From the Chispa DC web site:
Chispa is an opportunity for cultural creatives to connect with each other and share what they love both in and outside of their own circles – theater, organization development, community organizing, etc.
Here is Alex’s write up on Chispa’s first event:
Chispa is the spanish word for “spark” and rest assured, there was nothing but sparks flying at the Fridge in DC tonight. The Fridge is a bar/art gallery/event space in D.C. and by far one of the coolest that I’ve seen since I’ve lived here.
Passion poured out in the form of ten completely different presentations, all united around a single purpose: to share what they’re thinking, dreaming and doing. This was Chispa D.C.
At first, I was on the fence about attending. I’ve got lots of schoolwork, I’m clearly behind on my blogging, I’ve got enough reading to do to keep me engrossed for 48 hours straight… but this was well worth it. Never again will I question going to an event in D.C. like this–these don’t happen every day, and each one is another chance to learn and to grow. Check below the cut for a quick summary and some of the photos I shot tonight.
The event kicked off with Jared Ball, presenting his views on “mixtape radio, emancipatory journalism and anti-colonial media.” Was it a bit radical? Of course–he argued that capitalism is equal to commoditization, and that we’re witnessing neoslavery in the prison system of the United States. My views certainly differ from his in many ways, but it’s always fascinating to hear different viewpoints, no matter how “radical” they may seem to some.
The first half of the event was mostly speaking presentations. But boy were they good.
We heard from Kristy Li Puma Herrera about her fascinating life bouncing back and forth between living in the U.S. and visiting her family back in Lima, Peru. ”Packing a suitcase is like an act of subversion,” she said, saying that really, the different parts of the world aren’t as backwards, as different, or as far apart as they may seem.
Adam Eig showed us some absolutely incredible photographs of his cross-country motorcycle trip and spoke about the lessons he learned along the way.
“Sometimes you have to drive on the wrong side of the road… to get a good shot,” he said.
“This is a journey you can have walking down the street.”
“There’s a lot of reasons to smile,” said Adam, as we go about the world we live in.
All incredibly valuable lessons. Most importantly though, he wrapped up with some of the best advice I think I’ve ever heard: “Live, smile, enjoy, appreciate.” Love it.
Loryn Wilson told us about why “black girls rule the Twitter world.” Charlie Seashore gave us an awesome presentation relating the challenge of diversity to a wide variety of chickens. “Being adult is hard work,” he said, “It involves speaking out and pushing back.” We should look at being adult as a moment in time, not a stage of life. You can choose to “act like an adult” or let our your childish side–that’s ok too.
The second half of the event kicked off with a bang after a quick intermission. Tiik with G.U.T.S., a local indie band, kicked off the fun with three of their songs. Binahkaye Joy followed them up with a lesson in “booty” that ended up with the entire room on their feet, dancing around and shaking their booties. “A liberated booty is a liberated being,” was her mantra.
“The Holy Grail Gone Wild” was Zaccai Free’s wild presentation that, I’m pretty sure, just about blew everyone’s mind. Relating sex and religion in some no doubt controversial ways, it was fascinating to watch and certainly an attention-getter. The HollabackDC crew gave an awesome presentation with the brilliant Regina Holliday and Josef Palermo of CHarts, the Columbia Heights Arts Foundation.
And finally, the event wrapped up with a great presentation by the Potomac Group, LLC, about “The Dream and the Drama”–power, conflict and structure within social justice organizations, possibly the more incredibly relevant and important topic of the night for all us activists in the room.
For more info on the presenters tonight, check out their bios on the ChispaDC blog.
I could literally talk for hours about how much fun the event was, how great it was to see friends, meet new people, and hear new and fascinating ideas. But I’ll stop here and instead ask you: why weren’t you there? Follow me on Twitter and rest assured I’ll let you know when the next ChispaDC is coming up. I dare you, come out and see what all the fuss is about–it was well worth it.
Oh, and don’t forget to check out my photos from the event on Flickr here, or just by scrolling through the slideshow below.
To see what others are saying about Chispa DC, check out the #chispadc hashtag!