Black History Month is celebrated throughout the D.C. area in many unique ways; there’s theatre, dance, music, visual arts and so much more you can choose to enjoy with your family.
Check out some ways to celebrate this month with a few art and culture events commemorating and honoring the history and contributions that African Americans have made to the U.S.
Feb. 5 – 10
The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will bring the power of dance to its 60th anniversary gala, showing all the signature classics. Proceeds will benefit Ailey’s D.C. programs, including the creation of new works, arts-in-education activities and scholarships. The Kennedy Center, D.C. Tickets start at $49.
Feb. 11 – 16
Are there any history buffs in your family? If so, don’t miss your chance to view the original Emancipation Proclamation and learn more about this important document through hands-on discovery with your family and friends. National Archives, D.C., 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Free.
Feb. 23, 24
Set to an original score, experience the four aspects of expressive movement of Kuchipudi: heritage, freedom, storytelling and community. Dance Place, D.C. Tickets start at $15, Saturday, 8 p.m. Sunday, 4 p.m.
Feb. 16, 17
Experience crafted personal narratives blended through dance-theater style conversations. Costume design by DeeDee Gomes, projection design by Nick Hussong and lighting design by Xavier Pierce, “Hair & Other Stories” explore startling perceptions of beauty, identity and race in the current age. Dance Place, D.C. Tickets start at $15, Check website for times.
Through April 20, 2020
Explore the rich history and learn about neighborhood change in the nation’s capital. The exhibition tells a tale of local D.C. residents who reshaped their neighborhoods in many unique ways. Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, D.C. Free, Check website for times.
Learn how African cultures influenced and inspired new rhythms, instruments and musical styles, such as candombe, festejo, tango and salsa. Audience members even get the chance to join the group on stage to try instruments and dance steps. Publick Playhouse, Cheverly, MD. Tuesday, 10:15 a.m. & Noon, $6-8.
Through May 19
The show relies on roughly thirty portraits in exhibition form to tell the story of 1968, with representations of Martin Luther King Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon. There are also walls lined with portraits of cultural figures such as Peggy Fleming, Arthur Ashe, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, to name a few. Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, D.C. Free, Check website for times.
This annual Black History Month series will team up with the Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts (CAAPA) to dedicate and remember the legacies of lesser known Black musicians, starting with Sissieretta Jones, who is best known as one of the first African Americans to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City in 1892. Montpelier Arts Center, Laurel, MD. Free, 4 p.m.
The 6th annual black history talent show organized by Momma’s Safe Haven, a local nonprofit organization, will give youth an opportunity to display their talents on stage in front of friends, family and community members. Momma’s Safe Haven was founded to encourage self-love, higher education and self-employment by offering a wealth of support and resources. Charles Hart Middle School, 601 Mississippi Ave., S.E., D.C. Noon-3 p.m., Free.
In this interactive walking tour, experience D.C. from a whole new perspective. Choose from seven options including a book talk featuring local authors who are passionate about the nation’s capital. Check website for locations. $35, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.