Scenes From the Juggalo March on National Mall

The Juggalos – fans of pioneering Detroit horrocore/hip-hop group Insane Clown Posse – aren’t known for their civic activism.

But on Saturday, thousands of the colorful, misfit music enthusiasts – who dub themselves a “family” – gathered on the National Mall in Washington to exercise their Constitutional right to free speech and assembly. Why? Because in 2011, the FBI classified the entire fan base as a “hybrid gang” in its annual National Gang Threat Assessment report following some violent incidents involving self-proclaimed fans of the band.

The Juggalos were anything but violent at the rally – they seemed unfailingly polite, actually. But they are frustrated that the federal gang classification has prevented some of them who publicly affiliate with the band from getting jobs, admission to the military and even custody of their children.

“I’m a Juggalo, not a gang member,” read several signs held aloft at the rally.

After the protest march and several opening sets by other performers, Insane Clown Posse hit the stage under a bright moon and rocked for a solid hour in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial. The rally was unlike any other we’ve seen on the National Mall, and the Juggalos certainly succeeded in getting their message across. Review & photos: Michael Coleman

AdamsMorganDay_091017 (4)

Adams Morgan Day 2017

For it’s 39th year, the people of Adams Morgan came together for a grassroots celebration of Adams Morgan’s eclectic history, culture, businesses and residents at Adams Morgan Day 2017 on Sunday. It is Washington’s longest running neighborhood festival, and stayed family-friendly with music, art and activities for all ages. Photos: Michelle Goldchain

Photo: Little Academy’s Facebook page
Photo: Little Academy’s Facebook page

Class Is In Session

Ah, September. Time for everyone who attempted to escape the humidity for the summer to return to the city. Time for football and crab cakes. Time for Oktoberfests and biergartens. And yes, time for school.

The District has bid farewell to our summer interns and welcomed back the scores of students from all over the world enrolled in the 70 or so colleges within 50 miles of Washington. But it’s not just university pupils hitting the books, as it were. DC ranks as the most educated city in America according to a 2016 Washington Post article, and it appears that many residents are lifelong students in a wide variety subjects.

Outside of the traditional education realm, several organizations and cooperatives around the DMV offer opportunities that cater to our collective desire to keep learning more about everything from dead languages to literature and liquor to macramé – and to have some fun while doing it. Read on to check out just a few of the many ways you can get your learn on this fall.

GLN 3 (Photo - Courtesy of Global Language Network)

Global Language Network

The GLN is unique in DC’s educational scene because it’s a nonprofit organization with a mission to “use language as a tool to help fix our world.” Founder Andrew Brown says the organization achieves its mission by “empowering individuals through language education and communication.”

“We basically tapped into the idea that regardless of their background, everyone needs and relies on communication,” Brown says. “So that’s our goal, helping people become better communicators. And the first step in that is speaking the other person’s language.”

GLN offers classes in more than 60 languages at minimal cost, made possible by the fact that teachers and instructors are largely volunteers who “are excited about the language and culture and want to share it,” Brown says. The network also focuses on leadership-building skills for those volunteer instructors.

While you can take common language classes like French, Spanish and Italian through GLN, the organization is the only one in the country that teaches Burmese, and this fall will be the only to teach Balochi. So, even if you’re not looking to try your tongue at Nepali, enrolling in any of GLN’s classes helps to keep diverse languages, and in turn their cultures, alive.

Find out more here: www.thegln.org.



IVY: The Social University

IVY is geared toward 25 to 45-year-olds who are seeking both networking opportunities outside of work and educational stimulation beyond their time in school – so basically the average Washingtonian. Gaining membership in IVY isn’t as exclusive as the Ivy League, but you can’t just walk in, either. Each prospective member is interviewed prior to joining to ensure they are committed to supporting the ideas and goals of fellow members with a passion for lifelong communal growing and learning.

“We host events, talks and excursions focusing on politics, business, arts and culture, and seminars in personal growth,” says media director Tyler Marcus. IVY has chapters around the country, so the experience is somewhat different in each city. In DC for example, 20-person dinners with thought leaders in various fields are balanced by river tubing in Harper’s Ferry and volunteer projects with groups like Upwardly Global, which helps immigrants and refugees on their career paths. Marcus is excited about a members-only private dance performance by the Washington Ballet happening this month.

“Our goal is to create opportunities for members to socialize and meet new people, but to do so while learning something that they didn’t know before,” he says.

Find out more here: www.ivy.com.

Little Academy (Photo - Little Academy's Facebook page)

Little Academy

Founded by Chris Maier and the rest of the crew who bring the monthly Little Salon events to various locations around DC, Little Academy – “for DC’s curious class” – is a series of one-off workshops that take place in bars and encourage participants to flex their mind muscles while maybe also trying to impress a date.

Taught by local subject area experts and enthusiasts, the classes are one night each, last for two hours and cost $20 to attend. This summer’s Little Academy curriculum included such course titles as “Kissed by a Rose: The Gender Politics of the Bachelor,” “Charting Our City: Mapping the Secrets of Hidden DC” and “American Lyrics, American Spirits: Poets and the Drinks that Fueled Them.”

If these strike your mind’s fancy, keep an eye on the Little Academy website for information about upcoming fall classes.

Find out more here: www.littleacademydc.com.

Knowledge Commons (Photo - Knowledge Commons' Facebook page)

Knowledge Commons

Launched in 2011, Knowledge Commons is one of DC’s first communal learning organizations. KCDC started as an art project out of Anacostia’s Honfleur Gallery, and has since grown into DC’s “neighborhood experiment in teaching and learning.”

The goal of KCDC is to “form community through common interests and skills,” and over the past six years, it has offered more than 700 classes for free. Most classes are single one to three-hour sessions, but more long-form courses are on the table as well. The organization encourages volunteers who want to teach to submit proposals for “classes so wacky that no formal institution would ever offer them, except maybe Oberlin.”

What does that look like? Well, some past and current titles might give you an idea: The Economics of Space Exploration; Future Funk Ready: DCPL Music Resources for Funk and Beyond; Exploratory Jogging: Chasing Waterfalls; It’s Alive! Brewing and Bottling Your Own Kombucha; and Explain Yourself! A Critical Look at Our Identities through Social Media Posting, just to name a few.

Find out more here: www.knowledgecommonsdc.org.

Lemon Collective (Photo - Jeffrey Martin)

The Lemon Collective

The all-around classy and cool ladies of The Lemon Collective, formerly The Lemon Bowl, have cultivated a community and physical space that is part shared workspace, part DIY skill-building and part creative entrepreneurship experiment. Cofounder Linny Giffin, a fiber artist and interior decorator, says when scheduling classes at the Collective, she and the rest of the team “try to keep it open so that our lineup appeals to who we are.”

“We’re 30-something women whose interests are all over the place – in a good way,” Giffin says.

The Collective hosts workshops that vary from craft to business classes, like marketing, podcasting, journalism and astrology.

“We try to invite people who are experts in their field to come and teach,” she adds.

Giffin is excited about a current renovation of the space, allowing the group to “fit more people and reach out to new teachers to keep making it exciting and fresh.” Keep an eye out for the crystal-healing workshop coming up this fall.

Find out more here: www.wearethelemoncollective.com.

Photo: Rachel E. H. Photography
Photo: Rachel E. H. Photography

Local Entrepreneur Brings Dance to World Stage

Like many young professionals, Megan Taylor Morrison arrived in the DC area for work.

“The job was amazing,” Morrison said. “But ultimately, I knew I was destined to start my own company.”

Two years in, Megan quit and began earning money as a life coach and dance instructor at Joy of Motion, where she still teaches.

“All the while, I worked with my business partner Melaina Spitzer to design and run dance trips to Brazil, the Dominican Republic and Argentina,” Morrison said. “We were testing the business model for Dance Adventures (DA). Even though Melaina and I had 18 years of experience leading trips, this was a different niche, and we needed to learn the ropes.”

DA is now in its third year of business. As an adventure travel company, DA specializes in “epic dance tours around the world.” In 2018, DA will sponsor trips to six destinations. The company was recently accepted to Creative Startups, the foremost accelerator for creative businesses in the world. We spoke with Morrison about DA, her experience in the incubator and what it’s like to start a business in the DMV area.

On Tap: What inspires you about this work?
Megan Morrison: I always knew our travelers would have a great time, but I didn’t expect the experiences to be so transformative. Most of us are busy, burnt out and disconnected in our daily lives. My favorite part of this work is seeing people reconnect to their sense of community, self-expression, wonder and play. Connecting to these things is key to living our most joyful, healthy and successful life.

OT: Where is your favorite place to visit?
MM: Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is fabulous because it offers so much: hikes to incredible vistas, great music and lots of fun dance styles. Samba no pé, the dance featured in Carnaval, is the best-known. I also love partnered samba (“samba de gafieira”) and forró, which is a partner dance done to the Brazilian version of country music. I also love the Dominican Republic because it’s the birthplace of bachata and merengue. My favorite thing to do is sit at a colmado, or corner store, drink an ice-cold Presidente beer, and listen to music or play dominos with the locals.

OT: Where can people learn these dances in DC?
MM: I teach at Joy of Motion, and I recommend taking classes there. You can also join our Dance Adventures Meetup group.

OT: What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a business in the DMV area?
MM: Living in the DMV is expensive, but don’t let that stop you from starting a business. You can always make it work, even if you need to drive an Uber or stay at your day job until you’re turning a profit. Get lots of support to keep you accountable and moving forward.

OT: How is Creative Startups helping you building your business?
Over the last three years, I’ve identified the gaps in my knowledge and I knew Creative Startups would be a fast and powerful way to fill those gaps and hone the business model. It’s extremely intense and gives us access to incredible mentors, like Lena Ramfelt from Stanford University. We’re only a few weeks in and we’ve already completely changed our business model. It’s exciting and we’re really encouraged by the community.

OT: What other advice would you give young professionals with big dreams?
MM: Surround yourself with other visionaries. It can be lonely having a big vision and not having those around you understand. Before I left my job, there was a three-month period where I cried every day after work. I wanted to start my business so badly, but I was afraid and many people told me it was crazy. Trust yourself and get started, because there is magic in beginning.

Learn more about DA here.

Photo caption: Dance Adventures’ Founding Director Melaina Spitzer dances bachata with a fellow traveler in the Dominican Republic

Photo: Joel Goldberg
Photo: Joel Goldberg

DC’s Literary Scavenger Hunt: UNCENSORED Underground

Wednesday evening at Columbia Room, a crowd of book and scavenger hunt enthusiasts escaped the August heat with cocktails and conversation. The talk revolved around the scavenger hunt taking place throughout the District next month.

Inspired by Banned Books Week, the DC Public Library Foundation and the DC Public Library will task area residents with uncovering more than 600 books hidden in locations around the city, including DCPL branches, coffee shops, book stores, arts centers and restaurants.

Keeping in step with this year’s theme of “Texts Against Tyranny,” Wednesday’s cocktail hour featured a drink called Mirror Factory Punch, a concoction of cognac, riesling, crème de mure, green tea, lemon verbena, lemon and cane sugar. The name of the drink is a reference to Fahrenheit 451, one of six dystopian novels included in the scavenger hunt.

“I’m a big riesling fan,” said Richard Reyes-Gavilan, executive director of DC Public Library. “It’s incredible. You’ve got all these alcohols, but you can’t really taste any of them. That’s very dangerous.”

Indeed, the Mirror Factory Punch was a devious mixture, marked most notably with sour hints of lemon. According to event organizer Linnea Hegarty, this drink will be served alongside five other custom drinks at the scavenger hunt’s culminating event, UNCENSORED Underground, which will be held September 30. Each drink will pay homage to one of the six books chosen for the scavenger hunt.

“UNCENSORED is absolutely helping us redefine what a library means to its community,” Reyes-Gavilan said.

To shape this new image, Reyes-Gavilan enlisted the help of the local arts community, organizations and outlets such as Brightest Young Things and A Creative DC. WAMU’s Morning Edition, for example, will announce one clue toward finding the rogue books every weekday morning throughout September.

The scavenger hunt is in its second year of existence. Over the course of last year’s hunt, DC Public Library’s Twitter followers doubled, Hegarty said. She added that the preview event is usually held at the MLK Library, but it is closed for renovation until 2020. That didn’t stop the usual suspects from attending.

“A lot of [attendees] are board members of the library foundation and the library and some of the library staff,” Hegarty said. “But more importantly, we have a lot of the partners who are helping us with the scavenger hunt.”

These partners have enabled the DC Public Library to give out an assortment of prizes. Potential prizes will include tickets for two to Columbia Room, an expedited entry pass to the Game of Thrones pop-up bar in Shaw, and a weekend night at The LINE Hotel and a dinner for two at Brothers and Sisters, the hotel restaurant.

On a small table at the entrance to Wednesday’s cocktail party, unique covers adorned a stash of the books that will make up the scavenger hunt. Their covers screamed the books’ underlying messages: “A book is a loaded gun. Burn it,” declared Fahrenheit 451; “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum,” urged The Handmaid’s Tale.

The books’ spines each held a piece needed to complete the scavenger hunt’s final puzzle: an ominous, ever-watching eye. There were plenty of the books to go around, and before leaving, I was sure to snag a copy…or two.

UNCENSORED Underground takes place on September 30. For more information, visit here.


Facing the Music – 13 Years of Concert Posters by Jeffrey Everett

On Tuesday night at the Gallery at Lost Origin Productions, art and music lovers mingled in the intimate space to gawk in amazement at the incredible portfolio of concert poster designer Jeffrey Everett. Over the years, he has worked for numerous venues and bands, lending his distinct style to tours of varying genres. Folks also enjoyed complimentary appetizers and beverages from On Tap. Gallery runs until September 5. Photos: Trent Johnson

Photo Illustration: Lindsay Galatro and Jonathan Howard
Photo Illustration: Lindsay Galatro and Jonathan Howard

DC Artists Featured at Pancakes and Booze

It can be exciting when artists with different styles create together. And when two artists of different mediums combine their unique talents, they can end up creating something unlike anything else.

That one-of-a-kind creative product is going to be on display this Thursday, August 3 at the annual Pancakes and Booze Art Show. This year’s rendition features the work of over 100 artists, live body painting and live music – in addition to, of course, booze and pancakes.

DC photographer Lindsay Galatro of LG Photography went from admiring Jonathan Howard’s artwork on Instagram to creating a selection of photos that the owner of JRH Graphics eventually manipulated. Their partnership was a match made in artistic heaven, and the products of their combined efforts will be on display at Pancakes and Booze – but Galatro hopes this won’t be the only time she combines her creative energy with another artist’s.

Howard and Galatro spoke to On Tap about what kind of art they create, how their project came about and why their styles mesh so well together.

On Tap: What kind of work are people going to see at Pancakes and Booze?
Lindsay Galatro: The Pancakes and Booze Art Show is unlike any art show I’ve been to. You’re going to see art from all over the DMV and beyond. The works range from photography to body painting, and everything in-between. Many of the artists have full-time jobs, so it’s great to see what people can create when they let their creativity breathe.

OT: What does manipulating photos entail?
Jonathan Howard: The manipulation process can be as simple as one step or be multiple steps, depending on the photo. It can involve filters, changing the color levels and saturation, or adding, removing or overlaying some component of a photo over itself or another photo. Each manipulation is different, and it depends on the direction the image is sending me down. I don’t save any filters in Lightroom or Photoshop, and I don’t have a step-by-step process I follow for each image, which makes each image truly unique.

OT: What type of photography do you prefer to work on?
JH: I love architecture! Buildings and houses speak to me. There is always a story in them, which is why I think I love to photograph them and manipulate the images I collect.

OT: Most artists are known for being particular about their art. What’s it like to see your photos manipulated?

LG: Seeing the outcome of these manipulations was very exciting. The added color and detail that Jonathan was able to emphasize in my photographs was impressive. I welcome challenge and embrace change, especially when it can lead to such beautiful results. His talent is incredible, and I could not be happier with the final product.

OT: What’s the process been? Did you take the photos intending to have them manipulated or are they photos you already had?
LG: It’s been a mix. Many of the photos we used were taken before Jonathan and I met. Once I saw his style and understood what he could do with an image, it gave me the perspective to select the photos with the best potential. After the first round of finals, we discussed some new ideas and subjects, and I was able to go out and capture additional images for the show.

OT: What is your partnership like? Why do you work well together?
JH: I think Lindsay and I have the same goals in mind, and our images accomplish those goals in different ways. So bringing the styles together has created some very cool results that people will be able to check out at the show on Thursday. I think we have both been flexible with one another, and been open-minded in how our styles would meld. I am thrilled with the outcome, and I think Lindsay is as well. Hopefully, the public will be as receptive to what we created.

Pancakes and Booze Art Show: 801 E St. NW, DC; www.pancakesandbooze.com

Disclosure: Lindsay Galatro has taken photos for On Tap Magazine. 


Second Annual Trifecta Food Truck Festival

The second annual Trifecta Food Truck Festival presented by 24-7 Entertainment took place this past Saturday at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Baltimore County. More than 40 food trucks lined the racetrack infield, offering a variety of savory eats such as The Smoking Swine, The Green Bowl and Bmore Brulee. Despite scattered showers in the morning, crowds assembled to sample food from local food trucks and enjoy musical performances from Maryland-based musicians. Photos: Shantel Mitchell Breen


Record Store Crawl

Audiophiles turned into marchers on Saturday, July 29, kicking off the DC Record Store Crawl with brunch and bottomless cocktails. All that with Pabst Blue Ribbon at every stop, which included notable vinyl carriers like Songbyrd Music House and Record Cafe, Som Records, Smash Records, Red Onion Records and Joint Custody. Photos: Krystina Gabrielle Photography 

Photo: Courtesy of EWI
Photo: Courtesy of EWI

Spotlight on DC Area Nonprofit Empowered Women International

At a recent Empowered Women International (EWI) luncheon, Floralba Camargo told the group that she was five months pregnant when she arrived in the U.S. from war-torn Colombia. I’ve heard pieces of her story many times, but was blown away by how polished she sounded standing in front of a room of 25 professional women. I’d encouraged her for two years to take EWI’s three-month program, Entrepreneur Training for Success. But she was shy, and didn’t think of herself as an entrepreneur.

Now, the woman standing in front of us wasn’t timid at all. From our initial meeting on the sidelines of Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School’s soccer field watching our daughters play soccer, Floralba had been transformed. As single moms, we had an affinity for one another, and before I knew it, my youngest son Shane and I were adopted by the large Camargo family. I’ve always believed that no matter where we come from, we have more in common than differences. I knew Floralba had grit, and that’s why I wanted her to participate in the EWI program. Learn more about her story here.

Five years ago, I joined the EWI board. A friend suggested I try volunteering with various organizations, and counseled that one would grab me and I’d want to get more involved. After living abroad for many years, I knew what it was like to be in a country where you didn’t speak the language or understand the “hidden code” of the land. Plus, I was a small business owner myself. EWI not only grabbed me, but has taken me on the most amazing journey. Volunteerism has enriched my life, and I’d like to think I made a difference in other people’s lives.

EWI’s mission is to provide entrepreneurial training for immigrant, refugee and American-born women as a way to gain economic and social stability. Not only do we provide the basic training, we also have an advanced program, Grow My Business, as well as ongoing small business coaching. We are often told that the community we have built is equally as important as the entrepreneurial training that we offer.

“I loved it from the first,” Camargo said of EWI. “It was grueling, but I dedicated myself to my goal. I learned a lot, and got great support from other women [who were] all following [their] passions. And I was able to help the other Spanish-speaking women. We encouraged each other. EWI has helped me gain more confidence and be a stronger woman. I now have a more positive attitude, and believe in myself.”

EWI recently celebrated its 15th anniversary at Denizens Brewing Company in Silver Spring, Maryland. The event was packed with people listening to our panels on entrepreneurism and volunteerism, and we also announced our coming merger with the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC). LEDC Executive Director Marla Bilonick and EWI Executive Director Sarah Bodley shared how LEDC’s mission of providing the building blocks of access to home ownership, microloans and small business coaching are key to economic stability. Bodley added that by combining EWI’s entrepreneurial training with LEDC’s three pillars, we will have a powerhouse of services to offer across the DMV area.

Excited by entrepreneurism? Thrilled to try volunteering? Want to witness us in action? Join us for our upcoming graduation with keynote speaker Julie Kantor, the founder and CEO of TwoMentor.com and former executive director of the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship, on Sunday, September 17 at the Rockville Executive Office Building from 12-2:30 p.m. You will be able to hear stories about our alumni’s accomplishments and visit booths displaying their journeys and businesses, as well as shop and purchase unique products and services. And don’t miss our fifth annual Artisan & Food Marketplace on Sunday, November 12 at the Silver Spring Civic Center; it’s a great way to find handmade holiday gifts before the rush, plus you can hear the story behind the product directly from the entrepreneur.

If you’re interested in volunteering as a mentor, a business coach, biz pitch judge, guest speaker or workshop presenter, go to our website and find a way to make a difference in a woman entrepreneur’s experience.

Pictured above: Carmen Vargas (EWI alum), Floralba Camargo (EWI alum), Melissa Reitkopp (EWI board), Sarah Bodley (EWI Executive Director), Hanan Daqqa (EWI alum), Megan Christensen (Manatt) and Jill DeGraff (Manatt)