CivicFest 2018: Here comes the sun!
Last Saturday, DCTMI was joined by over 30 nonprofits – from tutoring and mentoring organizations, to environmental advocates, to fitness groups. Throughout the day, attendees learned about the critical issues facing our community and the work that needs to be done to build a safer, more equitable, and more compassionate DC. Many reported signing up for multiple volunteering and advocacy opportunities. “We ran out of [promotional] literature, which is a good problem to have,” reported one empty-handed partner organization.
In addition to learning about local nonprofits, attendees picnicked under the trees, chatted with fellow community members, and visited the Kids Zone to see “the world’s best face painter” (according to one confident six-year-old). On the perimeter of the park, CivicFesters munched on sweet and savory crepes, pizza slices larger than their faces, and several different kinds of chicken. “Holy crepes,” in addition to being the name of one of the food trucks, was a common utterance among satisfied customers.
This civic movement was set against the backdrop of Heal & Release DC, led by DeepJust, Aphrosoul, and Jahsonic. (DeepJust expanded Heal & Release to DC last year from New York, Boston, and Atlanta with the help of Aphrosoul.) Heal & Release combined wellness activities such as reiki, yoga, and qigong (tai chi) with “an eclectic blend of deep metaphysical alternative dance music that fed the soul.” To Aphrosoul, the connection between CivicFest and Heal & Release DC was clear: “In the words of the late Michael Brody, ‘If we can dance together, we can live together.'” Participants sang, danced, and sweat together in temperatures that topped 90 degrees. DCTMI hopes this shared experience – humid as it was – will support its long-term goal of getting people to work together across class, race, and ideology.