Spotlight on Thursday

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CARVING CONTEST

If you haven't carved a pumpkin yet this fall season, there's still time. Get your carving on at Helix Lounge's Eighth Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest. All you'll need to bring are your friends and your creativity because cash prizes will be offered for the Most Ghoulish Gourd as well as the Most Political Pumpkin in honor of the upcoming elections. There will be 30 prescooped pumpkins available, all equipped with carving tools. And as you're carving the president's portrait, sip a pumpkin martini or a Starr Hill Porter. Your pumpkin masterpiece could be displayed at the lounge on Halloween night!

Stop by Helix Lounge (1430 Rhode Island Ave. NW) any time between 6 and 9 p.m., although we suggest you get there early to snag a pumpkin.

LATIN RIPPLE

When you're finished meandering through the Hebraic exhibit at the Library of Congress, grab a quick bite to eat and then head over to another fascinating cultural exhibit at the Art Museum of the Americas (201 18th St. NW). The museum has teamed up with Washington Project for the Arts and New York-based curator Raquel de Anda for a cutting-edge exhibition titled The Ripple Effect: Currents of Socially Engaged Art. Local artists have joined together with artists from Latin America to bring us a presentation focused on hot-button topics like environmentalism and social justice.

Coupled with the exhibit will be a slew of public programs that include a kite-making workshop, a tree planting class, an exploratory walk through the city and more.

The opening reception starts at 6 p.m. Thursday, and the exhibit will be on display through mid-January.

BEYOND BIBLICAL

If you're interested in Hebrew studies, then you'll find the Library of Congress' newest exhibition fascinating. Head on over to the Thomas Jefferson Building (10 First St. SE) to view the world's greatest and most extensive of Hebraic materials with an all-new exhibition titled Words Like Sapphires: 100 Years of Hebraica at the Library of Congress, 1912-2012. The exhibit features an impressive number of items dating all the way back to the seventh century, including items from 15 countries in nine different languages.

The exhibit will be open starting Thursday through March 16. Stop by anytime between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. To celebrate the premiere, Emile Schrijver, a curator for the Jewish special collection at the University of Amsterdam, will be giving a lecture at noon.

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