From a press release:
“Today, the planners of the 40th Anniversary Adams Morgan Day Festival announced the music lineup, featuring famed D.C. go-go band Trouble Funk (also celebrating their 40th year), and highlights of D.C.’s longest running neighborhood festival, taking place Sunday, September 9th from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The free event is open to all ages and will highlight the vibrant energy and diverse, creative cultures that define this historic neighborhood. Street Closures on 18thStreet NW between Columbia Road and Wyoming Avenue will make way for festival goers enjoying live music and art, neighborhood history exhibitions, expansive youth activities, curated local vendors, restaurant specials and more.
Businesses and restaurants along Columbia Road and Florida Avenue will also participate.
The lineup to date represents the rich variety of the local music scene that, in addition to Trouble Funk, includes Adams Morgan Day veterans Mariachi Los Amigos, innovative and soulful DuPont Brass; West African griot musician, Cheik Hamala Diabate; all-female Afro-Brazilian percussion group Batala; Afro-Soul band, Kino Musica; the feel good funk of Joe Keyes and the Late Bloomers Band; indie rock band, Lavender; electronic indie pop band, Atoms Apart; Colombian rhythms of La Marvela; a Big Ugly Truckdance party with DJs Pharoah Haqq, Crown Vic, Vico Vibezand Mezcla; and performances by the divine Ladies of Perry’s. Live entertainment for kids includes award-winning children’s performer and education act The Uncle Devin Show, youth breakdancing demonstrations byThe Lab, DJs and more.
Songbyrd Music House, DC Public Library (DCPL), Smithsonian Center for Folklife & Cultural Heritage and Multiflora Productions partnered “to present and sponsor music performances at the festival that represent Adams Morgan as a cultural crossroads,” says Joe Lapan, music coordinator for the event and co-owner of Songbyrd.
To celebrate the festival anniversary, DC Public Library has also collaborated with Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum and American University to highlight the history of the neighborhood through exhibitions, activities and performances. “We will strive to honor the decades of creativity, activism and diversity of Adams Morgan that continue to shape the community today,” said Washingtoniana librarian Michele Casto of DCPL. The Humanities Truck, an experimental recording and exhibition space on wheels from American University, will exhibit Adams Morgan content from Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum’s “A Right to the City” exhibition about neighborhood organizing, and historic photos of Adams Morgan from the Nancy Shia Collection at DCPL.
“We’re thrilled to see the energy behind our 40th anniversary event this year, with triple the number of volunteers since last year and increased support from many local businesses,” said Kara Davis, chairman of the Adams Morgan Community Alliance, a non-profit formed to ensure the sustainability of the annual festival.
“Activities are greatly expanded for all ages this year and include a ‘Family Fun Zone’ provided by Volo City Kids Foundation,” said Alliance president A. Tianna Scozzaro. Volo City will bring certified volunteers and equipment for soccer, flag football and games for kids of all ages. Games include corn hole, connect four, kan jam, jenga and more. Families can sign up for free kids’ sports leagues occurring in Adams Morgan and around the city.
These and more family-oriented activities will be located at the newly renovated Marie H. Reed Elementary School and Community Center grounds and adjacent soccer field. The Marie Reed Elementary School PTO is organizing a student arts and crafts sale to benefit the after school program. Festival organizers are scheduling face painters, a juggler and entertainers for youth. Elsewhere at the festival will be exercise classes and demos for adults, including a chance to take a test ride on the Peloton Bike. MINT Gym and Studio will lead free Zumba and “WERQ” classes.
The festival will feature the amazing creative work of local artists, crafters and designers at booths throughout the festival. Local service organizations, local politicians preparing for the November election, and some area businesses will also connect with the community. Back by popular demand will be Artists’ Alley, an interactive space supported by Mellow Mushroom with crowd-engaging live visual arts organized by designer Josue Martinez, who is owner of Corinto Gallery and designed the t-shirt and designed branding for the 40thanniversary. The alley will feature art demonstrations, live muralists, graffiti artists and performance art.
Adams Morgan Day started its run as a neighborhood potluck block party, conceptualized in 1977 by five local businessmen. The event grew to attract an estimated 300,000 people some years in the 80’s and 90’s. Scozzaro, Davis, Lapan and Martinez are among a small group of volunteers made up of neighborhood residents and businesses that saved the event from collapse when it was cancelled by former organizers in 2015. In addition to Scozzaro, Davis, Lapin and Martinez, Adams Morgan Community Alliance founders include David Smith, Dave Delaplaine, Carol Miller and Robert Turner.
The event is now more representative of the neighborhood and what makes it unique, and operates with accountability.”