People walk past a vendor selling T-shirts featuring a picture of US President Barack Obama in Washington on January 5, 2013. Preparations are underway for Obama's second inauguration which will take place with a public ceremonial oath of office on January 21. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Free this week: Inauguration events start early this week, with a no-cover party at Tropicalia and a millennial panel. Here’s the rundown:


Howard University Music Department Centennial

NSO in Your Neighborhood continues at Howard University with a classical recital by NSO musicians Nick Stovall (oboe), Loren Kitt (clarinet), Truman Harris (bassoon), Laurel Bennert Ohlson (horn) and Alice Weinreb (flute).


Michael Sulick book signing

The author of “Spying in America” discusses espionage from the Revolutionary War to the beginning of the Cold War and signs copies of his book at the International Spy Museum.


Inauguration/MLK birthday party

Most inauguration festivities don’t begin until Friday, but for those in town early, head to Tropicalia to kick things off with DJs Underdog, Jahsonic and Sam Burns. This no-cover party is a wallet-friendly way to save up for your ball of choice over the weekend.


Arab shorts

Amman-based artist Ala Younis curates a selection of short films from the Arab world. Younis will introduce and discuss her selections, which cover education in Syria, Bedouin communities in Egypt and more. Another program of Arab shorts screens Friday at 7 p.m.


Relive inaugurations past

Looking to gear up for Monday’s inauguration? See footage of the inaugurations of Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan pulled from the National Archives.


The Millennial Ideas Forum

Spend Saturday at M Central downtown not partying but weighing the future and the goals of young creatives and entrepreneurs. The Ideas Forum, presented in partnership with the New America Foundation, brings together a pianist; staffers from the White House, USAID and Congress; the founders of Uber and Fojol Brothers; D.C. graffiti artist Bryan Conner and many others to discuss the legacy of this generation.


‘Lumiere d’ete’

Part of the National Gallery of Art’s Jean Gremillon film series, this 1943 film is the famed director’s most political and technically astute film. The film was suppressed by Vichy censors when it was first released.