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Posted at 10:24 PM ET, 09/19/2010

Free and easy events

By Stephanie Merry

Famous authors, including Jonathan Franzen and Jonathan Safran Foer, visit the Mall for the National Book Festival, Chuck Brown closes out the Live on Woodrow Wilson Plaza series with an after-work concert, and the Washington Ballet's young members group offers free appetizers at happy hour at the W Hotel.

'Arcimboldo, 1526-1593: Nature and Fantasy'
Head to the National Galley's recently opened exhibition for a look at fantastical art that blends portraiture and still life. Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo's work, some of which is on view in the United States for the first time, reveals the artist's wild imagination, crafting cheeks out of onions, painting flowers to represent skin and depicting eyelids as peapods.

Fall for the Book Festival
The week-long literary festival at George Mason University features readings, workshops and lectures all day, through Friday. Tuesday's highlights include programs with novelists Jennifer Egan and Rick Moody.

Andrea Centazzo
The Sonic Circuits Festival, a celebration of electronic music in the Washington area, moves to the Kennedy Center for a performance by the absurdly prolific multi-instrumentalist Andrea Centazzo. The Italian-born author of more than 350 compositions, ranging from orchestral symphonies to avant-garde jazz, has played more than 1,000 concerts and performs with a set of more than 200 instruments, from gongs to digital samplers.

Jete Society Happy Hour
The Washington Ballet's young benefactors meet up on the patio of the stylish J&G Steakhouse for the first Jete Society happy hour of the 2010-'11 season. But you don't have to be a member to get the perks of free entry as well as gratis appetizers. For those in the mood for a beverage, specials include $5 Heineken Light and Lagunitas, $10 red and white wine, sparkling prosecco and ginger margaritas, and, best of all, a portion of your tab will go toward the Washington School of Ballet's scholarship fund.

Chuck Brown
The Godfather of Go-Go never plays a bad show and will have the crowd bustin' loose at the season finale of the Live on Woodrow Wilson Plaza concert series. (Note that this show begins at 5 p.m. instead of the usual noon start time.)

National Book Festival
The center of the modern lit universe will be on the Mall on Saturday for the 2010 National Book Festival. Jonathan Franzen, whose novel "Freedom" is sitting atop the New York Times fiction bestseller list, will discuss his work at 10:35 a.m. with a book signing to follow. Other bestsellers speaking throughout the day: former first lady Laura Bush, Jonathan Safran Foer, Brad Meltzer and David Remnick.

Fiesta DC
The annual festival includes five stages of music, folklore, theater and other performing arts in addition to a Parade of Nations that will include hundreds of dancers.

-- Alex Baldinger, David Malitz and Stephanie Merry

By Stephanie Merry  | September 19, 2010; 10:24 PM ET
Categories:  Events, Free and Cheap  
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For more details on the Book Festival (always a good time):

Other authors you may know: Ken Follett, Diana Gabaldon, Jane Smiley

Posted by: oc_ofb | September 20, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

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