As the nation’s first modern art museum, Dupont’s The Phillips Collection houses a permanencollection of modern 20th-century art (both international and local) in the 1897 home of founder Duncan Phillips. On display this fall is “Degas’s Dancers at the Barre: Point and Counterpoint,” running from Oct. 1 to Jan. 8. The exhibit takes an in-depth look into the impressionist’s famous subjects: ballerinas.

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculputre Garden is the nation’s leading center for contemporary art and culture on the National Mall. Currently featured is “Color-Forms,” which explores how Western artists from the 1960s to modern times use color in a variety of mediums through Nov. 13. Be sure to watch out for “Andy Warhol: Shadows” — coming up Sept. 25 to Jan. 15 — which will feature distorted photographs of shadows generated in the artist’s studio as organized and presented by the Dia Art Foundation.

America’s most influential poets, heroes and villains are displayed in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, located on the corner of Eighth and F Streets NW. Currently featured through Oct. 14, 2012 is “Portraiture Now: Asian American Portraits of Encounters” that displays several works of seven global artists displaying contemporary Asian-American portraiture.

D.C.’s top ballet company, The Washington Ballet looks to bring us back to prohibition era jazz with a revival dance interpretation of The Great Gatsby. The show runs from Nov. 2 to 6 and ticket sales open on Sept. 11. If F. Scott’s not your favorite, wait until December to get your ballet fix with seasonal favorite The Nutcracker playing frequently throughout the month.

The National Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 80th anniversary this season and kicks off with the Season Opening Ball Concert on Sept. 25 with acclaimed violinist Joshua Bell featuring the work ofDvorák, Bruch, Copland and Ravel. If you miss the opener, there are many other outstanding programs ahead, like a performance running from Nov. 17 through 19 featuring Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 “Pastoral” and Brahms’ Violin Concerto.

The Kennedy Center, D.C.’s most well-known and busiest venue for the performing arts, boasts a bevy of classical music, dance and theater and more events this fall. Classic excursions are going to a performance by the National Symphony Orchestra, available almost every weekend, or starting the school year off with a trip to see the Washington National Opera perform the Italian crowd-pleaser”Tosca” in September, the tragic tale of a singer, her artist lover, and the conniving police chief set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic wars.

The non-profit Arena Stage, located on the Southwest Waterfront, underwent a $125 million renovation last year and since then has focused on bringing American classics to life. From August through October 2, it will be presenting “Oklahoma!,” Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Academy Award-winning musical about the romance between a cowboy and a farm girl on the Great Plains. The Shakespeare Theatre, acclaimed as one of the best classical theaters nationwide, is performing the Bard’s famed comedy “Much Ado About Nothing” almost every day in late November and December. For those looking to branch out, the theater is also presenting an adaptation of Regnard’s “The Heir Apparent” in September and October.

The Folger Shakespeare Library on Capitol Hill aside from containing the

world’s largest collection of printed Shakespeare works, also has a small

courtyard theater that presents the Bard’s classics. This October and November,

go see one of the great four tragedies “Othello,” the sad tale of romance, betrayal and racism in Venice.

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