Photo: DC Bike Ride
Photo: DC Bike Ride

The Heartbeat of the City

Grab your helmets, and get ready for a smooth ride. At DC Bike Ride on May 19, bike-riders of all skill levels will have the chance to experience the city from a whole new angle in the region’s only closed-road recreational biking event.

The route, featuring 20 miles of car-free streets, starts at West Potomac Park, winds past Washington’s most iconic views and monuments, and ends on 3rd St., between the U.S. Capitol and the National Mall where DC’s own Trouble Funk will greet riders as headliners at the Finish Line Festival.

You won’t have to wait until the finish line to get your groove on; funky beats can be found all along the course, says Michelle Cleveland, marketing director for Capital Sports Venture and DC Bike Ride Coordinator.

“All of our on-course entertainment is percussion themed, so we’re sounding the idea that biking is the heartbeat of the city,” she says. “Now that we’re in our third year, we hope people will see this event as an annual spring tradition and a way to celebrate all of their favorite things about the city.”

They’re expecting around 8,000 riders this year, Cleveland stresses that DC Bike Ride is an event for everyone from all walks of life and biking skill-levels. She encourages people to register even if they don’t think they can bike the full 20 miles, because it’s not as hard as you’d think—plus, there’s a short cut to double back to the finish line about six miles in.

“We hear from a lot of registrants that this is the first time they’ve ever biked this far,” Cleveland says. “A lot of people tell us that they never thought they would be able to bike 20 miles, but once they’re out there and there’s no stress, it flies by.”

Timika Adams-Sherman, a case manager at a DC law firm, has participated in each iteration of the event, even bringing her 17-and 12-year-old daughters along for the ride. Upon realizing she would never enjoy running, despite her constant efforts, she decided to pick up a bike. For her, the main draws to this event are closed roads, incredible scenery and a family-friendly atmosphere.

“The opportunity to ride through the city without dodging cars and enjoying the views sounded amazing. There are no other closed-road events like it,” she says. “And better yet, I could do it with my family and not feel pressured by a timed event.”

Timika Adams-Sherman and her two daughters at the 2017 DC Bike Ride.

Timika Adams-Sherman and her two daughters at the 2017 DC Bike Ride.

Cleveland says that more people like Adams-Sherman see that riding a bike can be a daily activity, and one “not just for men in spandex anymore.” DC Bike Ride is an all-inclusive event, aiming to give people a chance to try out a new hobby while having a blast.

“One of the special things about our event is that it brings together all of the different pockets of the biking community, and that creates this welcoming and enjoyable and fun vibe,” Cleveland says. “Everyone who’s there at the starting line is there because they have something in common—they enjoy riding a bike.”

Registration for DC Bike Ride ends at 11:59 p.m. on May 16. For more information about DC Bike Ride, visit their website.

DC Bike Ride: Starts at West Potomac Park, 100 West Basin Dr. SW, DC; Ends on 3rd St. SW, DC between the U.S. Capitol and National Mall; www.dcbikeride.com

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Signature Residences at Reston Town Center Grand Opening Celebration

The Grand Opening Celebration at Signature at Reston Town Center included complimentary light fare, local craft beer, live jazz music and local art presented by the Greater Reston Arts Center. Guests enjoyed bites from Passion Fish, Barcelona, Mon Ami Gabi, and enjoyed the “Signature” cocktail, craft beer and wine. Plus, attendees were shown featured art from Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival artists. Photos: Cristina O’Connell

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FRESHFARM Rosslyn Farmers Market Grand Opening Celebration

The FRESHFARM Rosslyn Farmers Market kicked off on Wednesday with Plants on the Plaza and live music from 19th Street Band.  Shop local and fresh every week from May to October downtown Rosslyn. The market is open every Wednesday from 2:30-6:30 p.m. at the new Central Place Plaza, and brought to you in partnership with FRESHFARM Market, a nonprofit that promotes sustainable agriculture and improves food access and equity in the Mid-Atlantic Region.

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The Beat Goes On: 5th Annual Funk Parade Introduces Changes After Roller Coaster Year

What would you do if you knew the road ahead would lead to financial failure? Would you push forward with hopes of defying the odds? Or, would you re-evaluate and jump ship?

For the massive collective behind the Funk Parade, the only option was to push forward, coalesce and hope for the best. In the end, they were right. After a long year of planning, on May 12, the Funk Parade will draw an anticipated 50,000 people to the U Street Corridor to celebrate the 5th Annual Funk Parade, along with the culture and history it promotes.

The road leading to this year’s festivities came with its fair share of bumps and turns. The odds were stacked against festival organizers since the completion of last year’s event.

On the brisk, mid-50 degree spring day, the clouds released showers upon the 35,000 parade attendees. The count was already a drastic decline in attendance from the previous year, which reported more than 75,000 people. While the inclement weather hampered turnout, dAb Band lead singer Dior Ashley Brown, recalls last year’s performance as a major success.

As she looked out into the audience, she worried no one would come see her band’s set at one of the seven outdoor performance spaces. However, those within earshot couldn’t resist band’s beats, and she remembers the crowd of roughly 200 getting “high off the vibrations of sound.”

The success of Funk Parade is highly dependent on attendees, outdoor spaces and funds to fairly compensate partnering artists. Fortunately, attendance is of very little concern, for where there is live music in DC, there are people ready to listen and dance.  The latter two have proved problematic for those working to reach the parade’s five year mark.

In June, a month after rainy iteration of the event, a meeting welcoming all to produce the “largest event planned and coordinated by a core of volunteers”, was organized.

Going into this meeting, co-founders Chris Naoum and Justin Rood knew the number of outdoor spaces would potentially decline due to pre-approved development. As most DC dwellers know, gentrification has sprouted projects throughout its four quadrants. Specifically, the U Street area has been saddled with development for some time. This didn’t change, as some of the bigger performance spaces would soon undergo the process of becoming more luxury condos.

Overcoming this obstacle was tough, but doable. Reducing the foot print of Funk Parade from seven performance spaces to five was the only answer, according to organizers.

In addition to a significant decrease in performance spaces, the parade also experienced a decline in money donated by developers and local business. According to Rood (the co-founder who also manages the nonprofit All The City which produces Funk Parade), JBG, a development company, who had previously donated funds ranging from $10,000-$20,000, only contributed, “a couple thousand dollars” this year.

Rood recognizes the growth and changes within DC over the last twenty years, and explains how he saw Funk Parade as a needed catalyst “to bring all Washingtonians together for a day to celebrate the things they love about DC.”

He went on to note, “a lot of the investments that have been made in the city have unintended consequences, and while we see billions of dollars being invested in the development, we don’t see the same level of investment in strengthening and preserving the fabrics of community.”

With this in mind, “creative mash-ups” were planned in October to facilitate collective strategic planning to ensure 2018 festivities bring all locals together.

In an October meeting, featuring past artists and community organizations like the Kennedy Center and DC Public Library, open calls from the DC “creative scene” were reviewed and a goal of $200,000 was set for Funk Parade 2018 budget was set. The previous year’s budget was more than $100,000, Rood says.

The budget increase stemmed from a rise in artist participation, proposed projects, an optimistic prediction of surging popularity and the event’s 5th anniversary. In addition, this year’s parade will also honor the 50th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. This disheartening reality organically uplifts communities and produces unity in many forms.

Though the Funk Parade opened its year of fundraising facing many setbacks, many DC government offices committed to support as they had done in the past. For instance, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities allocated a $20,000 grant, along with an offer to use the Lincoln Theatre as a new music showcase at a reduced price. The DC Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment also contributed a $5,000 grant.

In late January, behind the scenes excitement started to swell as the “Funk Powered” theme was announced and the third-year installment of the “Academy of Funk” was being developed in conjunction with Knowledge Commons DC.

After months of fundraising, organizers assessed their efforts and in March 2018, it was determined they would inevitably fall short of their $200,000 fundraising goal, by roughly $60,000. In previous years, Funk Parade would host a launch party in March to announce their crowdfunding campaign. However, after comparing previous years’ donors to current donors, the campaign would still be insufficient.

With this realization, the Funk Parade regrettably announced the cancellation of this year’s Funk Parade at their pre-planned launch party on March 7 at Marvin.  The discontent with the news ignited a philanthropic fuse throughout DC. Organizers received complaints that the parade was being cancelled due to lack of funds, but there wasn’t an advertised means for donating.

Shortly after, a flood of messaging and a crowdfunding campaign began on YouCaring.com. Even though donations trickled in, ranging from $20-$2,500, the Funk Parade continued to be at-risk of not meeting its financial obligations.

While news continued to spread of the Funk Parade’s demise, partners familiar with the event began to reach out to lead organizers, pledging large contributions. The Office of the Mayor contributed $25,000, bike-share company, JUMP Bike gave $12,000, and Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center pledged to match donations made to the YouCaring.com campaign, last checked at $25,395.

After a yearlong roller coaster of fundraising and cancellations, Funk Parade finally announced its plans to move forward on April 6. To gain a head start on next year’s fundraising and to provide a sustainable future, Funk Parade is introducing a new revenue generating component. Opposed to previous years’ everything free method, Funk Parade will instead deploy the free Day Fair and parade from 1-7 p.m. (the parade starts at 5 p.m.) with seven activation venues throughout U Street, and two ticketed events; a $15-$20 Lincoln Theatre Showcase with Ari Lennox and Mannywellz, and $10 Music Festival Wristband, which grants ticketholders access to over 20 venues.

For more information about Funk Parade, visit here.

Funk Parade: U St. NW, DC; www.funkparade.com 

Photo: Rebecca Hale
Photo: Rebecca Hale

Science, Faith, Virtual Reality and Archaeology meet at National Geographic Museum’s The Tomb of Christ

Virtual reality headsets let you explore the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Three dimensional videos take you through the streets of Jerusalem. All of this is an integral part of the National Geographic Museum’s Tomb of Christ exhibit.

With rooms recreated after the church, and panels packed with text and pictures, this exhibit teaches a lot. People in, or traveling to, DC before January 2019 should not miss this chance to meet a new place of mystery, and one that’s fully relevant to today’s divided world.

The exhibit highlights conservation and renovation done by scientists from the National Technical University of Athens on the Edicule in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The Edicule is the site within the site — a small shrine built over what’s remembered as the tomb of Jesus Christ, under the impressive dome of a large church in the Ottoman Baroque style.

The place of the Holy Sepulchre has a storied history. Over the past 2,000 years, it’s been a limestone quarry, a Jewish burial ground, a Roman temple to Venus, and multiple Christian churches—destroyed over the years by invaders and natural disasters, only to end up rebuilt. The most recent construction of the church and Edicule occurred in 1808, but the intervening 200 years have weighed heavily on the holy site.

This is where the scientists come in. Professor Antonia Moropoulou and her team have a reputation for saving historic monuments, including the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul and the Acropolis in Athens. Work on the Edicule, however, comes with a twist. The site is governed by the “Status Quo:” an 1852 agreement established by the Turkish sultan, when Jerusalem was under Ottoman rule, that any changes to the Edicule had to be agreed upon by unanimous decision of the six Christian orders that share the church—Greek Orthodox, Franciscan, Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopian and Syrian Orthodox.

Unanimous agreement isn’t easy. The six orders recognized all the way back in 1959 that the Edicule needed restoration. Mosaics were blackened by candle smoke and the walls were weak. Church leaders agreed to renovate on two conditions: the work would not interfere with pilgrims praying at the shrine, and the project would be completed between two Easter celebrations.

Then they waited for a proposal.

And kept waiting.

More than 50 years later, in 2015, church leaders finally received an offer from Moropoulou and her team.

The project used the best in available technology, including ground-penetrating radar, radiometry and robotics. Working by night, the team pulled off a trifecta: restoring the shrine’s original brilliance, reinforcing the structural integrity of the Edicule and contributing to archaeological understanding.

For the first time in centuries—and caught on camera by the National Geographic—researchers removed the stone slab covering Jesus’ tomb. The discovery of Byzantine material confirmed for archaeologists that this same site has been remembered as the location of Jesus’ tomb at least since the fourth century. Other archaeological evidence potentially dates this worship site to the first century.

The exhibit isn’t just about the restoration work, it’s literally a consequence of it. Part of the project involved gathering billions of recorded data points through millimeter-accurate LIDAR scans. With these data researchers created a complete 3D record of the site. This same LIDAR technology that allowed scientists to restore the site is what now allows museum visitors to tour the site through virtual reality.

The exhibit deals openly and respectfully with potentially controversial material—the biggest elephant not in the room. It clearly explains what is known through science, history and archaeological evidence. It doesn’t try to confirm or criticize religious beliefs that might be associated with the site.

“The religious significance of what lies hidden beneath the polished limestone and marble slabs of the church’s Edicule remains a matter of personal faith,” one panel suggests. “But people of all faiths can appreciate the beauty and long history of this storied building.”

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre—home to six different Christian orders, visited every year by believers and nonbelievers of every kind—serves as a microcosm of the whole city of Jerusalem. The city is also home to important Jewish and Muslim sites, including the Wailing Wall and the Dome of the Rock.

For this reason, the National Geographic Museum is also showing a film about Jerusalem the city. Although it’s separate from the Tomb of Christ exhibit (and requires a second ticket), this film provides important context to the experience. The video profiles three articulate teenage women—Jewish, Muslim and Christian. These women introduce viewers to their lives, with an emphasis on their similarities—especially their shared love of their families and city.

The exhibit can be viewed in an hour. The film lasts 40 minutes. And although the exhibit and film cost money (ticket information available at here), the museum also boasts free offerings.

National Geographic Museum: 1145 17th St. NW, DC; 202-857-7700; www.nationalgeographic.org/dc

Photo: Valeria Villarroel
Photo: Valeria Villarroel

Instagramming For a Cause: We the Dogs DC

Is there any other city besides the nation’s capital with such a thriving dog culture? The minute the temperatures reach the mid-60s and the sun beats out the clouds, all the dogs suddenly come out of hiding from hibernation and join their owners at every patio and park throughout the area. Each moment of puppy play dates, brews and bones, puppies and pints, snuggles and sunbathing, and tongue and tail wags is documented on Instagram thanks to @wethedogsdc.

We The Dogs DC was born like many modern connections: on Instagram. A DM slide here, a DM slide there, and suddenly, five local women and their beloved pups found themselves members of a brand new pack. Renee Arellano is dog mom to Kingston; Kat Calvitti hangs out with her pup Stella; Marissa Dimino enjoys yappy hours with Teddy; Shannon DiMartino snuggles up with Ruby; and Amber Duggan gets mani-pedis with Izzy.

Locals following @wethedogsdc get to catch a glimpse at a day in the life of a local pup (much in the same vein of the @wethepeopledc Instagram account), where DC area dog owners get to hold the handle for a day and take photos of their canine companions at Fido-friendly spots around the city. We The Dogs’ Insta also features local rescue pups up for adoption. The cuteness factor is off the charts, and it’s all for a good cause.

More than just an Instagram handle, We The Dogs DC connects local dog lovers to help support animal rescue organizations and local dog-friendly businesses.

“With every dog story comes a human story, and it’s a great way to connect with people,” DiMartino says. “I think by having the handle and showing people who have pit bulls and other dogs that are often times restricted from apartments and other areas, people get to see they are really sweet dogs and just want to be loved.”

Last spring, the ladies of We The Dogs had an idea to bring together people from different political and ideological backgrounds to march for a common cause: their pets. What started as an idea for a small gathering of several dozen people swiftly became the Bipawtisan March; the June 4 event raised more than $10,000 for the Humane Rescue Alliance and Rural Dog Rescue.

“People were just really excited about coming together,” says Duggan, the organization’s executive director.

Since the march, We The Dogs’ Instagram account has grown to over 6,000 followers. Over 1,600 toys, leashes, beds, food and other essential pet items have been donated to help out rescue organizations such as Rural Dog Rescue, the Puppy Rescue Mission and Worthy Dog Rescue. An additional $2,000 was raised for local dog charities at smaller events, and plans are already underway for a second Bipawtisan March in September – an impressive feat for an organization that’s only been around for less than a year.

The pack is also working on a photobook, set to come out this fall. All proceeds from the sale of book will benefit four local animal rescue organizations: OBG Cocker Spaniel Rescue, Lucky Dog Animal Rescue, K-9 Lifesavers and Operation Paws for Homes. Nearly 30 charities were nominated, and the local community took a vote to whittle the list down to four. Ruby the Bulldog selected the final charity.

“Ruby has a hide-and-seek toy, so we taped the charity names underneath the little cups on the toys and put treats in all of those cups, and let her pick the fourth charity,” DiMartino says.

The book will highlight different dog breeds visiting iconic DC locations and dog-friendly neighborhood gems around the DMV, and will be available on the organization’s website, via Amazon, and at local booksellers and dog-friendly publishing sponsors.

We The Dogs also hosts dog-friendly social gatherings on a regular basis. Thanks to their Instagram community of dog lovers and their social events, dog owners throughout the area have formed local pack walk groups (you can catch Calvitti and Stella at the Meridian Hill one). Pup parents have a place to turn to for advice and support whenever a furry loved one gets sick or injured, and a sympathetic ear when they need to vent about the pitfalls of dog ownership in the DMV, such as breed restrictions in housing and the fact that dogs aren’t allowed on the Metro (take note, WMATA!)

While We The Dogs DC isn’t an advocacy organization, just by virtue of highlighting dogs of different breeds and sizes throughout the area – including those looking for their forever homes – the 501(c)(3) manages to bring visibility and awareness about maligned dog breeds by letting followers glimpse at life through literal puppy dog eyes.

“The community that we’ve built and encountered through our dogs is absolutely amazing,” Calvitti says. “My life revolves around Stella’s plans now. I don’t have a social life – my dog does.”

Don’t miss We The Dogs’ next Yappy Hour on Sunday, May 13. Learn more about We The Dogs DC at www.wethedogsdc.org and follow them on Instagram at @wethedogsdc.


DC Dog Rescues

Animal Welfare Institute
www.awionline.org
“Since its founding in 1951, AWI has sought to alleviate the suffering inflicted on animals by people. Today, one of our greatest areas of emphasis is cruel animal factories, which raise and slaughter pigs, cows, chickens and other animals.”

DC PAWS Rescue
www.dcpawsrescue.org
“DC PAWS Rescue is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in DC, committed to rescuing homeless animals from high-kill animal control facilities that are often under-resourced and underfunded.”

Howl to the Chief
www.howltothechief.com
“The place to pamper Capitol Hill pets: premium pet foods for all budgets, delivery, grooming, dog walking, dog wash and adoption events.”

Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation
www.lostdogrescue.org
“Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation helps homeless pets find their way to loving homes through rescue and adoption.”

Mutts Matter Rescue
www.muttsmatterrescue.org
“We work in conjunction with shelters and other organizations to help save animals on death row, the strays on the streets or ones in unsafe living conditions.”

Operation Paws for Homes
www.ophrescue.org
“Operation Paws for Homes is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization devoted to the rescue, rehabilitation and placement of dogs who have overcome great odds and deserve wonderful, caring forever homes.”

Worthy Dog Rescue
www.worthydog.org
“Worthy Dog Rescue is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to helping dogs in distress, especially those living on chains, in pens, or in neglectful and abusive situations.”

Artwork: www.billfick.com
Artwork: www.billfick.com

Outlaw Artists Take Printmaking on the Road

Outlaw printmaking. Those two words are not some sort of statement. I’m not standing on a step ladder in a free speech zone protesting the medium because a) Why would anyone do that? and b) I don’t know enough about printmaking to stand in front of random strangers on the street discussing the art form.

No, outlaw printmaking is a genre within the medium. Just as rock and rap provide a certain aesthetic in music, so does outlaw printmaking in the fine arts. Bill Fick is one of the members in the movement.

“I’m very comic-y and cartoonish,” Fick says about his work. “It can be just an iconic image. It’s not really telling a story, but people can form their own narrative from the images. Outlaw printmaking is not particularly defined. It’s a lot of artists working in print with a general rock vibe: sometimes satirical, sometimes edgy.”

The renowned artist and veteran teacher is currently on the Speedball Roadshow – U.S. Printmaking Tour. Joined by fellow printmaker Carlos Hernandez, the show is designed to ignite a fervor in people willing to learn about their styles and journeys. The Lee Arts Center in Arlington is set to host the duo on May 12 for a free, six-hour session.

“It’s an educational process,” Hernandez says. “We teach and show our audience the spirit of printmaking. You get your fingers dirty and you create something that people aren’t familiar with. We’re spreading the gospel, if you will.”

Though the art form doesn’t classify as a religion, these two live and breathe the process. Both began their printmaking journeys in college, and though they each approach the medium with a different background – Hernandez with typography and Fick with block carving – each exudes passion for their shared profession.

“When I was in college, I used to do a lot of gig posters with Xerox,” Hernandez says. “It had a punk rock quality to it, and all the great gig posters that were made in the 60s and 70s served as great inspiration. Graphic design and printmaking go hand in hand; it lets me use those [same] techniques.”

Fick adds, “[Printmaking] naturally became a medium I work with. I love the carving process when you transfer the block onto a piece of paper, and I love the history of graphic art.”

A combined offering of these radically different perspectives and approaches is a colossal component of the tour, as each stop includes a modified itinerary pending the wants and desires of the venue. The Lee Center sequences aren’t quite nailed down as of yet, but Fick and Hernandez are up for whatever is necessary.

“A lot of it is media-specific, so we’ll focus on screen printing and get technical,” Fick says. “At the same time, we’ll be working on the release print and take turns on the special piece. By the end, we’ll have a mash-up or [the students] will do a totally separate process.”

Hernandez continues, saying that sometimes the students want something different, and each artist has their own vision.

“We can introduce different styles, and we try to add to their existing programs,” he says.

The duo collaborates on pieces throughout the workshops, each taking turns like friends playing a single-player video game. The pair have worked in tandem on countless pieces at previous trade shows, conventions and tours, so stepping on and off on at different points has become second nature to them.

“[When] we started working together, we’d always have crowds wherever we were,” Hernandez says. “We’ve had universities and other centers interested in the way we present printmaking. There’s a mystery to the work we do. People want to know how to cut a block and burn a screen.”

Most of the time, Fick and Hernadez produce posters, which requires Fick to carve out an image on a block to be printed. Hernandez follows up with printed text.

“It’s all about recognizable imagery,” Fick says.

Join the printmaking outlaws on Saturday, May 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Lee Arts Center. The session is free, but registration is required. Learn more about the event at here, and about the individual artists at www.billfick.com and www.carloshernandezprints.com.

Doggie

Year of the Dog

According to the Chinese zodiac, 2018 is the Year of the Dog. But based on the plethora of pup-friendly happenings in the DC area, the dog days are here to stay. We’ve hunted high and low for everything you and your four-legged friend can do together now and well into the year. From events and fundraisers to parks and places to adopt a new companion, we’ve got your definitive guide to DC dog life below.

Off-Leash Areas + Summer Spots

There are lots of places around town that are dog-friendly, but not as many where pups can legally roam free from the tether of a leash. The 35-plus fenced acres of Congressional Cemetery are a favorite, but membership is required and there is a yearly waitlist. If you’re not a part of the in-crowd, try Shirlington Dog Park or Glencarlyn Park, both in Arlington with access to creek areas for canine cool-off sessions. In the District, Yards Park has a small off-leash area, which is a decent option for letting the pup run off some steam if you plan to bring him along to an outdoor concert or al fresco dinner.

While Kingman Island, Theodore Roosevelt Island and the wooded area along the Potomac from Fletcher’s Cove toward Chain Bridge are not designated as off-leash grounds, they provide new scents and stimulation for a good trail walk or run. The nearby water and tree canopy provide ways to cool off in the hot summer months, making this a great set of locations for dogs and their humans alike. The canoe, kayak and boat rentals at Fletcher’s boathouse are pet-friendly too!

If you and your pup want to skip town altogether, head to one of the dog-friendly Virginia wineries like Three Fox Vineyards or to Delaware’s Dewey Beach where dogs are welcome to bask in the sun and play in the sand year-round. Learn more about these spots below.

Congressional Cemetery: www.congressionalcemetery.org

Dewey Beach: www.townofdeweybeach.com

Fletcher’s Cove: www.boatingindc.com

Glencarlyn Dog Park: parks.arlingtonva.us

Kingman Island: www.kingmanisland.org

Shirlington Dog Park: parks.arlingtonva.us

Theodore Roosevelt Island: www.nps.gov

Three Fox Vineyards: www.threefoxvineyards.com

Yards Park: www.capitolriverfront.org

Local Rescues + Adoption Organizations

City Dogs Rescue
City Dogs (and City Kitties) is a foster- and volunteer-based organization that helps place animals from shelters with loving human companions. The organization sponsors adoption events with local businesses like Dogma Bakery and Logan Hardware, and volunteers periodically host Yappy Hours at local bars to raise funds for the puppies and kittens. www.citydogsrescuedc.org

Homeward Trails Animal Rescue
Like the other great organizations in this list, Homeward Trails makes it their mission to find homes for abandoned, abused and high-kill shelter animals. Homeward Trails also wants to inspire kids to take the lead when it comes to rescue. During the organization’s Camp Waggin’ Tails summer camp in Fairfax, kids ages eight to 13 can “learn all about animal rescue, responsible pet ownership, positive dog training, hear from a variety of pet professionals, and work hands on with carefully selected adoptable dogs while engaging in fun games and projects.” www.homewardtrails.org

Humane Rescue Alliance
Two years ago, the Washington Animal Rescue League and Washington Humane Society merged to create a mega resource for bringing people and animals together. In addition to adoption services, HRA also provides affordable veterinary care, free pet food for those in need, behavior and training classes, and education and outreach opportunities.  www.humanerescuealliance.org

K-9 Lifesavers
Located in Stafford, Virginia, “K-9 Lifesavers save lives ‘Four Paws at a Time.’” With volunteer drivers and boarding partners, K-9 Lifesavers rescues dogs from low-income rural areas throughout Alabama, Georgia, West Virginia, the Carolinas, Tennessee and Kentucky. Dedicated volunteers drive the pups to the DMV where boarding partners help host the pups until they can be adopted. K-9 Lifesavers also strives to be a support group for adopters and all dog owners. www.k-9lifesavers.org

Lucky Dog Animal Rescue
Founded in 2009, Lucky Dog saves an average of 100-125 homeless and abandoned animals every month. And while based in DC, Lucky Dog’s outreach goes far beyond the DMV. This past January, Lucky Dog partnered with Southwest Airlines to deliver more than 14,000 pounds of humanitarian supplies to animal rescuers in Puerto Rico and came home to DC with more than 60 dogs and cats who survived Hurricane Maria and were ready to be adopted. www.luckydoganimalrescue.org

Rural Dog Rescue
Rural Dog Rescue (RDR) is completely foster-based and run entirely by volunteers. The rescue works predominantly with several rural, high-kill shelters that euthanize over 70 percent of dogs, or euthanize within 72 hours in Virginia, West Virginia, and North and South Carolina. When RDR finds dogs that are ready for their forever homes, they provide each pet with up-to-date vaccinations and a microchip. Forever true to “The Underdog”, RDR is dedicated to saving the lives of high risk dogs in economically challenged high kills shelters who are often overlooked for adoption or rescue. This organization saves the dogs who are at most risk of being euthanized: the hounds, the black dogs, the seniors, the sick, the handicapped and the broken. RDR makes a commitment to reserve a minimum of 50% of the dogs they save to these underdogs.  www.ruraldogrescue.com

Dog Days of Summer: Wag-worthy Events

Congressional Cemetery’s Day of the Dog
Though the venue may seem morbid, it’s way more fun that one might think! This annual festival is a chance for all dogs, not just those who are members of the cemetery’s K-9 Corps, to join in a day of fun and games and romping around the cemetery’s 35-plus acres. Activities include contests, raffles, demonstrations, food trucks and local adoptions. Check out the Day of the Dog on Saturday, May 12 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Historic Congressional Cemetery: 1801 E St. SE, DC; www.congressionalcemetery.org

Humane Rescue Alliance’s Fashion for Paws Runway Show
Few things could be cuter than a poodle strutting her stuff down the catwalk. For the 11th year running, Fashion for Paws’ Annual Runway Show will couple the glitz and glam of the fashion world with a great charitable cause. “Participants are Humane Rescue Alliance ambassadors who raise a minimum of $4,000 to benefit HRA for the honor of escorting their fashionably dressed dog down the runway,” according to the HRA website. Complete with celebrity host Carson Kressley from Queer Eye, cocktail attire and a glamorous afterparty, the event sells out every year. Dogs not participating in the runway show are not permitted to attend. Don’t miss Fashion for Paws on Saturday, May 5 from 7 p.m. – 12 a.m. Omni Shoreham Hotel: 2500 Calvert St. NW, DC; fashionforpaws.org

Pups in the Park
Summer in America means baseball, and at Nats Park, that includes all-American dogs! Throughout the season, you can purchase tickets to reserve a seat for your dog in the pet-friendly outfield section of the park. As a bonus, the June 23 game will feature a special pregame pup parade around the warning track. Proceeds from dog tickets benefit the Humane Rescue Alliance. Check out Pups in the Park on May 19, June 23 and on multiple dates in September. Nationals Park: 1500 S Capitol St. SE, DC;
www.mlb.com/nationals

We The Dogs DC’s Bipawtisan March
You wouldn’t be a DC dog if you didn’t participate in political activism. You and your pup can make friends across party lines while supporting a great cause at We The Dogs DC’s Bipawtisan March on September 23, from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. with 100 percent of the event’s proceeds donated to local dog rescues. Bipawtisan March: Location TBD; www.wethedogsdc.org

Home Sweet Home: DC’s Dog-Friendly Digs

Let’s face it, even in a town as dog-friendly as DC, the traditional rental market offers slim pickings when it comes to finding a place that allows four-legged friends. But the recent uptick in development has also brought an influx of property managers who see this plight as a niche market opportunity, offering amenities specifically targeted at residents with dogs – granted you can afford the perks.

2M Street

Neighborhood: NoMa
Petmenities: Private dog park, grooming station, community yappy hours and a resident bulldog, Emmy
www.2mstreet.com

City Market at O
Neighborhood: Shaw
Petmenities: Rooftop dog park, dog washing stations, pet walking and grooming referrals, and quarterly yappy hours
www.citymarketato.com

The Hepburn
Neighborhood: Kalorama
Petmenities: Onsite pet spa and a pet wash station
www.thehepburndc.com

Park Chelsea at The Collective
Neighborhood: Capitol Riverfront
Petmenities: Dog wash station, rooftop dog run, and easy access to Garfield, Canal and Yards Parks
www.thecollectivedc.com

Pro Tip: Pup-Friendly Hotels

Friends and family heading to town with Fido? There are lots of great pet-friendly lodging and hotel options, including Hotel Monaco, Hotel Palomar, Hotel Madera, Liaison Capitol Hill, The Carlyle and many others!


Illustration: Haley McKey

Illustration: Haley McKey

Telltale Tails What’s in a Wag?

When many people see a dog wagging his or her tail, they immediately think that dog is happy. But that is not always the case. Dogs use a different language to express how they’re feeling than people do, and their tails can really talk. What’s most important for humans to know is that not all wags mean the same thing. Here are five common wags and what they can indicate.

1. Broad-sweeping, loose and generally side-to-side at a moderate speed: This is the one we like to see! It means, “I’m pleased,” or that there is no sense of threat or challenge.

2. Tight, circular motion at moderate to high speed: This is generally an indicator that the dog is uncomfortable in the situation, unsure how he/she should act or may be a bit high-strung. This wag should be taken as a sign of caution, though not necessarily aggression.

3. Low, tucked and slow to moderate speed with half of the tail in motion: This wag is a classic sign of submissiveness. If your dog is using this wag, he or she isn’t necessarily having the best time, but may just be trying to signal that she “comes in peace.”

4. High, stiff, and fast-paced or vibrating: This is usually a sign of an active challenge. Pay close attention to the situation and extract your dog if necessary.

5. Half tail at a moderate speed: This one is a little vague. It means, “I’m a little tentative here, so not going to put on the full-works display.” It can be a warm up to a hello, or a show of a bit of insecurity.

Common wag facts were originally sourced from Psychology Today here.

Photo: Chris Thomas
Photo: Chris Thomas

An Art Lover’s Oasis: NOVA Fine Arts Festival

A treasure trove of unique artifacts and unexplored creations awaits each visitor at the annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival at Reston Town Center this spring. From May 18-20, visitors can connect with over 200 artists and experience the beauty of handmade wares while simultaneously supporting the festival host, Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE).

Bring $5 as a donation to GRACE and receive a 52-page booklet including information on all participating artists and coupons for Reston Town Center restaurants, retailers and businesses. Festival director and GRACE’s associate curator, Erica Harrison, says many new and exciting changes are coming to the festival this year, including an entire extra day to explore.

By adding Friday to the schedule, Harrison hopes more people will be able to come out to the festival and the artists will have more time to showcase their work. In addition, the 2018 Awards of Excellence ceremony, which honors the best artists of the festival selected by a three-judge panel, is moving to Saturday night during the festival party.

GRACE supporters and contributing artists will mingle, drink and be merry at the party as they celebrate and discuss this year’s works of art. Harrison says the best part about the night will be a live performance from Baltimore-based artist Laure Drogoul.

“I think what’s really interesting about this year is that it’s a party for our sponsors and supporters, but we’re also trying to do this whole new creative performance art,” Harrison says. “Laure has a giant sculpture called the ‘Illuminated Fountain of Extinction,’ and it highlights a lot of the animals and species that have already or are in the process of going extinct, and I’m super excited about it.”

Although the party is by invitation only, you can sign up as a GRACE contributing supporter on their website to get the invite. Festivalgoers who are more interested in daytime activities can look forward to perusing a variety of handcrafted, supremely unique works of art including furniture, jewelry, ceramics, glasswork, paintings, house wares and much more.

To artists like Christina Boy, a German-American residing in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Madison, Virginia, the festival is a great way to connect with fellow artisans and reach out to potential clients.

“Everyone has their own artistic voice, and I believe that free events such as [this festival] are important for people to be exposed to a variety of different and unique work,” says Boy, who specializes in furniture design. “In a world that is becoming more and more homogenized, festivals like this keep it fresh and different, and help individuals find their own style instead of going for the mainstream.”

This is Boy’s second time participating in the festival, and she’s looking forward to displaying her handcrafted furniture including her signature piece, “Stool 33,” as well as benches, barstools with Danish cord seats, fun side tables and more – all designed with the spirit of spring in mind.

“Shows are a great way for people to see my work in person, as I believe it is crucial with furniture for them to be able to sit and touch the actual items,” she says.

The festival also serves as GRACE’s largest fundraiser of the year, providing the arts center with over half of its annual budget of $500,000 so that it may continue opening exhibits and offering programs at no cost to locals.

“We’re trying to bring more attention to the mission of the gallery by encouraging participation and making sure everything is accessible to the whole community, regardless of income,” Harrison says. “It’s really helpful to have the festival as a starting point; hopefully, people will come back and check out GRACE’s other programs and exhibitions.”

The festival is still going strong in its 27th year, and thanks to Harrison and her team, it’s growing even stronger. She looks forward to the festival’s bright future and many improvements over the next several years so that GRACE may continue to support artists and encourage artistic engagement in an even greater way.

“What I really hope people get out of the festival is that they make a connection – either with a specific artist or by responding to a piece of work that attracts them and becomes special to them. That’s something that you can’t really do with anything but art.”

The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival runs Friday, May 18 to Sunday, May 20 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily. The festival party on Saturday, May 19 runs from 7-10 p.m. and is invite only. For more information about the festival’s participating artists and details on how to receive a party invite, visit www.restonarts.org/fineartsfestival.

Reston Town Center: 11900 Market St. Reston, VA; 703-471-9242; www.restonarts.org/fineartsfestival

Photo: Lindsay Galatro
Photo: Lindsay Galatro

A Day in the Life: Instafamous Navy the Corgi

Imagine creating a social media account for your pet just for fun, and having it attract almost 40,000 followers within the first year. Your pup’s Instagram is swarmed by likes and comments from dog lovers, brands and fellow Instafamous canines in the District and across the nation. For couple Alex Hibbs and Zach Hopf, posting photos of their pup quickly led to Navy the Corgi’s resounding online success. Now Hibbs, a Department of Defense employee, and Hopf, an IT consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton, devote most of their free time to one-year-old Navy and her booming Instagram account, @navycorgi. We caught up with the Insta celebrity and her parents in Capitol Riverfront’s Yards Park after her photo shoot for our May cover.

On Tap: How would you describe Navy’s personality?
Alex Hibbs: Yap queen, very high energy. She’s a diva. She loves to meet and play with everybody. Her tail wags a mile a minute. People get intimated because she barks a lot but it’s all very playful, like, “I want you to pet me and run around with me.”

OT: When and how did Navy first start to receive social media attention?
AH: I figured making Navy her own account was the easiest way to share photos of her with my friends, family and coworkers. We started posting and didn’t expect it to go anywhere, but it did. She’s a pretty unique puppy, so people definitely caught on. We started [the Instagram account] the day we picked her up. Big corgi accounts on Instagram posted a few puppy photos of her. The American Kennel Club contacted us after we posted a little video – our third post – and asked, “Can we share on our social media?” They have thousands of followers and a huge online presence.

OT: Have most of her photos and videos been easily circulated?
Zach Hopf: Reposts are a big thing. Alex is great at using hashtags depending on the brand and the areas. Through that, reposts happen.
AH: It really comes naturally for us. We try to be strategic with it and use hash tags for big accounts, so they will repost it and tag bigger accounts. Some people use a tactic of direct messaging. But we say if she gets followers, she does and if she doesn’t, she doesn’t. We aren’t going to directly go after people to have them repost our content.

OT: Do you feel pressure to post every single day?
AH: It can be super overwhelming. Instagram is a highlight reel – we’re only showing the best parts. Navy can be a terror. She barks a lot. We also have a lot of fun with her that we don’t really post [about]. Sometimes there’s so much pressure to post every day, and in ways, it can get competitive.

OT: What’s it like as influencers to go out in public where people might recognize Navy?
ZH: It can be so surreal. One time, we were walking through Georgetown and we were walking across the street, and this car slams on the brakes in the middle of traffic. This young girl gets out and starts screaming “Navy, Navy!” And she was like, “I made my mom stop in the middle of traffic to come say hi.”


Navy the Corgi’s Can’t Live Without
Favorite place to nap
Between the pillows and the headboard in Mom and Dad’s bed
Favorite place to play
Dog Run Park at Carlyle in Alexandria, Virginia
Favorite place to shop
Kriser’s Natural Pet
Favorite thing to play with
ZippyPaws Burrow squeaky toy
Favorite thing to eat
Duck
Favorite things to chase
Frenchies, birds, squirrels


OT: Do you ever interact with followers outside of Instagram?
AH: We recently went to Portugal and I had sent a message out. [A few owners and their corgis] came out to meet us and took us on a little tour of their town. They gave us a bandana for Navy. Navy’s not necessarily [always] with us, but the Instagram dog community is so nice – they want to meet you and not just your dog.

OT: Do you guys devote most of your time to Navy when you’re not working?
AH:
Outside of work, we are really big on working out so we’ll go to the gym. But other than that, everything is focused on Navy and we’re like, “Oh, let’s take a trip. Let’s make sure it’s dog-friendly.” Our lives really revolve around her.
ZH:
We have to be at so many events for Navy: birthday parties, guest appearances, photos or other opportunities, or going to the dog park, doggy play dates, or going to dinner and making sure it’s dog accessible.

OT: How does Navy use her platform to support animal rescues and other
pup-focused organizations?

AH: There’s an organization called the East Coast Corgi Rescue. On Sunday, we went to a fundraiser for them and we donated a bunch of the free stuff that Navy gets like extra bags of treats. We told them, “If you want to give it out as a raffle or keep it for the rescue dogs, please go ahead.” And donate money too or let them use Navy as a source to promote it. Then there’s We the Dogs DC – we’ve gone to their events and held the handle on Instagram.
ZH: We did a small thing for the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. They had an event where they sold tickets. Three dogs and a cat came, and [their owners] talked about social media influencing. We helped promote that event for them too. If people do have something going on, we’re more than willing to help out in any way we can.

Follow Navy the Corgi on Instagram at @navycorgi, and learn more about her at www.navycorgi.com.