We are excited to announce the 2016 grantees for the Who’s a Washingtonian? program! This unique program is designed to bring people together, especially those who rarely interact, as they work together to answer the question: Who’s a Washingtonian?
This year, we have nine grantees whose projects unite people across lines of age, race and religion in neighborhoods across the city as they work to discover our shared heritage and culture.
Read on to learn more about our grantees’ exciting work, and stay tuned for more updates throughout the year!
Special thanks to our partner, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, which helped to fund the following projects:
Double Nickels Theatre Company: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
This project will explore the history of Mayfair Mansion, a historic apartment complex in Northeast Washington. In partnership with property owner CPDC, Double Nickels Theatre Company will create performances to tell the story of Mayfair Mansion and its residents. The performances will take place across the district, providing an opportunity to share history and build connections with neighbors who may never otherwise have met.
Global Kids, Inc.: DC Annual Youth Conference
Global Kids will hold the 2nd Annual Youth Conference in Washington, DC. Planned, coordinated, and facilitated entirely by 20 high school students through weekly planning sessions during the school year, the Conference will bring together over 70 youth from at least four diverse neighborhoods across the District to discuss what it means to be a Washingtonian in today’s global society.
Mikva Challenge DC: Project Soapbox
Project Soapbox is a youth public speaking tournament where students present speeches on top issues facing their communities and deliver powerful calls to action to their peers and adult allies. Up to 1000 students from all eight wards will craft a 2-3 minute speech on an issue of importance to them and their community. Winners of the classroom competitions will participate in a final gathering, bringing together diverse populations of youth and adults from all eight wards. Project Soapbox provides a platform for young people to speak to those in power, helps them to participate in public discourse, and teaches them how to solve problems that face their communities.
Sixth & I: 6th in the City Chorus
The historic Sixth & I Synagogue, in partnership with Metropolitan AME and Turner Memorial AME Churches, will showcase how two communities with different religious and musical traditions can come together to celebrate their shared histories through music, spirituality, and friendship. The annual Spring Showcase will include performances by all three choirs, and speakers from each congregation who will share their “DC Story”—short reflections on how issues of gentrification, equality, justice, and intergenerational relationships have shaped their life journey. Audience members will also be invited to share their stories, providing a rare opportunity for the Jewish and African American Christian communities to connect and discuss issues of history and social justice.
Empower DC: Bridging Buzzard Point
Bridging Buzzard Point is a community building project connecting higher-income, private housing residents and low-income, public housing residents of Southwest's Buzzard Point community. The goals of the project are to create and strengthen a shared sense of community and to unify the community to represent its needs amidst the coming development boom set off by the construction of a Major League Soccer Stadium.
1882 Project Foundation: Chinese American Short Films Seminar
In May 2017, PBS will release a documentary on the Chinese Exclusion Act. In order to spark engagement around the topic and its effects, the 1882 Project Foundation will arrange a “film festival,” screening short documentaries on Chinese-American history, followed by community conversations led by educators who will guide the audience through the Chinese American story.
Center for Inspired Teacher: Real World History
Real World History makes history come alive for high school students in DC Public Schools through a focused study of the Great Migration (1915-1970), an event that radically reshaped the American landscape through the massive migration of African-Americans from the agrarian South to destinations in the Midwest, North, and West. Students will interview elder African-American Washingtonians about their experience with this transformative historical period. The students will employ the historiography skills they learn in class – sourcing, contextualizing, corroborating, and close reading – to craft interview questions and eventually their oral histories. These skills have been identified by the Stanford History Education Group as essential to reading (and thinking) like a historian.
Raíces Culturales Latinoamericanas: Hablemos del Tamal/Tamal Stories: Recording local histories, memories, and lore at Tamalfest DC
Tamales have been around for centuries in Latin America and more recently in the United States, where Latino immigrants and other tamal-lovers establish new traditions. Hola Cultura’s Tamalfest brings people together and celebrates the diversity of Latin American tamales, featuring dishes from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Peru, and Colombia. In partnership with Hola Cultura, Raíces Culturales will use the event to capture traditions, histories, and memories of tamales and share them with the DC community.
Special thanks to our partner, the Office of Motion Picture & TV Development, which helped to fund the following project:
Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital: #DCEFF25 Digital Shorts Competition and Youth Award
The Environmental Films Festival is hosting a digital shorts competition and film award aimed at empowering young female filmmakers and filmmakers of color to address their city, environment and identity via social media. To help train these fledgling filmmakers, the Festival would facilitate a 2-hour workshop, and the winner of the competition would receive special recognition by the festival, including exclusive festival access and an opportunity to screen their film during the youth screening in March.