Entries by Monica Alford

Inside the Living, Breathing World of the Washington National Opera’s Costume Design

“They think of the costumes as living, breathing things. They develop intense relationships with the costumes themselves as they’re literally forming them with their hands.” Timothy O’Leary is describing the love story between the Washington National Opera (WNO)’s costume team and the works of art they fit to singers not like a glove, but like […]

Where Culture and Community Collide: Culture House DC

Art without restrictions. Interactive installations with immersive experiences. Structured, well-funded programming. Consistent, tangible support of the local community. These are among the priorities reinforced by the leadership at community arts organization Culture House DC in Ward 6. When three strong voices echo the same sentiment in separate conversations, the shared vision and determination of the […]

The Vision of The REACH

“Listen man, Q-Tip is one of my heroes.” I’m going to venture an educated guess that the first image that comes to mind when someone mentions the Kennedy Center isn’t a Haitian-American playwright and spoken-word poet choking back tears as he describes what 90s hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest means to him. And yet, […]

GIRLAAA Collective Provides Safe Space and Creative Platform for Black Women

The subtle nuances of pronunciation never cease to amaze me. I’m sitting across from Kelcie Glass, Nicole Garder and Marlee Milton as they take turns saying the colloquialism that inspired their collective’s name. “Girlaaa” is a common greeting in the District, one generally used to express excitement. But Glass quickly points out that it can […]

DC’s Bacchae on the Expansiveness of Punk

I think it’s time this asshole knew // I do not exist for you These two lines from Bacchae’s song “Read” perfectly capture the DC punk band’s ethos. Whether it’s calling out toxic masculinity on this track from their 2018 self-titled EP or wrestling with not meeting societal expectations of adult success on their new […]