By Kyana Harris, Culture Staff Columnist
Posted 2:47 PM EST, Mon., Oct. 3, 2016
If you slept on last month’s Art All Night: Made in D.C. festival, you missed out. Paintings, murals, sculptures, African drumming, stepping, a documentary, poetry and other art exclusively by native D.C. artists was the spotlight last Saturday, September 24 from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. in seven D.C. neighborhoods: Congress Heights, Dupont Circle, Shaw, H Street, North Capitol, Tenleytown and Van Ness. Each area boasted various private and public spaces utilized to create art galleries, theaters and stages. On Howard University’s own Georgia Avenue, Wanda’s on 7th beauty salon transformed into an art gallery with house music playing seeping out of the background.
All cultures and demographics, including college students, working people, artists, street performers, Blacks, whites, hispanics and asians came for an exciting night of learning and exploration. Howard’s very own Iota Phi Theta fraternity members taught and performed stroll and step to festival goers, to which participants weren’t exposed to Black Greek life previously.
As someone not from D.C., I was able to fully immerse myself in the Shaw neighborhood and its various eateries, community spaces and stores. There’s a lot more to it than just the Shaw-Howard metro! Bread for the City on 7th street aired a documentary about gang violence plaguing the Black youth of D.C. There was actual footage of teens dead on the streets we walk on a fairly regularly basis here. Albeit graphic, it was a reality of D.C. that most of us may not talk or know about.
As Howard students, we tend to forget that there is much more to the area we temporarily reside in than just Howard. There is so much history and culture woven into these streets one could learn about. If you didn’t make it to this year’s festival, no worries; it won’t be the last art all night festival in D.C. Next time don’t sleep!