Archive for April, 2012

Put a Poem in Your Pocket

Posted in Culture with tags , , on April 25, 2012 by substanceandstyledc

Dolores Kendrick, a native Washingtonian, published author and respected voice has served as the Poet Laureate of the District Columbia since 1999. In her role as Poet Laureate she engages residents in programs and events to highlight poetry in the District. April 26, 2012 is a day that every Washingtonian can help do the same thing by participating in Poem in Your Pocket Day.

In 2002 Poem in Your Pocket Day began as part of National Poetry Month celebration in New York and has since spread across the United States. The idea is simple. Choose a poem that you love, carry it in your pocket and share it with friends, colleagues and strangers when you have the chance during the course of the day.

If you don’t have a favorite poem don’t worry. provides an entire page dedicated to Washington poets, poems about the District and resources to connect you to writing centers and festivals throughout the year. You can also find venues to share your own poetry by visiting Poetry in DC.  The site is a popular blog that keeps a current list of opportunities in the Washington area to listen to and share your poetry at open mic nights and other special events. You can also follow Poetry in DC on Twitter. The handle is aptly: @poetryindc

For those more interested in digging deeper in the works of other Washington poets, the Washington DC Poetry Tour provides that opportunity. The Poetry Foundation allows guests to download free audio tours and maps that use poets and poetry to explore the National Mall and Northwest DC. On their site you can also download a walking tour beginning at the Library of Congress and ending in Dupont Circle. The online and audio tour features poems written in and about DC.

On April 26 if someone asks if that is a poem in your pocket or if you are just happy to see them – answer both.



Posted in Culture with tags , , on April 25, 2012 by substanceandstyledc

Wishes and dreams do come true. Now through June 1, if you are in the Washington area you can share your wish others. The whimsical Natural Wishing by Chrysanne Stathacos enables participants to connect with “wishing actions” from around the world. Join hundreds of others in tying your wish to a tree at the Textile Museum, Hill Center and Sasha Bruce, a non-profit that provides homes for homeless children. People will also be able to call (202) 715- 1737 a number advertised on dozens of buses touring DC to leave or hear wishes. You can also taking a wishing journey around the world here.

The Great Debate

Posted in Culture with tags , , , , , on April 11, 2012 by substanceandstyledc

On April 14, Centric, in partnership with the Office of Cable Television, celebrates the freeing of slaves in Washington, DC with the DC Emancipation Day 150th Anniversary Great Debate.  Nine months before the Emancipation Proclamation, President Abraham Lincoln freed the enslaved workers and laborers of DC making them the first freed by the federal government.

In 1858 there was a seven debate series between Democratic Senate nominee Abraham Lincoln and Republican Senate nominee Stephen Douglas dealing with many issues Lincoln would face as President.  The main issue discussed throughout the series was slavery and brought forth Lincoln’s famous quote   “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half-slave and half-free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved – I do not expect the house to fall – but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.”

The DC Emancipation Day 150th Anniversary Great Debate will address key matters affecting African Americans today. The economy, unemployment, health care, education and the upcoming Presidential election may all be covered in the 90 minute program. There will be four panelists (confirmed to date are Georgetown University professor/author Michael Eric Dyson and minister/civil rights activist/radio & television host Reverend Al Sharpton). BET News’ TJ Holmes will moderate the session where each panelist will have ten minutes to state their position on a topic and five minutes will be allocated for rebuttals.

The DC Emancipation Day 150th Anniversary Great Debate will be held at the historic Lincoln Theatre located in the urban cultural U Street corridor from 6:00pm – 8:00pm.  The Office of Cable Television will live stream the event on their website and a feed will be available to to live stream as well. Centric will edit down the debate into an hour show to broadcast at a later date.

A Second Act for the Howard Theatre

Posted in Culture with tags , , , , , on April 9, 2012 by substanceandstyledc

This week a treasured venue of Washington, DC cultural life will re-open its doors after a $29 million dollar renovation. The stage of the historic Howard Theatre  where the careers of Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Gaye and many others were launched has been restored her glory. It is only fitting that the new generation of performers who will be presented at the venue are direct descendants of such legacy. Acts booked in coming weeks include Wale, Chaka Khan, Yaasin Bey and The Roots.

As important as the music being performed in the venue is the fine detail in the resurrection of the external façade of the building and the newly unveiled statue of Duke Ellington that sits outside. The statue is a captures the spirit of the most remarkable cultural ambassador and favorite son of the District. Inside and out the Howard Theatre gives Washingtonians an opportunity to pay homage to the music of yesterday and the artists of today.

Celebrate Freedom

Posted in Culture, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2012 by substanceandstyledc

Nine months before President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, on April 16, 1862, he signed the Compensated Emancipation Act, granting freedom to 3,100 enslaved persons in the District of Columbia. The Compensated Emancipation Act was a significant step in ending the institution of slavery in the United States. Since 2005 the District of Columbia has commemorated this day with an official public holiday – DC Emancipation Day.  To mark the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Compensated Emancipation Act a number of educational and cultural events will take place throughout the city. Signature events taking place April 11 – April 16 include a parade, film screening, special exhibitions and a “Great Debate” Saturday, April 14 at the Lincoln Theater hosted by C.B. Homes and participants including Rev. Al Sharpton and the provocative thought leader, activist and author Dr. Michael Eric Dyson. Get more details about upcoming Emancipation Day events here.

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