March 2010 Public Programs - Celebrating Women’s History Month
1:30 - 3:00 p.m. Tours, Talks, and Tea
Take a DC history break and visit our exhibitions on view and watch our featured videos celebrating Women’s History Month:
- March 2, Sweet Honey In The Rock
- March 9, Annie Leibovitz: Life Through A Lens
- March 16, Frida
- March 23, Kildegard von Bingen In Portrait
March 29, Sweet Honey In The Rock and Frida Videos are shown at 2:00 p.m. in the theater on the first floor. After the video presentation, enjoy complimentary tea and coffee. Don’t miss our gift shop which features delightful gifts for all seasons. All of this and more at the elegant Historical Society of Washington, D.C. (Ages 12 to Adults) No RSVP required. FREE
Tuesday, March 2
6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Black History Lecture
Beyond ‘Good Hair’: The African Roots of Fashion & Style
The reaction to Chris Rock’s popular and controversial documentary has ranged from fiery denunciation to bemused silence but it’s clear that many audiences wanted greater depth and historical perspective. After all, not every black woman has always wanted to wear someone else’s hair. How did women dress their hair and bodies in traditional African society? What can we learn about their sense of style and aesthetic? How did black women care for their hair and express their fashion sense during slavery and afterwards? Join C.R. Gibbs, author, lecturer, and former historian for the Black Fashion Museum as he reaches beyond the documentary to unlock the unique secrets of art and image, grace and beauty that distinguish people of African descent throughout the Diaspora.
C.R. Gibbs is the author/co-author of six books, and is a highly regarded lecturer and historian of the African Diaspora. In 1989, he founded the African History and Culture Lecture Series whose scholars continue to provide free presentations at churches, schools, and libraries throughout the Washington-Baltimore area. He researched and narrated “Sketches In Color,” a 13-part companion series to the acclaimed PBS series “The Civil War” for Howard University’s WHUT-TV. Mr. Gibbs is the winner of the 2008 award for excellence in historic preservation public education awarded annually by the Mayor of the District of Columbia. In 2009, the Congressional Black Caucus Veterans Braintrust honored Mr. Gibbs for more than three decades of articles and presentations on the military exploits of Africans and African Americans. (Ages 14 to Adults) No RSVP required. FREE
Saturday, March, 6, 13, 20, 27
12:00 p.m. Kung Fu Class
1:00 p.m. Tai Chi Class
Invite your friends and family to learn Kung Fu and Tai Chi on the grounds of the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. Kung Fu is a broad term that is used to describe all martial arts of Chinese origin. The ancient art of Tai Chi is a style of Kung Fu that emphasizes internal energy. The movements are slow and easy and able to be performed by anyone regardless of physical condition or age.
Free lessons are provided by The Wong People Kung Fu Association under the direction of Raymond Wong. The Washington-based association is dedicated to the practice and preservation of the ancient art of Kung Fu. This is one of the few groups left in the world that is preserving the noncommercial form of Kung Fu and Tai Chi. Wear loose clothing and comfortable shoes. Class will be held outside if the weather permits; otherwise, it will be held inside HSW. (Suitable for all ages) No RSVP required. FREE
Thursday, March 11
6:30—9:00 p.m. Art Salon
In celebration of Black History and Women’s History months, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities’ Art Salon will be held at the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. This event will present an acknowledgement, display and conversation of transcendence above and beyond the struggles of history through the present day.
Dolores Kendrick, Washington’s esteemed Poet Laureate, will read original works to open eyes, ears, and minds to voices of the past while opening the stage floor to the women of The Saartjie Project, an all female artist collective and versatile contemporary artist Holly Bass. Perseverance is translated into visual terms, through Solomon Wondimu’s masterful portrait of Sojourner Truth. To cap off the evening’s activities, Floyd Coleman will give a gallery talk and guided tour of his exhibition, Form & Content: Selected Works by Floyd Coleman
Saartjie Project The intersections of race, gender and power are manifested in DC’s own Saartjie Project. Through the voices of black women, this artist collective produces and develops theatre by combining poetry and song with performing and visual arts.
Holly Bass has captivated audiences across the nation. This multifaceted artist fuses the art of hip hop into her poetry, writings, and performances.
Ethiopian-born artist Solomon Wondimu has always been puzzled by the definition of race. Seeking resolution to this conflict, he has developed the ‘Skin Color Project’—taking and assembling digital photos of the forearms of hundreds of participants. From these photos, he has extracted swatches that make up his Skin Color Bank to create digitally generated works as well as latex wall-paints for large-scale paintings.
Dr. Floyd Coleman’s exhibit, Form & Content: Selected Works by Floyd Coleman traverses forty years of artwork that he created as a scholar and professor, highly regarded for his art historical scholarship and criticism. The influence of jazz and the African American Civil Rights Movement can be experienced along with his personal transition from Jackson, Mississippi to Washington, D.C. in 1987. Dr. Coleman’s journey within the African American artistic experience spans over four decades and his most recent works offer a contemporary glimpse into the capital city after the election of the nation’s first African American president. (Ages 14 to Adults) No RSVP Required. FREE
Sunday, March 14
2:30—4:00 p.m. HSW Author & Lecture Series
That Which Awakens Me
By Ananda Kiamsha Madelyn Leeke
In the poetic memoir That Which Awakens Me, Ananda Kiamsha Madelyn Leeke shares her journey of self-discovery from a law school graduate to a creative woman who learned to open the door to authentic living.
When Leeke graduated from law school in 1989, she was a twenty-something with a life plan focused on becoming a successful attorney. Using her multiple bar examination failures and two bouts of unemployment as a catalyst for self-discovery and lifestyle reinvention, Leeke followed her own unique path during the past twenty years and made changes in the way she feels, thinks, lives, works, and manages her finances. Through poetic reflection and personal stories, she shares the lessons that taught her to trust her intuition, expand her spiritual practices, heal emotional wounds, and tap into her creativity. That Which Awakens Me provides insight for anyone seeking guidance on how to both handle and benefit from the ups and downs of their own life journey.
Ananda Kiamsha Madelyn Leeke is a writer, artist, creativity coach, yoga teacher, Reiki Master practitioner, radio host, blogger, social media strategist, and innerpreneur. She serves as President and CEO of Kiamsha.com, LLC, a company that empowers people to be themselves online and offline through creativity, coaching, contemplative practices, community service, and communication strategies. Leeke lives in Washington, D.C. For more information about Ms. Leeke, visit www.anandaleeke.com. (Ages 16 to Adults) No RSVP Required. FREE
Thursday, March 18
6:30—8:00 p.m. Discussion & Book signing
Role of a Lifetime: Reflections on Faith, Family and Significant Living
By Sports Commentator James Brown
Join us as literary scholar E. Ethelbert Miller has a frank discussion with network sports broadcaster, James Brown, about his new book, Role of a Lifetime: Reflections on Faith, Family and Significant Living.
In this compelling book, James reveals a different side of his character. Brown rose from a middle-class home to earn a scholarship to Harvard and a chance at a professional sports career before moving on to broadcast journalism. Part memoir and part self-help, this book draws on James's lessons from his faith and life experiences to guide readers to find fulfillment and significance. He offers values and encouragement to others of all generations, assisting them in their search for meaning in navigating a world that increasingly promotes transient values, if any at all. His message that shortcuts and gimmicks are counterproductive to a person's success provides hope that there is a God who cares about them and their futures.
This is a not to be missed event! Mr. Brown will sign books after the discussion. (Ages 14 to Adults) No RSVP Required. FREE
Saturday, March 20
11:30 a.m.—1:00 p.m.
Kiplinger Library Research Series
Introduction to Photography Collection
Join Special Collections Librarian, Colleen McKnight, for a virtual tour of the Historical Society's vast photograph holdings. Discover new collections, see hidden gems, and learn tricks and tips for searching our online catalog. This is the perfect opportunity to view historic photographs of the District and learn how to find images of your own neighborhood in the Society's collections. If you are a researcher, historian, or student interested in historic photos of the District, you don’t want to miss this workshop! (Ages 16 to Adults) Reservations are required; call 202-383-1850. FREE
Sunday, March 21
2:30—4:00 p.m. HSW Author & Lecture Series
Women in Media Panel
Eleanor Clift, Sheila Banks, and Lea Adams, three veteran journalists spanning four decades of journalism history, will share their personal narratives and reveal how they survived and excelled in the historically male dominated media. Hear the behind-the-scenes challenges and success stories that shaped each woman into a highly respected journalist.
Eleanor Clift is a contributing editor for Newsweek magazine. She reports on the White House, presidential politics, and a variety of national issues. Her column, “Capitol Letter,” is posted each week on Newsweek.com and MSNBC.com.
Sheila Banks, Emmy Award-winning writer, producer, and a former host for WETA-TV, made a successful transition from broadcasting to entrepreneurship and is now the President of Nagrom Productions.
Panel moderator, Lea Adams’ 25 year career as a host and producer in broadcasting changed when her marketing strategies for local and national politicians moved her from covering the news to news maker. This panel discussion should prove to be informative, fun, and provocative. (Ages 16 to Adults) No RSVP Required. FREE
Saturday, March 27
1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Acting Workshop
Introduction to Playback Theatre Workshop
Have Fun. Get Inspired. Connect with others. This playful workshop, “Introduction to Playback Theatre,” is an interactive theatre founded in 1975 by Jonathan Fox and Jo Salas and is practiced worldwide. Playback Theatre is an original form of improvisational theatre in which a participant tells a moment or story from their life, chooses the actors to play the different roles, and then all those present watch the enactment, as the story "comes to life" with artistic shape and nuance. The re-creation of stories are shaped using metaphor, narration, chorus, genre, movement and song. Playback Theatre is sometimes considered a modality of drama therapy. The workshop is designed for anyone who wants to unleash their creative juices in a safe and creative environment. In this workshop you will:
- Learn basic Playback techniques.
- Receive training material outlining Playback structure and tools.
- Trust your instincts and creative impulses.
- Enhance your empathy, intuition and group trust.
- Watch your story re-enacted.
- Serve others by re-enacting their stories.
Saturday, March 27
2:00—4:00 p.m. Film Screening
Hip Hop Cinema Café Series
A solSource Group, ITVS, and HSW Presentation
Dir. Benjamin Franzen, 70 minutes, 2009, USA
Copyright Criminals examines the creative and commercial value of musical sampling, including the related debates over artistic expression, copyright law, and (of course) money.
Long before people began posting their homemade video mashups on the Web, hip-hop musicians were perfecting the art of audio montage through sampling. Sampling — or riffing — is as old as music itself, but new technologies developed in the 1980s and 1990s made it easier to reuse existing sound recordings. Acts like Public Enemy, De La Soul and the Beastie Boys created complex rhythms, references and nuanced layers of original and appropriated sound. But by the early 1990s, sampling had collided with the law. When recording industry lawyers got involved, what was once called “borrowed melody” became “copyright infringement.”
Copyright Criminals examines the creative and commercial value of musical sampling, including the related debates over artistic expression, copyright law and money. The film showcases many of hip-hop music’s founding figures like Public Enemy, De La Soul and Digital Underground, as well as emerging artists such as audiovisual remixers Eclectic Method. It also provides first-person interviews with artists who have been sampled, such as Clyde Stubblefield — James Brown's drummer and the world's most sampled musician — and commentary by another highly sampled musician, funk legend George Clinton.
Computers, mobile phones and other interactive technologies are changing our relationships with media, blurring the line between producer and consumer and radically changing what it means to be creative. As artists find more inventive ways to insert old influences into new material, Copyright Criminals poses the question: Can you own a sound? After the show, you are invited to participate in an audience discussion with some of the most knowledgeable voices in the DC’s Hip Hop Community! (Ages 18 to Adults) No RSVP required. FREE
Sunday March 28
2:00 - 3:30 p.m. D.C. Family Urban Gardening Series
The Forgotten Annuals and Old-Fashioned Seed Swap
Presented by Washington Gardener Magazine and HSW
Janet Draper, Horticulturist of the Mary Livingston Ripley Garden at the Smithsonian Institution, will discuss: "What Happened to Growing Things From Seed? The Forgotten Annuals." She will describe those wonderful self-sowing and easy-to-start annuals many of us remember from our grandmother's gardens. From Columbine to Nasturtium to Cosmos, Janet will walk us through each flower’s attributes and the best ways to start them from seed.
Janet's talk will be followed by an old-fashioned seed swap. Bring your new, un-used, or self-collected seed packs for a fun seed trading session. Please fully label all your seeds and be sure that none are on the Mid-Atlantic invasive plants list. Be prepared to say a little about the seeds you have brought.
Janet Draper is Horticulturist of the Mary Livingston Ripley Garden at the Smithsonian Institution. For about a decade now, Janet has been refining the Ripley garden and also maintaining the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden plantings, along with the numerous security planters along Independence Avenue. Janet’s training includes what she refers to as her ‘Pedigree’ in Horticulture from Purdue University, but her real hands on training came from internships after college where, she says, the real education began. Her first stop was at Mt. Cuba Center for the Study of Native Piedmont Plants in Delaware, then on to Maryland to learn ornamental grasses and perennials at the nursery of Kurt Bluemel. The next stop for the Indiana farm girl was at the Staudengartnerei Grafin von Stein-Zeppelin (Perennial Nursery of Countess von Stein-Zeppelin) in Germany’s famed Black Forest. She was then accepted to work at the nursery of Beth Chatto, one of England’s Victoria Medal of Honor holders. (Ages 16 to Adults) No RSVP required. FREE