Shaw Holds Art All Night 2022

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Shaw, the neighborhood that originated the District’s Art All Night festival, held its 11th Art All Night on the evening of Saturday, Sept. 24. Due to the growth and development of Shaw, this year’s festival had to change some of its traditional venues. 

Art All Night Kid’s Zone 

The festival actually began in the afternoon with the Art All Night Shaw Kid’s Zone, sponsored by Events DC. At the Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library, activities included paper collage-making, a screen-printing demonstration, a drag storytime performance and watercolor painting session for children downstairs. Outside the library, the Hung Tao Choi Mei Leadership Institute performed a Lion Dance for an electrified crowd. Neighboring Eighth Street was closed to set up a Foamboree, with kids jumping through mountains of soap bubbles, while Rita’s Ice provided free, fresh-fruit frozen treats.

Mount Vernon Square

At sunset, Events DC started with an outdoor Art All Night Shaw activation at the Carnegie Library that included face painting, glow-in-the-dark body tattoos and a rainbow colored Foamboree. There was also an interactive community mural, a My Wish for DC chalkboard, six-foot DC letters for attendees to write and draw on, LED furniture, lawn games and DJ Divine keeping the attendees dancing the night away. 

Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library

The Shaw Library was also full of activity that night with face painting and a zumba dance class along with video recordings conducted for the DC Public Library’s annual Evil Laugh Contest. In the basement, Sidney Buffalow conducted do-it-yourself acrylic and watercolor painting workshops for adults and children. Outside, the Hung Tao Choi Mei Leadership Institute came back to hold a Lucky Light Lion Dance, and performance artist Shanna Lim channeled participants’ sadness over lost loved ones as an Angel of Grief.

Shaw Artists Market and Main Stage

The center of Shaw’s activities for the night was at Banneker Academic High School’s west plaza and parking lot, the site of the art market and main performance space. Fourteen local artists set up tents near the R Street entrance of the venue to show and offer their work for sale. On the plaza, progressive hip-hop artist Christylez Bacon performed with Irish harpist Abbie Palmer, followed by local vocalist Ace Ono and her band. The Batala Washington female drum corps created a stir by marching all the way from Seventh and P streets to Banneker Plaza, where they presented a rousing drum set to an appreciative crowd. The last performance was Quintessence, a troop of fire and soap bubble artists that dazzled the crowd with pyrotechnics. Video artist Robin Bell projected his latest effort, “Future 22,” on the wall of the school. Noted DC muralist Aniekan Udofia drew a crowd of spectators as he worked on a live Afro-futurist mural, “Tomorrow Is Today.”

Shaw Community Center

In front of Lincoln Temple, 11th Street was closed to provide space for an electronic game pavilion and a stage for the Black Alley Band, youth from the Washington Jazz Arts Institute and a fashion show. Among the most exciting outdoor offerings were the wrestling matches presented by the C3W professional wrestling group. The crowd cheered at every body slam, with action heightened by announcer commentary.

Team Rayceen

Perhaps the hottest spot of the night was at the DC Housing Finance Agency, where Rayceen Pendarvis and collaborators presented a full program. The Washington DC Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence greeted visitors at the door, leading to a night filled with poetry, an LBGT blues singer, rappers Starranko and Nia Monae and a fashion show. Midnight brought a Shaw Mini Ball competition, where contestants vied in events such as Best Dressed Spectator and Best Voguing.

T Street Block Party

Right Proper Brewing Company held its second Art All Night Shaw Block Party with a list of musicians and spoken-word artists performing both inside the brew pub and outside on its patio. Next door, in front of the Howard Theater, the Black Beer Garden featured the Black Brew Movement and Urban Garden Brewing, offering an array of beers from BIPOC craft brewers, along with works offered by local artists. Across the street, The Cornerstone offered free putt-putt golf. 

Business Activations

Other Shaw businesses participated in Art All Night. Beau Thai restaurant set up a stand outside and offered glow-in-the-dark necklaces and had patrons create their own postcard designs, to be immortalized on Instagram. Lee’s Flower and Card Shop offered free floral-crown workshops, with participants getting to wear their creations during the festival. Compass Coffee, Shaw’s Tavern, Quattro Osteria, Wanda’s on 7th, Stop Smack’n, Motown Square Pizza, Electric Cool-Aid, La Jambe and Touchstone Gallery also participated by holding art exhibits or sponsoring musical performances.

Art All Night Shaw 2022 was presented by Shaw Main Streets, with major funding from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the Department of Small and Local Business Development and DC Main Streets. Sponsors included Events DC, Pepco, DC Water, U Street Parking, Friends of Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Neighborhood Library, Miller Copying Service and Beyond.