Washington Performing Arts homepage

BOX OFFICE 202.785.9727

The Washington Performing Arts "Welcome Back!" Pumpkin carved by Meiyu Tsung, Director of Individual Giving.

Friday, October 29

Jump to:
Lara DownesFriends Event: Fall for PianoWashington Performing Arts Gospel Choirs at the MLK MemorialCOTG in Teen Kids News • Matthew Whitaker Review • Giving TuesdayDonor Spotlight: Denise RollinsWe're Hiring!

Lara Downes

Lara Downes Brings ‘Far Away’ to D.C.

Multi-faceted evening of music and poetry featuring renowned poet Rita Dove and others

When pianist, NPR host (AMPLIFY with Lara Downes), and inveterate innovator Lara Downes last appeared on a Washington Performing Arts stage, in February of 2019, D.C. Metro Theater Arts praised her “singular mission to expand the music universe for diverse audiences” and forecast “an intimate evening of solo and ensemble work like no other.”

Those words are every bit as fitting when applied to Downes’s return to Washington Peforming Arts—and the intimate environos of Sixth & I—this coming Wednesday, November 3. Appearing solo and also joined during the evening by Pulitzer-winning poet and former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove and the up-and-coming Thalea Quartet, Downes unveils Tomorrow I May Be Far Away, an evening-length program in six sections exploring stories of migration and transformation. The repertoire keys on compositions by accomplished Black composers past and present—from Florence Price and Duke Ellington to Alvin Singleton and Carlos Simon.

Complementing these musical performances will be powerful readings by Dove, including a selection from the brand new collection Playlist for the Apocalypse, which the New York Times recently hailed as “one of her best,” noting, “It’s about the weight of American history, which Dove treats as news we’re still actively metabolizing.”

As Downes describes in the evening’s program notes, the past year of relative isolation amid the pandemic kindled the spark for Tomorrow I May Be Far Away:

During this time spent within the confines of my four walls, I’ve reflected obsessively on comings and goings—journeys of all kinds. Migration, exodus, exile, homecoming…. I’ve fixated on two questions that are central to human existence: how did we get here, and where are we going?

This evening of music and poetry is inspired and compelled by these questions. What journeys of body and spirit have given us these lives, in this time and place? What currents converged and diverged to bring us into these cacophonous twenties of this new millennium, with the global eruptions and disruptions that will make history look back some day with 20/20 hindsight and show what we can’t even begin to imagine? How do we reckon with what we know of our past? How do we move forward, collectively and individually, into whatever is coming next?

WATCH: Lara Downes invites D.C. audiences to experience
Tomorrow I May Be Far Away (1 minute)

For more information (including more links to videos and articles) and to purchase tickets, visit our Lara Downes event page.

More Info & Tickets

This performance is made possible through the generous support of Susan S. Angell and Lynn Rhinehart.

Performances at Sixth & I are made possible in part through the generous support of the Galena-Yorktown Foundation.


Fall for Piano


Please join us for Fall for Piano – our first virtual Friends event of the season! Featuring pianists and 2021/22 Season artists Tiffany Poon, Michelle Cann, and Martin James Bartlett, this event will be an intimate evening of conversation as our special guests discuss their artistic interpretations and inspirations.

Fall for Piano
Virtual Event, Wednesday, November 17, 5-6pm ET
Hosted by Anastasia Tsioulcas, Reporter, NPR Arts Desk
Featuring pianists Tiffany Poon, Michelle Cann, and Martin James Bartlett
(Available to all Friends)


As our fall programming is underway, we look forward to continuing to celebrate the arts and enhance your performance experience through a host of great Friends events. Check out the entire line-up of our 2021/22 Friends events.

Not a Friend yet? Join the Friends program today with a gift of $75 or more, or the Chairman’s Circle of our leadership supporters with a gift of $2,500 or more to enjoy these exciting events. Or, increase your level of giving to participate in more of these unique experiences. Check out our Friends Brochure for more information!


MLK Memorial Event


Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial 10th Anniversary Celebration

On Thursday, October 21, the Washington Performing Arts Men, Women & Children of the Gospel Choirs brought an impassioned performance to the 10th Anniversary Commemoration Celebration of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. Performing for an audience that included President Biden, Vice President Harris, Speaker Pelosi, members of the Congressional Black Caucus, and hundreds of others, their presentation featured soloists Roderick Giles, The Voice semi-finalist Tamera Jade, and Children of the Gospel Choir Artistic Director Michele Fowlin.

Watch their performance with a video from the Washington Post.
The following timestamps indicate individual song start times:

22:08 Birmingham Letter (Nolan Williams)
29:15 – Black Lives Matter (Roderick Giles) with soloist Roderick Giles
47:04 – America the Beautiful (arr. Stanley Thurston) with soloist Tamera Jade
56:38 – Lift Every Voice and Sing, soloist Michele Fowlin, accompanied by Tony Walker


Teen Kids News

Teen Kids News

The Washington Performing Arts Children of the Gospel Choir was featured as the top story on this week’s edition of Teen Kids News! Choir Artistic Director Michele Fowlin and Children of the Gospel Choir member Walter Pierce Pearson IV speak with Teen Kids News on topics including the choir’s history, favorite memories, and the many opportunities, benefits, and skills the Children of the Gospel Choir offers its members.


Matthew Whitaker with Children of the Gospel Choir

In The Press

On Friday, October 15, the Washington Performing Arts Children of the Gospel Choir joined virtuosic pianist-organist Matthew Whitaker on stage at the Lincoln Theatre for our 2021/22 Season opener. Read all about the concert and enjoy behind-the-scenes pictures of Whitaker and the choir taken during dress rehearsal with this performance review from the Washington Informer.


Performances by the Washington Performing Arts Children of the Gospel Choir are made possible through the generous support of Jacqueline Badger Mars and Mars, Incorporated.

Giving Tuesday


Save the date for #GivingTuesday on November 30! On this global day of generosity, individuals around the world leverage the internet to help their favorite organizations bring positive change and enlightenment to their communities. Take part in celebrating the giving spirit of our community by supporting Washington Performing Arts on #GivingTuesday. Thank you and #WeMakeItHappenTogether!

Become a Friend

Denise Rollins


“I lived overseas as a diplomat for 23 years and I always felt that my family missed so much of the American cultural scene. When I returned to Washington, a close friend introduced me to the Washington Performing Arts Women’s Committee. As a former dancer, music lover and art aficionado, I was eager to get involved with supporting the arts. I have not looked back. I have seen amazing performances in virtually every genre of music and dance and broadened my appreciation for the arts. Washington Performing Arts’s diverse array of performances and performers has reignited my love for all forms of performing arts. I love experiencing performances in the many venues around in the city–from the Kennedy Center to Strathmore to Sixth & I to the Lincoln Theatre. Each has its own unique feel and history. Washington Performing Arts has become my gateway to the best performances in town!

I have also had a wonderful experience volunteering on the Washington Performing Arts Women’s Committee. As co-chair of the Enriching Experiences for Seniors program I support Washington Performing Arts in bringing live performances to senior citizens, many incapacitated, living in nursing homes. The joy on the seniors’ faces as they dance and sing along with the performers is heartwarming. Finally, the Women’s Committee has given me an opportunity to meet a diverse group of incredible women from all walks of life. Our commitment is to help Washington Performing Arts promote the performing arts among youth, seniors, and a wide range of audiences. I am honored to be a part of this organization.”

—Denise Rollins, longtime member of the Washington Performing Arts Women’s Committee and Washington Performing Arts supporter and subscriber.

Become a Friend


Washington Performing Arts


Join our team! Visit our employment page to view the job description and application instructions for the following opportunity:

  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Assistant Director of Communications & Creative Media
  • Patron Services Associate

Employment Page

Washington Performing Arts is also currently accepting applications for Spring 2022 Internships in Advancement, Business Administration, Choral Management, Communications & Creative Media, Cultural Diplomacy & Education, Education & Community Engagement, and Programming & Production. This spring, our internship opportunities range in remote versus in-person requirements, subject to the Washington Performing Arts office status in response to Covid-19 advisories in the District of Columbia. Our volunteer interns are eligible for a stipend of $500 upon completion of an average of 15 hours per week for at least 12 weeks during the fall and spring internship semesters. Visit our internships page to view the position descriptions and application instructions. Apply by October 31 for best consideration.

Internships Page