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Posted at 7:00 AM ET, 10/18/2010

Free and easy: Arena Stage open house and 'Crochet Coral Reef'

By Alex Baldinger

Every week, we tell you the best free things to do. Consider this: this week, you can hear a bunch of concerts, meet the cast of Arena Stage's "Oklahoma!" and gape at a coral reef made out of yarn.

Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef
This new exhibit has it all: Science, art, math and environmental messaging. See a coral reef, crafted from yarn, which illustrates a natural geometric marvel known as the wavelike hyperbolic curves found in the Great Barrier and other reefs.

Robert Schumann Bicentennial Festival & Conference
The University of Maryland School of Music hosts a four-day festival (through Friday) that brings together musicians, scholars and audiences to celebrate the work of the influential composer. Free events on Tuesday include a panel discussion ("Schumann and his Poets") and a recital by students.

Parker Quartet
The acclaimed four-piece string quartet, all graduates of the New England Conservatory of Music and winners of the most recent Cleveland Quartet Award, performs Ligeti's Quartet no. 1, Beethoven's Quartet, op. 131 and selections from Dvorak's Cypresses.

Meet the Artist: Guillermo Kuitca
On the opening day of an exhibition of his work, including striking black-and-white depictions of baggage carousels and colorful renditions of theater seating plans, Argentinian artist Guillermo Kuitca pays a visit to the Hirshhorn to discuss his more than 30-year career.

Smithsonian Archives Fair
The annual fair features a lecture series on projects and research based on Smithsonian collections, displays from Smithsonian archives and an "Ask the Smithsonian" program.

Arena Stage Homecoming Day
Tour Arena Stage's brand-new, $135 million Mead Center for American Theater as the facility opens to the public for the first time. The day's festivities begin with a ribbon-cutting at 11:30 a.m. followed by live outdoor performances, as well as tours, indoor concerts and discussions with the cast of the theater's production of "Oklahoma!"

Great Noise Ensemble
Dutch composer Louis Andriessen's seminal opera "Da Materie" will be performed by the local group that has made a mark with its ambition and exuberance.

-- Alex Baldinger, David Malitz and Stephanie Merry

By Alex Baldinger  | October 18, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Events, Free and Cheap  
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