Sensational Summer: DC Activations

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Spring has seriously sprung and with it, there's more than flowers popping up out of the ground. Look around and see all at the latest in seasonal activations, festivals, and pretty fabulous art installations:

Artechouse: Aṣẹ: Afro Frequencies
ARTECHOUSE kicks off the celebration of its 5th anniversary with the debut of a groundbreaking cultural exhibition, Aṣẹ: Afro Frequencies, in the nation’s capital. Created by ARTECHOUSE Studio featuring designs by Vince Fraser, a London-based Afro-surrealist visual artist, the sensory-filled, immersive exhibition takes visitors on a journey that celebrates historical and social aspects of the African diaspora and Black culture through the artist’s lens. Open to all ages, Aṣẹ: Afro Frequencies will be on display through fall 2022. The main audiovisual installation in the Immersion Gallery, Visions of the Black Experience, employs 18-channel, 270° floor-to-wall surround projection array, and a 22.5-channel hyperreal spatialized audio system to shed light on the cultural and diasporic triumphs and social justice issues facing the Black community. The word itself Aṣẹ (ah-shay), a philosophical belief held by the Yoruba people of West Africa, is drawn on to invoke power to produce change. Multi-sensory installations throughout the art space depict the journeys of African kings and queens reimagined in a new digital context. Furthermore, visitors can virtually “try on” African masks, which are assembled around the viewer’s computerized reflection like an Instagram filter. Aṣẹ’s visuals are echoed by pulsating rhythmic drums and stirring spoken words from Philadelphia-based poet and musician Ursula Rucker. A Leeway Foundation’s Transformation Award winner, Rucker’s words intricately narrate the exhibition, connecting the dots of Fraser’s imagery and speak to similar themes of empowerment, ancestry, and social justice. ARTECHOUSE DC is open 10:00 am-10:00 pm daily at 1238 Maryland Avenue SW. ARTECHOUSE DC’s XR Bar is open Monday–Thursday 4:00 pm-close and Friday–Sunday 11:00 am-close. Tickets are $17-25 with special pricing for families Monday–Friday. To purchase tickets online, visit:  artechouse.com/location/dc.

Dog Days of Summer at The Boro
Plenty to do at The Boro, from bootcamps to live music and everything in between. Offerings include:

For more information, visit theborotysons.com; 8350 Broad Street, Tysons, VA.

C&O Canal Boat Tours Return to Georgetown
Georgetown Heritage is welcoming a new Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal boat to Georgetown for the first time in nearly a decade. The new Canal boat, the Georgetown Heritage, will be available for public programs and private rentals. Several public boat rides are available throughout the day, Wednesday–Sunday through October 2022, offering one-hour guided historical tours along the first mile of the C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP). You will learn about the fascinating history, technology, and culture of the Canal, and the surprising stories of the people who lived, worked, and played here over the past two centuries. Canal boat tickets can be purchased at georgetownheritage.org/boat, or at the box office in the Mule Yard – located along the Canal next to the C&O Canal National Historical Park’s Georgetown Visitor Center, between Thomas Jefferson St. and 30th St NW. The docked Canal boat will also be available for private evening rentals. Email [email protected] for more information.

NEW: Merriweather's Color Burst Park Summer Series
These exciting events in the Merriweather District are designed with all ages in mind and feature a great mix of activities and events to entertain, educate, and enrich the whole family all summer long. Events include Amped at The Park, featuring free live concerts from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.:
June 23: Rare Essence, Go-Go
July 7: Dior Ashley Brown, Hip Hop
July 21: Zakke, Latin Fusion
As well as Summer Fit Series, featuring a variety of different workout classes every Tuesday in June and Thursday in July, and the Good Kid-zen Series, a family friendly program on June 25, July 9, and July 23. The Merriweather District hosts enriching events including this year’s summer series to dance, books, and art festivals with the Merriweather District Artist In Residences in the late summer and fall and Books in Bloom. To learn more and stay up to date on the latest announcements, visit merriweatherdistrict.com. All events will take place at Color Burst Park, 6000 Merriweather Drive, Columbia, MD.

NEW:  Sip & Sail at The Conrad 
Summer in DC can be sweltering but with Conrad Washington D.C.’s Sip & Sail Weekend Yacht Experience package, you can enjoy the coolest view of the nation’s capital from the water. This luxury package includes a two-night stay at Conrad Washington DC, a bottle of champagne on arrival, Sip & Sail Experience aboard Cru Classé, private transportation to the Cru Classé, and a curated food and wine menu to choose from. 950 New York Avenue NW; conradwashingtondc.com

Dock Days of Summer at DC Brau
Hot summer days are calling for cool, delicious beer and great music in the beer garden. Join DC Brau every Sunday from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. for the Dock Days of Summer, featuring live music, cold beer, refreshing seltzers, and house-made slushies to chase away the Sunday scaries. Every week features a different band, so check the website for updates throughout the summer. dcbrau.com

The Safari at Hook Hall 
Hook Hall’s backyard is being turned into a Safari, complete with *air conditioned* tents at the yard’s perimeter that seat from 12 to 50 guests. This is now the coolest place – literally – to have a large party. Palm trees, animal printed pillows, and African masks are part of the décor inside the tents. Banyan trees line the middle of the yard surrounded by umbrellaed  picnic tables. The Springbok Savana tent that holds up to 50 is decorated with couches, swings, rattan furniture, big pillows, colorful footrests,  large coffee tables and chandeliers. The beverage menu includes cocktails like “A Peachy Cheetah” with Ketel One Botanicals peach and orange blossom paired with Makers Mark and ginger beer and peach bitters, or the “Hippo Hibiscus Fizz” that incorporates Haku Rice Vodka, Bushido Sake, hibiscus syrup, lemon and bubbles. Tent rental prices are as follows: Safari tent (up to 12 guests) $75 for 2.5 hours; Parrot Island group seating– (30-35 guests) $150 for 2.5 hours; Springbok Savana (up to 50 guests) $350 for 2.5 hours; Safari tables (picnic tables  for up to 8 guests at the center of the yard) $15 for 2.5 hours. Bar service and a full bar menu are available for additional charge. hookhall.com/safari


Baltimore in Bloom at The Ivy
As the buds begin to bloom, so do the magical enhancements to the Ivy Hotel. Consider a stay-cation with their newest amenity package. This dreamy stay leaves guests feeling fresh as a rose. Package includes:
One Night in a Luxurious Room or Suite
Chilled Bottle of Rosé in Room Upon Arrival 
$200 at Magdalena, A Maryland Bistro 
Luxe Botanical Beauty Gift from The Spa
Full Gourmet Breakfast in The Ivy’s Flowering Courtyard
Transportation to and from The Rawlings Conservatory based on availability
A Special Take Home Treat for Your Own Garden
Springtime guests will also enjoy traditional Ivy amenities including: Afternoon Tea, taken wherever guests desire, cocktails at the Mansion Bar, Zents bath amenities, luxurious Frette linens, use of fitness center and all gratuity included aside from the bistro. To make reservations, visit theivybaltimore.com 

Matt Neuman’s Pattern Recognition at Long View Gallery
Matt Neuman, New York based independent artist, will launch his solo exhibition, “Pattern Recognition,” in D.C.’s Long View Gallery. The exhibition, Neuman’s second solo at Long View, will display over 30 newly crafted paintings and prints that deliver bold color and energetic line work where pattern and repetition challenge viewers to contend with their own scale on a cosmic level. “Pattern Recognition” is a continuation of Neuman’s decade-long dive into geometry as a visual channel to represent the lived experience and will be on display through August 7th. Neuman seamlessly integrates his interest in geometric design with his many fascinations in the physical world. Through complex and technical processes, he crafts printing blocks by carving wooden surfaces and transferring inks in rich, thick layers. ‘Pattern Recognition’ can be viewed virtually beginning June 10th as well as in person at Long View Gallery Thursday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or by appointment. Entry to the exhibition is free. 1234 9th St NW. For more information visit longviewgallerydc.com.

Summer x MO
Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C. is changing summer travel to the Nation’s Capital. Shifting guest expectations of the typical city hotel vacation, Summer x MO, a collection of accommodation packages, experiences, and garden gatherings is designed for guests to connect with family and friends in a resort-style setting. Summer x MO experiences include: Family-friendly Monday Night Movies on the big screen in the Empress Garden complete with movie theater style popcorn and candy. Younger fans will enjoy playing in the Panda Club, a space completely dedicated to children. The whole family can delight in an afternoon of lawn games in the Empress Garden. Business travelers can create a community with their fellow road warriors at the Executive Social, Monday - Wednesday from 3:00 – 5:00p.m. Adult guests will enjoy an evening of Tequila & Ceviche in Empress each Tuesday from 4:00 – 7:00p.m. Join Executive Chef Moosah Reaume for a summer Magic Pig Roast. Featuring the Caja China method utilizing a distinctive wood box in which the pig roasts for multiple hours, resulting in a magical tasting tender flavorful pork. Every Thursday from 4:00 – 9:00p.m. Fridays Fried & Uncorked combine the juicy and crispy taste of Korean fried chicken with the sweet bubbles of sparkling wine making for a delicious way to end the week. Fridays from 5:00 – 9:00p.m. Empress hosts Gin & Jazz every Saturday from 4:00 – 10:00p.m. with the cool sounds of live jazz accompanied by a range of artisanal gins and cocktails. Wake-Up Wellness offers a variety of group morning yoga, meditation, and stretching sessions at 8:00a.m. every morning in the Empress Garden for registered hotel guests who are members of Fans of MO. For a full schedule and reservations, please visit mandarinoriental.com/washington or call 202.554.8588. 

NEW: Skateland at Mosaic
Mosaic Skateland returns this summer, featuring live music and performances on the big stage, including Kazaxe and Groovalicious. Plus, Urbano Mexican Fare will host a pop-up with their signature food and beverages. Skateland will be open daily from 11:00 am – 10:00 pm until September 25 on Merrifield Town Center Drive. For tickets, visit mosaicrink.ticketsocket.com


NaLa Fridays at the Park
National Landing’s favorite concert series is back and better than ever, bringing live music, food trucks and fun in the summer sun to Long Bridge Park. NaLa Fridays at the Park is a weekly Friday night concert series featuring local musicians and bands, popular local eateries and food trucks, giveaways and more. The series will kick-off on June 10 with a performance by Reesa Renee, followed by a jam-packed line up for the summer, including:

Food and drinks will be available for purchase from on-site food trucks. You are encouraged to bring your own lawn or beach chairs. Picnics are welcome, but no outside alcohol is allowed. Public parking is available at Long Bridge Park which is also easily accessible via bike, bus, metro or train. More information on NaLa Fridays at the Park can be found here.

Notre Dame de Paris: Augmented Exhibition
The National Building Museum brings French heritage back to life with a major new exhibition, Notre-Dame de Paris: The Augmented Exhibition, a 360-degree augmented reality immersion into the 850-year history of the cathedral and its ongoing restoration. The exhibition’s North American debut at the Museum runs through Monday, September 26.  To navigate the exhibition, each visitor will use a HistoPad™, an augmented reality touch-screen tablet developed by Histovery. The hand-held device creates immersive and interactive reconstructions, visually transporting visitors back in time. They can choose their own experience to explore the cathedral being built in the Middle Ages, witness the coronation of Emperor Napoleon I, see the iconic Viollet-le-Duc spire being erected, or be guided through the complex operation designed to safeguard the structure since the fire, prior to the start of the restoration. Vinyl replicas of the cathedral’s flooring, stained-glass transfers on the Museum’s historic windows, audio of Notre Dame’s organs and tolling bells, as well as a projection of the cathedral’s famed rose window, that miraculously survived the 2019 fire, complete the multi-sensory experience. For more information, visit nbm.org; or listen to the full 411 with Nycci on the latest Industry Night.

Jazz in the Garden with the National Gallery
Every Friday through July 22, the Sculpture Garden will come alive with musical performances ranging in style from jazz to Afro-Cuban and bluegrass. On concert days, the Sculpture Garden will close from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.; gates will reopen at 5:00 p.m. and concerts will begin at 6:00 p.m. Registration is free but required for all attendees ages 2 and up. Registration opens at noon one week before each concert. Highlights from this season include several award-winning artists in a variety of genres. Delfeayo Marsalis, National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master and part of the famed Marsalis family, brings his trombone to the Sculpture Garden on July 1. Ho and Marsalis also appear in this season of the National Gallery’s first podcast, Sound Thoughts on Art, in which guests respond musically to a work of art in the collection. The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden is located on the north side of the National Mall. Entrances are located at 7th Street NW, 9th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, and Madison Drive NW. nga.gov

Celebrate Summer at National Harbor
National Harbor is an excellent destination for summer fun, providing a flexible itinerary for families, couples and singles. Friday Summer Sounds features local musicians on the streets of National Harbor’s Waterfront District from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Fridays. The National Harbor Marina provides the opportunity for those who want to visit by boat or rent a boat, including hydrobike water bikes. The bikes are non-polluting, easy to ride, lightweight, safe, and stable with 400 pounds of flotation. Available for rent for ages 8 and up, the water bikes are available from Boating in D.C. at National Harbor. The company also offers kayaks, paddleboards, and pedal boats. Freedom Boat Club and Carefree Boat Club at National Harbor are a membership program where guests can rent a boat.  A boating license is required.  Maryland Yacht Charters has added an additional boat for National Harbor this season. Here, you can rent a boat with a captain for 2-4 hours and BYOB. Monumental Boat Tours’ offers two-person CraigCats. These are available along with a knowledgeable guide, in a separate boat, who provides history and exploration on a two-hour tour from National Harbor to Mount Vernon. Potomac Paddle Club offers another fun boating experience at National Harbor. It’s the first pedal boat or “Cycleboat” company in the region. Movies on the Potomac features top movies shown on the outdoor, waterfront screen (150 National Plaza) from May through September with family movies on Sundays at 6:00 p.m. and “date night” movies on Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. Salute the Sunset features U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marine and Army bands on select Wednesdays and Saturdays at 7:00 p.m. from May until September. The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard drill team will hold drill demonstrations on some of those dates. Take in the waterfront views with free fitness classes every Monday and Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. with One Life Fitness and Sport & Health, and Saturday yoga classes at 10:00 a.m. by Zen Yoga Studio. For more information on National Harbor, visit www.NationalHarbor.com.

Docent-Led Tours at Tudor Place
Tudor Place Historic House & Garden has reopened Thursdays through Sundays with a return to docent-led guided tours of the historic house. Advance registration is suggested for timed entry tickets. Docent-led tours start on the hour, with the last tour beginning at 3:00 p.m. You can also enjoy the garden during your visit and are encouraged to bring a picnic and bask in the beauty of this space. A model of Federal-period architecture in the nation’s capital, Tudor Place shares the stories of multiple generations of Martha Washington’s descendants and the enslaved workers and servants who lived and worked here. Ticket reservations and health & safety guidelines are listed at tudorplace.org