The season begins.

Sept. 12

The George Washington University at Mount Vernon College's IN Series season opens with a Cabaret Preview evening, featuring performances by Ana Castrello and Debra Tidwellin the Hand Chapel on campus. A season inaugural picnic precedes the performance. Tickets: $45 for adults; $40 for students. (Friends of the IN Series receive a $10 discount.) Show tickets only, $19; $13 for youth or students with ID. Call 202-625-4655.

The celebration and awards reception for N Street Village, which "supports and accompanies women on their journeys out of homelessness and provides permanent and transitional housing for the addicted and mentally ill," is at the Crestar Bank building, 1445 New York Ave. NW. Tickets start at $1,000. Call 202-939-2071.

The benefit for the Ethos Foundation, a nonprofit provider of mental health and substance abuse treatment services in the Washington metropolitan area, is at the America restaurant in Tysons Corner. Tickets: $40 (children under 12 free). Call 703-671-5335.

Sept. 13

The third annual Noche de Gala Dinner benefiting the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts is at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel. Special guests include Vice President Al Gore, Jimmy Smits, Sonia Braga, Jon Secada and Esai Morales. Tickets start at $1,000. Call 202-298-8308.

Sept. 15

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's CBC Spouses Celebration of Leadership event honoring former senator Carol Moseley-Braun is at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Benefit tickets--proceeds benefit the foundation's scholarship program--start at $250. General admission (dance only) tickets: $45. Call 202-675-6730.

Tito Puente and his Orchestra provide the entertainment at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 22nd annual gala at the Washington Hilton. This year's gala honors Robert Menendez and Carlos Santana. Tickets start at $500. Call 202-543-1771.

Sept. 16

The Washington Ballet fashion show benefit showcasing St. John fashions is at Saks Fifth Avenue, Chevy Chase. Hors d'oeuvres, cocktails, a fashion show, dessert and coffee are offered. Tickets: $75. Call 202-362-3606, ext. 125.

Jeffrey Osborne performs at the Congressional Black Caucus Spouses benefit concert at the Washington Convention Center. Benefit tickets start at $250 (general admission tickets: $50). Call 202-675-6730.

Sept. 17

The Decatur House Museum benefit--"1945: A Taste of History"--offers cocktails, dinner and swing music by Peaches O'Dell and Her Orchestra and is at the museum. Tickets start at $150 (for $75, guests under 35 years of age may enjoy cocktails, dessert and dancing after 8:30 p.m.). Call 202-842-0920.

The first Duncan Phillips Medal will be awarded to New York art collector Leonard A. Lauder, chairman of the Whitney Museum of American Art and chairman and CEO of the Estee Lauder Companies, during the Phillips Collection's weekend of special events. There is a champagne reception Sept. 17 at the residence of the Ambassador of France, a dinner Sept. 18 at the Phillips Collection--where Lauder will receive the medal--and a brunch, lecture and a preview of the exhibition "Renoir to Rothko: The Eye of Duncan Phillips" Sept. 19 at the Phillips. Tickets: $1,000. (Tickets to the dinner only: $500.) Call 202-636-8750.

The Maryland Governor's Commission on Hispanic Affairs Eighth Annual Awards Gala--which features the music of Grupo Latino Continental--is at Martin's Crosswinds in Greenbelt. Tickets: $55. Call 410-484-2766.

The Congressional Black Caucus Spouses Evening Fashion show will be held at the Grand Hyatt Washington. Tickets start at $85. Call 202-675-6730.

A private preview party of the Friends of the National Zoo Wildlife Art Festival at the zoo benefits giant panda conservation at the National Zoo. (Festival dates are Sept. 18 and 19.) Tickets: $25. Call 202-673-4613.

To be continued.