D.C. community calendar, March 15 to 22, 2012

March 14, 2012
Thursday, March 15

“Le Petit Cirque,” “electro-acoustic” musician Laurent Bigot performs a circus-like show, featuring  recycled objects, toys and gadgets in motion. 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Thursday-Friday, National Gallery of Art, East Building, Small Auditorium, Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. 202-234-7911.

“Benjamin Franklin,” second part of the 2002 PBS documentary about Franklin’s later years as a diplomat and revolutionary leader. Noon, National Archives, McGowan Theater, Constitution Avenue and Ninth Street NW. Free. 202-357-5000.

E-book reader help, librarian Mike Price discusses how to read or listen to free books and other library media using an e-book reader or smartphone and helps visitors download library e-books; take your device and library card number. Noon-2 p.m., Deanwood Library, 1350 49th St. NE. Free. 202-698-1175.

“The Reach of Resonance,” Steve Elkins’s 2010 film in which four musicians and sound artists from different backgrounds express their perceptions about music and use their talents. Part of the Environmental Film Festival. 12:30 p.m., National Gallery of Art, East Building Concourse, auditorium, Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. 202-842-6799.

“We Know D.C.” high school competition, three-student teams display their knowledge of historic and contemporary city elections and government and political milestones. 1:30-3:30 p.m., Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, Room A-5, 901 G St. NW. Free. 202-727-0321.

Classical music concert, the National Symphony Orchestra Young Fellows perform. 6 p.m., Kennedy Center, Millennium Stage, 2700 F St. NW. Free. 202-467-4600.

“Fun That Counts: Beyond the Numbers,” for adults, opening of the “MathAlive!” exhibit, which focuses on math and the areas of design, engineering, technology and science; activities include exploring sound waves as you create a music mix, solving espionage codes and participating in a “fractal” dance party; with hors d’oeuvres and a “math-tini” cocktail. 6:30-9 p.m., S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Dr. SW. $35. 202-633-3030.

Archaeological treasure trove, “Treasure Below: Excavating at the Ancient Port of Constantinople,” Ufuk Kocabas, director of Istanbul University’s Yenikapi Shipwrecks Project, discusses the remains of 36 shipwrecks and other artifacts. 6:45 p.m., S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Dr. SW. $20. 202-633-3030.

“Gypsies,” Katona Jozsef Theatre performs the story of love and conflicts of Gypsy musicians and Hungarians in the countryside, in Hungarian with English subtitles. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Kennedy Center, Eisenhower Theater, 2700 F St. NW. $25-$50. 202-467-4600.

Friday, March 16

“St. Paddy Party,” Pete Moss and members of the Bog Band (with dancer Shannon Dunne) perform Irish music with traditional dancing; learn to count sheep in Gaelic and more. 10:15 and 11:30 a.m., Discovery Theater at S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Dr. SW. $8; ages 2-16, $6; 1 and younger, $3. 202-633-8700 or www.discoverytheater.org.

Friday Morning Music Club recital, a performance of works by Beethoven, Mozart and Faure. Noon, Calvary Baptist Church, 755 Eighth St. NW. Free. 202-333-2075.

Faulkner and Hemingway rivalry, author Joseph Fruscione, Georgetown University adjunct professor of English, discusses the literary rivalry between William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway. Noon, Library of Congress, Madison Building, Dining Room A, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free. 202-707-2138.

Sahel concert in Georgetown, “Afro-diaspora” music, including zouk, reggae and samba/bossa. 1:15 p.m., Georgetown University, McNeir Hall, 37th and O streets NW. Free. 202-687-3838.

Philosophy lecture, David C. Schindler, Villanova University associate professor of philosophy, discusses ”Freedom as Actuality: Hegel’s Critique of the Will to Power to Choose.” 2 p.m., Catholic University, Aquinas Hall Auditorium, 620 Michigan Ave. NE. Free. 202-319-5259.

Discovery of 1718 shipwreck, archaeologist Mark Wilde-Ramsing discusses the 1996 discovery of canons and anchors of the wreckage of Queen Anne’s Revenge, flagship of pirate Blackbeard, in the shoals of Beaufort Inlet in North Carolina. 2:10 p.m., Catholic University of America, Maloney Hall, Room 175, 620 Michigan Ave. NE. Free. 202-319-5080.

“GameFest! Evolution of Video Games,” curator Chris Melissinos moderates two panel discussions on the history of video game design and the future of the games. 3-6 p.m., Smithsonian American Art Museum, McEvoy Auditorium, Eighth and F streets NW. Free. 202-633-1000 or americanart.si.edu/taovg.

Hip-hop dance, Groove Theory performs. 7:30 p.m., Georgetown University, Gaston Hall, 37th and O streets NW. $7. 202-687-2787 or performingarts.georgetown.edu.

Isolated Arctic community, “The Tundra Book: A Tale of Vukvukai, the Little Rock” (2011), a documentary about the Chukchi people, inhabitants of a remote peninsula in the Arctic, in Russian and Chukchi with English subtitles. Part of the D.C. Environmental Film Festival. 7:30 p.m., National Geographic, 17th and M streets NW. $10. 202-857-7700.

The Rocky Horror Show,” the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington performs the Richard O’Brien musical. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday, George Washington University, Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st St. NW. $25-$50. 202-293-1548 or www.gmcw.org.

Folger Consort’s “The Songbird” the Folger Consort, soprano Michele Kennedy, violinist Risa Browder and harpsichordist Joseph Gascho perform music of the Medici court by Francesca Caccini, 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday; pre-concert discussion, 7 p.m. Friday, Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol St. SE. $35. 202-544-7077.

“The Wolves in the Walls,” university students perform a play about a woman who believes there are wolves living in the walls of her family’s house. 8 p.m., Georgetown University, McNeir Hall, Devine Studio Theatre, 37th and O streets NW. Free. 202-687-3838 or performingarts.georgetown.edu.

Irish music by the Chieftains, sponsored by Washington Performing Arts Society. 8 p.m., Kennedy Center, Concert Hall, 2700 F St. NW. $28-$65. 202-785-9727 or www.wpas.org.

Weather lecture, Bruce Parker of the Stevens Institute of Technology discusses the history of predicting tides and other weather phenomena, sponsored by the Philosophical Society of Washington. 8:15 p.m., Cosmos Club, John Wesley Powell Auditorium, 2170 Florida Ave. NW. Free. 703-370-5282.

“TRON,” the 1982 film classic about a video game inventor who is transported into the digital world inside a computer where he must battle the evil Master Control Program to escape, starring Jeff Bridges. 8:30 p.m., Smithsonian American Museum of Art, Kogod Courtyard, Eighth and F streets NW. Free. 202-633-1000.

Saturday, March 17

“Treasure Quest: Pirate Comedy and Magic,” featuring Matthew Pauli. 9:30 and 11 a.m., National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Free ticket, one per person, distributed 30 minutes before each show. 202-783-3372.

“Fly a Kite” workshop, a kite specialist helps visitors create a kite to take home, materials provided. 10 a.m.-noon, Corcoran Gallery of Art, 500 17th St. NW. $20. 202-639-1700.

“Titeuf, Le Film,” for ages 7-13, an animated comedy about a 10-year-old boy who falls for a girl in his school while his parents are planning to separate, in French with English subtitles. 10 a.m., Avalon Theatre, 5612 Connecticut Ave. NW. $5.75. 202-966-6000.

“Beyond the Basics: 1940 Census, Claire Kluskens teaches archival research skills. 10 a.m., National Archives, 700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Free. 202-357-5000.

“Chandani: Daughter of the Elephant Whisperer,” about a girl who is determined to follow in her father’s footsteps and learn the secrets of the trade that have been passed down through generations, in English and Sinhala with English subtitles, part of the Environmental Film Festival. 10:30 a.m., National Gallery of Art, East Building Concourse, Auditorium, Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. 202-342-2564 or www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org .

“Knitting as Contemporary Art,” knitter Jennifer Lindsay discusses knitting as an art form, and fiber artists Barbara Rushworth and Rania Hassan discuss knitted fabrics in wearable art, sculpture and mixed-media compositions; take examples of your own work or collection to show. 10:30 a.m., Textile Museum, 2320 S St. NW. Free. 202-667-0441, Ext. 64.

“St. Paddy Party,” Pete Moss, members of the Bog Band and dancer Shannon Dunne perform Irish music with traditional dancing; learn to count sheep in Gaelic and more; plus a craft activity. Noon, Discovery Theater at S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Dr. SW. $12; ages 2-16, $10; 1 and younger, $3. 202-633-8700 or www.discoverytheater.org.

Film festival animated film retrospective, “Turtle World,” “Old Man and the Sea,” “For the Birds” and “The Man Who Planted Trees.” Part of the D.C. Environmental Film Festival. 1 p.m., National Geographic, 17th and M streets NW. $8. 202-342-2564 or www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org.

“People of a Feather” film, about the Sanikiluaq people who live on the isolated Belcher Islands in Hudson Bay and who are coping with ecosystem devastation; followed by a discussion with filmmaker Joel Heath. Part of the D.C. Environmental Film Festival. 2 p.m., National Museum of the American Indian, Rasmuson Theater, Fourth Street and Independence Avenue SW. Free. 202-342-2564 or www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org.

Zakir Hussain and Masters of Percussion, concert. 3 p.m., Kennedy Center, Concert Hall, 2700 F St. NW. $15-$65. 202-785-9727 or www.wpas.org.

“Sanctuary: The Last Stand for Sharks,” John Weller and Shawn Heinrichs’s 2011 film about the efforts of the Bahamas to protect sharks from extinction. Part of the D.C. Environmental Film Festival. 4:30 p.m., GALA Hispanic Theatre, 3333 14th St. NW. Free. 202-342-2564 or www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org.

Sixth Floor Trio concert, a program that explores the connection between folk and classical music, part of ”The Music of Budapest, Prague and Vienna.” 6 p.m., Kennedy Center, Millennium Stage, 2700 F St. NW. Free. 202-467-4600.

Arcade game documentary, “The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters,” 2007 film about two competitors for the Guinness World Record playing Donkey Kong, followed by discussion. 7 p.m., Smithsonian American Art Museum, McEvoy Auditorium, Eighth and F streets NW. Free. 202-633-1000.

Irish music by the Moya Brennan Band, 7:30 p.m., National Geographic, 17th and M streets NW. $30. 202-857-7700.

Amerigo Trio classical recital, violinist Glenn Dicterow, violist Karen Dreyfus and cellist Inbal Segev perform works by Beethoven, Dohnanyi and Handel-Halverson. 8 p.m., Dumbarton Church, 3133 Dumbarton St. NW. $33; seniors and students, $29. 202-965-2000 or www.dumbartonconcerts.org.

Youth festival dance concert, performers include Coyaba Youth Ensemble, Dance Place Step Team, Jump! Dance Company and Bailey’s Dance Company. 8 p.m. Saturday, 4 p.m. Sunday, Dance Place, 3225 Eighth St. NE. $22; seniors and teachers, $17; college students, $10; 17 and younger, $8; Sunday: visitors 11 and younger free with a paying adult. 202-269-1600 or www.danceplace.org.

Sunday, March 18

Politics and leadership talk, “The State of Political Power: How Is Leadership Exercised?,” discussed by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). 10:10 a.m., Washington National Cathedral, Front Nave, Wisconsin and Massachusetts avenues NW. Free. 202-537-6200 or www.nationalcathedral.org.

GameFest! - ComputeHER, ComputerHer, the solo project of Michelle Sternberger from 8 Bit Weapon, performs intricate electronic music that was created using retro gaming consoles and 8-bit computers. 11:30 a.m., Smithsonian American Art Museum, Kogod Courtyard, Eighth and F streets NW. Free. 202-633-1000 or http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/archive/2012/games/gamefest

“The Sound of Mumbai: A Musical,” the 2010 documentary focusing on 11-year-old Ashish and illustrating how the city’s children use the music of the Bombay Chamber Orchestra to rise above their impoverished circumstances, part of the Environmental Film Festival. 11:30 a.m., “Wild by Law: National Gallery of Art, East Building Concourse, Auditorium, Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. 202-842-6799 or www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org.

“Wild by Law:The Rise of Environmentalism and the Creation of the Wilderness Act,” Lawrence Hott and Diane Garey’s 1992 story of a historic struggle to preserve the natural world by forester and philosopher Aldo Leopold, author of the best-selling “A Sand County Almanac” and the first to bring the word “ecology” into standard usage; Bob marshall, millionaire socialist and founder of The Wilderness Society and Howard ahniser, a tireless bureaucrat with a profound love of the wild places he seldom saw, part of the Environmental Film Festival. Noon, National Museum of American History, Warner Brothers Theater, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. 202-633-1000 or www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org.

“The Hungry Tide,” the 2011 documentary about Maria Tiimon, a Kiribati woman who lives in Australia and is active in pursuing action from the world community to change policies and attitudes to save her country and other countries threatened by rising tides as a result of climate change, in English and Kiribati with English subtitles, part of the Environmental Film Festival. Noon, National Museum of Natural History, 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. 202-633-1000 or www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org.

U.S. conservation history and controversy,“The Wilderness Idea: John Muir, Gifford Pinchot and the First Great Battle for Wilderness,” 1990 documentary about Muir’s opposition to flooding a valley in Yosemite National Park to make a reservoir for San Francisco; Pinchot supported the flooding. Part of the D.C. Environmental Film Festival. Noon, National Museum of American History, Warner Brothers Theater, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. 202-633-1000 or www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org.

“Someplace With a Mountain,” Steve Goodall’s 2010 documentary about the plight of a special group of Pacific Islanders, traditional sailors, the proud forefathers of many cultures in the tropical Pacific and the loss of their homes and crops to a rising sea level, part of the D.C. Environmental Film Festival. Noon, National Museum of Natural History, Baird Auditorium, 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. 202-342-2564 or .www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org.

Short films about water and the environment, ”Extinction,” “Mission of Mermaids,” “Aral: The Lost Sea,” and “Carbon for Water,” a discussion with filmmakers Evan Abramson and Carmen Elsa Lopez and Margot Stiles, Senior Scientist and Campaign Manager, Oceana, follows, part of the D.C. Environmental Film Festival. 1 p.m., Carnegie Institution for Science, Elihu Root Auditorium, 1530 P St. NW. Free. 202-342-2564 or .www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org.

301 East Capitol: Tales From the Heart of the Hill,” Mary Z. Gray discusses her book and answers questions about her 1920s childhood in the neighborhood. 2 p.m., Naval Lodge Hall, 330 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Free, reservations required. 202-544-1845 or overbecklecture@capitolhillhistory.org.

Marathon Bach organ concert, works by J.S. Bach performed on the church’s 2,500-pipe Rieger tracker organ by Julie Evans, Russell Weismann, Jeremy Filsell, Joy Leilani, Mark Willey and others; visitors can arrive and leave when they want. 2-6 p.m., Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church, 1 Chevy Chase Cir. NW. Free, donations welcome. 202-363-2202.

“Rehje,” Anais Huerta and Raul Cuesta’s 2009 meditative documentary about a woman who returns to her small town from 40 years of living in Mexico City only to find the hrash present-day reality of water scarcity, resulting in dry riverbeds and sick relatives, in Spanish with English subtitles, a discussion with the filmmaker follows, part of the D.C. Environmental Film Festival. 2 p.m., Mexican Cultural Institute, 2829 16th St. NW. Free, reservations recommended. 202-342-2564 or www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org.

or RSVP@instituteofmexicodc.org

“A Place in the Land,” Charles Guggenheim’s 1998 documentary about the lives of George March, Frederick Billings and Laurence Rockefeller, three influential figures in the history of conservation but born generations apart and sharing a vision and a place: the same house and surrounding land in Woodstock, Vermont, a place that instilled a determination to preserve America’s natural resources and to live in harmony with nature, now preserved at the Billings Farm and Museum, a museum of Vermont’s rural past and a working dairy farm, and the Marsh Billings Rockefeller National Park, teh first National Park in America dedicated to teaching the concept of land stewardship, a discussion with filmmaker Grace Guggenheim follows. Part of the D.C. Environmental Film Festival. National Museum of American History, Warner Brothers Theater, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. 202-342-2564 or www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org.

Electronic music at Smithsonian, Michelle Sternberger performs intricate electronic music using old video game consoles and computers, 11:30 a.m.; 8 Bit Weapon duo, featuring Sternberger and her husband Seth, performs music inspired by classic video game soundtracks and electronic music from the 1970s and ’80s, using old video game consoles and vintage computers, 2:30-4 p.m., Smithsonian American Art Museum, Kogod Courtyard, Eighth and F streets NW. Free. 202-633-1000.

“California Forever: The Story of California State Parks,” the first episode of David Vassar’s history of the diverse parks, such as Yosemite; followed by a discussion with filmmakers Vassar and Sally Kaplan. Part of the D.C. Environmental Film Festival. 3 p.m., National Museum of American History, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. 202-342-2564 or www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org.

Films about the Tar Sands Program, “Dirty Oil,” Leslie Iwerks’s 2009 documentary about the environmental and human rights issues in Alberta, Canada’s toxic oil sands and the impacts of Canadian oil on both sides of the U.S. border as the dumping of toxic oil into the Great Lakes continues. Part of the Environmental Film Festival. 3 p.m.; and “Pipe Dreams,” the David and Goliath struggle over the tar sands Keystone XL Pipeline, proposed to be routed from Hardisty, Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast, crossing the country’s largest freshwater resource, the Ogallala Aquifer, and the fragile Sandhills of Nebraska, posing devastating consequences to human health, livestock and agriculture. 4:30 p.m., Carnegie Institution of Washington, Elihu Root Auditoriuum, 1530 P St. NW. Free. 202-342-2564 or www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org.

“California Forever: The Story of California State Parks,” from Yosemite, California’s first state park, the narrative moves through the individual stories of citizen action that preserved many of California’s most celebrated landscapes as state parks, historic places that commemorate crucial chapters of the story are also explored, as well as key battles within the history of conservation in America and revealing how the natural beauty and cultural history of California inspired, and continues to inspire, citizens to preserve and protect its storied places, a discussion with filmmakers David Vassar and Sally Kaplan follows. Part of the D.C. Environmental Film Festival. 3 p.m., National Museum of American History, Warner Brothers Theater, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. 202-342-2564 or www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org.

Piano recital and exhibit opening, James Litzelman, a member of the piano faculty at Catholic University, performs works by Schubert, Chopin and Franck; plus a display of watercolors by Rachel Collins. 4 p.m., Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church, 3401 Nebraska Ave. NW. Donations requested. 202-363-4900 or 202-966-3287.

Poetry recitation and violin music, “Masters of Allusion,” VERGE ensemble violinist James Stern recites T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Waste Land” and plays Leon Kirchner’s “For Violin Solo.” He will then perform Gyorgy Ligeti’s “Horn Trio” with VERGE pianist Audrey Andrist and guest horn player James Ross. 4 p.m., Corcoran Gallery of Art, 500 17th St. NW. $20. 202-639-1700.

“Green” movement in China, “Waking the Green Tiger: A Green Movement Rises in China,” the 2011 film about environmental activism in China and a campaign to stop a huge dam project on the Upper Yangtze River in southwestern China; followed by a discussion with filmmaker Gary Marcuse and American University professor Judith Shapiro. Part of the Environmental Film Festival. 5 p.m., Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Free, reservations required. 202-549-4172 or hillcenterdc.org/home/programs/.

Cathedral pipe organ recital, Stewart Scharch performs works by Craig Phillips, J. S. Bach, Louis Vierne, Cesar Franck, Kenneth Leighton and Clarence Dickinson. 5:15 p.m., Washington National Cathedral, Wisconsin and Massachusetts avenues NW. Suggested donation, $10. 202-537-6200 or www.nationalcathedral.org.

Viennese waltz program, by Sidney’s Viennese Waltz Orchestra and fiddler Elke Baker, 6 p.m.; folk dance lessons taught by Donna Barker, 5 p.m., Kennedy Center, Millennium Stage, 2700 F St. NW. Free. 202-467-4600.

Museum violin and piano recital, Cyrus Forough, violin, and Stephen Ackert perform works by J.S. Bach, Beethoven and Falla; latecomers not admitted. 6:30 p.m., National Gallery of Art, West Building Garden Court, 600 Constitution Ave. NW. Free. 202-842-6941.

“The Big Fix,” Josh Tickell and Rebecca Harrell Tickell’s 2011 documentary about the causes and consequences of the catastrophic 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosino and oil spill investigating the corporate negligence and political corruption that have made Louisiana more of an “oil colony” than a state in our union and exposing the media’s failure to report the story and government’s cooperation in assisting BP to cover up the true extent of the disaster, pointing to the after effects of the spill in the water and on shore, a discussion with the filmmakers follows. Part of the D.C. Environmental Film Festival. 7 p.m., Carnegie Institution of Washington, Elihu Root Auditoriuum, 1530 P St. NW. Free. 202-342-2564 or www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org.

Smithsonian Chamber Players concert, with baritone William Sharp and fortepianist Kenneth Slowik, works by Robert Schumann. 7:30 p.m., National Museum of American History, Hall of Musical Instruments, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. $28. 202-633-3030.

Monday, March 19

Westminster Schools Orchestra concert, music by American composers. 4 p.m., National Gallery of Art, West Building Garden Court, 600 Constitution Ave. NW. Free. 202-842-6941.

“Under Control” nuclear power film, Volker Sattel’s documentary about nuclear power plant technology in Germany and nuclear plant security measures; in German with English subtitles. Part of the D.C. Environmental Film Festival. 5:30 p.m., Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh St. NW. Free. 202-342-2564 or www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org.

“Green” movement in China, “Waking the Green Tiger: A Green Movement Rises in China,” 2011 film about environmental activism in China and a campaign to stop a huge dam project on the Upper Yangtze River in southwestern China; followed by a discussion with filmmaker Gary Marcuse and American University professor Judith Shapiro. Part of the Environmental Film Festival. 6 p.m., American University, School of International Service Building, Abramson Family Founders Room, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Free. 202-342-2564 or www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org.

Kennedy Center choral concert, choirs from the School Without Walls and Wilson Senior High School perform classical, spiritual, jazz and Broadway selections. 6 p.m., Kennedy Center, Millennium Stage, 2700 F St. NW. Free. 202-467-4600.

“Shelter in Place,” Zel Nelson’s 2009 documentary about the oil industry and pollution in Texas. Part of the D.C. Environmental Film Festival. 6:30 p.m., Howard University, Cramton Auditorium, 2455 Sixth St. NW. Free. 202-342-2564 or www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org.

Deanwood Library knitting club, for all ages and experience levels, librarian Mike Price offers advice on projects; light refreshments served. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Mondays, Deanwood Library, 1350 49th St. NE. Free. 202-698-1175.

Deanwood Library chess night, for all ages and experience levels, led by Jonee Washington. 7-8:45 p.m. most Mondays and Wednesdays, Deanwood Library, 1350 49th St. NE. Free. 202-698-1175.

“Bones of Turkana” fossil documentary, about paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey’s search for fossil clues about human evolution around Lake Turkana in Kenya; music by Paul Simon and the Kenyan Boys Choir; followed by a discussion with the filmmakers. Part of the D.C. Environmental Film Festival. 7:30 p.m., National Geographic, 17th and M streets NW. $10. 202-857-7700 or 202-342-2564 or www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org.

“Taste the Waste,” Valentin Thurn’s documentary about how large quantities of edible food are being dumped as waste; in German with English subtitles. Part of the D.C. Environmental Film Festival. 7:30 p.m., Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh St. NW. Free. 202-342-2564 or www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org.

Ute Lemper, Vogler Quartet concert, “Berlin Nights, Paris Days: The Art of the Chanson,” Lemper, a cabaret singer, performs with the string quartet and pianist/ clarinetist Stefan Malzew. 7:30 p.m., Kennedy Center, Terrace Theater, 2700 F St. NW. $60. 202-467-4600.

“La Tarantella,” L’Arpeggiata ensemble with harp and lute player Christina Pluhar and vocalist Lucilla Galeazzi perform, 8 p.m.; talk by Alberto Manai, director of the Italian Cultural Institute, 6:15 p.m., Library of Congress, Coolidge Auditorium, 10 First St. SE. Free tickets available by phone, with a $2.80 service charge per ticket. 202-397-7328 or 202-707-5502.

Tuesday, March 20

Civil War talk, Guy Gugliotta discusses his book “Freedom’s Cap: The United States Capitol and the Coming of the Civil War.” Noon, Veterans of Foreign Wars Building, Ketchum Hall, 200 Maryland Ave. NW. Free, reservations recommended. 202-543-8919, Ext. 38, or www.uschs.org.

Pictures on Silence chamber music duo, saxophonist Noah Getz and harpist Jacqueline Pollauf perform. 12:10 p.m., Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G St. NW. Suggested donation, $5. 202-347-2635, Ext. 18.

“Eco-Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson,” Trish Dolman’s film about the ocean environmental activist. Part of the D.C. Environmental Film Festival. 6 p.m., Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Free. 202-342-2564 or www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org.

Hungarian Csardas dance, with music by the Eletfa Hungarian Folk Ensemble. 6 p.m., Kennedy Center, Millennium Stage, 2700 F St. NW. Free. 202-467-4600.

“California State of Mind: The Legacy of Pat Brown,” historian Michael Beschloss introduces a screening of the documentary about Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Sr., who was governor during the 1960s. 7 p.m., National Archives, McGowan Theater, Constitution Avenue and Ninth Street NW. Free. 202-357-5000.

19th-century dancing class, hosted by Pat Sowers and Jackie Geschickter in preparation for the March 24 Dumbarton Spring Ball. 7-9 p.m., Dumbarton House, Belle Vue Room, 2715 Q St. NW. $12. 202-337-2288.

“The Best and Worst of Wildlife Films, American University professor Chris Palmer shows clips from wildlife films, evaluating the ethics of how the scenes were filmed. Palmer also screens the winners of this year’s Eco-Comedy Video Competition. Part of the Environmental Film Festival. Reception, 6:30 p.m.; film and discussion, 7 p.m, American University, Wechsler Theater, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Free. 202-885-3408 or 202-342-2564 or www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org.

Wednesday, March 21

Robot explorers, Anthony Nunez of Infamous Robotics teaches participants about exploration robots before participants go to the Spark!Lab Robot Inventing Lab to build a robot prototype to take home. 10:15 and 11:30 a.m., Discovery Theater at S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Dr. SW. $8; ages 2-16, $6; 1 and younger, $3. 202-633-8700 or www.discoverytheater.org.

“Beyond the Basics: 1940 Census,” an archives staff member teaches archival research skills in connection with the pending public release of the 1940 Census on April 2. 11 a.m., National Archives, 700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Free. 202-357-5000.

Telescope talk, NASA scientist Amber Straughn discusses the James Webb Space Telescope. 11:30 a.m., Library of Congress, Madison Building, Mary Pickford Theater, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free. 202-707-5664.

Franklin records at National Archives, exhibit curator Michael Hussey discusses the National Archives documents featured in the exhibit “Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World.” Noon, National Archives, Washington Room, Constitution Avenue and Ninth Street NW. Free. 202-357-5000.

Ubanization in Nigeria, “Lagos/Koolhaas” film, Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas explores the city of Lagos for two years, examining the effect of rapid urbanization there. Part of the Environmental Film Festival. Noon, Textile Museum, 2320 S St. NW. Free. 202-342-2564 or www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org.

Renwick Gallery craft talk, Rebecca Robinson, assistant to the gallery chief, discusses Mary Jackson’s “Low Basket With Handle.” Noon, Renwick Gallery, 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Free. 202-633-1000.

Puppeteers at work, noon, Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F St. NW. Free. 202-547-1122 or www.shakespearetheatre.org/happenings.

“Cane Toads: The Conquest,” Mark Lewis’s 2010 documentary about the introduction of cane toads from Hawaii to control beetles decimating Queensland sugar cane crops about 75 years ago, and how the toads invaded the rest of Australia. Part of the D.C. Environmental Film Festival. 6 and 8 p.m., E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. $7.50. 202-342-2564 or www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org.

Czech polka dancing, with music by Czech and Then Some. 6 p.m., Kennedy Center, Millennium Stage, 2700 F St. NW. Free. 202-467-4600.

“How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?,” a documentary about British architect Norman Foster, who designed the Beijing Airport and the Hearst Building in New York City. Part of the Environmental Film Festival. 6:30 p.m., National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. $12; students, $10. 202-272-2448 or 202-342-2564 or www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org.

“Propaganda in Porcelain,” Nick Pearce, head of the School of Culture and Creative Arts at the University of Glasgow, identifies the themes of China’s Qing Dynasty, which used porcelain design to promote its rulers and public image. 6:45 p.m., S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Dr. SW. $30. 202-633-3030.

“A New Fight: Air War in the Pacific,” Craig L. Symonds, professor emeritus of history at the U.S. Naval Academy, discusses the World War II battles of the Coral Sea, Midway, the Philippine Sea and Leyte Gulf to show how the aircraft carrier transformed naval combat. 7 p.m., S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Dr. SW. $40. 202-633-3030.

“A Walk on the Beach With Michele Oka Doner,” lecture and film screening about the artist whose work celebrates the beauty and variety of the natural world. Part of the D.C. Environmental Film Festival. 7 p.m., Corcoran Gallery of Art, 500 17th St. NW. $10. 202-639-1700, 202-342-2564 or www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org.

Student environmental short films, American University professors Chris Palmer and Sandy Cannon-Brown host several short films and a discussion with the filmmakers. Part of the D.C. Environmental Film Festival. 7 p.m., American University, Mary Graydon Center, Wechsler Theater, third floor, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Free. 202-885-3408, 202-342-2564 or www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org.

“My Favorite Bach,” organist Charles Miller performs toccatas, preludes, fugues, trio sonatas and more. 7:30 p.m., National City Christian Church, 5 Thomas Cir. NW. Suggested donation, $20. 202-797-0103 or www.nationalcitycc.org.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” university students perform August Wilson’s play about a blues performer in 1927 Chicago. 8 p.m. Wednesday through March 24, 2 p.m. March 25 (with sign interpretation), Georgetown University, Davis Performing Arts Center, Devine Studio Theatre, 37th and O streets NW. $8. 202-687-2787 or performingarts.georgetown.edu.

Thursday, March 22

Beginner computer classes, for all ages. 9-10 a.m. Thursdays, Deanwood Library, Computer Lab, 1350 49th St. NE. Free. 202-698-1175.

“The Raucous 51st Congress,” Joseph T. Wilkins discusses his book “The Speaker Who Locked Up the House: A Novel About Tom Reed and the Raucous 51st Congress.” Noon, Veterans of Foreign Wars Building, Ketchum Hall, 200 Maryland Ave. NW. Free, reservations recommended. 202-543-8919, Ext. 38, or www.uschs.org.

Schoenberg and early music, a lecture by Music Division staff member Daniel Walshaw. Noon, Library of Congress, Jefferson Building, Whittall Pavilion, 10 First St. SE. Free. 202-707-5502.

Peter Frankl piano concert, the Yale University professor of music performs works by Brahms, Beethoven and Bartok (experienced pianists are invited to attend his master class at 10 a.m. March 23). Concert, 8 p.m., Catholic University, Ward Recital Hall, 620 Michigan Ave. NE. Free. 202-319-5416.

— Compiled by Gerri Marmer

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