National Gallery Nights Return Next Month

National Gallery Nights return on September 14. Photograph courtesy of the National Gallery of Art.

The insanely popular National Gallery Nights return this fall on the second Thursday of each month, starting on September 14 and returning on October 12 and November 9. This year’s programs correspond to the themes “Block Party,” “Nightmare at the Museum,” and “Indigenous Futures,” respectively. 

Those lucky enough to get their hands on the event’s coveted tickets, which are free and granted through a lottery system, can expect evenings of music, performances, art making, and pop-up talks throughout the art museum, where food, gelato, and drinks will also be available for purchase.

But don’t worry if the odds aren’t in your favor—you can still get in on the artsy fun outside the museum. For the first time, and in an effort to include as many people as possible, the museum will provide non-ticketed programming outdoors on the 4th Street plaza. Additionally, like last year, the gallery will offer limited first-come, first-serve tickets at the door starting at 5:30 PM the night of each event.

Here’s a closer look at what to expect during each Thursday—plus, when to mark your calendar for lottery tickets. Alternatively, you can sign up for alerts here.

Ladies of Hip-Hop Dance Collective will perform during the September 14 National Gallery Night. Photograph by Loreto Jamling.

Block Party on September 14 

Lift your glass to the 50th anniversary of hip-hop—whose origin is pinpointed to August 10, 1973—during the gallery’s Block Party night. Outside the museum, The Missing Element, a music and dance group, will bring breakdancing and beat boxing to the plaza while Chalk Riot! and other local artists create street art and murals. Inside the museum, ticket-holders can enjoy performances by the Ladies of Hip-Hop Dance Collective and a dance party hosted by DJ Bizzy and DJ Little Bacon Bear.

The lottery opens on Monday, September 4, and closes on Thursday, September 7, at noon. Winners will be announced on Friday, September 8.

Nightmare at the Museum on October 12

Celebrate spooky season at the museum’s Halloween-themed party, during which museum staff will share haunted art stories. Forget a costume? Decorate and don your own masquerade mask instead or opt for some face-painting before heading to the dance floor for the Monster Mash. Outside the museum, watch a screening of Ghostbusters, which will be accompanied by a live, remixed soundtrack, courtesy of DJ 2-Tone and a part of the SHAOLIN JAZZ’s Can I Kick It? series.

The lottery opens on Monday, October 2, and closes Thursday, October 5, at noon. Winners will be announced on Friday, October 6.

Indigenous Futures on November 9

Corresponding with the gallery’s exhibition The Land Carries Our Ancestors: Contemporary Art by Native Americans, Indigenous Futures night will explore how native peoples are influencing the present and shaping the future through gallery talks and a performance from Native Alaskan artist of Tlingit and Unangax̂ ancestry Nicholas Galanin. Known for blending music with art and touching upon themes of environmental justice, Galanin will perform electro-soul pieces under his alias Ya Tseen, which means “be alive” in Tlingit. As part of the event, guests can also make their own art inspired by nature.

The lottery opens on Monday, October 30, and closes Thursday, November 2, at noon. Winners will be announced on Friday, November 3.

Jessica Ruf

Assistant Editor

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