Before returning home for the semester, take advantage of some eye-opening events around the city with a taste of French culture and a new perspective on the District’s history.
Educate yourself on the origins of D.C.’s iconic landmarks at the American History Museum Friday, attend a French cultural festival in Georgetown Saturday and wrap up the weekend with a virtual reality experience of the Notre Dame Cathedral Sunday.
Building Washington’s Landmarks: Enslaved and Free Black Labor and the Making of the Capital
Learn about the history behind the landmarks that bring people to D.C. during a Smithsonian Institution lecture in the Warner Bros. Theater at the American History Museum. This lecture will feature six panelists, including professors from nearby universities, curators from D.C. museums and the senior historian at the David M. Rubenstein National Center for White House History. Panelists will discuss how enslaved and free Black labor contributed to the construction of buildings like the U.S. Capitol, the White House and the Smithsonian Castle. The discussion will address paths forward to reconcile these wrongdoings, including memorialization of the enslaved labor and acknowledgement of the possibility for reconciliation
American History Museum. 1300 Constitution Ave. NW. 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Free. Find more information here.
Georgetown French Market
Stroll over to Georgetown for an open-air market celebrating French food and culture. The 19th annual Georgetown French Market features more than 30 locally-owned vendors, selling French-themed goods among items like pastries, quiches, artwork and antiques. Head over for attractions including a caricature artist, live music, face painting, henna tattoos and stilt-walkers. The festival will be held on Wisconsin Avenue, where vendors will open outdoor tents between O Street and Reservoir Road. The market is part of Passport DC, a monthlong program featuring international exhibitions and events, with 16 embassies opening their doors for a world embassy tour, and 26 countries holding events for an EU open house.
Wisconsin Avenue, O Street to Reservoir Road. Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 pm. Free. Find more information here.
Notre-Dame de Paris: The Augmented Exhibition
Experience the Notre-Dame de Paris in augmented reality, with views from inside and outside the cathedral over the course of its 859-year history at the National Building Museum, located across from the Capital One Arena. The exhibit, also hosted by Passport DC, commemorates the three-year anniversary of the fire that destroyed the upper half of the cathedral, and the exhibit depicts its restoration to its original splendor using 3D-models and projections. Visitors receive a tablet to engage in an interactive, choose-your-own experience, with options including a scavenger hunt, construction details and a history tour. Tickets can be purchased in advance, and the museum offers a student discount.
National Building Museum. 401 F Street NW. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. $10 for adults, $7 for students. Find more information here.
This article appeared in the April 28, 2022 issue of the Hatchet.