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Posted at 7:00 AM ET, 03/22/2010

Free & easy events

By Anne Kenderdine

There's no need to spend a fortune to have a great time out. This week, we suggest all kinds of offbeat ways to find some culture -- without spending a cent.

Intro to improv
Think you might be the next Steve Carell? Test your skills with the locals who know spontaneous comedy, Washington Improv Theater. The troupe will host its quarterly free improv workshops ahead of its spring session, and you get $10 off if you sign up for a regularly scheduled class.

'Poems About Washington, D.C.'
Try this departure from your lunch-break routine: As part of its Poetry at Noon series, the Library of Congress is presenting a reading of works about Washington by writers featured in the anthology "Full Moon on K Street." Featured poets are Jonetta Rose Barras, Merrill Leffler, Ramola D, Venus Thrash and Kim Roberts.

Harpsichordist Ignacio Prego
In honor of the current exhibit "The Sacred Made Real: Spanish Painting and Sculpture, 1600-1700," the National Gallery of Art presents the Madrid harpsichordist playing works by Spanish composers.

'Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo'
If the mere idea of a cicada sends shivers down your spine, it might be time reconsider your attitude toward our six-legged brethren. Jessica Oreck's documentary investigates how the Japanese came to revere insects, from keeping beetles as pets to enshrining various species in Buddhist temples, all the while showing the lovelier side of bugs.

'Don Kimes: Before and After the Flood'
The artist and American University professor discusses his work and his new exhibit, "Pentamenti: After the Flood," which opened Saturday at the Katzen Arts Center. Ask him about how his art and creative process have changed since the 2003 flood that destroyed his home.

Smithsonian Kite Festival
Held on the first day of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, this popular annual event is a key sign that spring is here. Handmade kites from all over the world, kite-flying competitions and kite-making workshops for kids are just some of the reasons to get down to the Mall.

Del Ray Easter Egg Hunt
Bring Fido along for this family- and dog-friendly Easter event. Tickets will be hidden in some of the 2,000 eggs (including "egg" dog treats) for a drawing that includes an especially sweet prize -- a 26-inch chocolate bunny courtesy of local chocolate shop ACKC.

-- Stephanie Merry and Justin Rude

By Anne Kenderdine  | March 22, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Events, Free and Cheap, Misc.  
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