DC Arts and Humanities Festival
Performances by local vocalists, musical groups and bands; narratives by local authors, artists, and storytellers; and workshops focused on art, poetry and storytelling all marked the kick-off date of the Arts & Humanities Festival this Saturday, July 27th.

This festival is being held at St. Elizabeth’s East, which is one of the District’s most prized historic campuses, and beginning in September 2013 will be the home of Gateway Pavilion, a “gateway to the St. Elizabeth’s East Innovation Hub that will usher in a new chapter of visitors to the campus, including local residents and 3,700 Coast Guard Employees.”

The Arts & Humanities Festival serves as a perfect celebration of the rich culture and creativity that the community has, as well a time to embrace the new changes that are being made to the area.

Those involved in this festival are all from this vibrant community east of the River, from the East of the River Boys and Girls Steel Band to Jay Coleman, an artist who grew up in Ward 8. Everyone participating in the festival spoke highly of his or her community and of the growth being made.

Mr. Coleman, as part of the Narrative series, discussed his life growing up in Ward 8 and expressed his hope for “intergenerational interaction” as one of the reasons he thinks festivals like this one are so important. Coleman also mentioned the importance of connecting to your culture and the people around you, which described a major feeling of this festival.

Attendees were all ages, from kids to adults, and they were listening to the bands and speakers and eating from the food trucks altogether, in celebration of the community they are a part of.

The Arts & Humanities Festival continues on Saturday, August 17th, Sunday, August 18th and Saturday, August 24th from 11:00am-4: 00 pm each date with more performances, art exhibits, workshops, and readings.

Through a grant by the Deputy Mayor’s Office of Planning and Economic Development, this festival is free and fun for the whole family.

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