DC is in the midst of a renaissance, those who remain consistent in their craft will be written in this city's history. I find that a city’s performance has to be measured in a way that reflects the following—the strength of the economy, social conditions, the environment and the state of the arts. We are all prive to the plethora of institutions, venues, restaurants, and experiences that make DC grand but there exists real PEOPLE who recommit themselves to the work of serving Washington DC daily.
The most potent forces in Washington, DC are the people who continue to make this a destination worthy, capital city. Those who invest their time, talent, money and lives to contributing to the rich cultural legacy of Washington, DC. It's intrepid, resourceful, indefatigable artists who create masterpieces that speak to the changing landscape of this city, this nation and the world at large. Their mediums vary but the heart remains the same, they love DC and work to make it beautiful.
Here's my informal homage via Brightest Young Things to the artists who find D.C. to be deserving enough to stick around and create in less than desirable conditions, they deserve a shout out,
D.C. is blessed to have world class DJ’s at it’s fingertips – literally: afro-futurism, jazz, hip hop, classical, afrobeats, go-go geniuses: Underdog the DJ + DJ Native Sun + Ayescold + DJ Tomi Yayo + DJ Txnykill + Nag Champa and Flash Frequency of cmpvtr club. Huge thanks to Songbyrd, Mousai Houseand 9:30 Club for bringing the funk, constantly and feverishly. Oh and loving the smooth sounds of Sweet Earl Greene and Coup Sauvage.
Oh, I’d be remiss to forget “This is reggae music” heard on sunday nights on WPFW 89.3 FM, tune in and wine down. A fav!
Chef Joseph Paire III at Mulebone, his smoked beet salad is amaze. Huge thanks to the team at Tryst DC and Sidamo on H st. And Khao Poon DC is another gem, can’t wait for their new restaurant.
he Experience Engineers
Sheldon Scott, no words just all the feels.
No Kings Collective’s Brandon Hill and Peter Chang – their latest installation “Premium Dry Cleaning and Laundry Service” was fresh – no pun intended.
And artist centered activists’ Phillippa Hughes of Pinkline Project – eagerly awaiting the magic she’ll create at dupont underground and Victoria Reis of Transformers – they are my sheroes! oh and Micheal Berman at Eastern Market whose fight for the common public spaces inspires me greatly!
Oh and A Creative DC for galvanizing the creative community. Morgan + Courtney + Ayana et all: you rock!
Smithsonia’s Asian Pacific American Center, and their amazing director Jeanny Kim and curators Adriel Luis and Masum Momaya. The Ford Foundation Art for Change event at Impact Hub was an example of what all arts institutions should/can do to engage the active community.
The artists who find D.C. to be deserving enough to stick aroun and reate in less than desirable conditions, they deserve a shout out: Luke Stewart at Union Arts, Steven M. Cummings and his Chocolate City RIP project, the writers, the designers, the makeup artists, the painters, the dancers, the singers, the photographers and makers… big up yourselves!!!! WE NEED YOU!!!
The City Workers
The blue collar folks people who clear the snow, drive the buses and trains, clear the trash, files the forms, make the wheels turn – thank you. A huge shout out to the City Council and Mayor Muriel Bowser who are tasked with developing greater infrastructure that reflects it’s valuation of the people who make up D.C.’s creative community and contribute over 5 billion dollars in revenue. It’s our belief that a successful city invites its creatives and artists to the table while forming private–public partnerships that are essential elements of smart growth, delivering lower-cost, higher-quality infrastructure and services for all. Thanks to Councilmember Charles Allen for championing the Made in DC bill – now let’s create SPACE for makers to make.
Desirée Venn Frederic is a Sierra Leonean born writer and installation artist of Geeche and Maroon ancestry. Her work pulls heavily from her transnational experiences and understandings. The artist and thought leader explores identity, ownership and contemporary ideas in aesthetics. As the founder of Nomad Yard, a globally minded vintage shop in Washington, D.C., Venn Frederic creates a playground for those who love culture, history and rare antiques steeped in stories. She uses her work to negotiate multiple strata of marginalization being both undocumented and an aboriginal indigenous woman. She is an interior designer creating experiential spaces and interiors. She is a community organizer and founding member of Artist Union DC, with a keen interest in cultural studies and artistic expression. She is particurlarly interested in the ways in which fashion, visual culture and critical theory inform, shape and encourage discourses surrounding the socio-economic, political and cultural. Venn Frederic has shared her creative interests as an exhibiting artist with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center drawing parallels of her own personal immigration detention in 2013 to the criminalization of human existence throughout history. She holds degrees in Fashion Merchandising, Business Management and a certificate in Community Advocacy and is fluent in French and Krio. As a speaker, she has engaged TED Talks as well as audiences at University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business, The National Endowment for the Arts National Maker Faire, Ted Talks, Made in DC Maker Summit, General Assembly, and Creative World’s Creative Economy Summit. As an ambassador with Define American, the activist shares her personal journey to expand the narrative of immigrants. She exists via the internet sphere simply as @xoDVF. She is a mentor to 2 college aged creative entrepreneurs and loves vintage kimonos.