The District’s artistic hotspots

Affinity Lab

Affinity Lab is an “entrepreneurial dream and action space” serving as shared office space for local businesses, non-profits and budding artists. The Lab occasionally hosts exhibit openings, live concerts, readings, films and other artistic performances. There are two locations: 2451 18th Street and 920 U Street. For more information and an events calendar visit

Irvine Contemporary

Irvine Contemporary, an art gallery located at 1412 14th Street, is a collection of works from nationally and internationally reputed contemporary artists. The current exhibition entitled “Introductions 6” shows until Sept. 4 and features new artists recently graduated from MFA programs in D.C., Maryland and from across the country. For more information, see or stop by 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday thru Saturday.

9:30 Club

One of the most popular music venues in the District, the 9:30 Club regularly receives well-known bands and artists. The 9:30 Club, located at 815 V Street, is a D.C. music scene must-see, renowned for having inexpensive ticket prices and being a venue open to all ages. Check out their website,, for upcoming shows and to purchase tickets.

Baked and Wired

Baked and Wired, lovingly shortened to just “Baked” by its fans, is a coffee and pastry shop with personality. Baked says its baristas are their own sort of artisans, making the one-of-a-kind baked goods flavorful masterpieces. Baked, located at 1052 Thomas Jefferson St. in Georgetown, also hosts live shows and cultural events. Check out their website,, or their twitter, @bakedandwireddc, for updates.

Busboys and Poets

A community of artists, poets and activists, Busboys and Poets serves as a restaurant, bookstore, fair-trade market and gathering place. They offer weekly open-mic nights for aspiring and professional poets. The Busboys and Poets at 14th and V streets has its open-mic night every Tuesday at 9 p.m. with a $4 admission fee. For more information, visit and check out their calendar of events.


The Smithsonian Institution’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden collects and presents modern and contemporary art of all media. The museum encourages viewers to pursue their own interpretations of the exhibitions, for, as its website advises, “Contemporary art demands a more active viewer.” The Hirshhorn is located on the National Mall at the corner of 7th Street and Independence Avenue. Like all Smithsonian museums, admission is free. For more information, visit

E Street Cinema

The historic E Street Cinema shows a wide variety of films ranging from your box-office hits to quirky independent and foreign films. Located at 555 11th St. NW with its entrance on E Street, the theater has eight auditoriums and specializes in first-run independent and foreign films. Visit for film details and showtimes.

Kennedy Center

The Kennedy Center, one of the District’s most famous attractions, has musical, theatrical, cultural and dance productions. There are free performances every night at 6 p.m. as well as a full schedule of other events throughout the month. Check out for tickets and event details.

Classroom 102

This GW art gallery is student-run and provides student artists of varying disciplines and mediums a venue to display their work. Exhibitions range from thematic to juried group or solo shows and take place year-round. Classroom 102 is on the first floor of Smith Hall and is open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Its current exhibition, “Between Time: Fine Arts Summer Initiative,” shows until Sept. 9.

Lisner Downstage

Unlike Lisner Auditorium, the Lisner Downstage, a black box theater located in the basement of the auditorium, seats only 65 people, creating an intimate theatrical environment. The Downstage is managed by GW’s Student Theatre Council and is the University’s student theater groups’ frequent performance space. Visit to see a calendar of events.

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