Cultural Heroes help keep art and culture alive in The District

   If you haven\’t noticed by now, Washington, D.C. is very vibrant and eccentric. Rich in culture and heritage; not simply because of Congress. But the main contributors to upholding the culture of D.C. are Washingtonians. Often the nation’s capital can get confused with Capitol Hill, but the city has its own governing body consisting of a mayor and city council.


Some of the most critical components to preserving the US Constitution are held here, upholding the laws the rule the land.  There are over 600,000 Washingtonian\’s who live beyond the jurisdiction struggles of federal government and the district government.  Many demonstrations take place in Washington so its has very symbolic and prestigious presence being felt.  As Congress holds true to voting on the floors, many Washingtonians want to preserve the rich heritage and powerful culture of the people post implants and gentrification.

   With a current 20-year Comprehensive plan in place to beautify and modernize the DC; what was the reconstruction plan back in 1968?  On April 4, 1968, many had received the devastating news that civil rights leader and activist Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had been assassinated.  This was the turning point in which the city would feel the people\’s pain both literally and physically.  Not sure if holding onto those memories make the occurrence any different in measuring pain then and now, but what was the district like in 1968? 

   Sure no Lyft to get you from U street to your home.  There was racial tension in the air due to prior injustices in America regarding African Americans.  Who was Mayor back then?  Walter E. Washington.  He was appointed the 1st Mayor-Commissioner of the city, and Walter E. Fauntroy was first Vice Chair of the Council.  What was the education system like along with the true climate in the city during the 1968 Riots?  The film \”1968 The journey Fifty Years Later,\” gives a depiction of those questions during that time.


   DC Community Heritage Project presented its 12th Annual DC Community Heritage Project Showcase held at Charles Sumner School on September 11.  The preservation of culture is important to any community.  It allows for a better definition and understanding of history. D.C. is more than government and the rich arts and culture that have magnified and made and tremendous impact on the city.  Stories like \”dc 1968,\” presented by Dr. Marya McQuirter, contribute to keeping the legacy alive.  \”dc 1968,\” is a digital storytelling project about Washington, DC during the entire year of 1968. 

   The project moves beyond the hyper-focus on the uprising after the assassination of King and amplifies the art, activism, architecture and every-day life that made 1968 such an extraordinary year in D.C.  Through its mission and dedication, DC Historic Preservation Office assists in facilitating the importance of culture preservation. \”It’s through educational outreach and community engagement that allows for avenues of preservation,\” said State Historic Preservation Officer David Maloney.

All district residents can continue to build upon those legacies by discovering \”culture heroes.\”  Who are they? Ask Joy Ford Austin, Executive Director HumanitiesDC.  In her call to all, she expressed that \”culture heroes\” must be culture conscious of the city, using culture to advocate for DC residents.  Ward 5, you heard the call, are you a \”culture hero\” keeping art and culture alive in the district?


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