Archive for September, 2011

30 Americans | 1 Extraordinary Exhibit

Posted in Culture with tags , on September 29, 2011 by substanceandstyledc

Sinister and sensual, frightening yet full of faith, a feast of the eyes but often hard to digest, 30 Americans, the new exhibit at the Corcoran Gallery of Art that opens to the public October 1 is a breathtaking collection of work. Highlighting the exceptional work of some of the most dynamic and thought provoking African American visual artists in the last three decades 30 Americans provides visitors new and different lenses to view Black identity through their art. It is timely that this exhibit would open in Washington coinciding with the release of Who’s Afraid of Post-­Blackness? What It Means to Be Black Now by the cultural critic Touré. In his latest work he examines what it means to be African American in the 21st Century and challenges the traditional assumptions of the creation and performance of blackness today.  

One of the great fortunes of 30 Americans for Washingtonians who wish to use their examination of art as a catalyst for introspection is the inclusion of work by Lorna Simpson. “Why does working with a Black figure necessarily mean that the work loses universal quality?” she asks. Her contributions to 30 Americans when contrasted to those of Zhang Chun Hong in the Asian American Portraits of Encounter exhibit on view at the National Portrait Gallery through October 14 are captivating. Their images and choice of subjects illustrate the commonalities of humanity and offer something savory to ponder – across racial, ethnic identifiers. Universal.

See a complete list of related programs and events for 30 Americans here. The exhibit runs through February 2012.


The Revolution Will Be Screened

Posted in Culture, Politics with tags , on September 26, 2011 by substanceandstyledc

The revolution may not be televised but the thoughts, feelings and experiences of the architects of the revolution were captured on celluloid from 1967 – 1975 in intimate interviews and quiet moments.  The compilation footage, with music by Michael Jackson and The Roots, along with commentary by sons and daughters of free thought like Erykah Badu and Talib Kweli is immortalized in the film The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975. The much talked about film will play a limited run in Washington, DC beginning Sept 30. You don’t want to miss this.

Art, Music & Literature

Posted in Culture with tags , , , on September 22, 2011 by substanceandstyledc

If you are a fan of art, music and literature than the District of Columbia abounds with fantastic opportunities to indulge this weekend, September 24 and 25. During the day the Library of Congress will be hosting its annual National Book Festival. This festival brings the nation’s best authors, illustrators, and poets to Washington to discuss their work and meet their fans. This year’s lineup includes Eugene Robinson, Terry McMillan, Terrance Hayes and the literary legend Toni Morrison. View a complete schedule of authors, activities and signings here.

For culture vultures who prefer their art and music at night on September 24 DC will have its first Nuit Blanche | Art All Night. This event is an all night exploration of contemporary art stretching from Chinatown to Shaw. Hosted in traditional and nontraditional spaces, events will take place from 7pm – 3am. Constant updates to the schedule are being posted here.

Being Stylish with B. Evans

Posted in Substance & Style Profile with tags , , on September 19, 2011 by substanceandstyledc

Photo provided by BLTEvans

This week, the District celebrates DC Fashion Week 2011 from September 19 through September 25 with a host of events showcasing local designers and helping them build their brand and awareness for this growing creative community that often goes overlooked. The theme this year is The Power of Style.

One man exerting his power is B. Evans. After a fashion hiatus for several years he has returned to his passion of designing and creating women’s clothing that reflects his love for all things beautiful. In honor of DC Fashion Week, B. Evans answers these four questions for the ladies looking to convey their substance and style.

Q: What is something you’d like to see more women in the District try?

A: I would like to see women anywhere be fashion forward, more creative with their expression of style. Women have the ultimate availability to wear anything they choose…I love it! I think its very cookie cutter here. I would also like women to be more comfortable but conscience, and I’m talking in terms of shaping themselves. You can be Fabulous in a size 20 if the proportion is right and smooth. There was a time when women were concerned about the way clothing fit and flattered.

Q: What should women ask before purchasing a dress?

A: Does this fit and flatter my silhouette?

Q: What is a common faux pas women make when dressing themselves?

A: Thinking every style is for every body type. That’s its okay that your clothes are too tight.

Q: What should every woman have in her closet?

A: Every woman should own a black dress that is flattering, a pair of black patent leather pumps, red lipstick, fabulous trench coat, diamond studs, pearl necklace, black Kidd skin gloves and one custom fitted dress!

Prime Park(ing)

Posted in Politics with tags , , on September 16, 2011 by substanceandstyledc

In honor of September 16 being International Park(ing) Day, Ward 6 Councilman Tommy Wells and his staff have made the traditional prime parking area designated for DC Council outside of the Wilson Building on Pennsylvania Avenue, NW a lot more interesting. International Park(ing) Day is an annual, worldwide event that invites citizens everywhere to transform metered parking spots into temporary parks for the public good.

Hillwood – Home for Everyone

Posted in Culture with tags , on September 13, 2011 by substanceandstyledc

There are three homes every Washingtonian must visit: the White House, Cedar Hill and Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens. The gorgeous 25 acre estate is the former home of Marjorie Merriweather Post, the heiress to the Post cereal fortune, socialite, and philanthropist. Also, by the time of her death in 1973 she had become one the finest collectors of art in the world. She amassed what is said to be the most comprehensive collection of Russian Imperial art outside of Russia and a very noteworthy 18th-century French decorative art collection. In 1977 her estate opened to the public and has maintained a meaningful place in the cultural landscape of Washington, DC.

Long before same sex couples were able to legally enter into the institution of marriage in the District of Columbia Hillwood was an institution that had already fully committed to the gay community. Hillwood has done increasing outreach to the local gay community, created an GLBT advisory board and held events to highlight its open and welcoming atmosphere. Saturday, September 17 from 10am – 6pm Hillwood will host its 10th Annual Gay Day. During the gay guests will be able to tour the home, gardens and participate in a host of other activities. The day will end with the traditional social on the lunar lawn – Punch by the Porte Cochere.

If you don’t make it for Gay Day, visit any time before January to visit the Wedding Belles: Bridal Fashions from the Marjorie Merriweather Post Family, 1874-1958, exhibit. It is a delight for anyone interested in wedding fashion.

District of Connections

Posted in Reading List with tags , , on September 9, 2011 by substanceandstyledc

Building a personal and professional network is not always an easy thing to do, particularly in Washington. Even after you may feel you have built a solid network of good people around you, it can still be difficult maintaining those relationships. Each relationship with a colleague, friend or family member requires energy, attention and work. Rather you are a young adult or seasoned professional, now is always the perfect time to learn new skills or brush up on old ones to help you understand and navigate relationship building with substance and style.

Two standout books penned by African Americans that share a wealth of knowledge are The Personal Touch: What You Really Need to Succeed in Today’s Fast-Paced Business World by public relations and advocate, Terrie Williams and the classic Success Runs in Our Race: The Complete Guide to Effective Networking in the Black Community by George C. Fraser. The latter many consider required reading for someone looking to build his or her career. Both books fully grasp the idea that networking is not about the quantity of connections but the quality of connections. In a city built on connections and learning how to connect the dots, these are two books that you should definitely check out.

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