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What to Do on International Women’s Day in DC


Every 8th of March marks the International Women’s Day (IWD). This year, there will be multiple events in D.C. as part of the celebrations worldwide.

Here is a quick look at what happens where in town this Sunday:

Enjoy Free Programs at NMWA

In honor of the IWD, the National Museum of Women in the Arts will offer free admission and programs. Its docents will host 30-minute conversation pieces at every top of the hour from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

There will also be live performances by local musicians Tamika Love Jones and Sweet Yonder. About a dozen vendors from town promise to add flavor bombs to your experience. No reservation is necessary.

Challenge Stereotypes with African Art

Combining women and arts on this special day will also be a jewel the invaluable Smithsonian Institution (SI) has gifted to our city. The National Museum of African Art will feature a new exhibit on contemporary female artists of Africa.

What will be on display, again, absolutely free of charge, are stunning works by 28 artists that tackle controversial topics including identity, faith and racism. They will be open to visits between 10:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

See ‘Hearts of Our People’

When it comes to making key decisions, women often find themselves having to stay in the dark, powerless and alone. Yet women from disadvantaged communities face even more suppression.

The Renwick Gallery does its part to address this issue through a landmark exhibition. The ‘Hearts of Our People’ explores the artistic achievements of Native American women and helps establish their rightful place in the world of art. Come visit this free exhibit to see 81 such artworks dating from antiquity to the present.

Meet Your Foremothers!

Against all the dominant forces seeking the continuation of their slavery in various forms, women have constantly sought progress. The challenges that still remain today would have certainly been much bigger, if it weren’t for the tireless efforts of our foremothers.

This 8th of March, you can see how they looked while they fought for your rights even before you were born at the National Portrait Gallery.

Another SI establishment, the Gallery will feature camera portraits of a dozen key figures from the mid-19th century. Among the ones you will see are early feminist icons such as abolitionist Lucretia Mott, best selling author Harriet Beecher Stowe and women’s rights advocates Margaret Fuller and Lucy Stone.

Celebrate Representation

This year is also the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment that prohibited states from denying the right to vote on the basis of gender. And it’d make perfect sense if you combine the two celebrations together.

For the like minded, The National Archives offers a terrific opportunity. The ‘Rightfully Hers: American Women and The Vote’ exhibition will be on display for free at its Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Let Rosa Parks Live on ‘In Her Own Words’

Forgetting about Rosa Parks and how she inspired millions of people while mentioning American women and their rights would be utterly unfair. Thankfully, at the Library of Congress, there is a way to make it up to her.

The free ‘Rosa Parks: In Her Own Words’ exhibit showcases rare materials that offer an intimate view of this seminal figure, documenting her life and activism.

Fill Your Night with Laughter

And finally, if it’s been enough serious stuff for you on this day and you want to give your nerves some relief, there will be a great event after it’s dark.

As part of the RIOT!, there will be multiple women comedians on the stage at the John F. Kennedy Center. For a price of $29 to $75 depending on your choice of seating, you can spend a perfectly hilarious 90-minutes on the night of March 8.

Book your spot so that you don’t miss out on this chance to listen to stories and jokes from some of the wittiest stand-up performers including Sasheer Zamata, Catherine Cohen, Dulcé Sloan, Jen Kirkman and Margaret Cho.

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