Jane Franklin Dance presents a sneak peek at its 2011-2012 season with a “Bits & Pieces” preview Sept. 28, 5:30 p.m. at Artisphere. Guests can enjoy food and drink and view performance excerpts. Tickets are $15. Artisphere is at 1101 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. For more information, visit janefranklin.com/performances.Banned books, out loud
Works by Hemingway, Wilde and Whitman will be featured Oct. 1 when the Georgetown Theatre Company and Georgetown Neighborhood Library round out Banned Book Week (Sept. 24-Oct. 1) with a read-out on the library terrace. Starting at 2 p.m., the free hour-long event will present banned books, plays and poetry read by actors, plus a forum for attendees to discuss reasons why certain books have been deemed inappropriate. Patrons are also asked to bring their own banned books to read. The Georgetown Neighborhood Library is at 3260 R St. NW. For more information, visit dclibrary.org/georgetown and georgetowntheatre.org.Torpedo Factory on safari
Children and their families can explore arts at the 16th Alexandria Arts Safari, to be held Oct. 8 at the Torpedo Factory Art Center from noon to 4 p.m. Kids will be able to explore clay, painting, origami and papier-mache. The Art League will hold a scavenger hunt, and the Alexandria Archaeology Museum will teach about pottery created by Alexandria-based artists in the 19th century. The Torpedo Factory Art Center is at 105 N. Union St., Alexandria. For information, visit torpedofactory.org.Suzanne Farrell to speak
Suzanne Farrell, artistic director of her eponymous dance company, is stepping away from the stage for an evening of conversation with the Arts Club of Washington. On Sept. 27, the artist, who is presenting the works of George Balanchine at the Kennedy Center in October, will discuss her career and answer questions in a session moderated by dance critic George Jackson. The event will open with a reception at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 and must be reserved by 3 p.m. Sept. 26 by calling 202-331-7282 or sending an e-mail to administrator@artsclubof washington.org. The event will be held at the Monroe House, 2017 I St. N.W. For information, visit artsclubofwashington.org.Africa Underground returns
The Smithsonian National Museum of African Art is bringing back its quarterly event Africa Underground, with the theme of “No Boundaries,” on Sept. 30 from 7 to 11 p.m. Activities will include a fashion show by “Project Runway” alumna Korto Momolu, mural painting that will spotlight Ndebele architectural designs from South Africa, Afrobeat face painting and music. Tickets must be purchased online and cost $25. The museum is at 950 Independence Ave. SW. For information, visit africa.si.edu.Snack while you quilt
Dance Exchange is flexing its crafts muscles with an evening of quilting and baked goods Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. In a partnership with Stitch DC, the “Make and Bake” Session is open to novice quilters and experts, inviting guests to snack on treats commissioned by the organization while quilter and resident Dance Exchange artist Shula Strassfeld leads a beginners’ class in quilting. Patrons can bring quilting tools or use the ones that will be provided. There is a suggested donation of $10 to $15. Dance Exchange is at 7117 Maple Ave., Takoma Park. For more information, visit danceexchange.org.Picture yourself
The Freer and Sackler galleries will host a workshop on creating self-portraits Oct. 1 at 1 p.m. at the Sackler Gallery. The event, in correlation with the exhibit “Power|Play: China’s Empress Dowager,” will discuss how Empress Dowager Cixi exploited photography to create flattering self-portraits; participants then will use digital and traditional media to create images of themselves. The event also will include refreshments favored by the empress. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online. The gallery is at 1050 Independence Avenue SW. For more info, visit asia.si.edu. (The event repeats Oct. 15 and 29.)Focus on African dance
African dance will be celebrated and imitated in a master class hosted by Imagination Stage on Oct. 2. Open to students in grades six through 12, the event will teach about traditional rhythms and dances of West Africa, emphasizing dances from the countries of Guinea and Senegal. Students will learn and perform the motions. The three-hour class begins at 4:15; fees range from $40 to $55. Imagination Stage is at 4908 Auburn Ave., Bethesda. For more information, visit imaginationstage.org.