A conglomerate of art exhibitions, boutiques, independently owned shops, a lounge area and a café, Anacostia Arts Center was created in 2013 to support the economic development of the neighborhood. But, over the past couple years, the lounge area—a space you pass through to get to the rest of the building—has morphed into a co-working spot.
The room has huge bay windows and skylights, and on the walls, artwork from rotating exhibits, making it an inspiring environment for getting work done. Read more here.
When it was founded, a decade ago, the Check It was a support group for LGBTQ youths fed up with being bullied and mistreated. It quickly evolved into a gay street gang, whose members became notorious for viciously attacking their enemies. They became “the predators instead of the preyed-upon,” says gang counselor Ron “Mo” Moten.
Hoping to steer the kids clear of trouble, Moten introduced them to documentary filmmakers Dana Flor and Toby Oppenheimer (The Nine Lives of Marion Barry).
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Between the two galleries housed in the Anacostia Arts Center and the Honfleur Gallery on Good Hope Road, there’s no shortage of art that conveys the level of talent that lies East of the River in Wards 7 and 8.
The 11th annual East of the River Exhibition at the Honfleur Gallery features three female artists who have their own distinct styles and inspirations, but the pieces on view have a strong affinity between them and come from similar creative places. Each artist makes an individual statement about spirituality, identity and the repetition of forms and textures, but together they create a continuum. Read full article here.
“We have performance space, and we use that to facilitate other groups coming in.” These groups can be small theater or dance organizations, or any, as [Camille] Kashaka called them, “individuals with a dream.”
The Center’s programming efforts have had a positive impact on the community, encouraging more people outside the neighborhood to check out the area. And it’s created a word-of-mouth buzz that is keeping the momentum going. Kashaka noted that the performers and patrons are often pleasantly surprised by their experiences, which is helping generate more grassroots promotion for Anacostia. Read more.
SeeNoSun OnStage will open a four-week run of Doubt: A Parable, John Patrick Shanley’s controversial Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning drama.The play examines the Catholic Church abuse scandal while trying to answer the question, “What do you do when you’re not sure?” Read the full DC Metro Theater Arts article here.
Among Luke Stewart’s mountain of musical projects, the Ancestral Duo is one of the smallest—and most fascinating. Stewart and Baltimorean Jamal Moore both serve as multi-instrumentalists, including electronic effects; their main axes, however, are bass and drums/percussion, respectively. The music they make is improvisational, experimental, and… remarkably quiet. It’s introspective, meditative music that can turn entirely on a single extemporaneous detail. (It’s small in sound as well as size, though one shouldn’t confuse smallness with shallowness.) But then, the Duo doesn’t always perform as… a duo. This weekend, for example, they take the stage with a sound artist from Osaka, Japan, by the name of Tatsuya Nakatani. Read the full article here.
“It’s taken me a solid week to wrap my mind around the creative awesome that was the 4th annual Black Love Experience hosted by Nubian Hueman at the Anacostia Arts Center. These type of innovative, commUNITY focused and all around boss as hell events are what raises the bar for what people say east of the river/black folks is expecting and capable of achieving.” – Nikki Peele
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Paper is gradually taking two divergent forms in “Better Homes and Gardens,” Becky Borlan’s in-process show at Vivid Solutions Gallery. The artist is planting the ceiling and walls with hanging foliage, an expanding forest to surround a community of small houses. The latter are folded from squares of brightly colored paper on which visitors have written what they like about their own neighborhood. Read the full article here.
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