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Art Night Starts Tonight

Visitors to the National Mall can catch a collection of after-hour art as some of the Smithsonian museums begin their annual summer Thursday evening programs.

From today until Aug. 28, Art Night at the Mall will feature children’s activities, concerts, tours and films showcasing the variety of cultural arts on the Mall.

The activities begin this month at the Hirshhorn Museum, where each Thursday there will be hands-on activities for children at 4:30 p.m. followed by outdoor international music concerts, a tour or lecture and, on some evenings, a film viewing.

“We want to let people know that there are all kinds of art — cinematic, visual and all types of music,” said Kristen Hileman, the acting head of public affairs for the Hirshhorn Museum.

The kickoff event tonight includes making artistic casts for children ages 5-11 at the lower level of the Hirshhorn.

At 5:30 p.m., Erica Ovette and the Larry Eanet Quartet will present jazz-influenced songs at the museum’s plaza.

After the concert, conservator Lee Aks will lead a tour of the outdoor sculpture garden, sharing his knowledge of outdoor artwork preservation.

To end the evening, the museum will hold a viewing of the Mexican film “Japon” by Carlos Reygadas. The film, which is not rated but contains adult content, focuses on the obstacles of a young man who travels to an isolated village. It will begin at 8 p.m. in the Ring auditorium.

Later in the summer, the Museum of African Art and the Sackler and Freer galleries will also extend their hours.

For a complete schedule of events, visit