(Updated at 8:51 a.m. Saturday) Though one of D.C.’s largest art events is set to return this year with more neighborhoods than ever before, its founder and former creative director won’t return with it.
In an open letter she penned to attendees and organizers earlier this week, Art All Night founder Ariana Austin said she’s parted ways with the event. Why? A participating community group and a city agency took her idea and ran off with it, she alleges.
“Art All Night was a terrific idea usurped by our sponsoring organization, not properly credited by D.C. government agencies, and a case study in competing business and arts interests in the city,” Austin wrote.
The problem began in 2013, Austin said, when Art All Night linked up with Shaw Main Streets. Though the community group “seemed like a terrific sponsoring organization,” they soon began to take credit for the festival, she alleged. (Side note: Alex Padro, executive director at Shaw Main Streets, said he had “no comment” about Austin’s version of events.)
The following year, Austin said the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities moved to expand the festival without consulting her. When she contacted the agency, she recalled their response as, “oops, was that you who started Art All Night? Sorry!”
Austin continued in her letter:
This year (2016), the Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) received a reduced amount of funds from DCCAH to produce the festival, changed the subtitle (from Nuit Blanche which I had a license to use to Made in D.C.), but kept the name “Art All Night” (too generic to be protected by law). Of course I sent a note to DSLBD, but they never responded.
In other words, Austin told us, the groups pushed her out of her own event.
“Nobody makes any distinction between the Art All Night that’s happening this Saturday and the other,” Austin told us. “They didn’t credit it. They didn’t say it started five years ago … It’s just Art All Night.”
When reached for comment, Ana Harvey, the DSLBD’s acting director, responded with the following statement:
We are honored to have played a role in supporting this community festival but the credit for its success and continued growth since 2011 is due to the grassroots efforts of hundreds of volunteers and community organizations. We look forward to supporting this and other programs, such as Made In DC, 202 Creates and Mayor’s Arts Awards, that capture, highlight and promote the intellectual and creative genius of DC’s local maker community.
All in all, Austin said she just wants credit for her idea and recognition for the work she and other volunteers have put in over the years. Austin ended her open letter with three suggestions:
DSLBD, DCCAH, and Shaw Main Streets should immediately put the history of the event on the current website and honor the contributions and intellectual capital that they’ve borrowed.
DC Government agencies must do a better job of giving credit where it’s due, and responding to individual citizens with respect especially when they use their concepts.
The time is now for a general convening with artists, businesses, developers, and government agencies to discuss roles and responsibilities for collaboration and partnerships so we can all benefit from our shared interests in this beloved city.
Though she’s not helping organize Art All Night this year, she’ll still attend the event, however.
“I’m going to go,” Austin said. “I have a lot of friends still involved in this event. We helped them build out this project.”
Photo via Twitter / Art All Night DC
The robbery happened on the 1600 block of 5th Street NW around 10:45 p.m. The crime occurred on the same block where another armed robbery took place Wednesday afternoon.
A woman was walking along 5th Street with another person when she felt someone tug on her purse, according to a police report. The woman then fell to the ground, and when she looked up, she saw someone aiming a silver handgun at her.
“Give it to me, Give it to me,” the robber demanded. The woman then handed over her purse and phone, but the robber wanted her violin case, too, police said. It’s unclear whether the case contained anything.
The robber swiped the violin case and was last spotted running north with another person in an alley on the 500 block of Q St. NW. Authorities found the case lying on the ground about two blocks away.
Police didn’t release a description of the robber.
Photo via Google Street View
The robbery happened on the 1600 block of 5th St. NW around noon yesterday.
A woman was walking south on 5th Street when someone ran up behind her and pulled out a gun, authorities said. The thief then grabbed the woman’s bag and darted into an alley before she had time to react. The bag contained an iPhone, some cash and several credit cards, among other personal items.
The woman sustained a scratch on her arm during the robbery but declined medical treatment, according to the report.
Police said they’re on the lookout for:
B/M, dreads, wearing a mask; S2: B/M, medium complexion, 20’s, 6’0, wearing a black hoody with a gray strip at bottom armed with a black gun, both L/S running into south alley between New Jersey and O streets NW
(Updated Wednesday at 7:52 p.m.) Several of the owners behind Chaplin’s are plotting to open a new diner about a block away from the Shaw ramen restaurant.
Ari Wilder said during a meeting of Logan Circle’s ANC 2F earlier this month he intends to help open a new restaurant called “Shaw Shank Diner” at 906 P St. NW. Chaplin’s co-owner Adrian Williams is also attached to the project.
If all goes according to plan, the restaurant would serve diner fare and include outdoor seating, Borderstan learned during the meeting.
Though it’s unclear when Shaw Shank Diner would open (the forthcoming eatery is still in its early stages, the Wilders said) a sample menu designed by local company KTD Creative seems to reveal what it might serve.
According to the sample menu, the diner would serve fried egg sandwiches, breakfast burritos, egg skillets, fried chicken sandwiches and “small chow” like smoked beef brisket, mac and cheese and burgers.
Shaw Shank may also have cocktails, beer, wine and soda, according to an unfinished drink list.
Additionally, Anne Alfano, co-founder and executive chef at Little Red Fox, appears to be attached to the new eatery.
A representative for the eatery declined to comment but said more information would be available soon.
A thief in Columbia Heights learned over the weekend that a gun isn’t necessarily enough to rob somebody who is unable to hear.
The gun-wielding robber had to use his cellphone to type a note with his demands when he encountered a deaf man on the 1500 block of Columbia Road NW about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, police said.
“Give me your bank [card] and money and your pin number,” the message said, according to authorities.
A Shaw bar that had its liquor license suspended over an assault earlier this year can start serving booze again, the District’s alcohol board ruled yesterday.
Salina Restaurant at 1936 9th St. NW received the D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Board’s approval to reopen after agreeing to pay a $12,000 fine and meet other requirements imposed by the panel. The board took away Salina’s liquor license in the days following a May attack that sent a customer to a hospital.
The bar might not resume operations as Salina, however.
A masked thief with a gun stole a car in Shaw this morning a day after another armed carjacking with a masked robber in the neighborhood, police said.
The carjacking today occurred on the 1600 block of 6th Street NW about 3 a.m. The scene of the crime was just around the corner from the 600 block of Q Street NW, where a carjacking happened about 1 a.m. Wednesday.
A police spokeswoman said the crimes don’t appear to be connected.
A masked thief stole a pizza delivery man’s car at gunpoint in Shaw early this morning, police said.
The armed carjacking happened on the 600 block of Q Street NW about 1 a.m. today. The area is about two blocks south of the Shaw-Howard University Metro station.
The victim was bringing a pizza to a man on Q Street when the individual came up to the victim’s car with a handgun, according to authorities. The man with the gun then ordered the victim to leave his car and hand over his money.
The pizza man got out of his car and gave up his cash soon after. The man with the gun then hopped in the car and drove off.
Police described the car and the suspect in a tweet after the crime:
3D ARMED CARJACKING/600 BLOCK Q ST NW/LOF RED HYUNDAI ELANTRA VA TAG VLD2510 B/M 6', SLIM, DREADS, WHT MASK, DARK PANTS, WHT T-SHIRT
— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) September 14, 2016
Photo via Google Maps
An Australian skin care company has brought its facial cleansers, lip balms and other beauty products to a new shop in Shaw.
The shop is Aesop’s first location in the D.C. area. The company also has stores around the globe in cities including New York, London and Melbourne, where the business started in 1987.
“Our objective has always been to formulate skin, hair and body care products of the finest quality; we investigate widely to source plant-based and laboratory-made ingredients, and use only those with a proven record of safety and efficacy,” Aesop says on its website. “In each of our unique stores, informed consultants are pleased to introduce our range and to guide your selections.”
A thief wearing a skull mask grabbed a woman by her neck, put a gun to her head and robbed her in Bloomingdale late last night, police said.
The armed robbery happened on the 1900 block of 2nd Street NW about 11:45 p.m. Monday.
The victim was walking about a block north of Rhode Island Avenue NW when a man came up to her from behind, according to authorities. He soon after grasped her neck, flashed a handgun and ordered her to give up her keys.
A man exposed himself and tried to take off a woman’s pants in Columbia Heights over the weekend, police said.
The attempted sexual assault occurred on the 1300 block of Perry Place NW about 7 a.m. Saturday.
The victim was behind a rowhouse in the area when a man came up to her, according to authorities.
(Updated at 7:18 p.m.) A new restaurant with “American food” and a rooftop seating area is in the works in Shaw.
The forthcoming eatery, dubbed 647 Rooftop, is slated to open at 647 Florida Ave. NW, according to a liquor license application recently filed with D.C.’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration.
The restaurant aims to serve “American food” and will also feature live music, DJs, dancing and charge a cover at the door, the application reads. As outlined in the application, the restaurant would have seats for 15 people on the roof and could span some of the building’s upper floors. Additionally, a public hearing notice says the eatery could have room for as many as 475 people, though it’s not clear exactly where.
It also looks as though 647 Rooftop could be related to next-door business Flash. Amir Yerushalmi, who is listed on the application as having previously held the nightclub’s liquor license, is one of 647 Rooftop’s managing members.
When asked about the connection, however, a representative for Flash said, “sorry, but we have no knowledge of this new business next door.”
If all goes according to plan, the forthcoming restaurant would join the ranks of nearby hangouts Takoda (715 Florida Ave. NW), 801 Restaurant and Bar (801 Florida Ave. NW) and The Dirty Goose (913 U St. NW), which all opened earlier this year with rooftop decks.
Locals can show their support for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton or Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump by getting a drink at a Shaw bar this fall.
Espita Mezcaleria at 1250 9th St. NW will serve $11 election-themed cocktails “The Wall” for Trump fans and “Madam Presidenta” for Clinton backers starting Tuesday, according to an announcement from the bar.
The Wall will have mezcal, Campari, orange juice and soda. Madam Presidenta will include mezcal, blue curaçao, El Dorado’s eight-year-old rum, lime and orgeat syrup.
Espita Mezcaleria will have “informal polling” weekly to see which drink has the best sales, a news release from the bar says.
Drinkers can vote with their mouths until Nov. 8 on Election Day.
Photo courtesy of Espita Mezcaleria
A public art project is set to bring a new take on Ethiopian coffee rituals, Duke Ellington-inspired music from a live orchestra and other happenings to the streets of Shaw this month.
“What’s Going On: Voices of Shaw” is slated to have more than a half-dozen events put on by locals from Sept. 24 to Oct. 1, according to arts incubator Pleasant Plains Workshop, which is organizing the festival.
“Shaw is a neighborhood with an unrefuted rich cultural heritage and we will use this history as a starting point for each project,” Pleasant Plains founder Kristina Bilonick said in a statement. “Through the festival events, we seek to bring both old and new community voices together to pay homage to Shaw.”
A news release adds:
The attack occurred at the BP gas station at 2600 14th St. NW about 5:45 p.m. Monday.
The victim was waiting for cops to arrive to take a report on his stolen scooter when he and another person saw two young men riding it toward the BP, according to authorities.