eliza berkon is a journalist and musician based in washington d.c. 

11 Things To Do Around D.C. This Weekend

As we bid goodbye to September, savor the ability to be outdoors (don't even think about that four-letter word that starts with "r," ends with "n" and rhymes with "pain") with a slate of festivals—and graveside with one of America's most famed authors.


WHAT'S MY LINE? Improv comedy professionals The Second City—whose alums include Joan Rivers, John Belushi, Tim Meadows, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Horatio Sanz, and Bob Odenkirk—presents The Second City: Made in America (Some Assembly Required), a show that pokes fun at "our great big dysfunctional country." (Baird Auditorium, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, 6:30 p.m./9 p.m., $25-$30)

A RETROSPECTIVE: In what's billed as the first major exhibit of work by an artist who was born a slave, the Smithsonian American Art Museum presents Between Worlds: The Art of Bill Traylor. After enduring a childhood in slavery and serving as a tenant farmer for decades in Alabama, the then-octogenarian began producing a proliferation of stark 2D work in the 1940s that reveal fragments of his lived experience. (Smithsonian American Art Museum, 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m., FREE)

BEDTIME STORIES: Divided into rounds with names such as "Cupid Ain't Sh*t!," the Erotic Poetry Slam invites you to throw down some verbiage about the joys and trials of budding romance and, um, some other stuff. Stop by and find out if you're more of an Elizabeth Barrett BrowningMaya Angelou, or E.E. Cummings. Clothing required, but PJs are welcome. (Busboys and Poets Takoma, 9 p.m., $5)

MUSIC WITH A MESSAGE: D.C.-based, bilingual folk-rock group Elena & Los Fulanos (watch their social-justice anthem "Ponle Fin" here), performs in celebration of a new partnership between Washington Performing Arts and Dupont Underground. (Dupont Underground, Show 8 p.m., $18-$22)

MORE: Kalanidhi Dance (Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, 6 p.m., FREE), Free Community Day: New York Avenue Sculpture Project (National Museum of Women in the Arts, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., FREE), Let It Flow (AMP by Strathmore, Show 8 p.m., $20-$30), Star Wars Under the Stars: The Politics of a Galaxy, Far, Far Away (Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, 6 p.m., FREE)


NAMASTE ALL DAY: Because merely running a 5K ain't enough, tack on some yoga and meditation afterward at Wanderlust 108, a mindful "triathlon" (thankfully, not in the exhausting, traditional sense of the word.) (RFK Stadium, 6:30 a.m.-2 p.m., $45-99)

ART AFTER HOURS: Stopping by the art booths at your local farmers markets on weekend mornings is lovely, but Art All Night: Made in D.C. takes things to a whole other level. For one night, some 100 artists will display their work—from fashion to theater to photography—in indoor and outdoor shows across eight neighborhoods until the wee small hours. (Several D.C. locations, 7 p.m.-3 a.m., FREE)

POUR ME ANOTHER: Prep yourself for all the Oktoberfests coming down the pike with an afternoon of beer and wine sampling (plus televised football and food truck fare) at Capital BrewFest. Local brewers include Roanoke's Starr Hill Brewery, Right Proper Brewing Co. here in D.C., and Old Ox Brewery in Ashburn. (The Bullpen at Nationals Park, 12:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m., $22.95-$59.95)

CREATIVE EQUALITY: The Rated PG Black Arts Festival spotlights African-American female creatives with discussions, a marketplace, and performances by artists such as Tamika Love Jones and BlaqueStone. (Prince George's African American Museum and Cultural Center, 1 p.m.-7 p.m., FREE)

MORE: Fiesta DC Latino Festival Parade (7th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, noon-3 p.m., FREE), One Common Unity Peace Ride (National Mall, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., $45-$120), Best in Shaw Dog Show (Shiloh Baptist Church Parking Lot, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., $5-$65), Culture Shock DC—Volume IV: The Enlightenment (Dance Place, 8 p.m., also Sunday, $20-$30), White House Ghost Tour Pub Crawl (Multiple bars, 8:30 p.m.-11 p.m., $25)


BORNE BACK CEASELESSLY ... Granted, it's a bit early in the fall to be wandering out to graveyards, but this trip is worth it. At Remembering Literary Legend F. Scott Fitzgerald, visit both Fitzgerald's one-time gravesite as well as his current one (and find out why there are two) on a tour that ends with a brief vigil for the man who brought us The Great Gatsby. (Rockville Cemetery, 2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m., $25)

DOWN IN THE VALLEY: Local band Justin Trawick and the Common Good is among the entertainers at the second annual Valley Fest, a celebration of local beer, food, and art in Arlington's Four Mile Run Valley. (New District Brewing Company, noon-5 p.m., $20)

HISTORY LESSON: Fox News Channel's The Five co-host Juan Williams examines America's civil rights history as it remains "under direct threat" from the Trump administration in "What the Hell Do You Have to Lose?": Trump's War on Civil Rights (Politics and Prose, 5 p.m.-6 p.m., FREE)

MORE: Turkish Festival (Freedom Plaza, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., FREE), Monica Z (House of Sweden, 3 p.m.-5 p.m., FREE), Learn, Love, Grow: A Self Care & Hair Care Pop-Up (Studio 52, 2 p.m.-6 p.m., $25), SWERV Magazine Presents: The Artist Showcase (Busboys and Poets 14th and V, 8 p.m., FREE)

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