Media only: Miranda Gale (202) 633-0271;
Website: @FreerSackler, #asiaafterdark
Event: Saturday, June 13; 8 p.m.–midnight
Tickets: Available immediately,

April 15, 2015

The Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and Freer Gallery of Art will host “Asia After Dark: PEACOCKalypse,” the 13th in its series of popular afterhours parties and an official event of Capital Pride and the Pride in the Nation’s Capital Celebration, Saturday, June 13. Guests can flash back to the gilded glamour of the Peacock Room in the Freer and meet its contemporary alter ego “Filthy Lucre” in the Sackler, an installation by gay, New York City-based artist Darren Waterston that reimagines Whistler’s famous work as a resplendent ruin. “PEACOCKalypse” will celebrate the peacock as an artistic muse and explore the tumultuous relationship between art and money, all while following the Asia After Dark mantra: “Art, Drink, and Be Happy.”

From 8 p.m. to midnight, guests can shake a tail feather in the Freer courtyard, which once housed live peacocks. The stage will feature award-winning international activist pop-rock trio BETTY, heard on popular soundtracks such as “The L Word,” “Weeds” and “Ugly Betty,” and creators of the “Filthy Lucre” soundscape. For almost three decades, BETTY has traveled the world, pushing the boundaries of pop music and using their powerful, female, fun and fierce performances to celebrate diversity through ongoing cultural diplomacy. The courtyard will buzz all night with danceable hits by DJ EvanEssence.

Interactive, avant-garde tours will be offered as an alternative spin on “Peacock Room REMIX.” Tour guides will tell the drama behind the eccentric new version of the Peacock Room, including the secret meaning hidden in the famous “fighting peacocks” mural and the troubled fate of an artist whose ego and ambition got too big for his canvas. This guided group tour will take guests on a bohemian jaunt through the museum, reliving the radical spirit of the artwork in an unconventional way.

Throughout the evening, guests can mingle while learning the peacock dance, a traditional folk dance popular in Asia; create amusing flipbook memories with SnapFiesta; and have the opportunity to win “Filthy Lucre” catalogs and other prizes in a game-show style “money machine.” Inspired by plumage of the art on view, guests can also create and adorn themselves with handmade peacock masks and strut through the galleries sporting face-painted feathers and gold temporary “flash” tattoos.

Thematic refreshments by Ping Pong Dim Sum and delicious bites from food trucks will be available for purchase.

Tickets can be purchased at and are $25 in advance, $35 at the door or free for members of the Silk Road Society, the galleries’ dynamic membership group for young professionals. Guests can upgrade for an additional $20 for exclusive access to the VIP lounge, including an open bar for the first hour of the party, courtesy of Ping Pong Dim Sum. VIP guests will also enjoy an exclusive meet-and-greet with BETTY after their evening performance and receive an invitation to an exclusive future Silk Road Society reception.

Guests must be 21 years old with valid photo ID to attend.

The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, located at 1050 Independence Avenue S.W., and the adjacent Freer Gallery of Art, located at 12th Street and Independence Avenue S.W., are the Smithsonian’s museums of Asian art on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day (closed Dec. 25), and admission is free. The galleries are located near the Smithsonian Metrorail station on the Blue and Orange lines. For more information about the Freer and Sackler galleries and their exhibitions, programs and other public events, visit For general Smithsonian information, call (202) 633-1000.

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Note to editors: Media should RSVP to and notify staff in advance of any recording and filming needs. BETTY will be available for advance interviews.