Things to do in the DC area: Museum of Graffiti, Columbia Heights Day … and more!

The "Sneaker Stories" pop-up at Union Market District. (Courtesy Museum of Graffiti)

There’s so much to do in the D.C. area in the coming days, and WTOP has you covered with our weekly roundup of area events worth anticipating.

Check back every Thursday for a roundup of Things to do in the D.C. area.

This weekend, a space that appears to be a shoe store will open up, but none of the shoes there will be for sale. Museum of Graffiti co-founder Allison Freidin told WTOP that she is opening “Sneaker Stories” at D.C.’s Union Market District, which features art and rare sneakers by some of the world’s most iconic artists within the genre.

The approximately 1,000-square-foot exhibit will celebrate how graffiti artists have shaped the way that society sees footwear.

“It’s more about self-expression and street culture, and so we are here to educate and elevate the graffiti art forms so that visitors can learn about what an impact graffiti … has had in all walks of life,” Freidin said.

As part of the exhibition, there will be a complimentary sneaker customization bar where guests will be able to get brand-new laces, lace locks, lace clips and other charms at no cost.

Freidin said artists will fly in to also be a part of a panel discussion on Saturday, June 15, speaking about the transition from working in the streets to being tapped by big shoe companies.

On Sunday, June 16, an outdoor art session will allow creatives to trade books and do sketches for each other.

The exhibit and accompanying events on 1270 Fifth Street in Northeast D.C. are free. Here’s what else is happening in the D.C. area:


Friday Night Dancing
The Wharf is hosting free, themed dance nights with live music on the second Friday in June, July and August. This Friday, June 14, will feature country line dancing taught by DC Rawhides with music from Human Country Jukebox. The event is family-friendly.

Garbagefest 6
On Friday, June 14, this mutual aid benefit show is set for St. Stephen’s Church with punk rock, comedy and “live witchcraft.” The live bands include Messthetics, Massie, and Professor Goldstein with comedian Jenny Cavallero. Tickets are on a donation-based system but must be a minimum of $10.

Children’s Book and Learning Festival
Bring your family to the Children’s Book and Learning Festival on Saturday, June 15, for a full day of engaging and educational activities, featuring an exciting lineup of local authors from the Children’s Book Guild of Washington, D.C. and exhibitions from the National Children’s Museum, D.C. Public Library and other local organizations. The event is free, open to the public and located at Wilson Plaza at The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.

Columbia Heights Day
For the 16th time, this neighborhood festival will welcome over 10,000 visitors for an event filled with local food vendors and artists, live music, a kids stage with live comedy, magic and stories, plus “carnival entertainment.” The event on Saturday, June 15, is at the turf field at Harriet Tubman Elementary.

Witness rare and classic cars at CityCenterDC on Saturday, June 15, for the one-day-only exhibition, CarCoterie.


Pixies and Modest Mouse
Head to the Merriweather Post Pavilion on Friday, June 14, to see Pixies and Modest Mouse with special guest: Cat Powers. There are still several tickets left, including on the lawn, which cost $35, not including tax and additional fees.

Savage Bluegrass Festival
Four bluegrass bands are ready to hit the stage on Saturday, June 15, at this festival at Savage Mill in Savage, Maryland. General admission tickets for the event cost $20.

Pride Trivia
The Pizzeria Paradiso in Hyattsville, Maryland, is hosting drag queen Charlemagne Chateau for a dive into trivia covering everything LGBTQ, including literature, film, TV and music. This event on Tuesday, June 18, will be on a first-come, first served basis. For more Pride events, check out WTOP’s Pride event guide.


Art After Hours: 50th Anniversary Celebration
The Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) Arlington is hosting an event to celebrate its semicentennial anniversary on Saturday, June 15. The free event includes the opening of their new summer exhibition, which includes work by artists who have exhibited at MoCA Arlington in every decade of its 50 years. There will also be a cash bar.

Juneteenth Black Heritage Walk
Starting at Towers Park in Arlington, Virginia, the Juneteenth Black Heritage Walk will span two hours, discussing significant sites nearby. The walk will end at the Black Heritage Museum of Arlington. The free event is on Sunday, June 16. For more Juneteenth events in the D.C. region, stay tuned for another article on with events like this one.

Fitness at the Fountain
Virginia’s National Landing is continuing its regular weekly workout series, hosted alongside DC Fray. Running through Aug. 26, these instructor-led classes are free and varied. The class schedule for Monday, June 17, indicates that it will be led by Onelife Fitness.

Have an event you’d like featured in WTOP’s Things to do in the D.C. area weekly guide? Fill out this contact form to have your event considered.

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Michelle Goldchain

Michelle Goldchain’s reporting has focused primarily on the D.C. area, previously working as Editor of Curbed DC for Vox Media and Audience Growth & Engagement Editor for Washington City Paper. She is the author of “D.C. by Metro: A History & Guide.” She also reports for 'Artsplained' on YouTube.

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