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Mothers Day Weekend Featuring Three Neighborhood-Based Events

ARTIST STUDIOS HOLDING WEEKEND OPEN HOUSE IN SHAW EAST

Sat. & Sun., May 7 & 8 (11am-5pm): Once again, 52 O Street Artist Studios will be hosting its annual Open Studios featuring over 20 artists in one building, working in a wide range of media and styles — from painters to graphic designers to sculptors to musicians, to mixed-media artists, and furniture makers. They will be opening their studios for a rare glimpse into the influences and process behind their art.) [more]

Just a short walk from the New York Avenue Metro Red Line station, this free event will afford visitors the opportunity to purchase artwork and meet the artists over refreshments in a relaxed, inviting atmosphere, including to performances, workshops, and demonstrations from building residents scheduled throughout the weekend. For updated schedule information, visit http://52ostreet.blogspot.com.

Occupying 28,000 square feet over four floors, 52 O Street Studios is one of the largest and oldest buildings dedicated to use by artists in the city. An historic structure in its own right, the building was the subject of a “Scenes from the Past” feature in this publication’s October 2005 issue, the PDF of which is available in the Current & Back issues Archive at www.intowner.com. Today’s “colony” of artists seek to continue and advance the guiding principle behind the building’s opening in 1979, thanks to its purchase the previous year by Eric Rudd who went on to found the Contemporary Artist Center in North Adams, Massachusetts, “to create an affordable working space for artists in Washington DC.” (See, “Art a Major Force in the East End; ‘Open Studios’ Event Rewards Art Lovers,” InTowner, December 2002, PDF page 1.)

WALTER PIERCE PARK CEMETERIES EVENT RE-SCHEDULED

Sat., May 7 (11am-1pm): Because of the heavy rain back on April 16th, this Kalorama Citizens Association (KCA)-sponsored Adams Morgan historic burial ground tour of the site of the original Quaker buying ground established in 1807 and the larger, 1870-established African-American cemetery was postponed until now. Leading the tour of these sites will be Howard University biological archeologist Professor Mark Mack who has been directing the Walter Pierce Parch Archaeology Project. He will be explaining how his student teams have been using ground-penetrating radar to detect where graves and other features of the burial ground and still exist in the park.

In addition to commemorating this historic site, the event will celebrate DC Emancipation Day and also to mark the 163rd anniversary since the 1848 attempted escape of 77 enslaved men, women and children on board the schooner Pearl.

Both cemeteries were forced to close in 1890 due to pressures from neighborhood development. In 2005, a grassroots group of concerned citizens began working with Howard University experts to identify, protect and commemorate the cemeteries. More than half of the African-American burials identified so far were those of small children. Of the adults, 60 percent were born in Virginia, 20 percent in Maryland, and 12 percent in the District; most arrived in the 1860s as refugees from the Civil War.

Access to the site out in the center of the park can be either from Adams Mill Road a short walk north from Calvert Street or from Calvert Street where it crosses the Ellington Bridge. There is no rain date, but we are informed that the event will take place even in a “light rain.” For more information, call Mary Belcher, community liaison to the project, at 462-9069 or send an email to maryjbelcher@comcast.net.

SPECIAL CHORAL CONCERT TO FEATURE AMERICAN FOLK SONGS

Sun., May 8 (4pm): Children’s Chorus of Washington will celebrate its 15th anniversary at the National City Christian Church on Thomas Circle with a performance of such popular songs as “Railroading on the Great Divide” and “Bowling Green” from The Great American Folksong Naxos CD release. Both Treble and Concert choruses, under the direction of Joan Gregoryk, founder and Artistic Director, will perform pieces by Canadian composer Stephen Hatfield such as “Ojos Azules,” a piece commissioned for the Chorus’ 10th anniversary. Bel Canto Chorus, the Chorus’ mid-level ensemble conducted by Michael Wu, will continue the musical journey with David Brunner’s “A Song to End All War” and Fauré’s “Cantique de Jean Racine.” To conclude, the three, main ensembles will perform “We Rise Again” by composer Leon Dubinsky. Another program highlight celebration will be the world premiere of “Three Studies” by one of the most popular Finnish composers of today, Olli Kortekangas.

Single tickets ($10, children age 12 & under and for Chorus alumni; $25, adults; $50, reserved section for both adult and children), and can be purchased in advance by calling the Chorus’ office at (202) 237-1005 or online at www.instantseats.com. For more information, visit www.childrenschorus.com or call (202) 237-1005.