Artists & Speakers


Kristin Adair

CELL 17 is a multimedia installation that brings viewers inside the experience of confinement in a prison cell.

Augmented Reality Art Hunt powered by ARTECHOUSE

At every By The People hub location you'll see large, dramatic art installations and pop-up performances. But there's another layer you won't even see with the naked eye: use a mobile app to see another artist's installation through augmented reality! Access the ARTECHOUSE mobile app from our hub locations throughout By The People to see this virtual artwork.

Chloe Bensahel

Chloe will exhibit "Je Tisse Mon Histoire" at Washington National Cathedral. Based on the double meaning of the French word for “story” and “history,” Je Tisse Mon Histoire is the outcome of a weaving performance that points to the inheritance of trauma housed in the body.

Michael JN Bowles

“Resurrection, 1998” is a large scale photo installation in tribute to the historic Walter Reed Hospital and its history.



Antonius Bui

Antonius Tin Bui (they/them) is a queer, gender-nonbinary, Vietnamese American artist who recently graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MIC/A). 

Stacy Cantrell

"By The People Yarn-Bomb". Come join us for a meet up! Knitting and crocheting together to make unique, beautiful yarn-bomb creations by the people, for the people. Click below to learn how to participate.


Nick Cave

At the Washington National Cathedral Nick Cave debuts an "Untitled" video projection work on love and faith.

At THEARC West, Nick Cave's large-scale video installation "Drive-By" features numerous suited dancers energetically moving and interacting like otherworldly creatures in a jovial ceremony. 


Rebecca Clark

The Book of Hours: Rebecca Clark makes drawings of the natural world, transient moments of grace and beauty in an age of disappearance.

Hoesy Corona

Hoesy Corona is a multi-disciplinary artist and arts organizer creating videos and soundscapes for his visual and performance project Alie[N]ation which investigates and dismantles alien tropes, xenophobic language and the archetype of the scapegoat.

Erin Curtis

"Curtain/Wall" is a two-sided painting that mixes textile traditions from around the world. The piece alludes to screen walls that separate women from men in many cultures and times, and from a desire to facilitate the audience seeing two things at once.  



Nekisha Durrett

"Heaven Lasts Forever" offers two sprawling installations as meditations on the ephemeral nature of time and the material world. The artist explores how we use language and spirituality to navigate the darkest of times.


Maya Freelon

'Reciprocity Respite & Repass'. Experience happiness in this immersive tissue paper sculpture installation at the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building. Join us for collaborative art making workshops where you can add on to these colorful sculptures.

Stephen Hayes

Stephen Hayes is a mixed media sculptor and creator whose work references socio-cultural race dynamics rooted in historical references. His project seeks to change societal perceptions of Black identity and otherness through the vulnerability of sharing experiences and the catharsis of collective realizations.

Linda Hesh

"Put the 'I' Into C_vic ". You complete the art work. In this season of constant political questioning, local artist Linda Hesh, presents us with a way to voice our opinions.

Holladay Brothers

Brothers Hays and Ryan Holladay create innovative music experiences that celebrate the act of discovery. With a shared background in composition and music production, their projects span a range of fields and disciplines and frequently invite user interaction, blurring the lines between performer and participant.

Avish Khebrehzadeh

"Where Do We Go From Here?" (Video Installation). Projected onto sea salt, this poetic artwork explores the absence of humans and asks the questions 'Where are we going?' and 'Where are we coming from?'.


Estefaní Mercedes

Stephanie Mercedes is a Argentinian/American queer artist who attempts to transcend violence through her practice. Mercedes works between installation, performance and music to create spaces that allow for mourning. She is interested in transforming weapons of destruction into objects of peace and frames her work as a musical performative score.

Mobile Video Art Experience, powered by numberF

Look out for the numberF LED mobile truck in your neighborhood – bringing stunning video works from leading-edge artists to the whole of DC on Saturday 23rd! The traveling truck will culminate at a specified location, where its giant screens will open to display a dynamic art experience. 

Jefferson Pinder

In "Sonic Boom" (aka Threshold), his most recent installment of the Inertia Cycle,  artist Jefferson Pinder initiates a spiritual journey that ends up in the very location in which it begun. This exercise in futility proves to be a rite of passage as the performance artist tests the threshold of a vintage ‘muscle car’.

Imran Qureshi

"Out of Blue", 2018. Enjoy this large scale painting on the grounds of the Washington National Cathedral.

Jenny E. Sabin

LUX is a knitted light installation, immersing visitors in a responsive glow of photo-luminescence. 


Georgia Saxelby

"To Future Women" is a 20 year time capsule of letters written to the next generation of women. An ongoing interactive artwork by Halcyon Arts Lab artist Georgia Saxelby, "To Future Women" memorializes the anniversary of the Women's March through the platform of art.


Rachel Schmidt

'Monument for Picnics' seeks to recreate an outdoor picnic scene from the early twenty-first century by using recycled materials to create an immersive future landscape. Visitors are encouraged to sit on picnic blankets in the faux-grass field, watch video projections of sunsets gleaming onto the faux-cumulus clouds, and experience a synthetic picnic of the future.


Sheldon Scott

Sheldon Scott creates performance-based artwork which plays in the intersection of race, economics and sexuality while impugning the mythologies of Black Male Supernaturality.

Dan Steinhilber

'Untitled Interface SIte'. Inflated large-scale art installation. All parts are connected sharing the benefit, vulnerability, and responsitivity of the whole as pressure fluctuates with portal use. Immerse yourself in the work of art, the restlessness, and watch the experiential/social making unfold.


Liliane Tomasko

Liliane Tomasko’s “Night Series” of painted bed sheets will transform the way we think about surface.



Heide Trepanier

Artist Heide Trepanier enlists the help of veterans with disabilities to create, "Reflection" , a painted mural on the historic fountain at the Parks at Walter Reed.


Each year, Building Bridges Across the River (BBAR) selects a group of local high school and college students to participate in a technical theater management paid internship at THEARC Theater.  Students learn the fundamentals of production and stage management, participate in interactive field trips, workshops & seminars, serve as ushers during theater events and even present a production of their own!


Ray LaMontagne with Neko Case

Each night of By The People features a concert representing a different genre of music. The night before the festivities officially begin, Ray LaMontagne and Neko Case kick it the inaugural By The People with a folk concert presented at The Anthem. 

Jason Moran

Renowned composer and jazz pianist Jason Moran will perform a response to Nick Cave's dramatic installation at the Washington National Cathedral. Cave's piece, a newly commissioned video installation on faith, love, and loss, will be projected beneath the Cathedral's rose window.


BalletX, Philadelphia’s premier contemporary ballet, unites distinguished choreographers with an outstanding company of world-class dancers to forge new works of athleticism, emotion, and grace.

Wolf Trap Opera with Hong Kong Ballet featuring Terra Firma Dance

A stunning new production from the wildly successful creators of 2017’s The Fall of the House of Usher, this theatrical event observes and comments on the American experience through a myriad of musical lenses.

Punk Latitudes

Punk Latitudes is a showcase of legendary bands and immersive programming from guest curator Sasha Lord, in support of the inaugural arts and dialogue festival, By The People. Punk Latitudes will feature musical performances from Sneaks, Taraka Larson (Prince Rama),The Messthetics, and Loud Boyz.

Rare Essence with Small Upsetters

By The People closes out in style with D.C.’s unmistakable hometown music genre, go-go. Legendary go-go band Rare Essence, formed in 1976, takes the stage along with Small Upsetters as part of the “Go-Go Returns to U Street” series, hosted at U Street Music Hall.

Ballet X Pop-Up Performance

BalletX, Philadelphia’s premier contemporary ballet, unites distinguished choreographers with an outstanding company of world-class dancers to forge new works of athleticism, emotion, and grace.

"Becoming Free" Documentary Film Premiere

Thursday's screening is SOLD OUT. But visit Kristin's installation Cell 17 at Union Market from June 21-24!

Join us for the very special Washington, DC, premiere of the new documentary film Becoming Free.

Bridgman|Packer Dance

Through Bridgman|Packer’s signature integration of live performance and video technology, an ordinary box truck evolves from the utilitarian into a re-imagined space, a micro-world of magical visions and transformation.

Double Nickels Theatre

For the first time, Double Nickels Theatre unveils its new SilverLiner. Inspired by the success of the Mobile Porch, this custom Airstream travel trailer is part stage, part informal entertainment area, and invites festival goers to join in dialogue in an informal setting.


Dupont Brass

Enjoy the soulful sounds of DC's own Dupont Brass as they perform popular tunes that will bring us all together in song and dance.

Eaton Wellness presents the Light of Summer Ceremony and Celebration

Eaton Wellness presents the “Light of Summer Ceremony and Celebration” with energy clearing and guided meditation to set our intentions, calling in abundance and fulfillment for the season. With live music and drumming to soundscape the evening, we invite you to dance and release your intentions, wishes, dreams, and prayers into the heightened energy of these first summer nights.

Konshens the MC

Hip-Hop Artist Konshens The MC presents a scaled down pop up performance of Konshens & his State of Mind.  A lyrically laced storytelling musical journey including spoken word and hip-hop intertwined with track and live instrumentation.


By the People Saturday Solstice Performances


Ongoing: Marbling activation by Tendani Mpulubusi

7:05-7:25pm: Antonius Bui – “Floating”

Washington Performing Arts Men, Women and Children of the Gospel Choir

Celebrating 25 years of excellence in gospel music, Washington Performing Arts Men, Women, and Children of the Gospel Choir honors the traditions, vibrancy, and significance of this uniquely American art form through dynamic performances, community engagement, and education programs for youth and life-long learners. 

Wolf Trap Opera Pop Up

Join Wolf Trap Opera for a free pop up performance as they celebrate the festival’s themes of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness through song.



Yousef Bashir

Yousef Bashir is an activist, speaker, and author of the forthcoming memoir The Words of My Father, available for pre-order. Born in the Gaza Strip, Yousef was paralyzed from the waist down at age 15 after having been shot in the spine by an Israeli soldier.

Ambassador Barbara Bodine

Ambassador Barbara Bodine joins us to introduce, and provide a framework for, Yousef Bashir and Yossi Klein Halevi's discussion on the topic: What is the most pragmatic and ethical way to achieve a lasting peace between the Palestinians and Israel? 


Tony Fratto

Tony Fratto, Founder and Partner of Hamilton Place Strategies will provide framework for the second discussion on the topic of pursuit of Happiness, and introduce discussant Sonal Shah, Executive Director of the Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation at Georgetown Unversity, as she examines the question: Is capitalism producing the impact outcomes needed in the 21st century, and is it a solution for, or cause of, the rising wealth gap in this country?

Yossi Klein Halevi

Yossi Klein Halevi is a senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. Together with Imam Abdullah Antepli of Duke University, he co-directs the Institute’s Muslim Leadership Initiative.

Robin Hunicke

Robin Hunicke is the Co-Founder and CEO of the independent game studio Funomena, which creates experimental games for Console, PC, VR & AR platforms including the award-winning, IGF-Nominated VR fairytale Luna, 

Sonal Shah

Sonal Shah, Executive Director of the Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation at Georgetown University, has spent her career focused on actionable innovation in the public and private sectors. Most recently, she was the Deputy Assistant to the President and founding Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation.

Dr. Robert Waldinger

Dr. Robert Waldinger is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, the longest longitudinal studies of adult life ever done. His research focuses on what predicts healthy adult development.

Lucianne Walkowicz

Dr. Lucianne Walkowicz is the Baruch S. Blumberg Chair in Astrobiology at the Library of Congress, and an Astronomer at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. She studies the ethics of Mars exploration, stellar magnetic activity, how stars influence a planet's suitability as a host for alien life, and how to use advanced computing to discover unusual events in large astronomical data sets.

Armstrong Wiggins

Armstrong Wiggins, Director of the Indiana Law Resource Center (Washington D.C. office) sits down with Lucianne Walkowicz, Baruch S.

Picnic Talks

Join Smithsonian Associates every day from 12:00pm to 1:00pm for "Picnic Talks," a series of short lightning talks by eclectic experts, thought-provoking artists, and accomplished scientists on unexpected subjects related to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Click through the tabs below to check out our lineup of amazing performers, stellar artists and inspriational speakers. Here, you'll also be able to see if a performance is among the small number that require tickets. Explore the full schedule here

We're adding new artists all the time, so check back or sign up  to be the first to know.