Thursday, September 30, 2010

Here's to Another 30 Years!

30th Anniversary Projects Highlight DC's Unique Culture and History

The Humanities Council’s 30th Anniversary celebration has been gathering steam all year, but the organization’s major birthday parties last week were unforgettable for everyone involved. The festivities featured riveting film screenings, surprise guest appearances, and an emotional discussion from two honored guests.

The 30th Anniversary Showcase on Tuesday, September 21st , at the Charles Sumner School in Northwest, gave recipients of the 30th Anniversary Special Grant the opportunity to discuss their projects in a public setting. Kim Roberts of Beltway Poetry Quarterly brought copies of her retrospective chapbook covering the history of spoken-word poetry in Washington. She brought noted poetry performer Regie Cabico who delivered an inspiring work about race and identity.

Quique Aviles and B. Stanley promoted their project which documents the history of the El Salvadoran presence in Washington, DC. When a Civil War, commonly thought to have been exacerbated by the U.S. government, broke out in their homeland, thousands of El Salvadoran immigrants found themselves settling in the District to escape the bloodshed. Aviles’ performance art makes use of oral history, and his own experiences to create a vivid picture of a community caught between DC’s black and white populations; accepted by neither. Music, humor, and drama converge to reveal a narrative of gradual progress, and the establishment of a sense of community. For future "Los Treinta" performances, please visit

Washington’s public art was featured prominently in Tuesday’s program as historian Perry Frank unveiled her website, Murals of Washington, DC: Spectacle and Message. Frank was joined in her discussion by Byron Peck the artist behind many of DC’s sidewalk-view masterpieces. The website is live, though still under construction. It can be viewed at

The last grantee to present a project was Silver Spring Media Arts’ Walter Gottlieb who screened a near-complete version of his latest documentary, Washington Redskins: the Winning Years. The film chronicles the successful Redskins teams of the 1980s and early 1990s that longtime Washingtonians remember as a galvanizing force in the city. Gottlieb’s entourage of supporters included Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells, a former Redskins cheerleader, two Hogettes in full regalia, and the legendary “Voice of the Redskins”, Frank Herzog.

In addition to presentations by all 8 grantees, the Humanities Council distributed awards to some of their most tireless supporters. To close out the evening, the attendees convened at the nearby Beacon Hotel for a champagne toast celebrating 30 years of transforming lives!

For more photos, check out our Facebook album!
For the full list of projects, please visit:

(PHOTO: Original Washington Redskins Hogettes joined us for our 30th Anniversary Showcase and for the premiere of "Washington Redskins: The Winning Years". Photo by LJ Creaations)

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