So, 2017 is finally ending, and we're bracing for the routine rituals: donning metallic party dresses, nursing hangovers and prepping tired resolutions, usually about slimming down and making everything in our lives perfect. Want to be a little more creative in 2018? For starters, how about making it a year of artsy fun? It's possible in Washington.
Consider, for example, events such as the Sunday concerts at the Phillips Collection (1600 21st St. NW). They are usually held in the Music Room, where the art is changed to suit the performance. (While the museum is undergoing renovations, concerts are at the Cosmos Club, 2121 Massachusetts Ave. NW.) Sometimes musicians will create a program inspired by exhibitions. In November, flutist Annie Wu curated a program featuring French and American composers to reflect the Phillips's "Renoir and Friends" exhibit.
Tickets are $40 for adults and $20 for students, and this year they were free for children 8 to 18. (Caroline Mousset, director of music, expects that to continue.) The tickets include admission to the Phillips galleries, meaning your art adventure isn't limited to the concert.
Betty Bullock, who has been going to concerts for four years, calls it the "best deal in town": "It's a wonderful mix of art and music … always featuring old favorites, with something new and inventive once in a while."
Of course, Washington offers plenty of free art adventures as well. And why only consume it, when you can make it yourself? The National Gallery of Art (Sixth Street and Constitution Avenue NW), for instance, offers drawing workshops Fridays through Sundays for adults of all skill levels, as well as programming for children. Advance registration is required, and sessions fill up quickly. Also, free concerts (and film screenings) are held in the Library of Congress's historic Coolidge Auditorium (10 First St. SE). Tickets are offered online and move fast, but some day-of seats are available.
The Blind Whino (700 Delaware Ave. SW) is another option. Besides its gallery, it offers innovative events, including November's "Superfierce" exhibition, featuring female artists. Bonus: The Whino's brightly painted exterior carries some serious Instagram clout.
Finally, the American Institute of Graphic Arts hosts free monthly "Drink and Draw" events. They're meant to celebrate the creative process over the creative result. It also happens to be a way to make new friends in 2018. And that's an art in itself.