OUR PICKS

Exhibition

Featured in Dan Brown's best-selling novel "The Da Vinci Code," Jim Sanborn's encrypted "Kronos" sculpture holds its secrets as tightly as the CIA, whose headquarters houses the work. On Friday at 12:30, the Washington-based artist will speak at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden about the messages in his often cipher-like art in "Jim Sanborn and 'The Da Vinci Code,' " a free lecture that will address, among other pieces, the Hirshhorn's own "Antipodes." Call 202-633-1000 (TDD: 202-357-1729).

-- Michael O'Sullivan

Film

On the surface, David Cronenberg's "A History of Violence" revolves around the soft-spoken owner of an Indiana diner (Viggo Mortensen) defending his family against a ruthless horde of hoods, but it's actually a deeper look at our Pavlovian conditioning to violence. See review on Page 40.

-- Desson Thomson

Music

Celebrating native son Duke Ellington in a jazz festival allows for great leeway: No American composer has been so prolific or so wide-ranging in his musical ambition and experimentation. The six-day inaugural Duke Ellington Festival, held at various locations in the District, kicks off Wednesday with the Dave Brubeck Quartet at the Lincoln Theatre, across the street from True Reformers Hall, where Ellington and his combo, Duke's Serenaders, played their first gig in 1918. The Chico O'Farrill Afro-Cuban Orchestra offers a "Duke Goes Latin" concert at the Lincoln on Thursday. Call 202-232-3611.

-- Richard Harrington

Dance

On Monday night, the local dance community pats itself on the back at the fifth annual Metro DC Dance Awards ceremony at the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater. In addition to presenting awards in 13 categories, the evening pays tribute to late choreographer Eric Hampton, with excerpts from his works. Call 202-467-4600.

-- Lisa Traiger

Detail from Jim Sanborn's sculpture "Antipodes" at the Hirshhorn.