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                                               BLACK ARTS
 “Residents don’t have to leave the neighborhood for anything,” she said. “There’s even a chiropractor here.... For the artist, the center is viewed as a cultural hub. It gives them a chance to grow, while giving the residents a chance to engage in art.”
Two blocks down is another arts nook: IBé Arts. Visual artist and owner IBé Crawley specializes in stone sculp- tures, a talent she said is not common in the city.
“Working in stone, I have the ability to create work that has a staying power,” she said. “I wanted to create monu- ments that were a tribute to African American artists and history.”
One of her sculptures, “Milk” was carved from a Baltimore step. It tells the story of an enslaved woman who ran away with her two children and hid beneath a Baltimore step in 1852. Another, “Family,” is carved from a drainage marble purchased at a salvage shop.
“I created this space to showcase my art while promot- ing other artists on this side of town and over the bridge,” she said. “I also wanted to teach art and show how you can create your own.”
Crawley’s gallery uses storytelling techniques to docu- ment ancestral stories. She combines video recording of elder family member stories with photographic images to support their stories. She helps families create a piece of legacy that can be shared with generations to come.
When Keyonna Jones-Lindsay opened Congress Heights Arts and Cultural Center in 2015, she said the project was a “self-manifestation.” She was working for her father in prop- erty management when the space became available.
“I never had an initial vision for the center and my dad had intentions on renting out the space again,” said Jones-Lind- say, founder and executive director. “When he asked what I wanted to do, I just blurted out ‘Let’s do an art gallery.’”
One year after it opened, Jones-Lindsay and her father began renovations, adding rooms, offices and bathrooms, a conference room and a rooftop. It offers art classes and workshops, even yoga and sewing.
When she was a child, Jones-Lindsay’s parents took her outside their neighborhood to explore the arts scene. That’s why the center has become so important to her.
“Growing up, I didn’t have this center and now my community has it,” she said. “It’s like I created something I needed when I was growing up and still need, because we still have youth here.”
IBé Crawley sculpture titled “Milk”, a piece from Red States, Black Bodies An Exhibit of 2017 Works by IBé Crawley
Three miles away is the Anacostia Community Muse- um, the first federally funded community museum in the Smithsonian portfolio.
It opened in September 1967 as an outreach effort to the African American community with hopes that they would visit other Smithsonian museums on the National Mall after seeing one in their own area.
Fifty years later, in 2016, the Smithsonian opened the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
“They had to fight to get that space and continue to fight to stay open for the last 50 years,” said Kashaka. “The new museum had to fight as well, but this museum proved proof of concept, as well as the new one.”
Crawley added: “We will not be left out or pushed out.... You can’t get around the fact that DC is the hub of the nation. Once visitors arrive, they want to know what else is there to do, and that’s where Anacostia comes in.”
 In the DC area? Check out these
Anacostia Community Museum
1901 Fort Pl SE, Washington, DC 20020 (202) 633-4820 •
National Museum of African Art
950 Independence Ave SW, Washington DC 20560 (202) 633-4600 •
Blank Space
(located inside the Anacostia Arts Center)
1231 Good Hope Rd SE, Washington DC 20020 (202) 631-6291 •
Congress Heights Arts and Cultural Center
3200 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington DC 20032 (202) 505-1938 or (202) 506-9805 •
For the complete listing go to

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