June is a month full of possibility: school ends, pools open, and the summer begins in earnest. The overwhelming humidity aside, Washington can be an awesome city in which to spend the summer, if you know where to look. Scouring local websites and blogs, you can find exciting events, some basic, some off the beaten path, many of which are free. In what I hope will become a recurring feature of the Augur Bit, here is a list of cultural events going on around DC over the month of June and beyond.
Naked Eyes @ ARTECHOUSE opened on May 16, the international day of light, which is fitting as the subject of ARTECHOUSE’s latest exhibition is an immersive “celebration of light.” Produced in partnership with the Optical Society, the American Physical Society, and the American Institute of Physics, this exhibit has the potential to be both educational and highly-Instagrammable. However, due to the nature of the exhibit, the exhibit warns visitors with epilepsy, claustrophobia, and seizures not to attend. Tickets are $15 dollars and need to be bought on dc.artechouse.com. This exhibit is open until June 30, so reserve your spot if you want to go.
The Beautiful Blooms: Flowering Plants on Stamps exhibition at the National Postal Museum is running every day until July 2019. This exhibition highlights the “flowers, birds, flowering trees, and the all-around most beautiful living botanicals in America” that have been commemorated on US postage stamps in the last 50 years. The over 50 pieces of artwork are borrowed from the Postmaster General’s Collection. The exhibit is open from 10am to 5:30pm every day until next summer, so don’t feel a pressured for time. Additionally, the National Postal Museum is a part of the Smithsonian, so admission is free of charge.
For the musically-inclined, there are a lot of events taking place during the month of June, though the DC Jazz Fest (dcjazzfest.org) is definitely the most impressive, with a few free events for the casual jazz fan to attend. National and local jazz musicians play in venues ranging from Howard Theatre to small jazz clubs. The University of the District of Columbia, a few blocks from GDS, will be hosting multiple performances during the June 8-17 city-wide festival, many of them free of charge. Scroll through the website’s schedule to find free events with jazz artists that look interesting.
Summertime outdoor movies are super fun almost anywhere. Adams Morgan has a very well-run summer movie setup, so definitely try to catch a movie on the projector as the sun goes down. Adams Morgan Movie Nights do not have a theme, like some other movie series, so the lineup this year is all over the place, in the best way. Stop by the soccer field at Walter Pierce park for Hairspray on May 29, Jackie on June 5, and Hidden Figures on June 12. Admission is free and movies start at 8:30 each night. Bring a blanket, a friend, and some popcorn.
I am staying on the summer outdoor movie theme, because really there is nothing better than laying on a field in the warm DC evening and watching an awesome movie with a hundred other people you’ve never met. NoMa Summer Screen at Storey Parking lot (1005 1st Street NE) opens its gates at 7pm on movie nights and starts the films immediately as the sun goes down. Some lineup highlights: Mulan on June 13, Mad Max: Fury Road on June 27, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on July 25, and Pitch Perfect on August 1. For even more movies, Downtown DC Summer Flicks Presents: Can I Kick It? will show kung fu movies all summer long at Freedom plaza downtown, such as Karate Kid on June 5, and Romeo Must Die on July 3.
These are not the only engaging activities to do during the next month. Baseball season is in its prime, of course, and there are waterparks and walking trails and other museums to experience. But in Washington, cost should never get in the way of doing something enriching. Everything that was mentioned was below 15 dollars. It doesn’t take a lot to see something new and make a memory that will last longer than a Snapchat story.
By William Goldberg’19