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Posted at 9:00 AM ET, 08/29/2009

Free and Easy Events

By Fritz Hahn

A Very Hungry Caterpillar has been spotted in Woodley Park. See him before he turns into a butterfly. ((c) 1969 and 1987 by Eric Carle)

Every week, the Going Out Gurus suggest ways to enjoy Washington's cultural scene without spending any money. Have an idea for us? Send it to

Dancing Under the Stars at Fort Dupont Park
Hand dancing is a smooth social form of swing dancing that lived on in Washington's African-American community long after the jitterbugs faded away. Learn the basics and watch some of the area's top dance ensembles at this outdoor party in Fort Dupont Park, part of the annual Dance D.C. Festival, which begins at 5 p.m.

'From Bugs to Beasts' at the Stanford in Washington Art Gallery
Attention, fans of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" and "Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?": This is your last chance to see collages and watercolors by artist-author Eric Carle -- including the famous larva -- at the Woodley Park gallery.

Metropolitan Ballet Theatre and Academy Open House
Need a refresher on your pointe? The Rockville dance studio, which teaches ballet, jazz and modern styles to children and adults, offers free classes and performances during its annual open house. Kids can try on tutus and make tiaras, and everyone learns how ballerinas get their hair in perfect buns.

Atlas District Open Mic at Sova
Poets, musicians, comics and storytellers are invited to perform at Sova's open mike, and the evening's top act gets a $50 prize. There are 15 slots available; sign-up begins on a first-come, first-served basis at 7:30.

Fiesta de las Americas at the Smithsonian American Art Museum
Spend your happy hour dancing to live salsa music with vocalist Meñique, the Verny Varela Project and DJ Earl International.

My Space on 7th Closing Party and Wine Tasting
The Touchstone Gallery's annual non-juried show for emerging artists finishes its three-week run with a special wine-tasting party offered by the Washington Wine Academy.

Page to Stage Festival at the Kennedy Center
Dozens of local theater companies, including Signature, Washington Shakespeare, Rorschach and Theater J, will present staged readings and open rehearsals of upcoming plays and musicals. A full schedule is available on the Kennedy Center's Web site.

By Fritz Hahn  | August 29, 2009; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  Events, Free and Cheap  
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