When you think about the '70s, images of polyester leisure suits and disco dance music probably come to mind. But there was much more to the era, and the National Archives is celebrating the decade with the opening of a new photography exhibit, Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project. For the next several months, you can enjoy a series of special programs that delve into the major changes that took place in American politics, society, environment and economy.

Created by the Environmental Protection Agency, the DOCUMERICA program was born out of the decade's environmental awakening, producing striking photographs of many of that era's environmental problems and achievements but also capturing the era's trends, fashions and cultural shifts.

There are many exhibit-related events over the next couple months, with the next at 11 a.m. Tuesday, in which Searching for the Seventies curator Bruce Bustard will be sharing some of his favorite research discoveries for this project. The event will be held in the Research Center (Pennsylvania Avenue entrance). For more information, go to


Growing up in the District during the 1980s meant three things: street art, go-go music and hard-core punk. The Corcoran Gallery of Art's all new exhibit, Pump Me Up: D.C. Subculture of the 1980s, takes you back to the era when D.C. gave birth to a vibrant visual and musical culture. The exhibit contains an impressive collection of photos, concert posters, newspaper clippings and work by graffiti artists that depict the surge of interest in street art.

You can also participate in series of cultural programs inspired by the exhibit, including Tuesday's panel discussion, "Bustin' Loose: Stories from D.C.'s Underground Music Scenes." Some of the city's top hip-hop figures will share stories about the urban youth subcultures of the 1980s.

The discussion starts at 7 p.m. (500 17th St. NW) and costs $10 for nonmembers, $8 for members and $5 for students. Go to to learn more.