Editor’s note: The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted everyday life around the D.C. area and beyond. Events have been canceled, and museums and nightclubs have closed. Some venues have moved their trivia nights and dance parties online, while theaters have opened virtual screening rooms. This is a collection of our favorites, both ongoing and one-time-only happenings, updated every Thursday. Events are free unless otherwise noted.


‘Swept Drawings’ at the National Gallery of Art: It can be hard at times to focus on much of anything beyond getting through the day. Thankfully, some people, such as the modern sculptor Andy Goldsworthy, are channeling life in quarantine into compelling art. You might be familiar with the British-born artist’s mesmerizing works from Glenstone (“Clay Houses”) or the National Gallery of Art’s nine stacked-slate domes in its East building (“Roof”). Goldsworthy’s latest work, shared through the National Gallery’s website, is “Swept Drawings,” a video during which, for five-plus hours, he simply sweeps the dusty floor of a shed near his home in Scotland. The work depicts nine different drawings of lines and forms along a narrow pathway, and the artist even suggests not consuming it as you would a movie, but rather “more something to be lived with as you would a painting or sculpture.” Press play and see if it doesn’t sweep you in. Ongoing.

National Book Festival at Home: While the National Book Festival is still tentatively on track for Aug. 29, the Library of Congress has been ramping up its digital offerings to give bookworms a taste of the popular event, which celebrates its 20th birthday this year. Each weekday, the Library’s blog posts a “best of” book talk from a past festival, highlighting different literary genres. If you’re looking for a little fun and whimsy, turn to a discussion with actor Neil Patrick Harris about his children’s novel “The Magic Misfits: The Minor Third” from 2019. Or if you’re interested in seeing one of the great modern novelists before he became widely known and recognized, tune in to a 2012 talk with two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Colson Whitehead covering “Zone One,” his spin on the zombie genre. Daily.

U.S. Army Band and U.S. Army Field Band concerts: Military bands are staples of the Washington area in the spring and summer, performing everywhere from the steps of the Capitol to regional parks. But with public events on hold, the U.S. Army’s bands have gone virtual. The U.S. Army Band, known as “Pershing’s Own,” hosts concerts on its Facebook page at 2 p.m. Tuesdays, 7 p.m. Thursdays and 4 p.m. Fridays. Each screening features one of its ensembles, such the U.S. Army Blues jazz band and the pop-focused Downrange. The U.S. Army Field Band, meanwhile, broadcasts daily concerts from Fort Meade, with themes including “the World War II Songbook” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone: Uplifting Songs of Broadway.” If you can’t tune in live, the streams are archived. (Swamp Romp, the New Orleans-inspired unit of the U.S. Army Blues, has a Jazz Appreciation Month concert from April 9 that’s worth replaying.) U.S. Army Band: Tuesdays at 2 p.m., Thursdays at 7 p.m. and Fridays at 4 p.m. U.S. Army Field Band: Sunday through Thursday at 1 p.m. and Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.

Meditation and Mindfulness Workshops at the Freer Gallery of Art: We could all use some stress relief, and we’re thankful that the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art has moved its regular lunchtime meditation series online. Four times each week, local meditation teachers offer 30 minutes of stillness and peace. You don’t need meditation experience to join the sessions — just an open mind. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m.

Virtual Trivia Thursdays at Jackie Lee’s: The Brightwood Park bar is keeping its weekly trivia going in the same format — five rounds of general knowledge, music and various themes — using the Discord chat server and Google forms. Bring a group, or log on early to join the “I need a team” channel. The prizes are as virtual as the game itself, but can you really put a price on bragging rights? Log on beginning at 7:45 p.m.; the game begins around 8:10.


‘The Farewell’ watch party: Maybe the pangs of missing your family and loved ones during this pandemic have firmly set in your heart. One of the most vivid portraits of the messy but profound ways we try to communicate with our kin is found in last year’s “The Farewell,” a brilliant debut film from director Lulu Wang. The D.C. Public Library winds down Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with a watch party of the movie, which is available free on Kanopy with a library membership. The screening will be accompanied by a live, running discussion on Twitter — just follow the hashtags #FarewellWatchParty and #AAPIHM on Friday night. 7 p.m.

Baby Bear: By now, you have probably tapped on a musical performance broadcast from a bedroom or a comedian workshopping jokes for the stage. But if you miss the eclectic and sometimes chaotic energy offered by this city’s arts scene, tune in to Pakke Social’s virtual variety show showcasing creative locals. Sure, you can laugh along with comedian Kasha Patel (who recently hosted a digital DC Improv event), but you’ll also be curious to see how Riki Khalfani and Jasmine Plummer translate the art of fire spinning to your device. 8 p.m.

Eighteenth Street Lounge Weekend Selection: Washington’s clubs may be shuttered, but they’re not all staying silent. Eighteenth Street Lounge launched an online Wednesday night session of rare groove and funk with DJ Stylus Chris in April, and the lounge has now added Friday, Saturday and Sunday parties through Facebook Live. Start by grooving after work on Fridays, when a trio of DJs run from 5 to 11 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays get underway at 2 p.m., and run until 10 p.m. both nights. (The lineup changes regularly, so check the Lounge’s Facebook feed for the latest schedule.) Expect to hear vintage funk, deep house, downtempo and Baltimore club bangers — all adding up to the perfect weekend night soundtrack, whether you’re on a makeshift dancefloor or just chilling on your sofa. These events are fundraisers for DJs and staff, so make a donation to the club’s GoFundMe if you can. 2 to 10 p.m.

Busboys and Friends: Many people missing interaction with other humans have turned to Zoom happy hours and virtual dinner parties during social distancing. The latest entry comes from Busboys and Poets founder Andy Shallal, whose Busboys and Friends promises to be far more interesting than your usual Brady Bunch-style grid of co-workers, thanks to guests like Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III and activist Angela Davis. Since it is a dinner party, meals and beverages are available from Busboys and Poets; just schedule your pickup or delivery before the conversation begins. 6 p.m. Free; registration required.

Strathmore’s Virtual Concerts and Discussions: Strathmore has offerings that can scratch creative itches for the whole family. Every Friday brings a pair of virtual discussions with artists featured at the Maryland venue: one at 10:30 a.m. geared toward kids, and again at 4 p.m. meant for adults. Discussions are limited to the first 100 people who sign up, and participants are encouraged to ask questions through a Zoom session. Anyone missing the sounds of Strathmore can join two ongoing music events being live-streamed. Saturdays mornings bring the long-standing family jam sessions into your living room. If you’re not the participatory type, sit back and tune your ears into the Wednesday concert series, which features staples of the local scene at 7:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Wednesdays.

Sixth & I’s ‘Living Room Sessions’: As we go longer without access to live music, artists are taking us directly into their homes. Sixth & I is starting its own weekly series “Living Room Sessions” that will feature its typically eclectic concert programming through Facebook. Donations can be made during the performance and funds will be split evenly between the artist and the venue. Fridays at 4 p.m.

Maxwell Park’s Virtual Wine Classes: Of the many reasons to love Maxwell Park, the staff is at the top. It’s not just because they’re smart as whips — what would you expect from a place opened by three sommeliers? — but because they have a gift for making even the complex and unusual wines seem approachable, even to absolute beginners. If you’ve promised yourself you’d learn more about wine but haven’t gotten around to diving in, there’s no time like the present. Every Friday, Maxwell Park’s founders host a free educational wine seminar online. The “Quaran-theme” changes each week, and if you’d like to taste along, Maxwell Park posts the menu on its social media accounts, and offers discounted bottles that meet the criteria for noncontact pickup and delivery. 7 p.m. Email hello@maxwellparkdc.com for the latest Zoom login and password.

Busboys and Poets OnLive: Busboys and Poets is a vital outlet for the Washington area’s poetry scene, with open mics and slams taking place five or six nights each week. And even though the physical restaurants are closed, poets are bringing their artistry to Busboys’ Instagram Live on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The biggest events of the week are the Friday slams, where four poets face off in themed rounds before viewers decide the winner. 8 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.


DCJazzFest From Home Series: The DC Jazz Festival is one of the city’s summer staples, but the pandemic has forced its postponement until sometime in the fall. Fret not, jazz lovers: You’ll get a chance to hear some past festival standouts right in your home. The weekly performances provide an outstanding slate of musicians each week, including award-winning bassist Ben Williams (May 23). Each new live at-home concert is accompanied by archival footage of previous JazzFest performances, and you can donate directly to the performers and to the festival’s music education program, which benefits kids around the District. 7 p.m.

‘Only at Congressional’ Guided Tour at Congressional Cemetery: Maybe you’ve promised yourself that you’ll visit Congressional Cemetery, the Capitol Hill burying ground that counts war heroes, Native American leaders, musicians and politicians — including Vice President Elbridge Gerry and former mayor Marion Barry Jr. — among its “permanent residents.” Maybe you’ve just never found the time. But while the cemetery is currently closed to the public, its docents offer weekly Saturday morning tours on Facebook Live, recounting the fascinating stories of the personalities and everyday Washingtonians who rest there. 11 a.m. to noon.


Project Pride: The Capital Pride Parade and the festival’s array of activities have been postponed, but the Smithsonian Pride Alliance and Brightest Young Things will kick off the celebration of June’s Pride Month with a virtual blowout of LGBTQ artists. The night’s schedule includes the comedic stylings of Bentzen Ball curator Tig Notaro, the lively New Orleans bounce of Big Freedia and the brilliant slacker rock of Courtney Barnett. Punctuating the night’s live performances will be images and artifacts from the Smithsonian museums chronicling the struggle for LGBTQ rights in American history. 8 to 10 p.m.

Comet Ping Pong: Live From Home 2: The second edition of Comet Ping Pong’s local artist showcase features 15 bands and musicians trading off on Instagram Live over six hours. The “featuring (or featuring members of)” line on the website is overly vague: Will we see full performances by punk rock trio Kill Lincoln or tuneful power-pop band Washington Social Club alongside Mark Cisneros (of Hammered Hulls) or Erin and Ryan Nelson? All the more reason to tune in. 4 to 10 p.m.

The Eavesdropping Sessions with Frédéric Yonnet and the Band With No Name: French-born harmonica ace Frédéric Yonnet is a fixture in Washington jazz venues, and his skills have found him touring with Prince and dueling with Stevie Wonder. But after coronavirus postponed his band’s latest tour, Yonnet began hosting weekly jam sessions in his Capitol Hill home, opening the windows so neighbors and passers-by could hear the sweet music coming from within. Each session is livestreamed on Facebook and Twitter, so the whole world can listen. 4 to 6 p.m.


The Hamilton Loft Happy Hour: Anyone missing the cozy sounds that wafted across the Hamilton as you noshed on happy hour sushi can find some of that ambiance back in their life. The downtown restaurant and concert venue has started a weekday happy hour series through Facebook, featuring some mainstays of the local music scene providing a nice reprieve after a day cooped up inside. The performances, which began Monday, have included the soulful stylings of Carly Harvey and Americana singer Justin Trawick and his girlfriend Lauren LeMunyan (who host their own popular quarantine series through Trawick’s Facebook page). Monday through Friday at 5:30 p.m.

Trivia nights at Lou’s City Bar and Songbyrd: Gathering your friends for beers and grub while flexing your smarts can be a great weekly ritual — until the coronavirus shuts down your favorite pub and its quiz. Well, leave it to smart-alecky trivia organizers to find creative ways for the games to go on. Columbia Heights’ Lou’s City Bar, which usually holds in-person trivia nights on Tuesdays, has made the move to Zoom, hosting trivia on both Mondays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. Teams discuss potential responses among themselves before a designated captain sends their final answer to the host via text. For anyone whose gifts lie specifically in naming that tune, Adams Morgan’s Songbyrd has migrated its twice-monthly Monday night music trivia to Facebook Live. Music aficionados can tune in at 7 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of the month and submit answers through the platform’s messenger system. Given our foreseeable future indoors, the venue has tentative plans to make trivia a weekly occurrence. Lou’s: Mondays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. Songbyrd: First and third Monday of the month at 7 p.m.

Stay-at-Home Showtunes at JR’s Bar: Through good times and bad, JR’s always has show tunes to pull its crowd through. And while the pandemic means customers are home instead of packing into the Dupont Circle gay bar, they can still sing along in the privacy of their own homes. On Monday nights, JR’s “Stay at Home Showtunes” brings more than three hours of music to its virtual party, including video clips from “Moulin Rouge” and “The Lion King” and “Hadestown” and … Susan Boyle doing “I Dreamed a Dream.” Each week includes a special drag performance — this week’s video began with regular JR’s guest Citrine lip-syncing “Into the Unknown” from “Frozen 2” in an empty JR’s — and viewers are encouraged to tip the performers and JR’s staff through Venmo. 8:30 p.m. to midnight.


Caged Byrd concert series at Songbyrd: Songbyrd was already morphing into a refuge for local musicians seeking to experiment with new material, so it’s fitting that the venue has become a new virtual home for artists to be heard. The cheekily titled Caged Byrd series, hosted on the Adams Morgan club’s Instagram page, has hosted a range of performances including emo throwbacks and pop-rocky hooks. You can obviously tune in free through your phone for free, but any donations go straight to the Songbyrd employee relief fund. Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. $5 suggested donation goes toward the Songbyrd employee relief fund.

Daily or almost-daily

#HirshhornInsideOut: Your fingers (and brain) might want a change of pace from all the sourdough concoctions you’ve been whipping up, so how about trying your hand at crafting some modern art? The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden was priming itself for Round 2 of the wildly popular Yayoi Kusama installation before the widespread shutdowns, but instead, the museum brings art into your home across social media platforms with #HirshhornInsideOut. Each day offers a post with a brief history lesson on an artist featured in the museum’s collection, along with a way you can emulate that artist while stuck inside. You just need some basic art supplies: a recent post considered artist Annette Lemieux’s work on body and space, simulating her work “Nomad” by suggesting you paint the bottoms of your feet and walking around a sheet of paper. Daily.

Virtual screening rooms: Even before the pandemic, you might have already been spending more time on your couch than you would have liked waiting for the newest critically acclaimed movies to pop up on streaming services. Since movie theaters are closed for the time being, some of the D.C. area’s finest cinemas are projecting right into your living room, and a portion of all funds go to each venue. Silver Spring stalwart AFI Silver has an array of films on its website, but click over to “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band” which chronicles the fiery alchemy that conjured up one of the great American rock bands. Fairfax’s Cinema Arts Theatre is one of the only local homes to the Oscar-nominated Polish film “Corpus Christi,” which The Post’s Ann Hornaday awarded four stars and called an “absorbing and spiritually attuned drama.” D.C.’s historic Avalon Theatre got into virtual screenings early when a planned run of the charming coming-of-age tale “Saint Frances” was halted by shutdowns on March 13. If you prefer your films a little zanier, head (virtually) to Mount Pleasant’s Suns Cinema for the inventively bizarre “Bacurau,” a mind trip through a tiny Brazilian village trying to survive something mysterious.

The Folger Theatre’s ‘Macbeth’: Of the myriad versions of Shakespeare plays that have been performed at the Folger Theatre, the 2008 production of “Macbeth” is among the most renowned. Co-directed by Aaron Posner and Teller of Penn and Teller fame, this “Macbeth” brought the theatrics of a horror movie to the stage with Las Vegas-quality illusions: daggers that appeared to hover over the stage, ghostly apparitions, and blood that seeped and poured. Since we can’t venture out to see the Bard right now, the Folger has posted the full two-hour performance on YouTube, along with special features that show how the magic happened. Available through July 1.

D.C. Library at Home: Now that you’ve cleaned your closet or reorganized your kitchen for the umpteenth time, it’s probably time to pick up that book you’ve been meaning to finish. If you’re more of a social reader, the D.C. Public Library is offering a few online resources to make sure you have someone to talk with about whatever you’re reading. The library’s Twitter feed has a bevy of hashtags to follow along with daily: Fans of audiobooks use #audiobookafternoon on Mondays at noon, while those who want to keep up with what the local community is writing about join #DCwriterschat on Thursdays at 8 p.m. Even younger readers can stay engaged with a virtual story time on Facebook (facebook.com/dclibrary) with a D.C. librarian at 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. Daily programming varies.