- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 8, 2005

Earth films

The D.C. Environmental Film Festival, 10 days of films and discussions, begins today. More than 100 films, covering a kaleidoscope of issues, will be screened. Screenings and discussions take place at venues throughout the city, and most are free. See www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org or call 202/342-2564.

International art

On Saturday, more than 50 American and Israeli artists will come together for the sixth annual Celebration of the Arts, a three-day juried arts-and-crafts show at the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia. Visitors can meet with artists and buy one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry and glass along with paintings and other works. The celebration begins with a patrons’ gala at 7 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $75. Free viewing times are 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday. 8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax. See www.jccnv.org or call 703/323-0880.

Three-valved beauty

Trumpeter Chris Botti has toured with Sting and Paul Simon, played background music for Bob Dylan and Aretha Franklin, and recorded four solo albums. This may be why he is considered by many jazz music’s “next big thing.” He plays two shows at the Birchmere tonight. Showtimes are 7:30 and 10 p.m. Tickets are $22.50. 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. 703/573-SEAT.

Irish celebration

Old Town Alexandria started celebrating St. Patrick’s Day last week, but on Sunday, the District gets into the action with the Nation’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Constitution Avenue between 7th and 17th streets will become a sea of green outfits and shamrocks when the participating children and adults arrive in the morning. The parade begins at noon and runs until 3 p.m. Grandstand seats are $5. All other areas are free. See www.dcstpatsparade.com or call 202/637-2474.

Belfast rockers

Ash has rocked its way across Europe, but now the band has its sights set on the United States with its first-ever U.S. headlining tour. The Northern Irish punk-pop band is set to release its new album later this year, so you may hear a few new tunes if you check out its show tonight at the Black Cat. Showtime is 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $13. 1811 14th St. NW. 202/667-7960.

Purpose-driven hip-hop

Chicago-born rapper Common isn’t after the shiny jewelry and fancy cars most rappers are known for. His rhymes are filled with political and social themes that offer glimpses of hip-hop’s earlier days. Common is joined by the soul duo Floetry at Dream tomorrow night. No one under 21 admitted. Tickets are $20. Showtime is 8 p.m. 1350 Okie St. NE. 202/636-9030.

A toast to hops

Hops are one of the key ingredients to a great pint of beer. Called the “spice” of beer, hops give beer its bitterness, flavor and aroma. On Monday, writer and drinks authority Michael Jackson takes a look at hops with “A Celebration of Hops” at the National Geographic. The discussion also features select tastings of different brews. The pouring begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $50 to $55. Participants must be 21 and older. 1600 M St. NW. 202/857-7700.

A cause to dine

Today only, more than 100 area restaurants will donate between 25 and 100 percent of their food sales to Food & Friends, an organization benefiting people with life-challenging illnesses. Some restaurants are participating for one meal, while others offer all three. For a complete list of restaurants, see www.diningoutforlife.com or call 202/488-8278.

Up, up and away

As a prelude to the upcoming Smithsonian Kite Festival on April 2, the National Air and Space Museum is hosting Kite Day on Saturday. Activities throughout the day include indoor kite demonstrations, paper airplane contests and educational discovery stations about the history of kites. The free event begins at 10 a.m. and runs through 3 p.m. Independence Avenue at Sixth Street, SW. 202/ 633-1000.

Thomas Walter

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