D.C. arts briefs: Video game exhibit, family and music festivals, SWAN day

Saturday, February 19, 2011; 4:01 PM

The art of the video game? You decide.

Are video games art? An upcoming Smithsonian exhibit featuring video games seems to say the answer is yes but leaves it to you to decide which games should be on display.

Voting has opened for the exhibition, which has a ballot of games selected by curator Chris Melissinos, founder of the company Past Pixels and a video game collector.

Melissinos was joined by an all-star panel of journalists and industry leaders to create the ballot of 240 games. Voters can select 80 games by type and console from five distinct video game eras that span the days of Atari and 8-bit to the 3-D revolution.

Entries from the modern era include Fable, Heavy Rain, Halo 2 and World of Warcraft.

To vote, go to artofvideogames.org .

- Hayley Tsukayama

African American Family Festival at Walters

The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore is hosting an African American Family Festival on Feb. 26. The free event is an opportunity to honor the influence of African American heritage throughout the world.

There will be an African-inspired village marketplace set up for patrons to view art, textiles and musical instruments. Families can create their own African-inspired art and participate in dance classes. Storyteller Diane Macklin will perform "Succotash Tales." Lesole's Dance Project and DishiBem Traditional Contemporary Dance will perform.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For information visit thewalters.org/eventscalendar .

Jazz & Tap Festival at Dancin' Unlimited

Dancin' Unlimited Jazz Dance Company is holding its 25th annual Jazz & Tap Dance Festival on March 5 and 6 at the Northern Virginia Community College at the Annandale Campus Theatre.

The event will feature eight other area companies that specialize in jazz, tap and hip-hop, and a performance by Rasta Thomas, director of the Bad Boys of Dance.

Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door. The theater is at 8333 Little River Tpk., Annandale. For more information, visit dancinunlimited.org/festival.htm .

D.C. SWAN Day event in Georgetown

The Georgetown Theatre Company and Women in Film & Video will present the fourth D.C. SWAN (Support Women Artist Now) Day on March 26. The free event will have performances of music, poetry reading, storytelling, with visual arts and films from the United States and abroad.

The all-afternoon event will have performances across Georgetown, beginning at noon with a panel of artists, "Dishing with the Girls," at Barnes & Noble. From 1 to 5 p.m., 16 short plays directed by D.C. female directors and written by female playwrights from all over the country will be presented at Grace Church; an eight-film screening of the 2011 Women in Film & Television International Short Film Showcase will be held at the Foundry; and at Puro Cafe there will be music, poetry reading and storytelling by female artists.

A visual art showcase will run March 16-29 at Baked and Wired, 1052 Thomas Jefferson St. NW. There will also be a SWAN Day reception on March 25 at 6 p.m. at Baked and Wired.

For more information visit swanday.org .

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