Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Busboys and Poets: A DC Institution

Hey there,

So...Busboys and Poets (B&P). While the title of my post says it all...I'm a bit stumped as I sit here, at the 5th & K location, trying to further elaborate.

And I stated the whole "DC Institution" thing as someone who was born and raised IN Washington, DC.  So while I wouldn't necessarily call myself an authority, I'd like to think that a lifetime perspective (of almost 33 years, as of the time of this post) adds a bit of context that is unique in what is perceived by many as a transitory city.

But I digress. I guess a good place to start might be B&P's 'tribal statement' (from their About page):
Busboys and Poets is a community where racial and cultural connections are consciously uplifted...a place to take a deliberate pause and feed your mind, body and soul...a space for art, culture and politics to intentionally collide...we believe that by creating such a space we can inspire social change and begin to transform our community and the world.
A bit of a disclaimer...having been recently exposed to and involved in the Burning Man community and its Ten Principles (which I'm producing a Capital Fringe show about this summer, more details to come later), this tribal statement resonates with me on a number of levels.

Another good place to start might be their Art page.

Personally, one of my favorite memories here, which I would say is a great example of the intersection which B&P provides on multiple levels, was an event co-presented by then Social Media Club DC (now Digital District) and TheatreWashington: #DCArtsUp. You can read about it in a great wrap-up written by one of the organizers, Jason McCool.

So Culture? Check. Community? Check. Cuisine? DEFINITELY Check! My personal favorite dish is the Rustic Pizza.

And as I'm writing this blog, I am waiting for An Evening of Inspirational Music at 7:30pm, with SongRise, an all women social justice a cappella group.

Because if that doesn't say DC, I don't know what does. And if you're on Twitter, yes that is their profile/header picture, and you should absolutely follow them and/or subscribe to their events email list.
And speaking of community, life imitating a blog imitating life, I just ran into a fellow DC thespian, Connor Hogan, who is in the middle of rehearsals as director a production of "As You Like It" with Half Mad Theatre, playing at the Shop at Fort Fringe in March.

So it's almost 7pm, and several friends are about to arrive. On that note (no pun intended with tonight's event), I believe I'll wrap up this blog post. One thing I'm not saying is that this intersection or model is necessarily unique to Busboys and Poets as an institution, either in the area, around the country, or the world. But I would say that it is one of the best ways that this model has manifested itself in DC and become a nexus of sorts for the area's multitude of communities.

That being said, any thoughts about Busboys and Poets, for better or for worse, let me know in the comments. Especially your thoughts regarding B&P as a 'DC' institution.

JR aka Nexus
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