The Landmark Music Festival debuts while the DC Shorts Film Festival returns, plus more cultural happenings.
The Launch of the Landmark Music Festival
DC emerges as a major stop for music festival devotees with the launch of the two-day Landmark Music Festival, benefiting restoration projects for the National Mall. “We considered a range of high-impact, large-scale events that could help us reach a broader audience,” says Kristine Fitton, vice president of marketing and communications for the Trust for the National Mall. “But we kept coming back to the idea of a music festival.” With headliners Drake and the Strokes (PICTURED) among the 40-plus acts, the festival hopes to draw 25,000 people each day. Charlie Jones of C3 Presents, which is producing the event, sees it as a cousin to the Austin City Limits Music Festival, noting, “The finest elements of the community will be represented through music, food, education, and family programs, all with a greater purpose: to support our national parks.” Two-day passes start at $150. September 26–27 at West Potomac Park
Theater This Fall: The Kennedy Center and Beyond
There is no shortage of thought-provoking theater this season in the DMV. The Kennedy Center presents Wagner, Max! Wagner! (September 25–26), a song cycle from Stew and Heidi Rodewald, the Tony-winning team behind Passing Strange. The show traces an unlikely link between opera composer Richard Wagner and the blues. “Both have been said to directly and indirectly reflect aspects of their respective cultures that many would like to forget,” says Stew, referring to the Nazis’ propagandistic use of Wagner and the blues’ painful echoes of slavery. “The show examines our fear of both.” Also on the calendar are Dana P. Rowe’s The Fix, a rock-infused satire of insider politics, playing at Signature Theatre (August 11– September 20, Arlington), and Christopher Baker’s take on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, at Center Stage (September 11–October 11, Baltimore).
The Return of the DC Shorts Film Festival
This year’s DC Shorts Film Festival and Screenplay Competition features 125 short films, ranging from two to 30 minutes in length, from 24 countries. “A great short film is like a great short story,” says Jon Gann, the festival’s founder and executive director. “It’s a format unto its own.” Documentaries are a perennial favorite (“Washingtonians are a sophisticated bunch,” he says), so we asked Gann to recommend a few below. September 10–20, various venues
Last Chance to View Magdalena Abakanowicz's Sculpture Installation
Magdalena Abakanowicz's yearlong sculpture installation, a special exhibition of The New York Avenue Sculpture Project, is coming to an end. Her mammoth bronze human figures (such as 2009’s Walking Figures, PICTURED) and stainless steel birds have delighted and intrigued commuters and passersby along New York Avenue since last fall, and Washingtonians have until September 27 to take in the stunning sight. New York Avenue NW, between 12th and 13th Streets