‘Sean Scully: Landline’ at the Hirshhorn Museum, Sept. 13
Irish-born abstract artist Sean Scully explores many mediums — oil paintings, pastels, watercolors, aluminum sculpture and photographs — but his works in the Hirshhorn exhibition, “Landline,” are almost all inspired by the horizon line where the sky meets the sea and the land. Scully’s vertical and horizontal stripes in rich colors will encircle the Hirshhorn’s second-level galleries. Scully’s first midcareer retrospective appeared at the museum in 1995, and visitors to “Landline” can see his career progression as well as two dozen works never before seen by the public. Through Feb. 3, 2019. Free. — Adele Chapin
25th anniversary at Black Cat , Sept. 14-15
Washington’s music scene has been lucky to have this venue for 25 years and counting, and the venerable club is marking the history with a two-night bash. Night One’s bill features local punks Des Demonas and a solo set by Ted Leo. Saturday will provide a double dose of Mary Timony, who will headline the night with Ex Hex and will debut a new supergroup called Hammered Hulls, featuring local punk rock luminaries Alec MacKaye (Ignition, the Warmers) and Mark Cisneros (Deathfix, Chain and the Gang) and drummer Chris Wilson (Ted Leo and the Pharmacists and Titus Andronicus). Doors at 7 p.m. both nights. $25 per night. — Hau Chu
H Street Festival , Sept. 15
The biggest and baddest street festival in the city is expected to draw more than 150,000 people to an 11-block stretch of H Street NE this year. The closed-down pavement will be filled with music stages, fashion shows, dance and theater performances, food and clothing vendors, beer gardens, art cars and eating contests, with even more events taking place at the neighborhood’s numerous bars, restaurants and shops. The festival has become a little more corporate in recent years, but it’s still a fun day out with thousands of friends and neighbors. Noon to 7 p.m. Free. — F.H.
Note: The H Street Festival has been postponed until Oct. 13 due to Hurricane Florence.
King Street Art Festival, Sept. 15-16
Old Town Alexandria transforms into an open-air art gallery during the weekend-long King Street Art Festival, when more than 200 artists set up shop over six blocks near the waterfront. The worth of all the art displayed totals to more than $15 million, and the pieces for sale include paintings, photography, ceramics and jewelry. Add to your personal art collection, or just go for a walk and meet artists from the United States and across the globe. 1 0 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. — A.C.
Note: The King Street Art Festival was postponed until Sept. 22-23 due to Hurricane Florence.
Childish Gambino at Capital One Arena, Sept. 19
Before co-starring in the NBC sitcom “Community,” Donald Glover was a “30 Rock” writer who did stand-up, made Internet comedy videos and rapped on the side as Childish Gambino, an alias that came from a Wu-Tang Clan name generator in college. After a few years of balancing his comedy life and music career — and a brief period where it seemed like he may have squandered both — Glover reemerged in 2016 seemingly reborn: First came “Atlanta,” his poignant, often absurd FX dramedy. Then Childish Gambino released “Awaken, My Love!,” a soul, funk and hip-hop masterpiece. Everything seemed to culminate this year with the striking and politically charged video for “This Is America.”
In 2011, Glover did a show that was half stand-up, half music at the Black Cat. Now he’s headlining arenas behind his music — while also winning Emmys and Golden globes for his TV work. 7:30 p.m. $49.50-$129.50. — Rudi Greenberg
Elton John at Capital One Arena , Sept. 21-22
The legendary singer-pianist has been making music for more than 50 years, and is embarking on one final whirlwind tour of 300-plus shows on five continents that extends until 2021 and is fittingly titled “Farewell Yellow Brick Road.” John will perform a career-spanning set of his endearing hits over two nights. 8 p.m. both nights. Sold out. — H.C.
Museum Day, Sept. 22
Save some cash and learn something new at Smithsonian magazine’s Museum Day, an annual event with more than 1,250 participating museums across the country. In the Washington area, museums including the Newseum, the National Building Museum, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Phillips Collection, the Kreeger Museum and the Chesapeake Children’s Museum are waiving admission fees for the day. Head to the Smithsonian’s website to download a ticket that will cover you and a guest. Hours vary by museum. Free. — A.C.
Trillectro at Merriweather Post Pavilion , Sept. 22
This local born-and-bred festival has been going strong for six years and continues to bring the most interesting bill of artists of any local festival. R&B singer SZA and rapper Young Thug are just a couple of the many prominent headliners, alongside an appropriate amount of local flair, with rising Maryland artist Rico Nasty — among others — on deck to perform. Gates open at 1 p.m. $79-$199. — H.C.
D.C. State Fair , Sept. 23
The District’s version of a state fair is heavy on contests. There are competitions for knitting, double Dutch, pet costumes, the best amateur home brew and mumbo sauce along with many more opportunities to win a D.C. State Fair ribbon and bragging rights. (The “best bud” competition is back, with judges taking appearance and THC potency into consideration.) This year’s fair takes place at Southwest’s Waterfront Metro Station, and entertainment includes a pet parade, cooking demos and music and dance performances. Shop for gifts at a craft marketplace and try snacks from local companies such as Dangerously Delicious Pies, Whisked and Timber Pizza. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Free. — A.C.
Oyster Wars at the Salt Line , Sept. 29
This second annual celebration of independent oyster farms and craft beer brings together some of the East Coast’s biggest names in both fields on Salt Line’s expanded riverside patio, with special dishes prepared by an all-star roster of chefs, including Mike Friedman of Red Hen and All-Purpose, Spike Gjerde of Woodberry Kitchen, and Jamie Bissonnette of Boston’s Toro and Coppa. Participating oyster companies include War Shore (Virginia), East Beach (Rhode Island) and Cape Cod (Massachusetts), while brews come from Other Half (New York), Trillium (Boston) and Bissell Brothers (Portland). Local reggae kings See-I and DJs Stylus Chris, Harry Hotter and Smudge provide the entertainment. Tickets, which benefit the Oyster Recovery Partnership and Anacostia Riverkeepers, include oysters and food; beers will be sold at a cash bar. 3 to 8 p.m. $55-$65. — F.H.
Art All Night , Sept. 29
This annual arts festival expands into two new neighborhoods this year, staging performances and exhibitions in Deanwood Heights and Minnesota Avenue in addition to the six areas in the District hosting events from more than 100 artists. The fun runs until 3 a.m. (not quite “all night,” but close enough), and there’s a good chance that anyone who rides the streetcar on H Street NE will catch a show: Saxophonists, cellists, poets and other musicians will perform inside every other streetcar that evening. Other highlights include a fashion presentation and marketplace with food trucks at New York Avenue and North Capitol Street NE, and dance performances and mixology at Tenleytown’s art collective space Femme Fatale D.C. 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. Free. — A.C.
Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival , Sept. 29
At the tip of Annapolis’ City Dock is the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial, which depicts the author of “Roots” reading and educating children on the spot where his enslaved ancestor arrived in America. The annual Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival celebrates connections to Africa and the Caribbean with African dance performances; funk, jazz and gospel musicians; family activities; actors portraying historic figures such as Frederick Douglass; and food and craft vendors. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Free. — F.H.
Update: DC VegFest, the vegetarian festival scheduled for Sept. 15, has been cancelled due to Hurricane Florence. Outessafest, the outdoor music festival scheduled for Sept. 29, has been canceled.