You and the kids don’t need your passports to revel in European culture for the next month. The 6th annual Kids Euro Festival, the largest children’s performing arts festival in the United States, will bring four weeks of artistic adventures to DC, thanks to the French-American Cultural Foundation, EU embassies, and more than 30 American cultural institutions.
From October 16 through November 13, the festival will present more than 200 FREE family-friendly, Euro-themed events all around the DC-metro area. Some of this year’s Festival highlights include France’s kinetic percussion quintet, Drumblebee, which received the 2012 People’s Choice Award at the Young Audiences Music Awards. Troubadours Sousou and Maher Cissoko explore and teach Swedish and West African music featuring the kora, a 22-stringed West African harp that the Cissoko family has performed with for more that 70 generations. And Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library hosts an exhibit of children’s book illustrations by prominent contemporary Lithuanian artists, including award-winning Kestutis Ksaparavicius (who will join the Festival-long exhibition on October 16 and 18). Concerts, workshops, movies, storytelling, puppetry, dance, magic, and cinema are some of the other acts and events on the schedule.
The festival is designed for children ages 2-12, and all 27 countries in the European Union are represented in the shows that highlight national cultural traditions and art. Public libraries, DC embassies, The Kennedy Center, Shakespeare Theatre, La Maison Française, National Geographic, Strathmore, AFI Silver Theatre, Hillwood Museum, and National Children’s Museum are among the many performance venues.
Some events require reservations, so be sure to visit the Kids Euro Festival website for details, including the complete schedule of performances, age recommendations, and registration info. You can also “like” the Facebook page and follow on Twitter for updates on events.