News & Press

09.09.16

CULTURALDC ANNOUNCES 2016-17 FLASHPOINT GALLERY SEASON

CulturalDC-HeaderCulturalDC is excited to announce Flashpoint Gallery’s 2016-17 exhibition season. The selected artists this season will address a wide variety of topics and themes across various mediums in nine exhibitions. Featured artists include Nicole Salimbene, Roxana Geffen, Annette Isham + Zac Willis, John Moletress + Eames Armstrong, Sparkplug Collective, Christian Benefiel, Blair Murphy, Khanh Le, and Danielle Scruggs.


 

Nicole Salimbene Mending

September 17 – October 15, 2016Nicole Salimbene_Mending_Image for Press

Opening Reception: September 16, 6-8pm

This solo exhibition presents the act of mending as art medium, metaphor, and practice. The work invites the viewer to contemplate the poetics of mending as a means to heal, protect, and transform.  It fosters interaction through a low “communal” table reminiscent of a tea ceremony, where audiences are encouraged to thread their own needles and add to the work.

 

 

Roxana Geffen Motherload

October 22 – November 19, 2016

rgOpening Reception: October 21, 6-8pm

A series of installations turn the gallery into a beautiful, funny, and chaotically jumbled place. The works present a mash-up of Geffen’s domestic and digital life.  The installations invoke visuals of the domestic and digital through large photographs of real structures; images of real-life schedules and lists abstracted and re-created as carpets, quilts, and networks of fabric and tape; and large, reworked images from digital landscapes.

 

 

Annette Isham and Zac Willis

We Are Not Alone

December 9, 2016 – January 7, 2017az

Opening Reception:
December 10, 6-8pm

This multimedia install
ation exhibits the ongoing investigation of
extraterrestrial existence. Through eye-witness testimony,  re-enactments, and video documentation, the artists create a celestial installation that explores the façade that mankind is alone on Earth.

 

 

 

Jojehn Moletress and Eames Armstrong

January 14 – February 4, 2017

Opening Reception: January 13, 6-8pm

This installation consists of objects which become props and setting for performances by the two artists. They explore the possibility that home can never be fixed or static, but a process that runs alongside our endless navigation of living.

 

 

Sparkplug Collective

Selfie: Me, Myself, and Us

February 11 – March 11, 2017sp

Opening Reception: February 10, 6-8pm

This group exhibition features work by the Sparkplug artist collective, who will alter and distort representations of themselves as a commentary on and critique of our society’s obsession with selfies. The DC Arts Center selected the members of Sparkplug for a two-year program featuring annual curated group exhibitions at DCAC, studio visits, critiques, and collaborations on other projects.

 

 

Christian Benefiel

Delopment of an Argument

cbMarch 18 – April 8, 2017

Opening Reception: March 24, 6-8pm

Modular and interactive, Benefiel’s work is often constructed and secured through tension and interdependent joinery, without glues or hardware. While the structure of the work is sound, this often serves as a metaphor for interpersonal and societal relationships through temporary and conditional attachment.

 

 

Blair Murphy Footprint

April 15 – May 6, 2017bm

Opening Reception: April 21, 6-8pm

Footprint is an excavation, an archive that draws on the built memory in and around DC’s downtown core to explore how artists have made space in the city and, conversely, how the city has made space for artists. Striving to avoid the nostalgia that often surrounds conversations about the past, this project starts from the belief that we can learn from the past, even as we critique it and prepare for the future, without falling victim to either blind optimism or cynical defeat.

 

 

klKhanh Le Making Memories as We Wait

May 13 – June 3, 2017

Opening Reception: May 12, 6-8pm

Le presents a collection of mixed-media paintings inspired by scrapbooking culture, the history of historical painting, and photograph as memory. He transforms everyday photo albums into colorful abstractions using metallic acrylic paint, gold gelly roll pens, sequins, babbles stickers, and acrylic crystals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Danielle Scruggs Migrations

June 10 – June 30, 2017ds

Opening Reception: June 9, 6-8pm

This exhibit combines original portraits of the artist’s family members, found photos of her extended family, and illustrations of various locales her family has lived based on historical records, such as draft cards and Census records. The works trace her personal family history and explore the larger issues surrounding the Great Migration of the early to mid-20th century, which is directly connected to the lingering effects of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.

 

Flashpoint Gallery hours are 12-6pm Wednesday-Saturday and by appointment. Receptions are generally held from 6-8pm on the Friday evening before an exhibition opens. They are free and open to the public. Please visit culturaldc.org/visual-arts for updates on talks at the Luce Local Artist Series and other special events and programming.


 

An advisory panel comprised of noted art professionals in the DC area reviews proposals and helps make programming recommendations for each season. This season’s panel includes Akemi Maegawa, a Corcoran alumni and artist specializing in sculpture and installation works; Laura Roulet, an independent curator specializing in contemporary and Latin American art and fostering artists in the DMV region; Andy Grundberg, an art critic, curator, and a former dean and professor at the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, D.C.; and Schwanda Rountree, independent curator and collector for Rountree Art Consulting. The advisory panel also provides guidance and mentorship to the artists and curators in the program to assist in the development of each project.

Participants in the visual program also receive artistic and public relations support from our staff. Additionally, artists and curators participate in Flash Forums, a program designed to help develop and incubate upcoming projects. Flash Forums fosters a meaningful dialogue with a community of fellow visual & performing artists, curators, panelists, and our staff, and gives exhibitors an opportunity to ask questions, gain feedback, and compare notes. This year, CulturalDC will also continue its collaboration with the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Luce Foundation Center. Each artist exhibiting at Flashpoint Gallery has the opportunity to give a talk about their work and how it relates to work on view at the Luce Center. 

 

ABOUT CULTURALDC’S VISUAL ARTS PROGRAM

CulturalDC operates Flashpoint and produces public art interventions throughout DC. We nurture talented emerging and mid-career artists by providing opportunities for peer learning and mentorship. At Flashpoint Gallery, we showcase bold, new work from artists working in a variety of media including site-specific installations, performance pieces, new media and other experimental forms. As a nonprofit gallery free from the constraints of commercial expectations, Flashpoint provides artists and curators a unique opportunity to take creative risks. An advisory panel of noted artists and arts professionals makes programming recommendations for the gallery and provides mentorship and support to exhibiting artists.

CulturalDC is generously supported by DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, DC Office of Planning, The Community Foundation for the National Capitol Region, Daimler, Washington Gas, AT&T, Busboys and Poets/Mulebone, Lockheed Martin, Menkiti Group, VOA & Associates, Bozzuto, Torti Gallas and Partners.

09.09.16

ROXANA GEFFEN: MOTHERLOAD

Roxana Geffen_Igloo_Image for Press

ROXANA ALGER GEFFEN

MOTHERLOAD
October 22 – November 19, 2016
Opening reception: Friday, October 21 from 6-8pm

WASHINGTON, DC – CulturalDC is pleased to present Motherload by Roxana Geffen from October 22 through November 19 at Flashpoint Gallery. Motherload is a series of vivid, multi-layered installations that merge imagery and materials from the artist’s domestic space. The exhibition embodies the labor, creativity, and humor needed to find balance in the overwhelming chaos of daily life. While the work reflects a formal interest in pattern, color, and material, it is also a more personal exploration of the complex, contradictory world of parenting. A range of techniques traditionally associated with homemaking and home repair mirrors the need for parents to be jacks-of-all-trades—though often masters of none. Family objects, photographs of familiar landscapes, thrift store finds, building materials, and computer game imagery become ensnared in combinations that both revel in and give order to the resulting dissonance.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Roxana Alger Geffen works with a variety of media and techniques, including painting, photography, textiles, and installation. She holds an MFA in Painting from Boston University. Geffen is currently a resident artist at the Arlington Arts Center in Arlington, VA and lives in Washington, DC with her husband and three children. She has shown her work in solo and group shows in DC, Virginia, New York, Boston, Vermont, Atlanta, Denver, and New Zealand. Geffen’s art has been featured in a number of publications, and is part of several private and corporate collections, including the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Washingtonia Collection.

 

ABOUT CULTURALDC’S VISUAL ARTS PROGRAM

CulturalDC operates Flashpoint and produces public art interventions throughout DC. We nurture talented emerging and mid-career artists by providing opportunities for peer learning and mentorship. At Flashpoint Gallery, we showcase bold, new work from artists working in a variety of media including site-specific installations, performance pieces, new media, and other experimental forms. As a nonprofit gallery free from the constraints of commercial expectations, Flashpoint provides artists and curators a unique opportunity to take creative risks. An advisory panel of noted artists and arts professionals makes programming recommendations for the gallery and provides mentorship and support to exhibiting artists.

CulturalDC is generously supported by DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, DC Office of Planning, The Community Foundation for the National Capitol Region, Daimler, Washington Gas, AT&T, Busboys and Poets/Mulebone, Lockheed Martin, Menkiti Group, VOA & Associates, Bozzuto, Torti Gallas and Partners.

 

ROXANA ALGER GEFFEN: MOTHERLOAD

Exhibition Dates:
October 22 – November 19, 2016 

Opening Reception:
Friday, October 21, 2016 from 6-8pm (free and open to the public) 

Luce Foundation Center Artist Talk:
Saturday, November 5, 1:30pm (free and open to the public)
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Third Floor

Flashpoint Gallery Hours:
Wednesday – Saturday, 12-6pm or by appointment 

08.22.16

Business Manager

CulturalDC, a non-profit organization dedicated to making space for art, is seeking a Business Manager. This full-time position provides reliable and accurate record-keeping in all matters affecting the financial position of CulturalDC. The Business Manager will manage human resources, risk management and bookkeeping functions.

Responsibilities

  • Manage human resources functions, onboarding, administration of performance planning/review cycles, payroll and benefits;
  • Update, maintain accuracy, and compliance with Employee Handbook;
  • Maintain personnel files;
  • Manage bookkeeping functions, including:
    • Intake and management of bills and billing
    • Performing accounting system entry and maintenance;
    • Managing accounts receivable and accounts payable;
    • Monitoring account balances and reconcile bank accounts;
    • Analyzing accounts, program budgets, spending, and overall financial trends;
    • Preparing and reviewing financial statements;
  • Coordinate preparation, and managed development and reporting of annual budget;
  • Oversee external auditors throughout the audit process and preparation of audit documents and all tax information and reports;
  • Coordinate and prepare as appropriate, documents and presentations for Board and Executive Committee Meetings;
  • Coordinate & review contracts for Consulting clients, independent contractors, artists, residents, and rental clients
  • Provide other general administrative support, as needed.

Qualifications

  • 5-7 years of relevant experience, including nonprofit accounting, and human resource administration
  • Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, and relevant course work in the human resources area
  • A minor/and or background in Arts Administration, and/or personnel management a plus
  • Experience with QuickBooks Pro, and Microsoft Office required
  • CPA and Quickbooks Certified Pro-Advisor desirable
  • Exceptional organizational, interpersonal, teamwork, and time management skills a must
  • Excellent communication, analytical and mathematical skills
  • Experience with PowerPoint and Raiser’s Edge desired
  • Ability and willingness to work flexibly in a growing non-profit environment important

How to apply:

To apply, submit a resume with cover letter to:
CulturalDC
Attn: Business Manager Search
916 G Street NW
Washington, DC  20001
hr@culturaldc.org
Fax: 202.315.1303

 

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

08.05.16

BILLY FRIEBELE & MICHAEL DAX IACOVONE: CITY OF GHOSTS

Billy Friebele and Mike Iacovone_FutureMonument_Image for Press

BILLY FRIEBELE & MICHAEL DAX IACOVONE

CITY OF GHOSTS
August 20 – September 10, 2016
Opening reception: Friday, August 19 from 5-7pm

WASHINGTON, DC – CulturalDC is pleased to present City of Ghosts by Billy Friebele and Michael Dax Iacovone from August 20th – September 10th, 2016, at Flashpoint Gallery.  City of Ghosts is an exhibition that represents the culmination of a year-long residency at the Labs at DC Public Library.  Billy Friebele and Mike Iacovone, founders of Freespace Collective, have collaborated on a series of artworks that use technologies available in the Fab Lab at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library to explore the areas surrounding the library and Flashpoint Gallery. The Maker in Residence Program was sponsored by the DC Public Library Foundation and the Friends of the Tenley/Friendship Library.

Tensions of rapid change and collective amnesia are visualized through maps, crime statistics, 3D printed sculpture, video, and an interactive drawing machine.  Together, this work investigates various modes of collecting and archiving the constantly shifting identity of the city.  By drawing attention to temporal aspects of the city, FreeSpace Collective is opening a dialogue to memorialize the present, and suggest the possibility of change.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

The FreeSpace Collective was founded by artists Billy Friebele and Michael Dax Iacovone, who began working together on collaborative video projects in graduate school at the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2008.  FreeSpace Collective focuses on community engagement, public spaces, mapping, and interactivity, with an emphasis on collaboration. They have exhibited in Detroit, MI; St. Louis, MO; Washington, DC; Baltimore, MD; Sarajevo, Bosnia; and Jatiwangi, Indonesia; among other places. FreeSpace Collective is based in Washington, DC.

ABOUT DC PUBLIC LIBRARY and DC PUBLIC LIBRARY FOUNDATION

The District of Columbia Public Library is a vibrant center of activity for residents and visitors in the nation’s capital. The library provides environments that invite reading, learning, and community discussion and equips people to learn all their lives, to embrace diversity, and to build a thriving city. The DC Public Library Foundation is the District Library’s philanthropic arm, enriching the DC Public Library’s capabilities, resources, and services by forging community connections.

ABOUT CULTURALDC’S VISUAL ARTS PROGRAM
CulturalDC operates Flashpoint and produces public art interventions throughout DC.  We nurture talented emerging and mid-career artists by providing opportunities for peer learning and mentorship.  At Flashpoint Gallery, we showcase bold, new work from artists working in a variety of media including site-specific installations, performance pieces, new media, and other experimental forms.  As a nonprofit gallery free from the constraints of commercial expectations, Flashpoint provides artists and curators a unique opportunity to take creative risks.  An advisory panel of noted artists and arts professionals makes programming recommendations for the gallery and provides mentorship and support to exhibiting artists.

CulturalDC is generously supported by DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, DC Office of Planning, The Community Foundation for the National Capitol Region, Daimler, Washington Gas, AT&T, Busboys and Poets/Mulebone, Lockheed Martin, Menkiti Group, VOA & Associates, Bozzuto, Torti Gallas and Partners.

 

BILLY FRIEBELE & MICHAEL DAX IACOVONE: CITY OF GHOSTS

Opening Reception:
Friday, August 19, 2016 from 5-7pm (free and open to the public) 

Exhibition Dates:
August 20 – September 10, 2016 

Flashpoint Gallery Hours:
Wednesday – Saturday, 12-6pm or by appointment 

08.04.16

NICOLE SALIMBENE: MENDING

Nicole Salimbene_Mending_Image for Press

NICOLE SALIMBENE

MENDING
September 16 – October 15, 2016
Opening reception: Friday, September 16 (6-8pm)

WASHINGTON, DC – CulturalDC is pleased to present Mending by Nicole Salimbene from September 16th – October 15th, 2016, at Flashpoint Gallery. Mending is an interactive installation that explores meditation and mending as art medium, metaphor, and practice. Contemplative environments positioned throughout the gallery invite audiences to sit or stand in meditation with sculptures and paintings constructed from ordinary materials associated with mending. Thousands of threaded needles, tangled sculptural masses of thread, and stitching offer opportunities for reflection on the work of reparation.

Salimbene’s interdisciplinary approach begins with an investigation into the poetics of materiality and the desire to create public and private engagements as a way for the viewer to embody metaphor. By drawing attention to the art of mindfulness practice and to the act of threading a single needle, Mending encourages us to contemplate the stitch-by-stitch process that may lead to transformations in our lives and in the world.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Nicole Salimbene works in painting, sculpture, and installation. Her studio practice is based in Washington, D.C. Her art has been exhibited nationally and internationally, as well as reproduced for publications and purchased for private collections. She has shown her work in solo and group exhibitions in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, New Orleans, New York, and France. She was a recipient of an Individual Artists and Scholars Grant from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County. In 2012, the Washington Sculptors Group awarded her the Tom Rooney Prize. She also leads workshops in art as a contemplative practice in various academic institutions, community settings, and professional associations.

ABOUT CULTURALDC’S VISUAL ARTS PROGRAM
CulturalDC operates Flashpoint and produces public art interventions throughout DC. We nurture talented emerging and mid-career artists by providing opportunities for peer learning and mentorship. At Flashpoint Gallery, we showcase bold, new work from artists working in a variety of media including site-specific installations, performance pieces, new media and other experimental forms. As a nonprofit gallery free from the constraints of commercial expectations, Flashpoint provides artists and curators a unique opportunity to take creative risks. An advisory panel of noted artists and arts professionals makes programming recommendations for the gallery and provides mentorship and support to exhibiting artists.

CulturalDC is generously supported by DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, DC Office of Planning, The Community Foundation for the National Capitol Region, Daimler, Washington Gas, AT&T, Busboys and Poets/Mulebone, Lockheed Martin, Menkiti Group, VOA & Associates, Bozzuto, Torti Gallas and Partners.

NICOLE SALIMBENE: MENDING

Opening Reception:
Friday, September 16, 2016 from 6-8pm (free and open to the public) 

Exhibition Dates:
September 16 – October 15, 2016 

Flashpoint Gallery Hours:
Wednesday – Saturday, 12-6pm or by appointment 

Luce Foundation Center artist talk:
Sunday, September 25, 1:30pm
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Third Floor

CulturalDC Photo By Gedalia Vera (289)
08.04.16

CulturalDC 2016 Fall/Winter Intern Program

CulturalDC-Header

CulturalDC Interns                             job announcement

CulturalDC is a nonprofit organization, founded in 1998 (as the CulturalDC), that makes space for art through its programs and services. CulturalDC’s mission is to encourage artistic innovation connecting artists, arts organizations, developers and government agencies to facilitate economic and cultural vibrancy in the District of Columbia and neighboring urban communities. We are a catalyst to and a resource for emerging arts organizations, providing them with a wide range of programs and services that support emerging artists’ ability to live and work in the city. Our work brings audiences access to affordable, innovative visual and performing art. We also provide services to developers in their creative space-making initiatives. Flashpoint, our downtown arts incubator, offers affordable space for arts presentations and mentors up-and-coming artists and organizations through residency, gallery and theatre lab programs. Source, located in the 14th Street arts corridor, is a multi-user performing arts venue equipped with administrative, rehearsal and performance spaces for resident companies and other performing arts groups in the DC area.

CulturalDC Internships offer the opportunity to work for and gain experience with an established arts service organization in the DC area. The position requires 16-20 hours/week, including some Saturdays and evenings for special events. Interns will have the opportunity to work with CulturalDC’s Staff, Board of Directors & Artists.  Each position will receive a unique opportunity to learn about the wide variety of programs and services that CulturalDC offers to area artists and arts organizations.

2016 Fall/Winter Internships are Available in the Following Departments: 

Marketing & Communications

  • Update CulturalDC website, email lists, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms
  • Assist Communications Manager in the implementation of CulturalDC’s Communications Strategy and Plan
  • Assist with the development and updating media lists and other administrative databases
  • Assist with visitor tracking, and stakeholder correspondence 

Operations

  • Participate in consulting projects related to facility and technical management
  • Assistance with set up for meetings and events
    Provide general administrative and operations support, as needed. Ex: paying bills, due dates for check requests, reimbursements and credit card reconciliations

Supporting routine and reactive maintenance tasks

Requirements:

  • College senior, graduate student or recent graduate preferred
  • Knowledge and interest in contemporary art; theatre; and arts administration
  • Ability to work independently and take initiative on projects
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills
  • Individual must be comfortable working in a cooperative environment that represents a broad range of artistic, cultural and social points of view
  • Availability for flexible work schedule, including evening events and Saturdays

Commitment:

Hours are flexible; however the intern must commit to 16-20 hours per week for a minimum of 8 weeks.  Start date and duration are flexible

Compensation:

Class Credit and Transportation Stipend Available

How to apply:

Deadline for applications: 
To apply, submit a resume with cover letter to:
hr@culturaldc.org
CulturalDC
ATTN: Intern Search-[Include position preference]
916 G Street NW, Washington, DC  20001

08.03.16

Saturday Volunteer Gallery Assistants

CulturalDC-Header
Saturday Volunteer Gallery Assistants

CulturalDC is seeking Volunteer Gallery Assistants to oversee Flashpoint Gallery on Saturdays this summer (May-August).

  • Volunteer Gallery Assistants are tasked with opening/closing the gallery, greeting visitors and providing basic information about exhibitions and artists.
  • Volunteers have access to wireless internet and a desktop computer and are welcome to bring their own laptop, textbooks, etc. for personal work.
  • For those seeking academic credit or work experience, special projects in areas such as Development, Marketing or research may be created with CulturalDC staff.
  • Time commitment: An average availability of two Saturdays/month from 12-6pm over the summer months (May – August) is preferred.

Flashpoint Gallery presents the work of emerging and mid-career artists in a range of disciplines. The exhibition program supports bold ideas and new directions with exhibitions rotating every five weeks.

More information here: http://www.culturaldc.org/visual-arts/flashpoint-gallery/

Please send resume and direct questions to gallery@culturaldc.org. If selected for an interview, candidates will be asked to provide list of available Saturdays this summer.

06.23.16

Kathryn Thibault: CULTIVATION/HARVEST/NEGLECT at CulturalDC’s Flashpoint Gallery July 16 – August 18, 2016

CulturalDC-Header
Katie Thibault_rowVellum (Web Use)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 23, 2016
Contact: John Richards
john@culturaldc.org
202.315.1322

KATHRYN THIBAULT
CULTIVATION/HARVEST/NEGLECT
July 16 – August 18, 2016
Opening reception: Friday, July 15 (6-8pm)

WASHINGTON, DC – CulturalDC is pleased to present Cultivation/Harvest/Neglect by Katie Thibault from July 16th – August 13th, 2016, at Flashpoint Gallery, a series of ephemeral wall-based sculptures visually linked through references to gardens and human relationships. Through images of bodies, physical contact, and natural elements, the vellum and mixed media components allude to conflict, connection, and mortality. The color palette is intentionally restricted, drawing on the white wall of the gallery to give the works a ground while preserving the ephemeral nature of their construction. Some of the artworks grow into one another, eroding their expected boundaries.

The work connects to the artist’s memories of visits to her grandparents’ Iowa farm, and of time spent cultivating vegetable and flower gardens with her parents and siblings. The work reflects her continued investigation into the space between the objects, materials and corporeal experience in order to explore the disintegration of the distance between the self and external structures.

Katie Thibault works across a number of mediums, including computer graphics, drawing, painting, glass, metal, and interactive and performative works. She was a resident artist at the Arlington Arts Center for four years before relocating with her family to Seattle, Washington. She has exhibited in commercial and university galleries in the US, Europe and Canada and has received numerous grants, fellowships and awards.  She holds a doctorate in Media, Art and Text from Virginia Commonwealth University, and she received an MFA from The Ohio State University.

ABOUT CULTURALDC’S VISUAL ARTS PROGRAM
CulturalDC operates Flashpoint and produces public art interventions throughout DC. We nurture talented emerging and mid-career artists by providing opportunities for peer learning and mentorship. At Flashpoint Gallery, we showcase bold, new work from artists working in a variety of media including site-specific installations, performance pieces, new media and other experimental forms. As a nonprofit gallery free from the constraints of commercial expectations, Flashpoint provides artists and curators a unique opportunity to take creative risks. An advisory panel of noted artists and arts professionals makes programming recommendations for the gallery and provides mentorship and support to exhibiting artists.

CulturalDC is generously supported by DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, DC Office of Planning, The Community Foundation for the National Capitol Region, Daimler, Washington Gas, AT&T, Busboys and Poets/Mulebone, Lockheed Martin, Menkiti Group, VOA & Associates, Bozzuto, Torti Gallas and Partners.

KATIE THIBAULT: CULTIVATION/HARVEST/NEGLECT

Opening Reception:
Friday, July 15, 2016 from 6-8pm (free and open to the public) 

Exhibition Dates:
July 16 – August 18, 2016 

Flashpoint Gallery Hours:
Wednesday – Saturday, 12-6pm or by appointment 

Luce Foundation Center artist talk:
Saturday, July 16, 1:30pm
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Third Floor

General: 202.315.1305 • Press: 202.315.1322 • Fax: 202.315.1303 • Email: john@culturaldc.org
CulturalDC • 916 G St, NW • Washington, DC 20001

 

 

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06.16.16

Tour de Source

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Tour de Source

For nine years, D.C.’s Source Festival has given playwrights a stage to experiment on.
MATT COHEN JUNE 16, 2016

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Topher Payne had been writing plays for more than 10 years, but hardly anyone outside of Atlanta was seeing them. That’s not a slight against Payne—his work has received many awards and accolades over the years—but when you’re embedded in a regional theater scene, it’s hard to break out to a national audience.

Born in Mississippi, Payne moved to Atlanta in 1999 and quickly built a following. “With a near-constant output of broadly appealing plays often written specifically for Atlanta audiences, the self-described ‘goofy ginger’ has built up a faithful core of local fans for his clever, zingy Southern comedies,” Creative Loafing wrote of Payne last year, in a review of one of his recent plays, Angry Fags.

He’s something of a superstar in Georgia’s capital city, but for a while, he felt like his work would never reach a broader audience. “I carved out a nice little spot for myself in the Atlanta theater community,” Payne says, “but I was facing the same struggle a lot of regional playwrights experience, where you can launch a production in your home market, but that’s about it. If you’re a playwright who’s not basically working in NYC or L.A., you’re working without representation, and without representation, you can’t get your script to anyone outside of your own market.”

But in 2013, he got his big break. His script for Perfect Arrangement, a biting satire set in the 1950s about a pair of closeted State Department employees tasked with outing suspected homosexuals within the agency, was selected to be produced for D.C.’s Source Festival, now in its ninth year.

Perfect Arrangement was a smash hit, thanks in no small part to the timing of its debut: The Supreme Court struck down key sections of the Defense of Marriage Act during its run. “We went from being a topical play to a very topical play,” Payne says. “It was the first time Source extended a play; there was such an audience demand to see it.”

Perfect Arrangement’s success didn’t stop with sold-out shows at that year’s Source Festival. In 2014, the American Theatre Critics Association named it best new play by an emerging playwright. “That led me to a whole new theater crowd, which led me to New York, which led me to an Off-Broadway production, which led to the script getting a publisher,” Payne says.

It might sound like a too-perfect narrative for Payne’s career—years spent cranking out plays that would never be seen outside of Atlanta, until the Source Festival gave him a shot—but that’s how he frames it. “That’s how I got my agent and everything started happening,” Payne says. “You want to believe that everything doesn’t happen because of a lucky break, and there are certainly arguments to say that it isn’t, but for me, it did.”

But Payne’s story isn’t unique. For the past nine years, the Source Festival has evolved from a homegrown local theater showcase to a nationally recognized festival. It’s become known for helping new and emerging playwrights—or veterans like Payne who’ve been sequestered in their regional markets—break through to the next level. And for more established playwrights, it’s an invaluable opportunity to try out their latest work in front of an audience.

On a recent muggy Friday afternoon, scores of sweaty people walk by Source on 14th Street NW. Inside, the air conditioning is blasting, but you wouldn’t know that by looking at the Source Festival crew members, who are perspiring heavily as they set up this year’s iteration. It officially kicked off on June 8 and runs until July 3.

Jenny McConnell Frederick, the festival’s artistic director, leads me on a tour of the stage and backstage area, which will host three full-length plays, 18 10-minute plays culled from more than 500 submissions, and three “Artistic Blind Dates”—workshops in which artists from different disciplines are randomly paired with each other to collaborate on original work over a six-month period.

It’s a lot for a theater festival, especially one that takes place on a single stage (which means the festival’s producers need to create sets that can easily be broken down after each performance). But that’s how the Source Festival has always done it.

From 1977 until the early aughts, Source was home to the Source Theatre Company, one of the most prominent in the District. During that time, they hosted an annual summer event called the Washington Theatre Festival. “It was very guerilla theater,” Frederick recalls of the festival.

But in the late ’90s, the company ran into financial problems. They ceased productions in 2002 and legally disbanded in 2006, leaving their 14th Street home on the market. In October of that year, local arts nonprofit CulturalDC bought the building, renovated it, and made it a shared arts space. As part of their agreement with Source Theatre Company, CulturalDC had to keep the Washington Theatre Festival going, in one form or another.

“When we bought the building, we had a kind of handshake agreement with the leadership of Source Theatre Company that we would continue some sort of summer festival,” Frederick says.

A year prior, another guerilla-style summer theater festival popped up in the District—Capital Fringe. That posed a different kind of challenge for CulturalDC: How do you start a summer theater festival that doesn’t compete with Fringe?

The big difference between the Source Festival and Fringe, Frederick says, “is that everything [Source] does is curated,” with about 100 readers helping to select plays, whereas with Fringe, almost anyone can submit a play and put on a production.

“With the Fringe Festival, you have to have a team of collaborators on a project and you come there and you get to put it on and there’s an amazing set of resources around that,” Frederick adds. “For us, if you’re new to town or new to school and you don’t really have your tribe yet, you can come to us and apply as an individual, and we’ll give you a tribe.”

Jennifer Fawcett is no stranger to the world of theater. She’s a graduate of the University of Iowa’s MFA Playwrights Workshop, and her work has received awards over the years and has been commissioned and produced all over the country—from Iowa City and Nashville, to Chicago and New York. The Source Festival may not help her career in the same way it did Payne’s, but it’s essential to her in other ways.

Each year, the Source Festival selects three new full-length plays—sometimes written by established playwrights like Fawcett—to anchor its lineup. For Fawcett, it’s a rare and valuable opportunity to bring a play that’s in an advanced stage of development—but not quite done—to a live audience to see what works and what doesn’t. This year, her latest work,Buried Cities, is one of the three full-length plays premiering at the festival.

Debuting a new show is a scary experience for playwrights, but it’s also a risky move for Source. However, that challenge has come to define the festival over the years.

“The reality is that new work is risky and it’s expensive, and it’s difficult to take those risks when most theaters are in a precarious place anyway,” Fawcett says. “Source is all about the risk.”

As good as the experience is for artists like Fawcett, it’s even more valuable for playwrights whose short scripts are selected as one of the 10-minute plays.

“One of the hardest things to do as a playwright is to get your work put up somewhere,” says Patrick Flynn, whose short play The Ferberizing of Coral is being produced in this year’s festival, “which is something I just didn’t understand for a while.”

Nathan Alan Davis, whose play Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea was produced at the Source Festival in 2014 and later at other theaters across the country, says that the opportunity is everything.

“I got to kind of see the play fully produced with an audience and have the time and space to work on it,” he says. “It became, in a way, like the on-ramp for the world premiere.”

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/arts/theater/blog/20782757/tour-de-source-for-nine-years-dcs-source-festival-has-given-playwrights-their-chance-at-a-big-break

 

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05.31.16

Source Festival opens June 8: “Dive in and don’t be afraid”

DC Theatre Scene (Logo)
Source Festival opens June 8: “Dive in and don’t be afraid”
May 31, 2016 by Keith Loria

Two dozen new works will be on display as part of Washington D.C.’s Ninth Annual Source Festival, running June 8 through July 3, and theater fans will surely be intrigued by what’s being staged.SF_Postcard_Front

“Dive in and don’t be afraid,” says Jenny McConnell Frederick, artistic director of the event. “There are so many things to choose from that you can’t make a bad choice.”

As it does each year, The Source Festival selected three full-length productions to headline the event, and this year’s impressive group comes from more than 140 scripts that were sent in.

“We use these plays to serve as our themes for the festival,” McConnell Frederick says. “This year’s themes are Dreams & Discord, Heroes & Home, and Secrets & Sound. Each is an inspiration for the groupings of 10-minute plays and for the creation of our three Artistic Blind Dates.”

The Heroes & Home theme is led by Jennifer Fawcett’s Buried Cities, a tale about getting lost in hidden spaces.

Buried Cities was born out of another project I did in grad school (University of Iowa Playwrights Workshop) when I worked with a group of actors to create a play about gun ownership in America,” Fawcett says. “I was really interested in the idea of a couple, one of whom could not feel safe without a gun and one who couldn’t feel safe with one. This question of how to feel safe is a big one these days, I think. There’s a lot of fear, there’s even more fear mongering.”

Fawcett has wanted to be part of the Source Festival for years and is excited that she’s finally getting the chance.

“I like the ethos of the festival, which is a testament to the people who run it. There’s a willingness to risk, a willingness to take on the huge challenge of mounting three new works at the same time with limited resources and trusting the audiences to support the work and dig into it,” she says. “I don’t think this exists in a lot of regional theatre today. Theatre is expensive and therefore risky, so safe choices are often made usually at the cost of new plays. Source is different.”

Tom Horan’s Static heads the theme of Secrets & Sound. The play, a ghost story with lots of mystery surrounding it, will be directed by Bridget Grace Sheaff.

“I would want anyone who has ever been fascinated by the things people leave behind—the keepsakes in a bedside table, a box under the bed, an abandoned house—to be ready for a production you wouldn’t want to miss,” Horan says. “I don’t know of any other festival where I could see a series of 10-minute plays and an experimental piece that would be in conversation with my work. By exploring these ideas in a multifaceted way, the festival provides this wonderful possibility for audiences to make connections and have discussion that resonant deeply with their own lives.”

Representing the Dreams & Discord theme is the play Ballast, written by Georgette Kelly and directed by Margo Manburg. The play explores what it means to love someone in a moment of great transition, following the couples of Zoe and Grace, who recently transitioned from male to female; and Savannah and Xavier, who are dealing with cisgender issues.

“I’m very excited for this workshop production of Ballast because it is an opportunity for me to get to know D.C. artists and audiences,” Kelly says. “I have been impressed by the way the Source Festival uses themes from its full-length plays to inspire new artistic collaborations in the form of 10-minute plays and artistic blind dates. There should be a very interesting variety of options for audiences.”

Of course, as Kelly notes, in addition to these three plays, the Source Festival has curated a host of additional theatrical experiences on these themes.

For the Artistic Blind Dates, nine performers were selected from a group that includes musicians, filmmakers, dancers and other theater artists, and were put into groups of three to put together a theatrical experience based on one of the three themes.

“We chose those that were the most artistically exciting and they had six months and a small budget to put together whatever they wanted based on the theme,” McConnell Frederick says. “By joining together, they learn to speak each other’s artistic language and create something that will hint at some new angles on their collaboration together.”

The three performances include Crossroads, exploring the intermediary between the natural and the supernatural; Entanglement, created and performed by Claire Alrich, Maryam Foye, and Britney Mongold, which shows the story of three women traipsing through their own mythology, celebrating heroes who made them strong; and lost&SOUND, performed by Jacy Barber, Maverick Lemons and Veronica Lancaster, which challenges audiences to pursue the truths and revelations hidden sound waves.

Then there are the 18 10-minute plays, featuring some of the brightest D.C.-based actors and directors around.

There’s certainly something for every theater lover during the three weeks of performances.

“It’s an absolutely amazing way to see fresh, hot theatre being made across the country,” McConnell Frederick says. “The writers are people getting noticed and it’s a great way to see the next generation of top theatre artists as this is the first opportunity people have to see those who have a really bright future.”

http://dctheatrescene.com/2016/05/31/source-festival-opens-june-8-dive-dont-afraid/

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