The foundational principles of this growing DC community are:
(1) Creativity: Be real. Express yourself.
(2) Spirituality: Focus on what matters most.
(3) Justice: Create a world that works for all of us.
WHAT IS NOT TO LOVE ABOUT THAT!
There are many ways to connect into the Sanctuaries community and enjoy the benefit of exploring topics central to all of our personal and communal evolution and connect with a diverse group of individuals in meaningful ways.
As a member of the Moving Words team, one of the Sanctuaries teams that collaborate creatively to explore issues and topics of personal, spiritual and social meaning though, I draw upon the community as a source of hope and inspiration in a world full of reasons to be concerned, bewildered and disappointed in humanity. The relationships I am developing in this context are rich, layered and deep. Other teams open for members to join include a musical performance team, visual arts team, screen printing team and spiritual practices team.
Our daughters Ella (12) and Mercy (11) LOVE to go to the Sanctuaries Soulful Events that feature music, spoken word, dance and a variety of artist performances. One of the most powerful evenings we shared last year was an Art for Justice event that hosted The Collective, a Sanctuaries Initiative that brings together artists for a period of collaboration to enhance their artistic expression in service of a social justice issue.
The 2015/16 Collective group created art to to raise awareness around the issue of development in Barry Farms in Anacostia, which is a community under heavy pressures of gentrification. The city and developers are closing ranks to move residents out of this public housing that has been neglected for decades, is some of the last left in the city and one of the oldest pieces of land occupied by African-Americans.
Through the visual art and performance pieces created to tell the story of this historic neighborhood and this critical issue of social justice, we learned that Barry Farms was established in the 1860's when freed slaves who labored in construction of in the nations capital and other forms of labor in the district purchased the land from the federal government to build a community of their own. The original homes there were built by bonfire after work day was complete on the other side of the river. We were able to hear from residents and members of organizations that are working to raise awareness and advocate for justice regrading the issue of affordable housing in DC.
We cannot wait to see what the 2016-17 Collective creates, what issue they will explore creatively and how they share their creation with the community!