For the third year running, I was proud to serve as the photography/videography coordinator for DC’s annual Funk Parade – “a one-of-a-kind day fair, parade and music festival, celebrating Washington DC’s vibrant music and arts, the U Street neighborhood, and the Spirit of Funk that brings us all together.” Continue reading
Historically, the Washington neighborhood of Mount Pleasant has been predominately Hispanic with a significant number of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. As such, it only makes sense that it hosts a festival on Día de los Muertos, the day when families in south and central Mexico gather to pay tribute to dead loved ones and to offer spiritual assistance on their journey. Today, however, Mount Pleasant is a neighborhood in transition with residents of multiple ethnic and economic classes. While the Mexican tradition of Día de los Muertos is still prominent, the current festival in Mount Pleasant is influenced by the variety of backgrounds clearly visible in the faces of those attending. Continue reading
This was not the first time that I have seen Urban Artistry, a DC area organization dedicated to the preservation and performance of urban arts. I have watched them dance on several occasions and have photographed them a few times as well. And I always leave their shows feeling an enhanced sense of happiness, joy, and life. Their performance on May 2nd at DC’s Funk Parade was no exception and, indeed, seemed particularly special. Perhaps it was because of the very festive atmosphere of the day, or because of the extraordinary weather. Perhaps it was because of how involved the crowd was, or how the group welcomed and encouraged the brave (and talented) spectators-turned-performers. Or maybe it was because of the location at the famous Ben’s Chili Bowl (a virtual library of DC urban art history), dancing in an urban theater of a narrow alley on an asphalt stage aside the street portraits of DC go-go legends Chuck Brown and Little Benny. This performance was a true celebration of urban art through dance.
View the gallery of my attempts to capture Urban Artistry’s perpetual motion and infectious joy in still images.