- Hillwood’s April preschool series, “Spectacular Statues,” will focus on exploring animals and other creatures in the sculptures located throughout the estate’s gardens. This three-part program is open to children ages two to five. 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. $10 to $12 per session or $25 to $30 for all three classes. Cost covers one child and one accompanying adult. Hillwood Estate, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. 202-686-5807. Sessions will repeat on April 19 and April 26.
Classes and workshops
- The National Capital Planning Committee will hold a public meeting allowing members of the public to learn about and comment on proposed updates to the Comprehensive Plan for the National Capital’s Parks and Opens Space Element. National Capital Planning Commission, 401 9th St. NW. 202-482-7279.
- “Cook Sisters” Adrienne and Danielle Cook will hold a cooking demonstration on “Spring Greening,” including the range of shapes, sizes, flavors and colors of palate-cleansing greens. Noon to 12:45 p.m. Free. U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory Garden Court, 100 Maryland Ave. SW. 202-225-8333. The program will repeat at 12:50 p.m.
- A weekly class on “Basic Knitting: Casting On, Garter Stitch, Purl Stitch” will offer instruction for beginners who want to learn the essential foundations of knitting. 5 p.m. Free. West End Library, 2301 L St. NW. 202-724-8707.
- The Hip-Hop Orchestra of the University of Maryland will perform at the Kennedy Center as part of “SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras. 6 p.m.” Free. Millennium Stage, Kennedy Center. 202-467-4600.
- Acclaimed and award-winning pianist and composer Lisa K. Hilton will debut her new compositions from her 20th release, Escapism, alongside Rudy Royson on the drums and Luques Curtis on the bass. 6 p.m. Free. McEvoy Auditorium, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and F streets NW. 202-633-1000.
- Israeli-French pianist Pascal Solomon will perform as part of the Embassy Concert Series in cooperation with the Embassy of Israel and the Embassy of Hungary, as part of a musical tribute to Teodor Herzl and Max Nordau. 7:30 to 10 p.m. $70. 2950 Spring of Freedom Lane NW. 202-625-2361.
Discussions and lectures
- Bernard Sabella will lead a discussion of his book, “A Life Worth Living: The Story of a Palestinian Catholic,” a memoir in which he reflects on growing up in a conflict zone. A light lunch will be served before the talk. 12:30 to 2 p.m. Free. The Palestine Center, 2425 Virginia Ave. NW. 202-338-1958.
- Harry S. Stout, a professor of American religious studies at Yale University, will discuss his biography of the Anderson family of Kentucky, who descended from Richard Clough Anderson, a Revolutionary War officer and an original member of the Society of the Cincinnati in Virginia. 6 p.m. Free. Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Ave. NW. 202-785-2040.
- Christopher P. Costa, the new director of the International Spy Musuem, will share stories from his former careers as a special assistant to the president, counterterrorism director for the White House National Security Council, and intelligence officer in the military. 6:30 p.m. $10. International Spy Museum, 800 F St. NW. 202-393-7798.
- Gerhard Gruber will perform live piano accompaniments to screenings of silent films from Austria that chronicle the country’s women’s suffrage movement in the 1910s. This event is part of a year-long celebration commemorating 100 years since Austrian women won the right to vote. 7 to 9:30 p.m. Free. Embassy of Austria, 3524 International Court, NW. acfdc.org.
- The Duke Ellington School of the Arts will hold a production of “The Rimers of Eldritch,” which tells the story of a crime committed in the small Bible Belt town of Eldritch, Missouri, exposing the dark underside and corruption hidden behind the righteous appearance of the town. 7:30 p.m. $10 to $35. Ellington Theatre, 3500 R St. NW. Tickets can be bought at EllingtonSchool.org/Box-Office. The show will repeat on April 13 at 7:30 p.m.
- A Day at Theater J will present “Roz and Ray,” a medical drama set during the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, about a doctor who offers a miracle drug to save a man’s hemophiliac children. 7:30 to 10 p.m. Free; RSVP required. Edlavitch D.C. Jewish Community Center, 1529 16th St. NW. 202-518-9400.
- A guided tour through the Arts Walk in Brookland will introduce participants to creatives who work in the neighborhood’s ground level studios. Afterwards, the group will stop at Brookland Pint for a discussion of creative spaces in D.C. 6 to 7 p.m. $15. National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. 202-272-2448.
- The Georgetown University Theater & Performance Studies program will premiere the witty and moving play “Amanuensis” by L.M. Feldman, which imagines the life and relationships of blind poet John Milton during the years he spent writing “Paradise Lost,” the 12-volume epic poem famously transcribed by his illiterate daughters when he was blind and outcast. 8 p.m. $10 to $18. Davis Performing Arts Center’s Gonda Theatre, 37th and O streets NW. 202-687-2787. The show will continue on April 15 at 2 p.m. and on Thursdays to Saturdays at 8 p.m. until April 21.