- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 17, 2004

European Christmas

The eighth annual Norwegian Christmas at Union Station begins Tuesday with a night full of holiday festivities. Ambassador Knut Vollebaek — along with members of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves and several D.C. officials — will turn on the model train display, one of the largest in the world. Tuesday’s event is also the official start for the Marines’ Toys for Tots gift campaign. The free celebration begins at 5 p.m. in the Main and West halls. 50 Massachusetts Ave. NE. For more information and a complete holiday schedule, see www.norway.org.

House of art

With more than 1,000 artists, Artomatic 2004 is one of this year’s largest art gatherings in the District. Throughout its three-week run, artists and performers will showcase their work in hopes of creating a more vibrant art community in the city — and of course to sell their creations. Show hours are noon to midnight Tuesday through Thursday, noon to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday, through Dec. 5. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. The new art space is at 800 Third St. NE. For more information, see www.arto matic.org.

Before e-mail

Remember handwritten letters? They came before text messaging, and they’re now widely considered a lost art. The Folger Shakespeare Library is looking at early Renaissance letters with its newest exhibit, “Letterwriting in Renaissance England.” Focusing on the materials used to create the letters, the exhibit highlights everything from the seals and foldings to the paper and inks. The exhibit opens today and continues through April 2. The library is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. 201 E. Capitol St. SE. 202/544-4600.

Dance fever

Blending traditional Spanish music, song and dance, Noche Flamenca has established itself as one of the finest examples of flamenco style. Led by dancer Soledad Barrio and artistic director Martin Santangelo, the troupe has received rave reviews for its passionate performances. Mrs. Barrio and her crew perform at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium tomorrowand Saturday. Both shows begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 to $35. 730 21st St. NW. 202/397-SEAT.

A quarter-century of African treasure

The National Museum of African Art became part of the Smithsonian Institution 25 years ago, and it is starting a yearlong celebration with a major show of masterpieces from its own collection and loans from private collectors. “Treasures” includes many works never before exhibited in the United States. The show opened yesterday and runs through Aug. 15. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. Admission is free. For a full schedule of special programs, see https://africa.si.edu.

Singing the blues

Like a fine wine, Bill Henderson’s raspy voice has only gotten better with age. A music veteran and movie actor for more than 50 years, the Grammy-nominated jazz master sings the blues for two performances tomorrow night in the Terrace Theater at the Kennedy Center. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $30. F Street and New Hampshire Avenue NW 202/467-4600.

Hip-hop with a conscience

Talib Kweli is known in hip-hop circles as a cerebral MC, and after one listen to his rhymes, the title is evident. The son of two college professors, the Brooklyn-raised Mr. Kweli has made a living speaking out on social issues, a far cry from the excessive lifestyles common in hip-hop today. His second solo offering, “The Beautiful Struggle,” sheds light on a range of issues, from overtime 9-to-5ers to AIDS-infected orphans. Mr. Kweli comes to the 9:30 Club tonight to perform some tracks. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25. 815 V St. NW. 202/393-0930.

Twinkle, twinkle

Twinkling light sculptures once again take over Symphony Woods in Columbia, Md., for the 11th annual Symphony of Lights. Celebrating all aspects of the holiday season, Symphony of Lights has more than 70 displays, including traditional white snowflakes and shooting stars, magical dancing lollipops and hard-working elves. The display opens Monday and continues through Jan. 2. Display times vary by day. Admission ranges from $15 per car to $100 for a bus (more than 24 people). 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. For more information, call 410/740-7666.

Thomas Walter

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