The District’s vibrant arts and culture scene offers a lot in terms of experience and opportunities in the once renowned Chocolate City. However, spaces attractive to the young, Black and educated can be hard to come by. Where does one go to experience culture or find art that resonates?
Here’s some direction to get you started.
The Hatch bills itself as curatorial, consulting and artist advocacy firm that also serves as a bridge between artists, event venues and galleries domestic and abroad. Founder Che’ Nembhard, fills a unique niche within the art industry by choosing to work exclusively with artists of color and immigrant backgrounds. Nembhard believes, “Artists should be free to create and expand their bodies of work without sacrificing passion for livelihood.” Nembhard sources artists from galleries and spaces, seeking original work and finding venues for artists looking to expand and engage new audiences. His recent curatorial project can be seen on display at ShopKeepers Gallery, 1231 Florida Avenue N.E., featuring the work of photographer Ahad Subzwari until April 27. Follow Nembhard’s projects on IG @mindofmymind.
Arts ‘N Beats
Founded by Iven King and Yvonne Lawson, Arts ‘N Beats highlights up and coming visual and performing artists in the metropolitan area. The series includes live paintings, animated visuals and DJ sets paired with rappers and singers. Arts ‘N Beats will open this spring season by celebrating its one-year anniversary at Union Stage located at the Wharf in Southwest. The event has grown beyond the capacity of its original home at Smith Public Trust. Iven and Yvonne have plans of expansion — taking the series to Brooklyn and Philadelphia later this summer. Find them on IG @ArtNBeats for the summer lineup.
The Wave USA
The Wave USA is an event production company that feels more like a movement. Responsible for the Enter Wakanda pop-up bar and exhibition, The Wave focuses on creating unique experiences while supporting black owned businesses. Their black bar crawls and trivia nights are a great way to meet fun like-minded professionals. Serving as a hub for event information using group chats, The Wave USA has connected over 25,000 users in 25 cities across the country. They also partnered with The Creative School in Southeast which works to connect young men with positive role models through a weekly reading program. Follow them at @thewaveusa [on every platform] to learn more.
A high-end social club created around cannabis culture, Pink Stone focuses on aesthetics, entertainment and public health. As advocates for the legalization, and medicinal and recreational uses of marijuana, the club attracts an array of career driven women who host several social events including infused dinners, salon conversations, marketplaces and elevated yoga. Find them on IG at @PinkStoneDC.
While this list barely scratches the surface, it provides an entry point into the larger network of uniquely targeted arts and culture experiences for the young, Black and educated