Friday, August 25, 2006

The Time Has Come Today (April 2000 MMOW) Video

I would actually complete this demo on the morning of 02 March 2005 and just before leaving my apartment for a flight from National Airport in WDC to Fort Lauderdale FL where I would attend the 2005 Winter Party in South Beach. Having exhibited some of April 2000 MMOW images at the Stonewall Library and Archives in September 2004 when I would return to Fort Lauderdale in the Spring of 2005 I made sure to drop off a copy of this demo to SLA. Which represents my first such demo pertaining to THE TIME HAS COME TODAY PROJECT. Since then, though I have attempted to upload it to the internet so as to make it more accessable, and to no avail, it would it not be until 25 August that I was able to upload it to Google Videos.

The purpose of THE TIME HAS COME TODAY (April 2000 MMOW) demo so as to provide prospective DJ's whom with I may wish to collaborate some idea of what the project is about. THE TIME HAS COME TODAY is an ongoing documentary project that, in support of same sex marriages, creatively integrates the photography of Elvert Barnes with music, historic speeches and provocative spoken word of the times.

Millie Shayntwrite's Lavender Vaudeville at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe


Lavender Vaudeville is a hysterical live-series launching September 13 at the Nuyorican Poets Café. Hosted by drag personality Millie Shayntwrite, the program includes cabaret performances, the only exclusively Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender poetry slam in the city, and live interviews with gay celebrities. Featured guests include Brini Maxwell, Lypsinka, Kevin Aviance, Norah Vincent, and more. Sept 13, Oct 11, Nov 8, Dec 13, Jan 10, 7 to 9pm, 236 E 3rd St between Aves B and C; $7. Press inquiries: Aaron Kinchen at 551-208-4372. Visit or

Millie Shayntwrite to launch new series in the east village with first guest Ben Sander, creator of Brini Maxwell, September 13.

Budding theatrical drag aesthete, Millie Shayntwrite, announces the upcoming launch of her series at the Nuyorican Poets Café. Lavender Vaudeville will play host to live interviews - a la James Lipton - with gay luminaries, panel discussions, musical performances, and of course, the only running GLBT poetry slam in the city. On the roster of live one-on-one interviews, there are prominent figures such as Brini Maxwell, Lypsinka, and Kevin Aviance.

Just a few of those assembled for panel discussions are activists like Helena Stone, a 71 year old male to female transgender voice of equality. Karl Giant, the make up artist turned photographer that painted Kevin Aviance’s face the night of his attack. Karl now uses the attention he receives in the press as an outspoken advocate for gay rights. Norah Vincent, best-selling lesbian author of “Self Made Man” will also be a major contributor to roundtable discussions, as well as take part in a one-on-one interview with Millie.

The series’ producers seized the opportunity to expose a larger slice of the LGBT community to the art form known as the “spoken-word poetry slam.” Considered by many to be the unofficial birthplace of poetry slams, the Nuyorican Poets Café is an especially significant venue for GLBT poets and writers. Readers from every corner of the gay life are slated to share original poetry in the "Glam Slam", currently the only exclusively GLBT poetry slam in the city.

This is the first time in more than five years that the thirty-four year old fixture of East Village cultural life will be playing host to a running series of GLBT events. Many years ago, there was an ongoing “gay night” at the Café. When the Nuyorican’s gay outreach facilitator passed away the events were discontinued. By hosting these events the administration of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe wishes to reaffirm their position in solidarity with the GLBT struggle for civil rights.

Ben Sander, the genius behind the character Brini Maxwell will be the series’ first guest on September 13 at 7pm. Brini Maxwell makes kitsch feel classy with her flair for home design, entertaining and household tips. She began sharing her vintage/classic know-how with other Manhattanites through her 1998 self-titled show on cable access. After five years on the local airwaves, she signed a deal with the Style Network. During Brini’s subsequent build-up to stardom, she has attracted a diverse audience through The Brini Maxwell Show’s national reach. “There’s a whole audience out there that has no idea that Brini is played by a man. I’ve decided to promote openness around my own identity and start doing interviews as Ben Sander,” he said at a recent interview.“

I like to describe the program as Inside the Actor’s Studio meets Def Poetry Slam,” says Millie. “I want to know what makes these luminaries tick. The questions I’m interested in involving learning about their childhoods, particular vices, traumatic life experiences, political perspectives, and what motivates them as artists.” Lavender Vaudeville will be running second Wednesdays from 7 to 9pm at the Nuyorican Poets Café. $7.

Visit for more information. (October 11 Guest: Lypsinka)

Available for Comment: For comment from any of the names listed in the press release, please contact: Aaron Kinchen - or 551-208-4372. Aaron will forward you their information. Ben Sander / Brini Maxwell at Lois Griffith (Dir. of programming at the Café) at or 718-522-5893.

# # #

A 34 year-old non-profit organization, the Millie Shayntwrite’s Lavender Vaudeville will bring a monthly mix of gay spoken-word Poetry Slam, Music, Performance Art, and in-depth live interviews with GLBT Luminaries. Aaron Kinchen is the host, promoter, and the producer of the series. The Nuyorican Poets Café is located between Avenues B and C on East 3rd Street. 212-505-8183-Cafe. . .

25 August 2006 Friday's Photo of the Week

Saturday, 20 May 2006

Different by Design, Metropole @ 1515 P NW integrates the old with the new

Located at the NE corner of 15th and P Streets, NW, Metropole is a hot location in its own right. With its state-of-the-art gym, beautiful design, and accessibility to anything your heart desires, the Metropole is poised to become a hub of urban activity.

Metropolis Development Company was founded with a vision to create exciting communities that go far beyond the ordinary "white box" architecture found in Washington DC's residential buildings. Metropolis believes that by shaping space on the outside of a building, the inside of the building becomes beautiful and compelling, achieving liberation from the confines of traditional floorplans with light-filled spaces, refreshing openness and simplicity.

Metropolis-DC has a reputation for creating spaces that are Different by Design.

Attempting to capture and record 'the old with the new' I first began my documentation of the architectural and industrial changes along the 14th Street Logan Circle area in July 2005. My Metropole Project would begin six months later when photographing Men At Work on 19 December 2005.

14th Street has long been one of the most important thoroughfares in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Before national highways, 14th Street served as a main artery through the city to points north and south. As 14th Street reaches back into its roots, with a reputation for creating buildings that help to preserve the past while charging boldly into the future, Metropolis DC is on the forefront of 14th Street's renaissance.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Union Printmakers 2006/2007 Classes, Tutorials, and Open Studio

Union Printmakers Atelier was founded in 1977. It has recently moved to a new space located in a circa 1900 brick building near the new Convention Center in downtown Washington DC. The building has been renovated and leased by The Furioso Development Co. The new studio occupies approximately 3500 sq. ft. of space and houses equipment and support for the traditional printmaking mediums of Lithography, Intaglio, Letterpress and Book Arts. The Atelier is directly adjacent to Adamson Editions, whose owner David Adamson is recognized for producing Fine Art digital images for some of the world’s leading artists. This close proximity presents an exciting opportunity to mix historic and contemporary print techniques.

To learn of or to register for 2006/2007 Classes, Tutorials and Open Studio visit Or contact Albert Barnhart at 202-277-1946 or 202-289-7769 or email

Union Printmakers, Inc. is located at 926 N St. Rear NW (Blagden Alley) in Washington DC.

'Hopscotch Kids' Mosaic . H Street Bridge, NE WDC

Designed by Deirdre Saunder, in collaboration with Peter Tabri, and constructed with the help of DC youth in 1997, the "Hopscotch Bridge" which represents two panels of mosaic tile positioned on either side of the H Street Bridge served as a gateway to the Capital Children’s Museum and Northeast DC. Originally the panels consited of 320 colorful mosaic kids leaping across the bridge. However, when the parking lot of Union Station was renovated some of the panels were removed. The Capitol Childrens Museum would close in August 2004 and the historic landmark is currently under redevelopment by ABDO as the future site of the luxourious loft apartments complex, Senate Square. Scheduled for reopening at a new location, in 2009, the Capitol Children's Museum, since August 2004, has been renamed as the National Children's Museum.

A quick search on the internet reveals that Montgomery County artist Deirde Saunder has designed and created many mosaics and public art installations throughout the Washington DC area. Some of which are:

1. Swallows and Stars, located at Glenmont station on the Red Line in Montgomery County, MD.
2. Gaea’s Corner, located at Croydon Creek Nature Center, 852 Avery Road, in Potomac MD.
3. Spring Creek fountain in Silver Plaza, located in Downtown Silver Spring, MD.
4. The Spirit of Rockville Takes Flight, Town Center Artwork Project 6-Facade Treatment at Hungerford Drive Parking Garage.

Originally, H Street ran under the railroad tracks, including a trolley service. The current "bridge" wasn't built until 1962, as part of the Federal Highways' planned inner beltway system for the District.

Deirde Saunder is currently an instructor at The Art League School.

Having conducted a telephone interview with Deirde Saunder on Friday morning, 25 August 2006, pertaining to the history of the 'Hopscotch Bridge' mosaic, I will post an updated entry to this blog later today or tomorrow with important information regarding how it came to be.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

14th Street Historic District

Not to be confused with 14th Street Heights and though now in alliance with the U Street Historic District the 14th Street Historic District is roughly bounded by S St., NW on the north; 11th and 12th Sts., NW on the east; N and O Sts., NW on the south; and the 16th St. Historic District on the west.

And while the 14th Street Heights is listed on the DC Main Street web page, the 14th and U Main Street Alliance is not . Nor is the North Capitol Main Street Inc. Perhaps, because they are still in the developmental stages.

The DC Main Streets program was created in 2002 to support the establishment and implementation of lasting, comprehensive revitalization initiatives in DC’s traditional neighborhood business districts. DC Main Streets' goal is to support retail investment in the District through the retention and expansion of existing businesses and the recruitment of new businesses. DC Main Streets provides five years of comprehensive technical and financial assistance to local Main Street programs, which are competitively selected and organized by local volunteers and community development professionals.

The DC Main Streets program is based on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s nationally proven model, which includes work in the areas of organization of commercial revitalization efforts, promotion of neighborhood businesses and business districts, design (physical environment) and economic restructuring (business and property development). The Main Streets approach provides local organizations with a mechanism to manage their neighborhood commercial districts and a structure to implement commercial revitalization activities that will achieve the stakeholders’ goals for the commercial district.

There are ten active DC Main Streets programs: 14th Street Heights, Adams Morgan, Anacostia, Barracks Row (8th St SE), Brookland, Dupont Circle, GATEWAY Georgia Avenue, H Street NE, Mount Pleasant and Shaw.

For additional information, please contact the office of reSTORE DC at (202) 478-1356.

For a more complete list of Washington DC neighborhoods and neigborhood organizations visit H-Net.

Labor Day weekend 2006 represents the second year anniversary of my Main Streets America Project. January 2006 would gave way to my 14th Street Windows and 14th Street Home Furnishing Store projects.

Slackrope Walking in Malcolm X Park

In years past it has been Dupont Circle that I would always gravitate toward. However, in the past year or so I have often considered and sometimes spoken of shifting my focus to Meridian Hill Park, also known as Malcolm X. Park. My first Sunday Photo Session in Malcolm X Park would take place on 30 July when, for the first time, I would photograph the Sunday evening Drum Circle. which has been in existence for many years. It would prove to be one of the most powerful 'spiritual moments' in my life.

When walking back to the Cardoza - U Street subway station I'd remember that I had not felt so fulfilled since my days in NYC when after a night of partying at Studio 54, The Saint, or the Garage followed by a day at the Saint Marks Bath House that Frank and I would walk or taxi home to our apartment in Chelsea and then Gramercy Park. Totally fulfilled.

And when reviewing the pictures at home, later that night, I was even more satisfied when realizing that they are amongst the best of my collections. And since then I've contemplated what I would do different or, in some cases, keep the same when revisiting and photographing the Sunday evening Drum Circle at Malcolm X. Park.

As this past Sunday would near, I 'filled with anticipation' that was not unlike the feelings I would get during my college years and for several years afterwards Frank, friends and I would frequent tea dances at the Lost and Found. Arriving, perhaps, at around 5 or 6 pm we'd dance until 10 or 11. And then head back home, totally fulfilled.

When visiting Malcolm X Park this past Sunday, 20 August, I presented printed flyers to several of the participants that I had captured during my first Drum Circle session which provided them information and access to the Drum Circle - MXP WDC - 30 July 2006 collection.

When observing two young men, in the process, of tying a nylon rope around two trees that were several yards apart I'd walk over and began capturing them tightrope walking. For the next 10 to 15 minutes I alternated between taking pictures of tightrope walkers, drummers, dancers and capoeira angola. Having arrived in the park shortly after 4pm by the time I'd leave, it was already getting dark. When departing, I'd reach out to one of the drummers that I had handed my flyer to and said "I'm done!. See ya next time". At which time he'd ask "Do you know what time it is?". I'd show him my watch, saying that I did not have my glasses on so I would not be able to see the time. Looking at my watch, he said "7:45".

On the walk to the U Street-Cardoza subway station memories of returning home from tea dances in the 70's and early 80's came to mind. As would Frank Gramarossa. I say this because what goes on in Malcolm X. Park on Sunday evenings is nothing short of a "spirtual connection".

Though, all very physical, in nature ... the drumming, the dancing, the caporeira angola, and tightrope walking are rooted in reconnecting with ones own spirituality.

There are several types of tightrope walking. What I saw and documented on Sunday may would be a form of freestyle stacklining. For a brief history visit Slackline Brothers, Inc..

However, if I'm correct in my research, the young men and others, in Malcolm X Park, were actually engaging in Slackrope Walking. For more detailed information see Mark Sands description of Slackrope Walking.

Historically, Sunday has been the day of the week that I keep to myself, fix a nice dinner and prepare for the upcoming week. While tea dances and then Dupont Circle may have been a part of my Sunday ritual, in the past, more than likely, Drum Circles in Malcolm X Park will be a Sunday ritual, in the fall of 2006. Or, the Sunday Mass DC, which recently has been on a hiatus.

I am now contemplating purchasing a drum for participation in drum circles ... where ever I may go. Who knows, by spring of 2007, I may be slackrope walking in Central Park.

175th Anniversary of Nat Turner Slave Rebellion

For seven days each year, beginning on August 21, we celebrate the Nat Turner Rebellion, a vicious slave uprising in Virginia in 1831 when a small army of black women and men, most enslaved but some "free", rebelled against American bigotry. Gen. Nat Turner and his rebels hoped to organize the black nation and to crush racist slavery in America. This year, during the 175th anniversary of that rebellion, we hope to celebrate for three weeks.

The Nat Turner Rebellion started on August 21, 1831, in Southampton County, Virginia, not far from the North Carolina border. This rebellion killed at least fifty-five white people who profited from American slavery. However, when the white militia crushed the rebellion, they killed up to 200 black people and hanged Nat Turner and desecrated his body.

In contrast, during the Civil War, Confederate rebels were never hanged or even prosecuted for their treason. Yet, the Confederacy killed about 250,000 soldiers, and another 400,000 soldiers died from disease, starvation, and imprisonment. In other words, Robert E. Lee and other Confederates killed about 650,000 people in the Civil War. Yet, no Confederate leader was punished. Instead, after the war, some were elected to Congress. They got leniency, whereas Nat Turner got hanged.

Today, it’s basically the same! Freedom fighters from the Black Panther Party and other organizations languish in prison after fighting against racism and injustice from about 1970 to about 1985. Like Nat Turner, these freedom fighters don’t get pardoned; they get prison! We need to liberate them from prison. In D.C. and Baltimore, we must do this for Marshall Eddie Conway and Jack Johnson, two Black Panthers imprisoned since 1970 for their political work in Baltimore. Find out how to help Marshall Eddie Conway and Jack Johnson.


At 6:00 pm this evening, 23 August 2006, THE NAT TURNER REBELLION! will hold a panel discussion entitled "Nat Turner & Modern Day Manisfestations" at the Dynamic Wellness Center, located at 402 H Street, NE, Washington DC. Guest speakers include former political prisoner and death row inmate, Sujaa Graham and C. R. Gibbs, an historian on slave rebellions.

A small donation, at the door, will benefit Black Panther Political Prisoners Marshall Eddie Conway and Jack Johnson.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

12th International Conference of the International Capoeira Angola Foundation . WDC . 24 - 27 August 2006

Wikipedia defines Capoeira Angola as the traditional style of Bahian Capoeira. It is usually, although not always characterized by playful, ritualized games, which combine elements of dancing, combat, and music, while stressing interaction between the two players and the musicians and observers.

Though for many years I have visited Dupont Circle on Sunday afternoons, on 30 July and 20 August 2006 I would shift my focus to Malcolm X Park which is when I would first capture the Sunday Drum Circle and Capoeira Angola in Malcolm X Park. When photographing dancers or musicians it is my practice to engage in what I refer to as movement-choreophotography. Considering that my photography represents my weapon against racism in a similar way that my dance is about risin' above oppression ... Malcolm X Park will be a place that I will visit on Sunday evenings for a long, long time.

Washington DC will host the 12th International Conference of the International Capoeira Angola Foundation from Thursday, 24 August through Sunday, 27 August 2006. The conference will host parallel Capoeira Angola workshops in both morning and afternoon hours, on all days: two rodas a day, lectures, discussions, samba drumming performance and classes, Afro-cuban Orisha and Afro Brazilian dance classes and much more!

If you have not already registered, the cost is $150.00, including a T-shirt. Price includes workshops, transportation to and from Prince William Forest Park, food, lodging, and day care for children under 10, if requested in advance.

Located at 733 Euclid Streeet in NW an opening reception will be held at the FICA DC on Wednesday, 24 August. For details visit The rest of the conference will take place at Prince William Forest Park, VA. at

For more information pertaining to this event visit or view the flyer. Or email FICA is located 733 Euclid Street in NW Washington DC. Telephone number is 202-332-0828

Monday, August 21, 2006

Coalition Urges Congress to Convene Emergency Hearings As Increasing Incidents of Violence Plaque America

At 10 am on Wednesday, 23 August 2006, a national coalition including the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), Reaching Out to Others Together (ROOT), the Hip Hop Caucus Institute, Law Enforcement officials, community leaders, mental health professionals, Clergy and Congressional staffers will hold a press conference at the National Press Club located at 14 and F Streets in NW Washington DC to urge Congress to convene emergency hearings as incresing incidents of violence plague communities throughout America. And the world.

Since May 1 ROOT (Reaching Out to Others Together) Inc. has been collecting signatures from residents of the District as part of its proactive campaign to reduce gun violence, incidents of youth violence, and homicides and get community involvement. To date ROOT's staff has collected over 7,000 signatures towards its goal of 10,000 signatures by September 1.

In addition, ROOT has received the unconditional endorsement of the prestigious National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) and the support of several senior level congressional staffers in its efforts to develop both a local and a national cohesive campaign to reduce gun violence.

In an effort to address the issues of public safety and gun violence affecting the District of Columbia, all mayoral, council chair, and council at large candidates will be invited to Freedom Plaza on August 27 from 10 am until 6 pm to a Rally for Public Safety and Against Gun Violence during time Kenneth E. Barnes, Sr. CEO and Founder of ROOT Inc. will present findings from research that indicate youth affected by gun violence and homocide are not receiving proper intervention to address these issues.

At the rally, all candidates campaigning for citywide office will have perhaps their last opportunity to state to the general public about how each would address the public's concerns about public safety and gun violence if elected, prior to the September elections.

Also on this 38th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s March on Washington, the coalition call upon Congress to take action against this epidemic of gun violence plaguing cities and communities throughout America.

Invited to be keynote speakers are Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-DC and Congressman Albert Wynn, D-MD.

Organizations, agencies, clergy, or individuals who wish to become involved please contact Ava Harrison or Dawn Butcher, 202 332-ROOT, 1 866-570-ROOT.

Media Contact: Priscilla Clarke, Clarke & Associates, or 202-723-2200.

NAHB (Employee) Wild Flower & Weed Garden @ Thomas Circle West

At the east end of what may be referred to as a traffic triangle which is situated between Massachusetts Avenue and M Street, NW, at Thomas Circle West there is a Wild Flower and Weed Garden that in recent months I have taken notice of. And have considered including in my ongoing public garden series. Noticing a few weeeks ago that the Thomas Circle Restoration Project was nearing completion I then decided to embark on an ongoing documentary project that well photographing the present and the future would also explore the history of Thomas Circle.

When during my 19 August 2006 Saturday Photo Walk that I would visit Thomas Circle I could not help but notice that the public garden located across the street from Thomas Circle West was filled with sunflowers, wild weeds and corn stalks. Reminding me that fall is indeed near.

It brought to mind when as a young nappy headed black boy who grew up in Southern Maryland that in the evenings after school and over weekends, in the early fall, my brothers and I would chuck corn at my grandparents farm on St. Jeromes Neck Road in Dameron MD. A 'labor of love' it is a time that, on one hand, I sometimes long while on the other hand I could do well without having to 'chuck corn'.

A certain smell permeates the air, at this time of the year. It is a scent that I have associate with wild flowers, tall weeds, sunflowers, school and chucking corn.

Before entering the Circle on Saturday, 19 August 2006, I'd walk over to and take a few pictures of the garden situated in front of the National Association of Home Builders National Housing Center at Thomas Circle West.

When on Monday, 21 August 2006 that I telephoned NAHB inquiring whether NAHB had any connections to the garden a Mr. P Lopez from the Public Relations Office would return my call and inform me that a group of NAHB employees had gotten together and, over the years, had volunteered their time in the creation, development and upkeep of the garden. So, until I hear of a different nomenclature and in connection with my ongoing public garden series I'll refer to this particular garden as the NAHB (Employee) Wild Flower & Weed Garden.

4th Happily Natural Day/2nd Black Freedom Weekend . Richmond VA

The black community has dealt with the myth of good hair vs. bad hair since slavery. Though the hair texture of people of African descent is prone to be curly, the majority of black women often seek a remedy for their "bad hair". The "good hair" by definition is straight, long and flowing and easy to get a comb through. "Bad hair" as defined by popular culture is just the opposite, unmanageable, extremely curly, and "nappy". By definition the hair that our Creator blessed us with at birth should be appreciated and looked upon as beautiful, however in the black community for a large majority of women & men, unlike other ethnicities that take pride in their natural hair, many in the black community look at their natural, "nappy hair" as a burden of disgrace, as socially unacceptable.

The 4th Annual Happily Natural Day and 2nd Annual Black Freedom Weekend which will take place next weekend, 24 - 27 August 2006, were created to uplift the cultural and ethnic pride of Africans worldwide ... (Read more)

The above photo, by Elvert Barnes, was taken on 7 September 1997 at the 12th Annual Smithsonian Black Family Reunion on the National Mall in WDC.