A little over a week away and the DC Metro area is all a-buzz with the much anticipated hype of Obama's upcoming Inauguration. My home has now become Inauguration Central, quickly turning into the ultimate La Diva Loca sleepover, with family and friends coming to crash. With so many people, I started searching for budget-friendly activities so we can share in the historic events, without being cash crunched.....and voila! Came across 44 Free & Affordable Experiences, plus way more budget friendly happenings during Inauguration weekend.
Also, Check out prior helpful hints here:
Getting to DC
Schedule and Activities
Balls and Parties
SCLC Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Prayer Breakfast
Monday, January 19, 2009
Ticket Cost $25.00 (Limited Seating)
SCLC will host its MLK Unity Prayer Breakfast at the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel located at 480 L’Enfant Plaza at 9:30 AM in Washington, DC. This event will be a historic prelude to the first African-American President Barack Obama being sworn into office as the 44th President of the United States. This event will also serve as a platform to recognize and pay tribute to many of the organizations and individuals that participated in the 1963 March on Washington. Ironically, this event will be held on the same day that our nation honors and recognizes Martin L. King, Jr.
Kennedy Center Event
The Kennedy Center and Georgetown University present Let Freedom Ring! featuring Aretha Franklin, Nuttin' But Stringz, and the Let Freedom Ring Choir with Mistress of Ceremonies Andrea Roanein a Musical Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Monday, January 19, 2009, 6 p.m., Concert Hall
The program, part of the free daily performance series on the Millennium Stage, features the Queen of Soul and 1994 Kennedy Center Honoree Aretha Franklin, hip hop violin duo Nuttin' But Stringz, and the Let Freedom Ring Choir with Music Director Rev. Nolan Williams Jr. Andrea Roane from WUSA Channel 9 hosts as Mistress of Ceremonies. Marian Wright Edelman, the president and founder of the Children's Defense Fund, will be recognized with the 2009 John Thompson "Legacy of a Dream" award.
Free tickets are required. Tickets will be distributed one (1) per person in line on Monday, January 19, 2009, in front of the Concert Hall, beginning at 4 p.m.
Note: There is no free parking when attending or picking up tickets for free events.
Smithsonian Institution Events
National Museum of American History
“Renewing America’s Promise” is the overall theme of free public programs and exhibitions related to the Presidency and First Ladies. Music, gallery talks, book signings and actors portraying presidents and first ladies will be presented in the museum Saturday, Jan. 17, through Monday, Jan. 19.
“First Ladies at the Smithsonian” showcases objects from the nearly century-old collection and displays 14 gowns, including those worn by Martha Washington, Mary Todd Lincoln, Jacqueline Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt and Laura Bush. (Three are inaugural gowns worn by Helen Taft, Rosalynn Carter and Laura Bush.) The gallery’s central exhibit features paintings, jewelry, china, personal possessions and other objects from the Smithsonian’s unique first ladies’ collection. A section of the exhibition focuses on the contributions of America’s first ladies and the ways in which they have influenced the most powerful office in the country.
Smithsonian American Art Museum
“The Honor of Your Company Is Requested: President Lincoln’s Inaugural Ball” celebrates President Lincoln’s second inaugural ball, held March 6, 1865, in the historic building that is now the museum’s home. The ball took place as Lincoln’s second term began, when the Civil War was in its final stages, and only six weeks before Lincoln was assassinated. The exhibition features ephemera from the inaugural ball, including the invitation and menu, as well as engravings illustrating the night’s events.
National Portrait Gallery
The latest addition to the National Portrait Gallery is a recent donation—the original artwork for Barack Obama’s “Hope” poster designed by Shepard Fairey. This portrait became the central portrait image for the campaign and was distributed as a limited edition print and as a free download. It will be on view by inauguration day on the Portrait Gallery’s first floor.
“Renewing America’s Promise”—Saturday, Jan. 17-Monday, Jan. 19 Actors and actresses portraying American presidents and first ladies will perform throughout the museum. In addition, there will be gallery talks, music, book signings and interpreters to help visitors appreciate the exhibits. Special programs will focus on Martin Luther King Jr. with speeches and other related programming. National Museum of American History (special hours Jan. 20: 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.)
“Out of Many: A Multicultural Festival of Music, Dance and Story”—Saturday, Jan. 17-Monday, Jan. 19 Performances each day will feature music, dancing and storytelling from many cultural traditions, including those of American Indians. On inauguration day, there will be Native American drums to honor the new president. National Museum of the American Indian
Wishing Tree—Sunday, Jan. 18-Tuesday, Jan. 20 In the outdoor sculpture garden, visitors will be invited to write messages for the future and add them to Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Celebrate!—Sunday, Jan. 18-Tuesday, Jan. 20 The Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery will present artists’ workshops for children and their families as well as performances and stories of Asian and Asian American celebration traditions.
“Jubilee: An African American Celebration”—Sunday, Jan. 18-Tuesday, Jan. 20 The Anacostia Community Museum will present musical performance, readings and presentations in conjunction with the museum’s exhibition also titled “Jubilee.” (The Anacostia Museum is located in southeast Washington, D.C.)
In celebration of President-elect Obama’s Inauguration, the Smithsonian will feature exhibitions and public programs related to the presidency from Saturday, Jan. 17, through Tuesday, Jan. 20. The museums and programs are free and open to the public every day from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., including Inauguration Day. On Jan. 20, the National Museum of American History and the Smithsonian Castle will open early at 8 a.m.