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Adams Morgan Day to Celebrate the Neighborhood’s Culture, Arts & More

Accompanying images can be viewed starting on page 1 of the August 2019 issue pdf

By Carol Miller*

This neighborhood, heralded for its vibrant nightlife, dining, music,  arts, and as a great place to live, will again host the annual Adams Morgan Day –- this year, its 41st and DC’s longest-running annual neighborhood festival.

Between 12 noon and 6 pm, 18th Street from California Street to Columbia Road and its public spaces will be closed for live entertainment, cultural exhibits, the dance plaza, and artists and craftspersoins displaying and selling their unique creations.

Among the many offerings to enjoy along with the live music and other performances and the vendors of unique, locally crafted items, there will be specials of the day offered by participating restaurants and businesses; an interactive Artists Alley featuring a friendly paint “brush battle”; cultural and historic exhibits, free maps, a keepsake and oral histories; the return of the Dance Plaza from 2007; free exercise classes; and activities and games at the family fun zone on the Marie Reed Elementary School and Community Recreation Center grounds and playing field.

In addition to the entertaiment stages on 18th Street just south of Columbia Road and at Marie Reed Plaza further south on 18th near Wyoming Avenue, featuring live music and other performing artists organized by Songbyrd Music House and Record Café, will be much more:

▀ A return of the popular dance plaza from Adams Morgan Day 2007, presented by Cheryl (“Ceece”) Hardy.

▀ Interactive visual arts performances, demonstrations, and a “brush battle” in Artists’ Alley, coordinated by Corinto Gallery.

▀ The Family Fun Zone will be provided by The Volo City Kids Foundation which will provide certified volunteers and equipment for soccer, flag football, and games for kids of all ages — obstacle course games, corn hole, Connect Four, KanJam, Jenga, and more. Families can also sign up for free kids’ sports leagues occurring in Adams Morgan and around the city.

▀ The Marie Reed Elementary School PTA   is organizing a student arts and crafts sale to benefit after school programs. These and other family activities will be located at the recently renovated Marie H. Reed Elementary School and Community Center grounds, and adjacent soccer field.

▀ DC Public Library, Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, and American University are collaborating to highlight Adams Morgan history and culture at the festival again this year. Enjoy exhibits, oral history listening and recording, and other activities at AU’s Humanities Truck, where visitors can learn about the history of community organizing from Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum’s “A Right to the City” exhibition, and hear music celebrating local culture hosted by the DC Public Library.

▀ Hola Cultura will welcome festival goers to stop by a reception between 2 and 5 pm at the Line Hotel community room where they will present their oral history project produced in partnership with the DC Oral History Collaborative, documenting decades of cultural transformation of Adams Morgan’s Latin-American community. The event will feature a photo exhibit of the Latino Festival in Adams Morgan, by Nancy Shia. Visitors will be given a keepsake that invites the public to learn about the evolution of the Latino community in the neighborhood. The keepsake includes a series of QR codes that that allow for connection to additional oral history content.

True to the creative and diverse roots of Adams Morgan, the event gives a boost to many independent and local businesses. “It’s been our pleasure,” said Dave Delaplaine, general manager of Roofers Union and Jug & Table, “to be involved these past five years, planning with residents and other local businesses, offering awesome food and craft beer specials, hosting a band on our roof deck and welcoming our largest crowd of guests each year on Adams Morgan Day.”

“We’re grateful,” added A.Tianna Scozzoro, president of the Adams Morgan Community Alliance, “to our community volunteers, including residents, businesses, and nonprofit organizations that will make the 2019 event the best in recent years.”

Sponsors and donors for this year’s event include the Adams Morgan Partnership BID, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1C, Pepco, Starry Internet, Songbyrd Music House and Record Café, graphic design by Corinto Gallery, TV sponsors NBC4 and Telemundo44, and the Family Fun Zone by Volo City Kids Foundation with Marie Reed Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization.

Adams Morgan Day is now organized by the all-volunteer, nonprofit Adams Morgan Community Alliance, formed in 2015 with the sole purpose of restoring and sustaining the historic annual event. “It’s been quite a journey — lots of fun, and lots of hard work,” said Kara Davis who chairs the Alliance’s Board of Directors. “The self-directed charge of our small organization was to bring back Adams Morgan Day in a way that strengthens community and trust while showcasing our amazingly creative and diverse neighborhood. We’ve been working to build the infrastructure, neighborhood relationships and transparency required to continue this annual tradition long into the future.”

*Carol Miller, an Adams Morgan resident since 2002, serves as the communications chair for the all-volunteer Adams Morgan Day Planning Committee and as board secretary of the Adams Morgan Community Alliance

Copyright © 2019 InTowner Publishing Corp. and the Adams Morgan Day Planning Committee. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited, except as provided by 17 U.S.C. §107 (“fair use”).