Inside the Beltway is quite exciting this time of year for all the best reasons…and this just scratches the surface.

Sunday, September 5, 6 PM
Graywolf Press and CAS/51 celebrates the publication of SKIN, INC. – Identity Repair Poems by Thomas Sayers Ellis (see the eclectique interview with Ellis)
CAS/51 510 Randolph Street, Washington, DC 20011
Books will be available for purchase and there will be light refreshments. Reading by Thomas Says Ellis and performance by Carolyn Malachi of Ellis’ “The Pronoun-Vowel…”

Sunday, September 12, noon – 7 PM
32nd Adams Morgan Day Festival – the mega neighborhood block party. 12 pm – 7 pm. This is the day when people in the neighborhood know not to move their cars if they on-street parking. The festival is usually packed from 18th & Columbia Road to Florida Avenue. Lot of vendors local and regional. Stages. Art displays. More information at this link:

September Caucuses – for the Politico Artist in you
September 12 – 15, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Public Policy Conference, Reyes of Comedy (9/14) and 33rd Annual Awards Gala (9/15). Gala honorees are Lin-Manuel Miranda (Chair’s Award), Eva Longoria Parker (Medallion of Excellence), and Arturo Sandoval (Medallion of Excellence). Hosted by Soledad O’Brien.
For information, registration, and tickets go here.

September 15 – 17, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Legistlative Conference. Alice Walker and Robert Townsend will be honored at the CBC Spouses “Celebration of Leadership” event (9/15). For schedule registration, and ticket information go here.

Tuesday, September 14, 7 PM
National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts Noche de Gala

Renaissance Mayflower Hotel
Actors Jimmy Smits, Sonia Braga, Esai Morales, and Merel Julia along with attorney Felix Sanchez honor and celebrate excellence in the performing arts, media, entertainment, and telecommunications industry by Hispanic Americans. The NHFA event raises funds for scholarships to Hispanic students at eight prestigious colleges and universities. For ticket information and sponsorship opportunities, call 202-293-8330.

Saturday, September 18, noon to 7 PM
H Street Festival

Since the H Street “revival,” the commercial strip with theaters, restaurants, cafes and bars, mixed in with the corner stores, auto parts shop and a strip mall, is fast becoming the hipsters paradise – grit with growth. Not only is H Street asking you to come shop and enjoy entertainment in the corridor, but also to live there. Transportation still remains a bear for getting there. Only 1 bus, the X2 goes from east to west. Trolley car tracks are almost done but no trolley yet.
More information here.

Tuesday, September 21, 5:30 PM
Lip Smack: A History of Spoken Word Poetry in DC (Beltway Editions) by Kim Roberts – book release.
Venue change: Charles Sumner School, 1201 17th Street, NW at M
Featuring a guest performance by Regie Cabico, and tabletop exhibits on The Word Works, Inc., Split This Rock, and Beltway Poetry.
Part of The Humanities Council of Washington, DC 30th Anniversary Celebration and Grantee Showcase. Exhibits, readings, performances, and film, with an awards ceremony, and a champagne and cake reception. Call 202-387-8391. Free, but reservations required.

Thursday, September 23, 6 – 8 PM
Humanities Council of Washington, DC 30th Anniversary Celebration

Hogan and Lovells, LLP, 555 13th Street, NW
Honorees Peggy Cooper Cafritz, patron of the arts and co-founder of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts; and Dr. Johnnetta Cole, director of the National Museum of African Art and first black woman president of Spellman College will be part of the discussion moderated by Michel Martin of “Tell Me More” on NPR.
$100 Donation. Purchase tickets here.

Saturday, September 25
National Festival of the Book

This is one of my favorite events. In its 10th year, the festival continues to celebrate books, reading and authors via the Library of Congress. Authors, author readings, books and fun for adults and kids. Some of the writers participating: Isabelle Allende, Martha Grimes, Ken Follett, Pat Mora, Judith Viorst, Timothy Egan, Will Haygood, Elizabeth Alexander, Spike Mendelsohn, and more, more, more. I will not miss it! Visit

September 28 – October 3
All Roads Film Festival

National Geographic HQ, 1600 M Street, NW
The All Roads Film Festival is part of the All Roads Film Project, a National Geographic program created to provide an international platform for indigenous and under-represented minority-culture artists to share cultures, stories and perspectives through the power of film and photography.

The festival kicks off September 28 at 7 PM with “Reel Injun” followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Neil Diamond (pictured). This event is co-hosted with ITVS which kicks off its new season of Community Cinema with “Reel Injun” in October. In the film, Neil Diamond takes an entertaining, insightful, and often humorous look at the Hollywood Indian, exploring the portrayal of North American Natives through a century of cinema and examining the ways that the myth of “the Injun” has influenced the world’s understanding—and misunderstanding—of Natives.

Tickets are available online at or by phone at 202-857-7700.