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Threads of Change: Connecting Our Stories


Story Tapestries invites you to join us on Thursday,?September 27th from 5:30pm – 7:00pm?for an evening of storytelling that will include a film screening featuring Montgomery County community members, a live demo of our digital classroom that contains resources for educators and parents, and some surprises…!

Come be part of a dialogue of stories of hope and interact with artists, educators, business owners, caretakers, and other community members. We hope to see you at the Mid-Atlantic Federal Credit Union,?12820 Wisteria Drive, Germantown, MD 20874.

To register please go to?


Students striving to make better lives for themselves and their communities.


For the past 4 years, After-School All-Stars (ASAS) has convened a leadership training event at the 4-H National Conference Center outside of the Nation’s Capital: All-Stars Leadership University (ASLU). ASAS is a national non-profit, providing free and comprehensive after-school programs to Title 1 middle school students, and the Washington DC chapter is the local office serving over 600 students at 7 schools within the district. 19 of our chapter cities are invited to send student and staff representation at ASLU. Each Chapter sends two youth, a Rising Youth Advisory Board Mentor (YABs) and a Returning YAB Mentor, as well as an Adult Mentor to come to DC and learn about self-leadership, serving others, and how to serve and advocate in their communities. YABs are selected for these positions based on their commitment to the program, as well as their academic performance and leadership abilities. The 4-day retreat includes leadership training, team building exercises, opportunities to create service projects for their local communities and thoughtful reflections on each student’s respective communities and the issues they all face.

ASAS DC was extremely proud to have 2 YAB students representing our chapter. Ajani Atkins from Somerset Prep DC and De’Quan Atchinson from Charles Hart Middle School (now a rising Freshman at Eastern High School) both attended earlier this summer. Ajani assumed the role of Rising YAB while De’Quann had the opportunity to be a returning YAB mentor.

De’Quan is a great example of an ideal YAB and ASAS DC student. He has been with the program since 6th grade and is now a proud graduate of both Hart MS and the ASAS DC program. He has grown immensely in that time, learning to be a better public speaker, convener, and leader amongst his peer group. We had the chance to speak with him about ASLU and his broader experience in the program.

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De’Quan, along with many of the other YAB participants, was particularly struck by one of the special presenters at ASLU. Thanks to our partnership with Essentia Water, Joe La Puma attended the event as a guest speaker. Joe is the Vice President of Content Strategy at Complex Magazine, and host of the magazine’s “Sneaker Shopping,” a program that takes you inside the sneaker shopping process for such celebrities as Wiz Khalifa, Kevin Hart, Antonio Brown, and A$AP Rocky. De’Quan has a myriad of interests ranging from athletics to community service, but he is also extremely passionate about fashion. It was invaluable for him to be exposed to someone like Joe, who has worked hard to make a name for himself in a progressive sector of work that resonates with our students. Across the country, we are intentional about exposing ASAS students to unique and accessible career paths. Joe’s journey was one that had a profound resonance with the YABS. De’Quan admitted that hearing Joe speak inspired and excited him. It was a narrative that he could genuinely connect with and aspire towards, whereas those sources of inspiration were previously hard to come by.

De’Quan looks back at his journey from 6th grade and acknowledges how much he has matured within the ASAS DC program. Initially, he didn’t dedicate enough time to his classes and homework, opting to spend evenings with his mother. Due to her intensive work schedule, they could only spend the late evenings together, and that wasn’t conducive to completing all his work and developing an interest in school. An attitude change was as simple as providing him with a safe space and a positive environment. ASAS DC dedicated academic time allowed him to progress more in his school work, and that culminated this past year when he made the honor roll for the first time in his academic career. He recalled his mother’s reaction, and that she was quite literally “in tears of joy,” overwhelmed by her son’s success.

The exciting thing about De’Quan as well as the ASAS DC chapter, is that this is just the beginning. In speaking with De’Quan it was as if his experience in the program gave him a new lease on life. Not only is he excited for high school, but he already has plans to join the track team and as many clubs as he can get his hands on. De’Quan’s 3.5 GPA is something he is proud of, but at Eastern, he wants to build off of that and achieve even higher marks in his first year. He has a strong desire to seriously pursue his interests at the next level in the fields of leadership, athletics, academics, and fashion.

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As De’Quan reflected back on his experience it was no surprise that above all else, personal connections were the most meaningful to him. He credits ASAS DC staff for “getting him out of his shell” and inspiring him to be a leader. On more than one occasion he referred to the ASAS DC Program Manager Tierra Stewart as “Superwoman,” a sentiment that many of her colleague’s share. He knows that in 6th grade he wasn’t the type “to open up to just anybody,” but with the help of mentors like Tierra he began to make that transition to a more outgoing and charismatic person. He made that change because he along with his fellow ASAS students understood that our instructors genuinely cared about their well-being and future. As is the case with many of our 600+ students in the district, our staff have close relationships with De’Qunn and his family, and that level of understanding and communication is inextricably connected to his growth and success.

The DC chapter is proud to showcase De’Quan’s story. It is a unique and compelling narrative, and at the same time, we know that there are tens of thousands of ASAS students across the country having a similar experience. He didn’t have time to complete his homework, ASAS DC provided him that time and space, he was shy and unmotivated, he is now going off to high school as a leader with aspirations to be the captain of every team and club he joins, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his life, ASAS DC showed him what it looks like to succeed in school and have an attractive career. As he reflected back on his own journey at the 4-H center, eyes welling with tears, his heart was full: for his family, his ASAS mentors, and mostly for his fellow students that are striving to make better lives for themselves and their communities.

Adams Morgan was a Completely Different Place 45 Years Ago


Before the close proximity to public transportation and nightlife, a few hopeful members of the Church of the Savior saw promise in the 20009 zip code. They saw a need for safe, clean, affordable housing and responded.

Eventually they pooled their resources and purchased two buildings in Adams Morgan — The Ritz and The Mozart. This was the start of what we now know as Jubilee Housing. Since then, the organization has purchased and developed nine buildings with a tenth building under construction. In addition to providing permanent, deeply affordable housing in a thriving neighborhood, Jubilee also provides after-school programming and summer camp for the children of working families, counseling for individuals looking to stabilize their financial status, and supportive housing for people returning home after incarceration.

Washington, DC?is experiencing a period of unprecedented growth and development. Unfortunately, not everyone is benefiting from this prosperity. Today, one-fourth of DC residents earn less than a living wage. Market-rate rents in Adams Morgan range between $2,500 to $4,000 a month, which is far beyond the reach of District residents with the lowest incomes.

With a new?five-year plan, Jubilee Housing is determined to create a city where everyone can thrive. One of the most ambitious goals of the plan is to create an additional 100 units of deeply affordable housing, in Adams Morgan, Mount Pleasant, and Columbia Heights, over the next five years.


In a city where big developers are fighting for the chance to turn old properties into luxury condos, this is a tall order. To make these 100 units a reality Jubilee launched an innovative financing tool — the Justice Housing Partners Fund. This $5 million dollar fund will provide quick-strike acquisition capital for bridge financing, enabling Jubilee Housing to compete with market forces and build 100 units of deeply affordable housing in high cost neighborhoods.

Jubilee is seeking social impact capital for the Justice Housing Partners Fund for three-year investment terms, with a 2 percent capped return. This will provide Jubilee the critical time needed to assemble permanent financing. Once Jubilee obtains construction financing for a project, the original investment can be repaid with interest or reinvested, if desired.

The Share Fund — a donor-advised fund of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region — led the way with a $1 million match investment, which inspired other institutional investors such as United Bank, which committed $250,000. To date, Jubilee Housing has raised over $2 million in commitments for the Justice Housing Partners Fund.

Jubilee Housing maintains that justice housingsm?– deeply affordable housing in thriving neighborhoods with onsite or nearby services — is a proven model that can keep our city diverse and make its communities equitable. Justice housing allows long-time DC residents to stay in their neighborhoods despite soaring rents, and for our city’s lowest income residents to move to communities with the most opportunity. The Justice Housing Fund makes it possible for DC to be a city where all races, ages, and incomes can thrive.

Registration Open for 6th Annual Teddy Bear 5K & 1K Walk/Run!

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Registration is currently open for runners and walkers of all ages for the 6th AnnualTeddy Bear 5K & 1K Walk/Run?on Sunday, September 23, 2018. The race that awards all participants a pint-size teddy bear when they cross the finish line this year moves to the morning with the 5K starting at 8 a.m. and the 1K starting at 9:15 a.m.

To register to run or walk, or to volunteer at the event, go to

Note that children under 12 must be accompanied by a registered adult in either the 1K or the 5K. The 5K also includes a stroller division.

The 5K course takes runners through the shaded Pimmit Hills neighborhood, west of Falls Church City. Runners are urged to check in at the registration booth behind the Falls Church-McLean Children’s Center at 7230 Idylwood Road and participate in the Teddy Bear parade at 7:45 pm to the 5K Start/Finish Line in Pimmit Hills Park, between Arch Drive and Griffith Road.

The 1K course follows awards to 5K winners, starting on the field behind the Children’s Center (also home of Lemon Road Elementary School.)

5K runners, boys and girls in 6 age groups for children, from ages 6 to 18, and males and females in 7 age groups for adults, will be eligible for prizes from local businesses, including gift certificates to: Panjshir Restaurant and Hilton Garden Inn of Falls Church; The Greek Taverna, Assaggi Osteria, Cafe Oggi, and Kazan Restaurant of McLean. For kids: A shopping spree at Doodlehopper Toy Store, a Soccer Party with Golden Boot, and more.

Proceeds of the event support Falls Church-McLean Children’s Center, a high-quality, nonprofit preschool dedicated to giving young children from low- and moderate-income, working families the strong start they need to be ready for success in school and in life.

Several local individuals and businesses are generously sponsoring the event including Ric and Jean Edelman, Anne Kanter, State Farm Insurance Agent Lynn Heinrichs, VA Delegate Marcus Simon, Hyphen Group, Chain Bridge Bank, Net E, Senior Housing Analytics, Susan and Donald Poretz, Powell Piper Radomsky, Berman & Lee Orthodontics, Lewinsville Presbyterian Church, Drs. Love and Miller, Digital Office Products, and VA 529. Sponsorships are still available by calling 703/534-4907 before August 30 to have logos printed on runner t-shirts.

Founded in 1969, Falls Church-McLean Children’s Center is celebrating its 50th year of providing an affordable, comprehensive, full-time early childhood education program designed to give all children, regardless of their family’s financial resources, a strong foundation on which to build the rest of their lives. For inquiries about openings this fall, call 703/534-4907.

A Lifelong Friendship in the Arts and Humanities

DC Arts Collaborative

Every year, DC Collaborative serves thousands of students in the hope that we can encourage them to embrace and pursue the arts and humanities. We were delighted to discover the story of Cameron Gray and Erin Fenzel, two students who have demonstrated exactly that!

At the age of 4, they started school together at Peabody Elementary School. They had attended one of our AHFES field trips, where a picture of them painting together (above) eventually made it onto the cover of the 2007-2008 issue from Catalogue for Philanthropy. Fast forward 14 years later. After going through middle school and high school together, they recently graduated this year from School Without Walls, which is ranked the #1 Top Performing High School in the District and #51 in the country. Their pursuit of education doesn’t end there. This fall, Cameron is headed to Syracuse University in New York to study Film, while Erin will go to Saint Joseph’s University in Pennsylvania to study International Relations.

The DC Collaborative team is so proud of where these two students are going and we wish them the best for their futures. We’d like to give a special thanks to their parents and Catalogue for Philanthropy for sharing this wonderful friendship to us! If you know of any students have participated in our program and where they are now, please reach out to us at – we’d love to follow up with them.

{Blog post has been reposted with permission from the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative blog.}

Casa Chirilagua: ‘Yo Hablo Ingles’ English Language Learning Program


“I’ve never been to the National Mall before,” said Juan, as he sat on the Metro heading towards the Smithsonian.

“Now that I know how to ride the Metro, this will be easier to come by myself,” his friend Pedro declared. Soon they would both be experiencing the National Mall for the first time in their lives.

They were among the sixteen students from Casa Chirilagua‘s Yo Hablo Ingles English Language Learning program to take a field trip to DC in late April. Soon they would be seeing the sites and practicing their English through a scavenger hunt. Volunteers from Restoration City Church accompanied their peers to support each student with their English skills.?Students arrived on the National Mall in wonderment, marveling at the beauty of the famous horizon. Some began taking photos of the Washington Monument while others pointed out, “Look at the water! Look at the ducks!”

Their first stop was the National Museum of Natural History. When students entered, they were immediately greeted by Henry, the museum’s elephant. They were impressed by the rotunda and began to explore this area and take photos. For many of the students this was their first time to the museum.

“It was really awesome!” exclaimed Marilu, “I need to come back with my daughter.”

During their trip students practiced English by finding exhibits in a scavenger hunt and earning points for each discovery. Various animals were among the exhibits as well as the famous Hope diamond. More photos ensued!

Afterwards, the students enjoyed a sunny picnic in front of the National Monument. Reflecting on this visit, Maria noted that, “It was great to come on my own without my kids to explore and really enjoy the sites.”

This was particularly true for students who work in the city but have never had the opportunity to enjoy the museums and National Mall. A team of volunteers provided childcare back at Casa’s community center so that parents could enjoy this trip with their classmates.

Students took advantage of many opportunities to practice English conversation with the volunteers. They were very patient and helpful as students eagerly conversed with them. Later Mario commented, “It was beautiful to share with you…I tried to take away my fear. Thank you because even if you don’t understand me you try to talk with me. You are cool.”

Their final stop was the Jefferson Memorial. As they walked the Tidal Basin students were amazed by the surrounding trees and enjoyed the refreshing walk along the waterfront.

“It’s beautiful!” said Adriana as she saw the impressive marble monument in the distance.

“I love the tour!” Jose agreed. He was very excited as the group walked to the monument before the group returned to the Metro.

It was a joyful day as students deepened relationships with volunteers and each other while building stronger English language skills. As students bring their newfound language skills into the world they will have the confidence, support and knowledge to flourish. We are grateful for your support and to the amazing group of volunteers who make this possible. As Jorge says, “Thank you for your time that you are providing us for the trip. It was very nice! We learned a lot in the museum. God bless you.”

The Delaplaine: Because Everyone Deserves Art


Back in the early 1980s, a dedicated visual arts center in the center of downtown Frederick, Maryland, was just a dream — that was, until a grassroots effort by artists and art-enthusiasts set out to make that dream into a reality. Today, The Delaplaine Arts Center is a popular attraction along Carroll Creek Park, as well as community gathering place and anchor for Frederick’s East Street Corridor.

The Delaplaine welcomes more than 85,000 visitors annually to its seven galleries, featuring artworks by local, regional, and national artists and groups. More than 55 exhibition are held on-site and at satellite galleries in public libraries around the region. The Delaplaine also offers more than 250 classes and workshops in a variety of media for all skill levels and ages each year, as well as monthly public programs and special events. The art center is open daily, and admission is always free.


The art center also is passionate about bringing the arts to all corners of the community, reflected by its vision that ‘everyone deserves art.’

“We truly believe that vision,” states Catherine Moreland, Delaplaine CEO. “That’s why we are all about tearing down barriers between the community we serve and the visual arts. It’s why we offer all the classes and programs that we do; it’s why we offer diverse exhibits; it’s why our admission is free; it’s why we partner with other nonprofits.”

The Delaplaine’s Community Outreach Initiative partners the organization with a range of other nonprofits such as Alzheimer’s Association, Arc, Head Start, Housing Authority of Frederick, Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership, Frederick County Department of Aging, and others, as well as local public libraries and schools, to bring free customized art experiences to the at-risk and underserved in the region. There are also other component programs, like the Art Kit Project, which provides quality art supplies free to youth experiencing crises or homelessness. The programs are impacting thousands each year, bringing encouragement and creativity, and improving the quality of life for individuals, families, and all in the community.


The Delaplaine’s outreach has grown over the past decade and there is no slow-down anticipated in the goal to reach everyone in the region.

“The opportunities for outreach are endless,” explains Caitlin Gill, Community Outreach Program Manager. “The Delaplaine encourages innovation and growth, and we are forging new partnerships, improving existing ones, and growing programs to allow us to reach all in the community.”

“From improving school readiness in preschoolers, to providing help with cognitive and memory issues in adults and seniors, art is impacting lives,” says Moreland. “Our members, donors, and friends broaden and deepen that impact.”

APA Heritage Month and Low-Income Community Members

aaleadEDToday’s blog post was written by Surjeet Ahluwalia, Executive Director of Asian American LEAD, a youth development organization serving low-income and underserved Asian Pacific American youth.

May was Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month. APA Heritage Month began as a week of commemoration in 1978 and became a full month in 1990. For close to 40 years we have been increasing the awareness of the APA community by celebrating the contributions of APAs in America, but this has not translated into increased awareness of the challenges low-income Asian Pacific Americans face in our country today. The model minority myth that Asian Americans are all wealthy, highly educated, and won’t advocate for themselves still dominates.

SAMSUNG CSCAt Asian American LEAD (AALEAD), we serve youth who don’t fit within the model minority myth. For instance, Mei begins her day in her 1 bedroom apartment at Museum Square in Chinatown, DC, which she shares with her brother and father. They have received misinformation many times from their landlord that they have to leave their home. Their father has often shared his concerns about what’s happening in their building with community members, but the constant pushing is taxing on him. Mei and her brother don’t want to have to switch high schools. They want to stay in their home, but also to have a peaceful living situation. After hard days at home and at school, Mei and her brother head over to afterschool programs with AALEAD.

Asian American LEAD is a place where youth find their second home with people who welcome them and can relate to their struggles. AALEAD’s programming focuses on educational empowerment, identity development, and leadership opportunities for low-income APA youth. Youth like Mei are supported with tools to pursue their educational goals when their parents are not able to put time toward this, and supported to feel proud of themselves and where they come from. With this confidence and the opportunities AALEAD provides, youth have the tools to become leaders across communities.

We need safe spaces for youth of all backgrounds to grow. AALEAD is the only space in the DMV specifically for low-income Asian Pacific American youth. As you commemorate the APA community, we ask you to remember not only past contributions of Asian Pacific Americans, but also provide support to low-income APAs in your community today.

To find out how you can support the work of AALEAD, view their wishlist on our website, or visit

7 Questions: Sarah Browning, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Split This Rock

Sarah Browning at Capitol Split This Rock 2010 “Poetry will not be denied. Even as I worked myself to the point of burn out, poetry kept calling to me.”

“I was lucky to discover and help foster an incredible community of engaged poets here in DC and the surrounding area, poets of all ages, poets in the community and the academy, poets working in all styles.”

In honor of Poetry Month we welcome Sarah Browning, Executive Director of Split this Rock. Split This Rock cultivates, teaches, and celebrates poetry that bears witness to injustice and provokes social change. Sarah previously worked supporting socially engaged women artists with WomenArts and developing creative writing workshops with low-income women and youth with Amherst Writers & Artists.

  1. What motivated you to begin working with your organization?

Can I go back 30 years? In a poetry workshop in college, my professor told me not to write socially engaged poetry, political poetry, poetry that looks outside the self to the horrors and beauties of the wider world, dismissing poetry’s ancient history of examining public life, naming injustices, and inspiring us to believe that a better world is not only possible, but essential. I came away from that workshop disheartened and discouraged. If what I a lifelong activist was writing wasn’t Real Poetry, then why bother? So I went off into the world of organizing for social change, first in public housing and then for a statewide multi-issue progressive organization, in Massachusetts.

But poetry will not be denied. Even as I worked myself to the point of burn out, poetry kept calling to me. I wrote only three or four poems over the next eight years or so; I came to feel that my heart was shriveling, that I would be no good to anyone if I couldn’t find a way to put poetry back to the center of my life.

Fast forward 10 years and my move to Washington, DC, in the fall of 2002. I had by now been writing steadily and publishing poems even some political ones in literary journals. And what a time for an activist poet to land in the nation’s capital! Just a year after the attacks of September 11, with a president threatening war against a nation, Iraq, which, though ruled by a murderous dictator, had played no part in the attacks of the year before.

I became involved in the world-wide movement against war and started a local branch of Poets Against the War, an international uprising of poets bringing the challenge and succor of poetry into that activism. I was lucky to discover and help foster an incredible community of engaged poets here in DC and the surrounding area, poets of all ages and races/ethnicities, poets in the community and the academy, poets working in all styles.

After several years of powerful local programming, which gave a platform to poets and inspired those working against the war, infusing imaginative language into the movement , the group decided it was time to do something on a larger scale. Being here in the capital, we felt we had not just the opportunity but the responsibility to mobilize poets to play a role in the public life of the country, both to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and to address the many social ills that plague our nation.

And so we dreamed into being Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness and presented it in March 2008, on the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq and in the midst of an historic election year. The event was a roaring success, bringing together hundreds of poets, activists, and dreamers from DC and around the nation for the first time. Its success and the very obvious need it addressed inspired us to create a permanent organization as a home for progressive poets.

I’ve worked as Co-Director and now Executive Director since, building with an incredible team of colleagues, board members, interns, activists, and volunteers a powerhouse national organization that mobilizes poets for social change, encourages the literary world to truly reflect the amazing, rich diversity of the nation, and bringing poetry to the lives of hundreds of DC-area teens through our internationally award-winning youth programs.

That was a very long answer to only the first question, I realize, but when you’re a co-founder and the Executive Director, an organization is your baby, your passion. It was a long journey that brought me here.

  1. What exciting change or innovation is on your mind?

Split This Rock has two big new projects on the horizon, in addition to the fifth Split This Rock Poetry Festival, coming up April 14-17, 2016. The first is a permanent online database we are building of all the poems we’ve published in our Poem of the Week series over the past five years, as well as contest winners and others. The database will be searchable by social issue, making it a valuable resource for anyone looking to enhance their rally, meeting, newsletter, worship service, potluck dinner, or indeed their soul with the invigorating and restorative language of poetry.

The other is Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here DC 2016, a two-month festival to be held in our area January through March 2016, standing in solidarity with the people of Iraq and everywhere that freedom of expression is threatened. The festival is part of an international project of art and poetry, organized in response to a car bombing of Al Mutanabbi Street, Baghdad’s historic bookselling street. Split This Rock will bring Arab and Arab American poets to DC, celebrating the poetry being written today by these peoples too often demonized by our elected officials, popular culture, and news media.

We will also present those doing the necessary and too-often unrecognized work of translating contemporary poetry from Arabic to English, making this poetry accessible to American and other English-speaking readers and audiences. And we’ll encourage American poets to dip their toes into translation, with a series of fun, interactive workshops.

  1. Who inspires you (in the philanthropy world or otherwise)? Do you have a hero?

I am lucky to be inspired by some extraordinary poet-activists of the 20th century, many of whom were women: June Jordan, Muriel Rukeyser, Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich. Rukeyser wrote: I will protest all my life. I am willing to. But I have decided that wherever I protest from now on, and a number of people are doing this too now, I will make something I will make poems, plant, feed children, build, but not ever protest without making something.

  1. What was your most interesting recent project/partnership?

In January, we collected poems that spoke against police brutality and for racial justice from all who wished to send them to us, then published them on our blog in a Virtual Open Mic, finally totaling over 150 poems in all. We received poems from all over the country and even the world, from poets of all ages and races/ethnicities, from published poets, performing poets, new poets, those who don’t consider themselves poets at all. It’s a stunning array of words of grief, rage, protest, love, hopefulness, imagination.

In collaboration with other organizations such as the Institute for Policy Studies, DC Ferguson, SolidariTrees, Code Pink, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, and the DC Guerrilla Poetry Insurgency, we staged an event outside the US Department of Justice, reading poems from the collection and calling on the DOJ to enact the reforms outlined by the Ferguson Action activists. We had printed out all the poems and after a cold couple of hours, presented them a representative from the DOJ. It was a moving afternoon of bringing poetry straight to the halls of power.

  1. What is the single greatest challenge that your organization faces (besides finances) and how are you dealing with this challenge?

Split This Rock is unique in our city and in the nation. We get requests every day for new collaborations and projects. It’s incredibly exciting and affirming to know that our work resonates with so many, but we’re having to learn how to say no. Our staff, though dedicated and dare I say brilliant, is still very small.

  1. What advice do you have for other people in your position?

Being a founding executive director of a dynamic, successful organization that feeds people’s souls and inspires them to action is tremendously gratifying. I feel privileged every day. But it can also be exhausting. I haven’t been very good at it, myself, but I would urge any executive director (and especially women!) to take care of herself and set her own limits. No one does it for us. We need to build in time for our own creative work whether it’s poetry, gardening, plumbing, or whatever feels like a real break and a respite from the constant demands placed on us. I also recommend taking your vacation time!

  1. What’s next/coming up for you?

The manuscript of my second collection of poems, currently titled Drinking as a Political Act, is circulating to presses and I’m hopeful that it will be published sometime soon. I’m now at work on new poems that are taking me deeper into myself though the world always is present. I’m wrestling with shame, its crippling power in the psyche, its use to control and demean women. My work often resides at this intersection of the personal and political, so, in this case, it’s pretty scary. But that’s the poet’s job, to lay bare what thrives on silence, to excavate and expose. Onward!

7 Questions with Rebecca Read Medrano, Executive Director of GALA Theatre

Rebecca_1 (1)In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month we welcome Rebecca Read Medrano to 7 Questions. Rebecca has served as chief finance and administration officer for GALA Hispanic Theatre since 1976. Medrano has also served as the principal development and marketing staff member, managing GALA’s $4.2M capital campaign and developing its strategic marketing plan. GALA (Grupo de Artistas Latinoamericanos) Hispanic Theatre is a National Center for Latino Performing Arts in the nation’s capital. Since 1976,GALA has been promoting and sharing the Latino arts and cultures with a diverse audience, creating work that speaks to communities today, and preserving the rich Hispanic heritage for generations that follow.
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