Let the Beat Bop: NEXTfest, the city’s largest free celebration of jazz, funk and go-go music culture, returns to Malcolm X Park on September 24th. CapitalBop, the local non-profit organization that promotes, showcases and preserves jazz in the area, announced today: August 8th, promoting an “All-Star Lineup” featuring go-go hotshots UCB, TOB Band & Showand New Impressionz. jazz singer Cecile will also perform as will a guest multi-instrumentalist Ben LaMar Gay. That Malcolm X drummer & dancer, known for leading Sunday drum circles, will open the second annual fest, produced in association with Long Live GoGo and Washington Parks & People. The lineup, with more artists being added, was co-curated by CapitalBop’s Luke Steward and Long Live GoGo’s justin “Yaddiya” Johnson. NEXTFest debuted last year to celebrate the evolution of black music in DC. According to CapitalBop’s announcement, the inaugural event brought 4,000 fans to Malcolm X Park “for a historic day of music and culture that sent a strong signal of the resilience of DC’s music scene amid the DC pandemic and widespread gentrification.” This year’s festival , taking place on September 24 from 12pm to 9pm, will include a second day of cultural programming that will include workshops, panel discussions and additional performances. The September 25 events will take place inside and outside the Josephine Butler Parks Center across from the park.
Night at the Museum: This one has no star Ben Stiller, but this fall, the East Building of the National Gallery of Art will again host after-hours events on the second Thursdays of September, October and November. Each night offers a variety of experiences, from live performances and music to artistry and pop-up talks. As always, participation is free, but registration is required. (Tickets are available a week in advance at 12pm via nga.gov/nights.)
Bringing the nation back to the National Gallery: Speaking of NGA, the museum continues its quest to diversify its collection to better represent the land it calls home. The gallery recently acquired eight works by four contemporary black photographers: Adger Cowans, Chester Higgins Jr., Herman Howardand Herb Robinson. Each is notable for their efforts to document their black communities during the civil rights movement. Cowans, Howard and Robinson were part of the Kamoinge workshop. Founded in 1963, the group of black photographers not only studied together, they also shared their work and ideas. Higgins began photographing friends, family, and civil rights protests while attending Tuskegee University in Alabama. Known for documenting Harlem’s black community and their spiritual connections to the African diaspora, Higgins worked as a staff photographer for the New York Times from 1975 to 2014.
Crybaby: The Baltimore Museum of Art now has around 90 works from the filmmaker’s collection John water will be on view this November. A Bawlmer icon, Waters’ collection offers an intimate look at the transgressive creator’s tastes, as well as a selection of the 372 objects he is giving to BMA as part of his legacy. Curated by photographer Catherine Opie and artists Jack Piersotwo longtime friends of Waters, Upcoming Attractions: The John Waters Collection Functions work from Diana Arbus, Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman, Gary Simmons, Cy Twomblyand Andy Warhol among numerous others. “The selected works capture elements critical to Waters’ collection vision, including a commitment to bold artists and artworks that exude confidence, wit and humor,” reads the Aug. 4 press release. Upcoming Attractions can be seen from November 20 to April 16, 2023.
Poetry in action: Two Northern Virginia poets receive $50,000 from New York’s Academy of American Poets. KaNikki Jakarta and Holly Karapetkova, Alexandria and Arlington’s Poet Laureate are two of the 22 2022 State, City and County Poet Laureate Fellows. Each has been named for their positive poetic contributions to their communities. The money is intended to support the poets’ respective public programs for the coming year. In April, Jakarta—Alexandria’s first black poet laureate—was named the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association’s first-ever Poet in Residence. She is the author of two anthologies of poetry and plans to launch an eight-week seminar ranging from manuscript writing, marketing and booking profitable performance opportunities to performance mentoring for young poets. Karapetkova has also authored two collections of poetry and will be curating an anthology of young adult poetry, Day Eight, open to all Arlington High School students.