Liz Lerman, founder and artistic director of the Dance Exchange, is just as adept with words as she is with movement. Her dances frequently send out verbal as well as kinetic messages. And her public persona has as much to do with her skills as a lecturer and teacher as with her dancing.

"Liz Comes Home" is the title of Friday night's informal discussion promoting "Evening of Exchange" at the Dance Exchange studio. For the past six months Lerman has been on a sabbatical of sorts, giving workshops, serving on panels, writing a book on dance as it relates to the elderly, and making new work. Now she's ready to talk about her travels, about community arts projects she encountered, about what it means to be a non-profit organization and more.

Three works will be danced and discussed. "In the Night Mind" is a solo about personality and character that Lerman fashioned for local dancer Diane Floyd. Then there's "10 Short Dances about the Defense Budget and Other Military Matters," a work-in-progress that wrangles with and stylizes some thorny issues. Dance Exchange stalwarts Helen Rea and Don Zuckerman, currently immersed in the collection and mastery of compelling duets, will present a choice example by Hannah Kahn, a dancemaker lauded for her musicality and lush movement style. "LIZ COMES HOME" -- An "Evening of Exchange," this Friday at 8 at the Dance Exchange, Lansburgh Building (sixth floor), 420 Seventh Street NW. Tickets $5. Call 783-8900.