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August 1st, 2009

Facing History: Be the Artist @ National Portrait Gallery (DC)
Kids are invited to participate in a two-hour art class to better understand an artwork by Marcel Duchamp on view in the exhibition Inventing Marcel Duchamp: The Dynamics of Portraiture. Registered participants take a brief guided tour of the exhibition, focusing on a multimedia self- portrait by Duchamp, and then create artwork based on the main ideas of that portrait.

From Spark to Click @ National Museum of American History (DC)
The Lemelson Center and the LEGO Group celebrate National Inventor’s Month with a free, two-day collaborative build of a record-breaking, 8-foot-tall light bulb – the universal symbol of a big idea. The light bulb is to be made entirely of LEGO bricks constructed by visitors with the help of LEGO master builders. Spark!Lab, the center’s hands-on invention space, also features special building and engineering-related activities throughout the weekend.

Animals R Us! Family Day @ National Postal Museum (DC)
Go wild for animal stamps from African countries. In a day with loads of hands-on fun, families can enjoy presentations about African animals, folklore, and peoples by the African American dance troupe Soul in Motion, explore examples of artful animals in the stamp galleries, collect animal stamps from around the world, and design their own stamps.

Milkshake CD Release Party @ Jammin’ Java (Vienna, VA)
Milkshake, made up of veterans of several Baltimore alt-pop, hard rock, and progressive bands, celebrates the release of its fourth CD, Great Day.

2009 Asian Festival @ Lake Newport Tennis Courts (Reston, VA)
The annual festival – showcasing India this year – features authentic Asian food vendors and stores, traditional Asian performances, children’s activities and play area, and lots and lots of tennis!

Dark Star Park Festival @ Dark Star Park (Arlington, VA)
Celebrate the 25th anniversary of Dark Star Park with the park’s sculptor, Nancy Holt, who is present at 9:32am to watch the spheres and poles of Dark Star Park create a shadow alignment – a once-a-year event. The rest of the day’s activities, held at the park and at the nearby Dome and Freedom Park celebrate the birth of Arlington’s public art program with films, tours, hands-on activities, art shows, theater, and concerts by Rocknoceros and The Grandsons.

Friendship Firehouse Festival @ Friendship Firehouse Museum (Alexandria, VA)
The annual fest includes antique fire apparatus, craft booths, displays by Alexandria merchants, food, and live music. Kids are given free fire helmets and balloons, get to meet a Dalmatian, and get up-close tours of the fire trucks.

Sunday, August 2nd

Art a la Cart @ Smithsonian American Art Museum (DC)
Kids can visit four interactive carts throughout the galleries to explore subjects such as sculpture and folk art through hands-on activities. Art a la Cart locations are indicated on maps available at the Information Desks in the F Street and G Street lobbies.

American Indian Games @ Rock Creek Park (DC)
Learn some of the games American Indians played. Be ready to challenge the ranger after making your own game pieces.

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