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Posted at 7:00 AM ET, 01/ 4/2010

Free and easy events

By Anne Kenderdine

Play ping-pong, learn about improv comedy from pros or take the kids to an indoor Martin Luther King Jr. celebration -- they're all things you can do without spending a cent this week.

Monday
Will Rast Trio at Tryst
Pianist Will Rast channels his spirited jazz/funk/R&B music into numerous projects. Two of those, the Funk Ark and Black and Tan Fantasy Band, routinely play at larger clubs with cover charges. But every Monday night, his eponymous trio plays a free jazz-centric set at this coffeehouse.

Tuesday
Tacos and Ping-Pong Tuesdays at Breadsoda
On Tuesday nights, Glover Park's retro-style lounge converts two of its three billiard tables for table tennis and lets customers play free. Feeling hungry? Get a trio of tacos with your choice of filling (beef, chicken, chorizo or veggie) for $6.

Wednesday
Learn About Nixon and Elvis at the Archives
On the list of memorable White House photos, it's hard to beat the 1970 image of President Nixon and Elvis Presley. Learn more about their meeting at this talk, which takes place just before Presley's 75 birthday (Jan. 8) and Nixon's 97th (Jan. 9). Former White House aide Egil "Bud" Krogh, who set up the meeting, and Presley friend Jerry Schilling will discuss that day's bizarre events. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Thursday
Intro to Improv Workshops at Washington Improv Theater
Ever wanted to learn more about off-the-cuff acting and speaking, or just hoping to hone your comedy chops? WIT's professional instructors teach seven free classes through Saturday. Registration is required.

Friday
'Sculpture Now 2010' at Pepco Edison Place Gallery
Sixteen artists display works made from nontraditional materials at the opening of this new exhibit, organized by the Washington Sculptors Group. Ryan Hill, a research associate for the Hirshhorn, served as juror and selected the pieces.

Saturday
Martin Luther King Jr. Family Day at the American Art Museum
Celebrate the civil rights leader's life with singers from the Washington Chorus, a puppet show about the Underground Railroad, a reading of "Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr." and craft projects.

Sunday
Guided tours at the National Gallery of Art
Spend an hour with one of the museum's docents on a specialized tour of the museum's collection. The "French Collection" tour traces the history of French art from 18th-century neoclassical works through post-impressionist paintings by Cézanne and Gauguin. Meet in the rotunda of the West Building at 3:30 p.m.

-- Fritz Hahn

By Anne Kenderdine  | January 4, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Events, Free and Cheap  
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