Arts Desk

ToDo ToDay: MetroPerforms, National Book Festival, and Ice Cream Tastings

supremeMetro rides are rarely quiet, and harried commuters aren’t likely to stop and listen to the musicians performing inside or outside stations.  Still, through its MetroPerforms! program, WMATA invites a collection of local musicians, ranging from saxophonists to R&B vocalists, to perform at stations in July and August. Performances within the Metrorail system conclude this week, but some of the acts will celebrate the program at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage. Among those appearing are the Supreme Chords, an a cappella ensemble that will induce flashbacks to your college campus. Read more >>> The performance begins at 6 p.m. at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, 2700 F St. NW. Free. (202) 467-4600. kennedy-center.org(Caroline Jones)

EAT THIS

Get an early taste of bakeshop RareSweets, coming to CityCenterDC this fall, with an affogato tasting at La Colombe today. From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (or until supplies last), patrons can try one of RareSweets’ ice creams—in flavors like milk chocolate cacao nib, vanilla beans, and dark caramel—topped with espresso shots for $3. La Colombe, Blagden Alley, 924 N St. NW. (202) 289-4950. lacolombe.com. (Jessica Sidman)

OH AND ALSO

Friday: Feeling like reggae tonight? Head to Tropicalia for performances by Caz and the Day Laborers and Kickoman. 8 p.m. at 2001 14th St. NW. $10.

Friday: The Black Cat's summer comedy series is winding down and tonight, it turns its focus toward local performers under the age of 21. Sean Joyce and Jason Weems serve as hosts. 9 p.m. at 1811 14th St. NW. $10.

Saturday: If you’re a fan of the written word, your plans this weekend are covered. You’re visiting the 2014 National Book Festival at its new home, the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The festival’s aim is to connect fans with their favorite authors by welcoming dozens of writers to speak and sign a mountain of books throughout the day. As if a day of swooning over beloved authors wasn’t enough, the festival concludes with a night of back-to-back special events like a poetry slam, a “graphic novel super session,” and a panel discussion called “Great Books to Great Movies.” Read more >>> The National Book Festival begins at 10 a.m. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place NW. Free. (888) 714-4696. loc.gov/bookfest. (Tim Regan)

Saturday: The 9:30 Club hosts an evening of local music featuring the pop ensemble M.H. and his Orchestra, roots rock trio the Walking Sticks, and eclectic funk group Black Masala. 8 p.m. at 815 V St. NW. $15.

Saturday: Container, Gunnar Haslam, and Gut Nose play what's being billed as "the freak techno show of the year" at Union Arts DC. 10 p.m. at 411 New York Ave. NE. $10–$12.

Saturday: The KanKouran West African Dance Company performs "Sounougal," a celebration of cultural unity, at the Lisner Auditorium. 8 p.m. at 730 21st St. NW. $20–$25.

Sunday: Joshua Yospyn’s photographic project “American Sequitur,” now on display at Arlington’s Artisphere, attempts to blend high and low, serious and silly, with a heavy dose of the good old red, white, and blue thrown in. He has a knack for finding people uneasily interacting with inflatable animals and the occasional, oddly serious Ronald McDonald clown. Read more >>> The exhibition is on view Wednesdays through Fridays 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturdays noon to 11 p.m., and Sundays noon to 5 p.m. to Nov. 15 at Artisphere, 1101 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Free. (703) 875-1100. artisphere.com (Louis Jacobson)

Sunday: Emerging and established theater companies present a collection of new works at the Kennedy Center's annual Page-to-Stage festival, which runs throughout the weekend. 6 p.m. at 2700 F St. NW. Free.

Monday: If you’re looking for an overview of 20th-century American art, you could pick up a textbook and attend an art history class. Or you could save your tuition dollars and head to the National Gallery of Art to view its third exhibition drawn from the collection of the late Ruth Cole Kainen. The show starts with representation (a 1920 etching of an East Hampton doorway by Childe Hassam) and wanders into all-out abstraction (an early Pollack, done on paper, and a 1976 Willem de Kooning). Read more >>> The exhibition is on view Mondays through Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. to Feb. 1 at the National Gallery of Art, 6th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 737-4215. nga.gov. (Caroline Jones)

Monday: Local jazz artist Jason Moran presents FLOFest, a music, wine, and literary festival taking place at Gateway DC. Noon at 2700 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE. $45.

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