Whether you're in town for the opening weekend of the new National Museum of African American History and Culture or managed to score passes for the upcoming weeks, major events and exhibitions this fall will be competing for your attention. Before or after your visit to the museum, hit these highlights of the season to squeeze the most out of your time in Washington.
George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic
George Clinton's famed 1,200-pound P-Funk Mothership won't be onstage with him on Saturday night; instead, his longtime stage prop will be soaking up all the attention at its new perch in the museum. Clinton - reported to have been moved to tears when the Mothership was hoisted from his home, bound for the museum's vast collection - will be celebrating the milestone with a big show at the 9:30 Club, a perfect bookend to the opening-day events. Is it too much to hope that some of the visiting musical luminaries make it there, too?
Saturday at 8 p.m. at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. 930.com. $45.
National Book Festival
The Library of Congress's annual book festival serves as an ideal place to meet a few heroes before or after heading to the Mall: Pop-culture figures and firebrands from Shonda Rhimes and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to award-winning authors including Edwidge Danticat and political heroes such as Rep. John Lewis are scheduled to appear.
Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Pl. NW. loc.gov/bookfest. Free.
Art All Night
If you don't have an invite to one of the VIP after-parties Saturday night, this popular informal event could be just the ticket, because it doesn't require tickets at all. The sprawling annual art party, now in its sixth year, will feature events in several neighborhoods, including a trippy light show in Shaw, a dance party in Tenleytown and an art fair on North Capitol Street, all with a focus on D.C. artists.
Saturday from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. at locations in Dupont Circle, H Street NE, Shaw, Tenleytown and others. For the full schedule, visit artallnightdc.com. Free.
[Public Enemy, the Roots to headline free opening festival at National Museum of African American History and Culture]
The National Gallery of Art East Building reopening
One of the city's architecturally astonishing sights and a Mecca for modern and contemporary art fans will finally reopen its galleries after a nearly three-year facelift. Drop in Sept. 30 to be among the visitors who will get a look at the spiffed-up spaces or wait until Nov. 20 to see the opening of a sprawling exhibition of works by artist Stuart Davis, an American painter whose bright squiggles and pops of form will remind the viewer a bit of Henri Matisse, with a lot more packed onto the canvas.
Opens Sept. 30. Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW. nga.gov. Free.
'People on the Move: Beauty and Struggle in Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series'
For years, Washington's Phillips Collection and New York's Museum of Modern Art have had joint custody of the 60 small, tempera paintings that depict the journey en masse of African Americans from the South to the North for jobs and to escape the lingering shadow of Jim Crow. The paintings, which Jacob Lawrence completed in 1941, are reunited only every several years. After a much-lauded presentation in New York in 2015, the entire series will go on display in October in Washington, its first appearance here since 2008.
Oct. 8 through Jan. 8 at the Phillips Collection, 1600 21st St. NW. phillipscollection.org. $12, $10 students and seniors, age 18 and younger free.
"Cheers to the Fall" propelled Andra Day from unknown to Grammy Award nominee. But Day isn't just another pop star; she's a throwback to the smoky jazz club era, channeling Ella Fitzgerald and big band at the same time. The Lincoln Theatre, where she plays in November, is an old jewel on the city's historic Black Broadway. Is there a more fitting place to unwind after a visit to one of the city's newest cultural landmarks? Get tickets soon, because this will certainly sell out.
Nov. 25 at 8 p.m. at the Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. thelincolndc.com. $35-$110.