjoy open mic nights, stop by “The Garden” at BloomBars on in Columbia Heights for a diverse weekly open mic night for artists of all kinds: poets, musicians, dancers, etc. If you want to perform, sign-up starts at 8:30 p.m. and the first act goes on at 9. Not a performer? You can still enjoy the show until 11 p.m.

Tuesday
The Library of Congress' Poetry-at-Noon series features local poet and American University professor Joseph Ross, along with David Gewanter and Carol V. Davis, reading from works on the theme of “Insider/Outsider Experiences” from noon to 1 p.m. at the LoC's Jefferson Building.

At 6 p.m. at Busboys and Poets 14th & V, Terry McMillan, author of the best-selling novel Waiting to Exhale, discusses and signs the book's sequel, Getting to Happy.

At U Street's Lincoln Theater at 7 p.m., the Museum of African American History presents a discussion on rap with rapper/producer Kurtis Blow, Grammy Award-winner Common, and The Anthology of Rap author Adam Bradley, who will share their views on the politics of rap lyrics.

Wednesday
Head over to Chinatown for a lunchtime performance by flute and harp duo Beau Soir Ensemble at the “Happenings at the Harman” series at Sidney Harman Hall from noon to 1 p.m.

Flute lovers rejoice! You can catch even more of the woodwind at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, with a performance by Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai. I'm really excited about this one: I’ve been meditating and listening to his music for many years and find his music incredibly soothing and grounding. If you can’t make it in person, don’t forget that you can also stream the show live or watch it later from the archives on the Kennedy Center’s website.

Continuing on the Native American theme this evening (and you might be able to catch both events if you hop in a taxi), the American Indian Museum hosts a performance of Green Grow the Lilacs, performed by the United States Naval Academy theater troupe at 7:30 p.m. The play, written by Pulitzer-nominated Cherokee playwright Lynn Riggs, was adapted into the hit musical Oklahoma!–now onstage at Arena. If you can’t make it in person to the show you can also stream it live online or see it Thursday evening.

Amy Melrose is the creator of Free in DC, an arts, culture, and consciousness blog highlighting free and low-cost events that are all Metro accessible in the D.C. area. You can also follow Free in DC on Twitter and Facebook.

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