Thursday, November 20, 2014

National Cabinet - Launch!

This week in New York, the USDAC inaugurated the founding members of theNational Cabinet. These 22 cultural leaders from across the U.S. make up a citizen-led, policy-oriented leadership group exercising oversight of the public interest in art and art in the public interest. 

At the USDAC’s Inauguration Celebration on Monday night at Bowery Arts + Science, USDAC Chief Policy Wonk Arlene Goldbard told a packed house:
“In the history of cultural activism, there has never been a body like this, equipped with this knowledge, charged with this responsibility. Everything that is created must first be imagined. Here we are tonight, witnessing this historic event: We have imagined the USDAC’s National Cabinet, and together we are making it happen!” (Read the full remarks in the Inauguration Celebration Oration.)
The Cabinet oversees cultural policy including support for artists and institutions, education, communications, the built environment, leisure, immigration, social inclusion and the right to heritage—and much, much more. How do economic development policies affect the cultural life of rural communities? When policymakers choose to spend large portions of our commonwealth on the world’s largest war and incarceration systems, how does that statement of national priorities affect our collective culture? Where in the cultural landscape do tax breaks and subsidies go? What cultures are valued for preservation? How do education policies affect our creativity and therefore our future?

”This is an historic occasion for the fledgling department,” said Deputy Secretary Norman Beckett. “The Cabinet will play a critical role in translating the ideas, visions, and stories that we’re collecting on the ground into impact-oriented policy and action.”

Tweet the news!   

.@usartsdept launches National Cabinet: citizen-led, #policy-oriented leadership group to rep public interest in #art

#PeoplePowered @usartsdept launches National Cabinet, 22 leading artists & activists to serve as nat'l policy makers

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Meet the members of the USDAC National Cabinet, a citizen-led, policy-oriented leadership group to steward the public interest in art and art in the public interest. "...we cannot afford to wait for answers, to wait for a response from that listening ear in the halls of power. We need to do it ourselves, to awaken a grassroots creative change movement, engaging millions in envisioning and enacting a world rooted in empathy, equity, and social imagination."
#PeoplePower #BeTheChange

Cultural Agent applications due Friday!

Last call to submit your application in this round of recruitment for the second cohortof Cultural Agents - deeply creative individuals committed to social change who enact the USDAC at a local level.

Applications due this Friday, November 21.
Find out more and apply here!
Copyright © 2014 USDAC, All rights reserved.


“By ignoring the will of the American people, President Obama has cemented his legacy of lawlessness and squandered what little credibility he had left,” House Speaker John A. Boehner said in a statement after the speech. 
" Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."
             - Andre Gide

Another birthday today. This one I will celebrate with Brother Sun, Sister Moon and Mother Earth.
It's so important in these last few years to learn how to be a gardener of Paradise. For how long has my soul been in a state of emergency?

I'm reading Thomas Merton's - When The Trees Say Nothing. A gift from my friend Joanna in Israel.

Merton's work pulls me back to my beginnings and the love I had for my brother Richard. I can still see him standing in front of the St. Mary's housing projects in the South Bronx. It's the early 1960s and he is departing to a Trappist monastery located in upstate New York. For many years and even today I wonder how he made the decision to leave his family. What calling did he have? Who spoke to him?  Was he simply another black man lost in this world struggling to find himself. How many of us still carry the cross?

The path to one's heart is a difficult and lonely one. Too many of us get lost trying to love.
Maybe the blueprints are all around us. Today I will stop and become aware of each breath - not knowing which or when will be my last. I need to go outside and look at the sky for the first time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014



"This is a war of neighbors. And the religious dimension makes it even more horrifying."

YOSSI KLEIN HALEVI, an author and a fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, on the cycle of violence between Jews and Palestinians that has coalesced around a disputed sacred site.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

41st Annual Conference on D.C. Historical Studies Opens Thursday

Join us on November 20 at 6 p.m. for the opening reception and Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Lecture featuring Richard Striner. Dr. Striner is a writer and historian whose books and articles have covered political and presidential history, literature, economics, film, architecture, and historic preservation.

The lecture will focus on Dr. Striner's new book,Washington and Baltimore Art Deco: A Design of Neighboring Cities (JHU Press), and he will comment on the philosophic and strategic challenges of the historic preservation movement in Washington.

A reception will follow the lecture. Admission is included with the conference registration.

Location Details:
Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square
801 K Street NW
Gallery Place Metro: Red, Green, & Yellow lines
Mt. Vernon Square Metro: Green & Yellow lines
About the Conference

The Historical Society of Washington, D.C. is pleased to host the Annual Conference on D.C. Historical Studies at the Carnegie Library in collaboration with the D.C. Public Library Special Collections, Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives, and H-DC Washington D.C. History and Life (https://networks.h‐‐dc).

The conference is organized by a volunteer committee. For more information about registration or general inquiries, please write to

Breaking from
Jerry Brown Mulls Hillary Challenge
Hillary Clinton's 2016 ill wind may be blowing in from the West, as it is being speculated that California's four-term Gov. Edmund G. " Jerry" Brown has his eye on the Democratic nomination and the White House.

It would be the fourth run for the presidency by Brown. NBC News White House correspondent Chuck Todd said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," during a discussion of who might challenge Hillary Clinton, "I still think the person that is most likely to do this is going to be Jerry Brown. Jerry Brown's resume with the left and populist movement is as strong, if not stronger," than Clinton's.

Read More Here
On Dec. 4th, support PEN/Faulkner and enjoy a dinner with the Malamud family in celebration of the legacy of Bernard Malamud.
Please join PEN/Faulkner and the Malamud family for dinner to celebrate the legacy of Bernard Malamud
alongside past PEN/Malamud Award winners 
Edward P. Jones, Lorrie Moore and Tobias Wolff

Thursday, Dec. 4th at 7 p.m.  

Hosts: Leslie & Andrew Cockburn

The evening will include conversation,
drinks, and a buffet dinner 

Suggested Donation Levels
$100 - Individual
$200 - Patron

All contributions support the PEN/Malamud Award and
our Writers in Schools program, and are tax deductible within the law.
Call 202-898-9063 to donate by credit card or click here to donate online.

Attendance Limited   |  Please RSVP by Dec. 1st or call (202) 898-9063 
Bernard Malamud (1914-1986) wrote numerous prize-winning novels and story collections during his long career, including The NaturalThe FixerPictures of FidelmanGod's Grace, and The Magic Barrel. Since 1988, the PEN/Malamud Award has been given in his memory to writers who have demonstrated excellence in the short story. This year marks the 100th anniversary of Malamud's birth and the 27th year of the prize. For a list of past winners of the PEN/Malamud Award, click here. 
Copyright © 2014 PEN/Faulkner Foundation, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you've opted in at our website, at a PEN/Faulkner event, reading, or award ceremony or participated in a Writers in Schools program.

Our mailing address is:
PEN/Faulkner Foundation
201 East Capitol Street SE
WashingtonDC 20003

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November 18, 2014


Sara Eliza Johnson

About This Poem

“While writing ‘Combustion,’ I was thinking about certain theories in physics I’d recently encountered in popular science magazines—about the configuration and transformation of bodies in space-time, and matter’s interconnectivity and fluidity. In particular about quantum entanglement, which is what Einstein called ‘spooky action at a distance’: the power of particles to instantaneously know the states of other particles at vast distances, even across billions of light years. At the same time, I was thinking about the obliteration of bodies, and the safe distance from wartime violence that is afforded most Americans as our drone operations continue overseas. The poem eventually became a convergence of these forces.”
Sara Eliza Johnson
Sara Eliza Johnson is the author ofBone Map (Milkweed Editions, 2014). She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Most Recent Book by Johnson

(Milkweed Editions, 2014)

"My Skeleton" by Jane Hirshfield


"Flux" by Afaa Michael Weaver


"Anatomy" by Monica Ferrell



Launched during National Poetry Month in 2006,Poem-a-Day features new and previously unpublished poems by contemporary poets on weekdays and classic poems on weekends.

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Your support will help bring together this impressive group of musicians, filmmakers, and poets!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Advice to Young Poets

Never mistake yourself for the reader or audience.

    - E. Ethelbert Miller


Housing Complex

Busboys and Poets Will Open an Anacostia Location

Posted by Aaron Wiener on Nov. 13, 2014 at 11:13 pm
busboysFollowing months of speculation, Busboys and Poets owner Andy Shallal will announce on Wednesday that he's opening a branch of the growing restaurant and bookstore chain in Anacostia.

Busboys, which currently has two D.C. locations, on 14th Street NW and at 5th and K streets NW, is in the midst of a major expansion, with new branches planned in Takoma and Brookland. Shallal has long targeted Anacostia, and hereportedly signed a letter of intent this spring for the space at 2004-2010 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE formerly occupied by a furniture store.

On Wednesday, Shallal will formally announce the signing of a lease for the space at a press conference. He made the disclosure Thursday night at a dinner for housing professionals, nonprofit leaders, and reporters in Atlantic Media Company owner David Bradley's office in the Watergate.

Busboys will occupy the first floor of the building, which has 10,193 square feet of available retail space, according to the Washington DC Economic Partnership, which has promoted the site. The second floor, with 10,654 square feet of space, will host a culinary training program in partnership with the Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative, which owns the building.

The opening of the Anacostia Busboys will represent a major step forward for the retail in a neighborhood that has at times struggled to attract and retain restaurants. Existing and planned Busboys locations elsewhere in the city have tracked or heralded the kind of neighborhood economic growth that has so far eluded Anacostia.

Apply Yourself | November 17, 2014

If you separate from . . . everything you have done in the past, everything that disturbs you about the future . . . and apply yourself to living the life that you are living—that is to say, the present—you can live all the time that remains to you until your death in calm, benevolence, and serenity.

- Marcus Aurelius, "The Present Moment"