This is the last week of the Man Ray, African Art and the Modernist Lens exhibit at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC. If you know DC, you know it’s tough for a native like me to shell out $12 to see an art exhibit with all the free Smithsonians in town. But even with the free-bees, I neglect to spend the time to actually get to see anything. My first regret of the new year is missing WPA exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art (1934: A New Deal for Artists) which closed yesterday. Fortunately, the museum has an on-line slide show; but it just isn’t the same.

That same $12 can also go towards the current display at National Geographic of Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of China’s First Emperor. I hear this exhibit’s fantastic! If you’re a “Crouching Tiger” film-type fan like me, you may not want to wait to long to get a ticket. The last day is March 31. But this is the first time I recall having to pay a fee to enter the National Geographic museum. This week I also found out that there were a number of lay offs at Nat Geo including the front desk of the museum.

Another exhibit on my list is at the National Museum of African Art – works by , a British born Nigerian artist who has a wonderful eye for satire as well as great artistic skill. I would say he’s eclectique. His mediums are film, scupture, mixed media, photogrphy. Last day for this one is March 7. And it’s FREE!

In the past week I heard two people talk with anticipation about the opening of a new play by Tarell Alvin at Studio Theatre – In the Red and Brown Water. I understand his last play at Studio, The Brothers Size, was a big hit. I didn’t see it or practically any theater in 2008. I had nothing to contribute to the “what did you see” conversation. And I was pretty thin with the movies as well. I’ll connect with my friend this week who suggested seeing Alvin’s new play as well as set up my annual eye check up. In the Red and Brown Water opens Wednesday, January 6.

Yesterday, the New York Times published an interesting article noting that in 2009 Americans were buying less and doing more. That’s got to be encouraging news for some major cultural and recreational institutions including national parks. Experiences where you see, smell, hear, touch, encounter, absorb, and share definitely bring lasting memories.

As an event planner, I have to see stuff, and be places. I guess that’s my on-going New Year’s reslution and challenge. This will mean leaving the lap top home or leaving home and the keyboard. Or in the New Years resolution of one of my Facebook friends, “More face time and less Facebook.”