Happy Snowy Day!
The Arts Club of Washington was awesome! What an amazing place filled with amazing people and beautiful art. Even the architecture of the surprisingly large building was magnificent. We are indebted to Ms. Conici Blount, who is herself an accomplished artist, for arranging for us to experience our day at such a wonderful location. We were treated like kings and queens the entire day. Ms. Jenna Beebe, Caretaker, ensured we would be pampered all day and we were!
Ms. Susan and Mr. Wayne got our brains fed and energized with fresh orange juice and bananas as we all reconnected after a month. We started with a gallery tour led by Ms. Nichola Hays, Associate Artistic Director, Gallery Manager, and Membership Coordinator (whew- what a job title!). The artwork we enjoyed was diverse and each room offered a different style, focus or subject, as we climbed up to each floor after floor. We could have spent hours looking at each piece. We got to see behind the scenes, such as the archives, the basement where famous folks such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Claudine Colbert and others drank illegally, the tunnel that used to lead to the White House and the use of the James Monroe House with the Underground Railroad. We felt like we had joined into a part of national history just by being there.
We had time to review our SAT/ ACT vocabulary words and discuss our progress in school. Our outstanding mentors took notes on academic roadblocks as well as successful activities for each students. We discussed how to push through difficult areas of the various classes, and planned how to raise grades further for second quarter. We celebrated good news shared by individuals, such as honor roll, special recognitions, school improvements, etc.
Before we knew it, we were treated to a fantastic lunch – complete with white linen tablecloths and china – and indulged in scrumptious grilled vegetable wild rice with crouton soup, airline chicken breast piccata, parmesan mashed Yukon gold potatoes, green beans and carrots and delicious chocolate mousse dessert. We were served by fabulous staff members who catered to our every need.
After lunch, Mr. Jameson Freeman, the Founding Artistic Director, led us through a delightful stage experience called “Lemons”. Five teams of three actors each took a scene of the short play to portray the characters. We then had a chance to analyze character evolution and change and how we can find connections to our everyday lives. Mr. Freeman emphasized our need for personal sovereignty and personal awareness. We discussed how each experience we are having develops our cultural literacy and personal confidence to succeed in any societal setting with knowledge and enjoyment.
We had a chance to share spontaneously in Jabarre’s rap about First Star, Khalil’s unbelievable poem that he wrote on the spot, and Keyana, Asia and Leslie’s angelic voices who offered us further artistic enjoyment. We ended the day celebrating several birthdays with delicious cupcakes provided by both volunteer extraordinaire Samantha and mentor Nyrisha.
Thank you to everyone for making this such a successful day. We can hardly wait for the Nutcracker ballet in two weeks so once again we can learn, laugh, and love together in this special family we have created!
Teresa M. Zutter
Director First Star Greater Washington Academy