By The People x Monochrome Art Fair Opened June 8
WASHINGTON, June 10, 2019 – By The People, Washington, D.C.’s largest international arts and dialogue festival, returns for its second year June 15-23 with nine days of free events for all ages in every quadrant; interactive art installations; a floating art installation that will travel D.C.’s waterways; dialogues that address how the District is positioning itself as a city of the future and an example to the world; art in unexpected places; a sale of work by DMV artists; and, together with the Smithsonian, a June 22 “Solstice Saturday” celebration with free programs and performances at Smithsonian museums, which will be open until midnight.
Described as “Art Basel with a conscience” and “the next SXSW,” the entirely free festival focuses on our country’s founding principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – “all with the goal of connecting people from diverse backgrounds, building bridges across the cultural divide and promoting open and civil discourse,” said Kate Goodall, CEO of festival organizer Halcyon – a nonprofit that supports civic-minded artists and social entrepreneurs. Registration is encouraged. Visit bythepeople.org.
A full-on arts takeover of Washington, By The People includes:
- Installations and programs at official festival sites: Smithsonian’s Arts + Industries Building (900 Jefferson Drive S.W.), Union Market (1309 5th Street N.E.), and a floating art installation on DC’s waterways; as well as at Eaton DC (1201 K St. N.W.), By The People x Monochrome Art Fair (1267 Wisconsin Ave. N.W.) and Halcyon (3400 Prospect St. N.W.). This year’s curator is Jessica Stafford Davis, founder of The Agora Culture and Martha Vineyard’s Art on the Vine, who has chosen to focus on the theme of marginalization. Festival satellite locations include Anacostia Arts Center, Congress Heights Arts & Culture Center, Corcoran School of the Arts & Design at GW, CulturalDC’s Mobile Art Gallery at THEARC, Culture House DC, DC Arts Center, Gallery 102, Greater Reston Arts Center, Hedonist Buddhist at Washington Project for the Arts, IA&A at Hillyer, Petworth Arts Collaborative, Prince Georges African American Museum & Cultural Center, SPAIN Arts & Culture Center, The Kreeger Museum, The Phillips Collection, VisArts, Washington Studio School and Zenith Community Arts Foundation at H-Space.
- New this year: A barge that will move up and down D.C.’s Potomac and Anacostia rivers featuring a floating art installation titled “They Are Us, Us Is Them,” by For Freedoms co-founder Hank Willis Thomas. Over the course of the festival, the barge will visit Georgetown Waterfront (June 15-17), Capitol Riverfront (June 18-21) and Anacostia Park (June 22-23). Throughout the festival at locations along the barge route, participants of all ages will be invited to make signs, inspired by Thomas’ work, expressing what freedom means to them.
- At the Smithsonian’s Arts + Industries Building: site-specific installations by Jonathan Rosen, Victor Ekpuk, Martha Jackson Jarvis, Ada Pinkston, Rania Hassan, and Stevie Famulari. Best known for interactive works that examine selfie culture, Rosen’s “Walking on Clouds” uses mirrors to remind visitors of their dreams. Ekpuk, a Nigerian-American artist who lives in Washington, D.C., created “Eye See You,” a commentary on the age of surveillance. Jarvis’ “Adaptation,” is the deconstruction and reconstruction of the artist’s personal history and of our national history. Pinkston’s “More than a Number,” looks at how we create monuments for people who aren’t represented in history books. Hassan’s “Paths” is a suspended handknit installation representing the many paths that lead to the same place: now. Famulari’s colorful sculpture, “Engaging Urban Greening,” is a commentary on the lack of greenery in urban areas. Visitors will be invited to take petals made from seeded paper to plant in their own neighborhoods.
- At Union Market: Kahlil Joseph’s conceptual piece “BLKNWS” will have its East Coast debut, direct from the Venice Biennale. BLKNWS is a two-channel video broadcast that blurs the lines between art, journalism, entrepreneurship, and cultural critique, using existing footage, filmed news desk segments, still images and music. In keeping with Joseph’s concept that the piece is installed in places where it appears to be real news, BLKNWS will also be displayed at Mason’s Barbershop on H Street N.E., and in Eaton DC. Also on view is Noah Scalin’s “CTRL/Command (2019)” which riffs on the classic traffic signal, replacing “WALK” and “DONT WALK” with “WAKE” and “DONT WAKE.”
- Art installations on such timely themes as female empowerment, Confederate monuments and student debt by Halcyon Arts Lab fellows Kelli Rae Adams, Kokayi, Jessica Mehta, Tariq O’Meally, João Pina, Ada Pinkston, Mengxi “Althea” Rao, and Naoko Wowsugi.
- On June 20 from 2 to 8:30 p.m., a series of dialogues at Eaton DC, produced in partnership with the Washington DC Economic Partnership. The By The People x WeDC House dialogues will focus on the future of food (with Ahmad Ashkar of the Hult Prize Foundation and Falafel Inc.; Lauren Biel of DC Greens; Eric Kessler of the James Beard Foundation and Arabella Advisers; and Laura Hayes of Washington City Paper); the future of transportation (with Ryan Kelly of Hyperloop; Steven Taylor of Lyft; and Karen Finney of CNN); and the future of sports and entertainment (with Mark Ein of the Washington Kastles, Washington Esports Ventures and Venturhouse Group; Zach Leonsis of Monumental Sports Network and Axiomatic; Erik Moses of DC XFL; and Reese Waters of Get Up DC!, WUSA9). The dialogues will be followed by a Future World Happy Hour and Future Dance Party, with music provided by local artists, on Eaton DC’s rooftop. Due to limited capacity, registration is required for this free event.
- Just announced: On the afternoons of June 15 and 16, musical powerhouse Emma G. will bring her edgy tones and gutsy lyrics to the Georgetown Waterfront in a unique combination of soul-pop and rock; on June 16, Charlie Maybee will offer up an eclectic mix of punk, storytelling and tap dance during Union Market’s lunch hour; on June 21 Capitol Riverfront will feature an evening concert by Driven to Clarity; and on June 22, Anacostia Park will offer pop-up performances and creative activities for all ages, including the creation, under the guidance of the Water Memories Office, of a water-cycle-inspired time capsule that will become part of a future exhibition. Additional performers throughout the festival include Halcyon Arts Lab fellow Tariq O’Meally, Agora Dance, Congressional Chorus, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, Tiffany Linn, Konshens the MC, Sitar Arts Center and more.
- By The People x Monochrome Art Fair, a sale of art by 51 DMV artists curated by Nina O’Neil of Monochrome Collective. By The People’s first Art Fair, which kicks off June 8 and runs through June 23, gives festival attendees a chance to get to know the work of DMV artists and take home a piece of the festival.
- Talks by featured artists Hank Willis Thomas (in conversation with Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton and Terrie Rouse-Rosario of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities), Jonathan Rosen, Kahlil Joseph (in conversation with artist Sheldon Scott), Martha Jackson Jarvis, Rania Hassan, Stevie Famulari and Victor Ekpuk.
- Augmented reality art installations in partnership with ARTECHOUSE.
- A courtesy shuttle that will transport festival attendees between festival hubs on the weekends.
Partners and Sponsors
Partners and sponsors include: Events DC, Bank of America|Bank of America Private Bank, D.C. Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), S&R Foundation, GEICO, Goldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund, WDCEP, EDENS, Union Market, Smithsonian’s Arts + Industries Building, Smithsonian Institution, Destination DC, D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Eaton DC, Georgetown BID, Capitol Riverfront BID, Anacostia BID, The Levy Group, The Stafford Foundation, Compass, Glenfiddich, Total Wine & More, Grand Cuisine, WUSA9, Sage Communications, Verizon Fios, Sterling Motorcars, The Menkiti Group, San-J International, Capital One Bank, Foodhini, MJ Valet, KIND Snacks and ARTECHOUSE.
Halcyon is a new kind of nonprofit organization that lifts up innovators and creators, giving them the tools and opportunities they need to bring their ideas to life. Signature programs include three residential fellowships: Halcyon Incubator, Incubator Intensives and Halcyon Arts Lab; By The People arts and dialogue festival; and Halcyon Awards, which recognize extraordinary accomplishment in such areas as art, social enterprise and policy. Since its founding, Halcyon has built programming around the core tenets of space, community and access, continuously evolving to identify and provide a haven for big dreamers and risk-takers the world over. www.halcyonhouse.org