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Posted at 8:55 AM ET, 01/24/2011

Free and Easy: Take the Mic or Take the Plunge

By Jess Righthand

This week: museums are free (as usual), but we've also got frigid swims and the chance to see D.C.'s karaoke champions compete.

Monday
'The Orchid in Chinese Painting'
The cymbidium orchid became a popular subject for Chinese artists during the Song dynasty (960-1279 A.D.) and was often painted in the dark ink of calligraphers. Fifteen orchid paintings are on display at the Sackler Gallery in anticipation of an orchid show that opens at the Natural History Museum on Saturday.

Tuesday
Culkin School of Traditional Irish Dance
The Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage commemorates the 50th anniversary of Irish-American John F. Kennedy's presidential inauguration with some good old-fashioned Irish dance.

Wednesday
'The Art of Gaman' closes at the Renwick
An exhibition of more than 120 works of art made by Japanese-American internees during World War II closes Sunday at the Renwick Gallery.

Thursday
H Street Karaoke Championship
A crew of carefully selected karaoke regulars at H Street's Little Miss Whiskey's and Sticky Rice competes for a grand prize and unlimited bragging rights.

Friday
'Neorealismo 1941-1954'
The National Gallery screens "Shoeshine" from 1946, among the first of the Italian neorealist films.

Saturday
Polar Bear Plunge
Watch hundreds plunge into the icy waters of the Chesapeake Bay to raise money for Special Olympics Maryland. Or warm up inside the festival tent with live music, food and drinks, and carnival games all day.

Sunday
United States Marine Band: 'Sea Songs'
"The President's Own" Marine band plays compositions by Debussy, Handel and others that were inspired by the ebb and flow of the sea.

By Jess Righthand  | January 24, 2011; 8:55 AM ET
Categories:  Events, Free and Cheap  
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