DCCAH Brings Art to Congressional Black Caucus

Last week, DCCAH had the pleasure of hosting three separate events as part of the Congressional Black Caucus in DC. Writer Sia Tiambi Barnes provided this brief synopsis of her experience:

As I am at that age where I teeter the borderline between wise maverick and bright-eyed novice, it took being reemerged among some of DC’s most cultured art connoisseurs in order to truly understand myself as a advocate and promoter of our community’s younger artistic sect.

Thursday evening I was unable to gain access to the Julian Bond’s reading of Calvin Alexander Ramsey’s Green Book at the historic Lincoln Theatre, but pleased to later learn that this was because nearly 3 times the amount of capacity also attempted. Besides, it was impressive enough to even be in line among such obvious sagacity, and this sidewalk experience became a teaser of sorts for what I was to encounter at Friday’s showing.

The “Omnipresence” exhibition at the Mandarin Oriental, to which I did gain access, was a thoughtful collection of a range of modern District visual arts (from the more typical, still timely: depiction of Obama to the curious: early signs of gentrification, perhaps, in a series of 1970’s photographs showing boarded up store fronts). Most commanding, however, was Karega Bailey’s performance. His spoken word/photo essay/song was a unique opportunity for mutual audience attention at an event that is otherwise more so an individual experience. For a moment, I could undeniably feel the hundreds of years worth of pain, promise, and potential that this young African American man symbolized with his poem of African American man’s struggle…

Saturday, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, an even more diverse crowd arrived for the Independent Film Series showing, “Money Matters,” an award-winning homegrown version of “Precious” which addresses many of the issues with which DC is riddled (HIV/AIDS, illiteracy, and poverty/unemployment rates) primarily through a mother-daughter relationship, and, most surprisingly, perhaps, even starred Ms. Victoria Wallace, a student from this summer’s Media Arts Boot Camp. It is encouraging to see just how integrated DCCAH’s network is.

—Sia Tiambi Barnes is a writer, founder of N’KOSI Media, and a 2010 Young Artist Grant Program recipient.

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About Art(202)

Since 1968, the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) has developed and promoted local artists, organizations and activities.
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One Response to DCCAH Brings Art to Congressional Black Caucus

  1. Pingback: DCCAH Brings Art to Congressional Black Caucus (via DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities) | The Box of Thoughts

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