Ginger O'Brien throws beads from the Wilson's on Whitlow's float during the Clarendon Mardi Gras Parade in 2011. Matt McClain/TWP

Free this week: Make your own valentines at the Torpedo Factory and celebrate Mardi Gras in Clarendon. Here's the week's lineup of free events:

Monday - Young at Heart

Young Playwrights’ Theater tackles Valentine’s Day this year with a staged reading of plays by young actors. The reading is part of the “New Writers Now!” series, in which professional actors read students’ work.

Tuesday - Clarendon Mardi Gras Parade

This annual event features marching bands, floats and more Mardi Gras festivities. Celebrations are likely to continue at several of Clarendon’s bars once the family-friendly parade is over.

Wednesday - 'When China Met Africa'

The Freer Gallery, in conjunction with the National Museum of African Art, screens this 2010 documentary about China’s presence in Africa. The program also includes a virtual Q&A with co-director Nick Francis.

Thursday - Second Thursday Art Night

Late making your valentines this year? Stop by the Torpedo Factory’s open house, where you can make valentines and get inspired by other works on display throughout the art space.

Friday - New Takes on Classical Works

A trio of musicians performs original arrangements of classical and modern compositions. Look for works by such composers as Antonin Dvorak, Myroslav Skoryk, Vittorio Monti and George Gershwin.

Saturday - 'Nothing But a Man'

Ivan Dixon and Abbey Lincoln star in Michael Roemer and Robert M. Young’s 1964 film about race relations in the 1960s South. The film’s Motown soundtrack and realistic depictions led to success on the international film festival circuit.

Sunday - University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance

This varied program includes works by Paul Schoenfield and Frederic Chopin as well as ragtime pieces, selections from “Don Giovanni” and more. The show is part of the Conservatory Project, the Kennedy Center’s initiative to bring young musicians to Washington from universities across the country.