Intern In the Know: D.C. a City of Inexpensive Cultural Treats

Posted June 2, 2009 at 3:04pm

When you’re spending most of your time on Capitol Hill, mired in the day-to-day drama of Congressional legislation and policies, it might be difficult to remember that there is more to life than deadlines, press releases and leading constituent tours.

[IMGCAP(1)]The beauty of Washington is that it is an international city and that its offerings extend beyond politics and punditry. Make the most of your time here by checking out some of the less obvious art exhibits and galleries, mingling with folks at the embassies or taking in performances by local and international musicians. Even from the confines of the Beltway, you can experience the artistic cultures and fascinating histories of people from all over the world.

Free Summer Saturdays at the Corcoran Gallery of Art

The Corcoran is offering an array of exhibits this summer and opening them up for free every Saturday from June 20 through Aug. 29. From William Eggleston’s black-and-white photographs of everyday life to the paintings of artists such as John Singer Sargent and Mary Cassatt, there is much worth seeing. Some free weekend workshops will also be held Saturdays.

Corcoran Gallery of Art, 500 17th St. NW; 202-639-1700

International Club of D.C.

Learn to waltz in the ballroom of the Russian Cultural Center, celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall with a reception and photography exhibit at the Goethe-Institut, or learn to cook traditional dishes from the chefs at Lebanese Taverna. The International Club of D.C. hosts performances, workshops and even volunteer opportunities, all aimed at bringing together young professionals from a variety of backgrounds and exposing them to different cultures. Ticket prices vary from the intern-friendly $15-$20 range to the end-of-summer-splurge bracket of $50 to $65.

Visit internationalclubdc.com for a list of upcoming events.

The Art of Power: The Royal Armor and Portraits From Imperial Spain

Immerse yourself in the world of the glamorous Spanish court of the 17th and 18th centuries. Full suits of armor from the reigns of the Holy Roman Emperors Maximilian I and Charles V will be on display, along with court portraiture by artists including Anthony van Dyck, Diego Velázquez and Peter Paul Rubens. The exhibit will run from June 28 through Nov. 1.

National Gallery of Art, Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue Northwest; 202-737-4215

Mystical Imagination: The Art of Haitian Master Hector Hyppolite

Though his career was tragically limited to only three years, Hector Hyppolite produced hundreds of free-form works that were noted for their beauty and their spiritual, political and historical significance. This collection being shown at the Art Museum of the Americas offers insight not only into the artist’s world, but into the experience of the Haitian people as well. The exhibit will run through July 5.

Art Museum of the Americas; 201 18th St. NW; 202-458-6016

Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center

After rent, groceries and all those happy hours, most of the shows at the Kennedy Center are probably going to be out of your price range this summer. But that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the fun. Daily performances at the venue’s Millennium Stage are always free and include a great variety of unique musicians and performers. On any given night, you can take in opera or symphony previews, listen to poetry and spoken word art, or get in on the act yourself with social dance lessons.

Performances are at 6 p.m.; Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW; 202-467-4600