- Banjo Man will present “Rise + Rhyme,” a storytelling and performance series for ages 5 and younger. 9:30 to 11 a.m. $5 per child. Busboys and Poets Takoma, 235 Carroll St. NW. 202-726-0856.
- The “Explore the Arts” master class series will present a participatory dance class led by company members from Matthew Bourne/New Adventures for intermediate to advanced students. 7 p.m. $15. Rehearsal Room, Kennedy Center. 202-467-4600.
- Sahba Motallebi — recognized internationally as a modern virtuoso of the tar and setar, lute-like stringed instruments central to one of the world’s great musical traditions — will perform. 6 p.m. Free. Millennium Stage, Kennedy Center. 202-467-4600.
Discussions and lectures
- U.S. Botanic Garden science education volunteer Todd Brethauer will discuss “A History of Spices.” 10:30 a.m. to noon. Free; reservations required. Conservatory Classroom, U.S. Botanic Garden, 100 Maryland Ave. SW. 202-225-8333.
- Fabian Jud, a doctoral candidate at the University of Zurich, will discuss “The National Mall as an American Memory Space, 1900-1950.” Noon. Free. George Washington University Museum and Textile Museum, 701 21st St. NW. 202-994-5200.
- Ann Todd will discuss her book “OSS Operation Black Mail,” the story of a remarkable woman who fought World War II on the front lines of psychological warfare. 6:30 p.m. Free. Kramerbooks & Afterwords, 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202-387-1400.
- In conjunction with the Immigration Film Festival, German crime writer Merle Kröger will discuss her maritime thriller “Collision” — about a raft with 11 Algerian refugees, running low on fuel — in conversation with Catholic University professor Amanda Sheffer. 6:30 p.m. Free; reservations required. Goethe-Institut Washington, Suite 3, 1990 K St. NW. goetheinstitutwashington.eventbrite.com.
- Contributors Nicole Chung, Mehdi Hasan and Ben Wofford will discuss the book “How Do I Explain This to My Kids?: Parenting in the Age of Trump” in conversation with Jonathan Weisman. 7 p.m. Free. Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202-364-1919.
- The Kramerbooks Editorial Book Club will discuss “The Sellout” by Paul Beatty. 7 p.m. Free. Kramerbooks & Afterwords, 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202-387-1400.
- Author and photographer Paola Gianturco will discuss her book “Wonder Girls: Changing Our World.” 7 to 9 p.m. Free. Langston Room, Busboys and Poets 14th & V, 2021 14th St. NW. 202-387-7638.
- Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh will discuss their book “Sweet: Desserts From London’s Ottolenghi.” 7 p.m. $22; $35 for one book and one ticket. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 600 I St. NW. 800-838-3006.
- A Hispanic Heritage Month film screening will feature the 1983 film “El Norte,” about a young sister and brother who leave Guatemala in search of safety and a better life in the United States. 2 p.m. Free. Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW. 202-727-1488.
- SPAIN arts & culture, the National Museum of Women in the Arts and American University will present Ana Rodriguez Rosell’s 2016 film “Falling” as part of “Mujeres de Cine: Traveling Spanish Film Showcase Made by Women.” 6:45 p.m. Free; reservations required. Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain, 2801 16th St. NW. spainculture.us.
Performances and readings
- In conjunction with the exhibition “Human Trafficking: Reclaiming Freedom, A Call and Response,” Busboys and Poets will host an Artworks for Freedom poetry reading with visual art projections. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Free. Busboys and Poets Takoma, 235 Carroll St. NW. 202-726-0856.
- Laugh Index Theatre will present “Improv Wars,” a friendly competition among improv troupes, with the audience voting for the winner. 8 p.m. $5 to $10. DC Arts Center, 2438 18th St. NW. 202-462-7833.
- The Theater Alliance’s Word Becomes Action Festival — an exploration of the diversity of experiences and narratives of the African diaspora — will feature an informal showing of new works that were inspired by and created over the course of the last month. 8 p.m. $5. Anacostia Playhouse, 2020 Shannon Place SE. theateralliance.com.
- St. Alban’s Opportunity Shop will open for Columbus Day. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free admission. 3001 Wisconsin Ave. NW. 202-966-5288.
- U.S. Botanic Garden volunteer docent Beth Burrous will present a tour on “Medicinal and Poisonous Plants.” 1 to 2 p.m. Free. Meet in the Conservatory Garden Court, U.S. Botanic Garden, 100 Maryland Ave. SW. 202-225-8333.