- - Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pick of the Pack

Festival: BuddhaFest

Like many spiritual leaders, Buddha occasionally gave contradictory pieces of advice. “Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule,” he once said. On another occasion he said, “He who loves 50 people has 50 woes; he who loves no one has no woes.” To an outsider, that may sound confusing. Should you love or not love? You may very well find the answer at this year’s BuddhaFest. The weekend-long event features movies, music, musing and meditation. More specifically: On Friday, Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio will speak about his book, “A Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance and Recapture the American Spirit.” On Sunday, members of the World Wildlife Fund will deliver a similarly themed speech: “Sacred Earth: Healing Ourselves, Healing Our Planet.” Movies will be shown throughout. If three days of Buddhist immersion doesn’t completely clarify your worldview, fear not. In his sci-fi epic “The Forever War,” Joe Haldeman writes, “All reality becomes illusory and observer-oriented when you study general relativity. Or Buddhism.”

Through Sunday at the Spectrum Theatre at Artisphere, 1611 N. Kent St., Arlington, Va.

Web: www.buddhafest.org

For kids: Become a Pilot Day

At some point in every child’s life, generally before he experiences his first double layover while flying commercial, he wants to be a pilot. Become a Pilot Day at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center won’t make children into pilots, but it will let them experience some of what the job entails. They can sit in cockpit and fiddle with gadgets, learn the various uses of amateur satellite equipment, talk to fighter and chopper pilots and build model airplanes. There are, of course, brainier courses for adults, including a lecture about Vietnam by Marine photographer Dave Hugel and one on the development of the U-2 Spy Plane, by Gary Powers Jr.

Saturday at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, 14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly, Va.

Phone: 703/572-4118

Web: becomeapilot.si.edu

Exhibit: ‘Hoecakes & Hospitality: Cooking with Martha Washington’

Contrary to what her columns suggest, Sally Quinn was not the first woman in Washington to throw a dinner party. That honor goes to the first first lady, Martha Washington. According to the Mount Vernon Estate, Martha and George entertained “thousands of guests” at their home. But unlike contemporary doyennes, Martha Washington didn’t outsource the hard work of putting together a dinner party. She chose the recipes and ran the kitchen. Visitors to Martha’s kitchen will get to see her collection of pots and pans, hear about her favorite dishes and peruse her cookbooks while scents of cinnamon, coffee and bread court their olfactory senses.

Through Aug. 11 at the Mount Vernon Estate, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, south of Alexandria, Va.

Phone: 800/429-1520

Web: www.mountvernon.org

Exhibit: Maryland: ‘A House Divided’

As the 150th anniversary of the Civil War is marked, expect to be inundated with history. The Surratt House Museum in Maryland has a very special story to tell. It was the home of Mary Surratt, a co-conspirator of Confederate assassin John Wilkes Booth and the first woman to be executed by the U.S. government for treason. Its “Maryland: A House Divided” exhibit will talk about Maryland’s unique role as a state that nearly tore itself in two during the war. There were farmers in the state who had freed their slaves decades before the war broke out and thus allied themselves with the Union. But there also were powerful politicians throughout the state who refused to allow safe passage for the Union troops, going so far as to destroy rail lines and open fire on Massachusetts troops as they moved south. While the state stayed under Union control, it did so with no small amount of bloodshed.

Through Dec. 16 at the Surratt House Museum, 9118 Brandywine Road, Clinton, Md.

Phone: 301/868-1121

Web: surratt.org

Concert: Good Time Jazz Band

Culture critic and Spy magazine founder Kurt Andersen recently opined in Vanity Fair that the last decade of American music bore witness to an end of innovation and the recycling of themes past. To Mr. Andersen, who sees no difference between Lady Gaga and Madonna or Adele and Mariah Carey, this is a bad thing. To jazz fans, it is a godsend. By the end of the ‘90s, jazz was in a very ugly place. Labels had stopped investing in new records by good performers and instead were relying on back catalogs to satisfy traditionalists and no-name studio players to satisfy the smooth-jazz crowd. Thanks to the Internet, old jazz has an audience again. Thanks to the Smithsonian, it has an audience right here in the District. The Good Time Jazz Band, a Dixieland ensemble complete with clarinet and trombone, will play.

Friday at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, Seventh Street and Constitution Avenue NW

Web: www.nga.gov/programs/jazz/index.shtm

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