SPJ’s Washington, D.C. Pro chapter was really looking forward to showing off the city during this year’s national conference.
But since you all can’t join us in person, we can at least offer a few virtual highlights to give you a taste of D.C.
First. there’s Pandamania again at the National Zoo. In mid-August 22-year-old giant panda Mei Xiang gave birth to a cub. She’s done this three times before – there’s Tai Shan, Bao Bao and Bei Bei – and each time the town goes crazy about a tiny creature that is, at birth, inevitably compared to a butter stick. Tune in here.
The U.S. Capitol Visitor Center may be closed because of Covid-19, but you can see virtual exhibits and take a tour of Emancipation Hall, the Rotunda and National Statuary Hall without the crowds here.
The Library of Congress website has great photos of the Jefferson building’s unforgettable Great Hall and Main Reading Room, plus murals depicting “The Evolution of the Written Word.” Take a look.
The National Museum of Natural History offers virtual tours of permanent, current and even past exhibits. From its website you also can visit the Smithsonian Castle and the Hirshhorn museum and sculpture garden.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the newest museum on the National Mall. You can learn about the exhibits and watch Step Afrika! perform here.
Take a stroll in the National Gallery of Art. Several virtual tours are available –”True to Nature,” “Degas at the Opera” and “Raphael and His Circle” – in addition to the photos of the collection and sculpture garden.
The Fort Dupont Summer Concert Series continues Sept. 12 at 7:30 p.m.
Digital Stage at the Kennedy Center, in collaboration with arts organizations around the country, is showing a series of free, online programming on Facebook Live, YouTube, and on its own website. The curtain goes up five days a week at 4 p.m. ET.
If you have a little extra time to spend — virtually — in the nation’s capital, you might be interested in Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Will on the Hill Sept. 14. The Company promises members of Congress and Washington influencers onstage performing “scenes from Shakespeare—infused with comedic references to contemporary politics.”
Finally, there will some home-team sports in Washington during the conference, but none of us can attend in person. Check it out for yourself: the Nationals will be home all weekend, playing the Atlanta Braves. D.C. United will play the New York Red Bulls Sept. 12.
Stephenie Overman is SPJ Region 2 Coordinator, a Washington Pro chapter member, and a full-time freelance journalist. She is proud to be a Howard Dubin Award winner.