“Festival” seems to be the buzz word for event planners and producers these days. Gone are “celebrations.” Why not throw a birthday festival? Where 5 or more activities gather in one place on one date, there festival will be also. The September calendar is about to pop wide open with festivals, events, fundraisers, galas, caucuses. September marks the New Year on the Jewish and Ethiopian calendars. It makes sense. New school year, new fiscal years, new session in Congress and Supreme Court. Or as the blogger for Ezra Poundcake put it:
Autumn, you’re giving me that new-boyfriend feeling.

How does one manage a personal, professional, and social life in one month? Here are just a few suggestions for September.

Saturday, September 12
Open House Arts Festival and Children’s Multicultural Book FestivalJohn F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; 12 noon – 11 pm
Free day of performances all throughout the Kennedy Center. Children’s book authors will read and sign books about cultures from around the world.

19th Annual Rosslyn Jazz Festival
Gateway Park, N. Lynn St. & Lee Highway, Rosslyn, VA
Presented by the Rosslyn BID and Rosslyn Renaissance
Broadcast live on WPFW 89.3 FM
1 – 7 PM
Lineup includes jazz vocalist Holly Cole, pianist Lafayette Gilchrist, Frederic Yonnet, and the Spanish Harlem Orchestra (they recorded with Ruben Blades, so I’m a fan). The event is FREE.

Monday, September 14
Theatre District: How D.C. Became a National Stage for the Performing Arts (panel discussion)
Historical Society of Washington DC, 801 K Street, NW
7 PM
Representing some of the District’s most celebrated and influential theatre companies and institutions, panel guests will reveal the contributions and perspectives of their organizations in the development of D.C. theatre. Panelists include Chris Jennings, Managing Director of the Shakespeare Theatre Company; Donn B. Murphy, President and Executive Director of the National Theatre; Molly Smith, Artistic Director of Arena Stage; Paul Tetrault, Director of Ford’s Theatre; Joy Zinoman, Artistic Director of the Studio Theatre; and moderator, Linda Grossman, President and CEO of The Helen Hayes Awards. (Ages 14 to Adults) No RSVP necessary. FREE. The Historical Society of Washington, DC is also accepting donations for its on-going programming, and collections of Washington, DC history and culture.

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Policy Conference (events through September 16)
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will be the special guest at the Awards Night on September 16. The Chair’s Award will be presented to music artist and actor Marc Anthony.

Tuesday, September 15
National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts Noche de Gala
Corcoran Gallery of Art, 500 17th Street, NW
6:30 PM
The annual Noche de Gala raises scholarship monies for Hispanic undergraduate and post graduate students studying for careers in television, film, and the performing arts. This year’s event will celebrate the upcoming PBS mini-series “Latino USA” hosted by Jimmy Smits. NHFA Jimmy Smits, Esai Morales, Sonia Braga will be joined by other celebrities for a night of music, dance, and celebration of Latinos in the arts. Ticket prices are $1,000 for a single ticket; sponsorships are available; there is a special Young Professionals Ticket. Call 202-293-8330 for more information. Visit www.hispanicarts.org.

Howard Dean, M.D. at Busboys and Poets
2021 14th Street, NW
6 PM
Making a house call. Former chair of the Democratic National Committee, presidential candidate, and governor of Vermont, Dr. Howard Dean (who hasn’t been adequately thanked for the victories in 2008), will host a real health care townhall meeting at Busboys and Poets. The event will be moderated by WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi. http://www.busboysandpoets.com

Wednesday, September 16
Words Beats & Life 2nd Annual Bootleg Festival (through September 19)
U Street Corridor, Washington, DC
Hip Hop multi-media festival. “Our section entitled “Hip Hop’s Underground Economy” is where we will highlight all of the panel discussions that will be held during our event.”

Wednesday, September 23
Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference (through September 26)
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
In the words of Margot Channing (with a variation) the annual CBC Legislative Conference is where the [black political] elite meet. The event has dozens of policy forums, general sessions, and a mega information mall. There is a registration fee for some events. Visit the website at http://www.cbcfinc.org/alc-09.html

Friday, September 25
Baltimore Book Festival
Mount Vernon Place, 600 Block North Charles Street
Friday, 9/25 – Sunday, 9/27; opens at 12 noon
James McBride, Gwen Ifill, Farai Chideya, Lourdes Castro, Amiri Baraka, Marsha-Marsha-Marsha Brady actress Maureen McCormick, and the Cake Bible author Rose Levy Beranbaum are among the many authors reading on the stages at Mount Vernon Place.

Saturday, September 26
Library of Congress National Book Festival
National Mall
10 AM – 5:30 PM
Here is a festival that admits to celebrating – the joy of reading. Author pavilions will include non-fiction, biography, fiction, children’s, poetry, cook book authors. The list includes Paula Deen, John Grisham, Gwen Ifill, John Irving, Julia Alvarez, Walter Mosley, Junot Diaz, Judy Blume and many, many others. Books will be available for sale.