Fund Art Workshops for Veterans

$615 of $16,500 goal

Raised by 8 people in 14 months
Community Building Art Works connects Veterans with existing arts organizations and communities in the region through programming designed to promote dialogue and understanding across a wide range of experiences, bringing mixed groups of Veterans and civilians to engage in dialogue that uses art as a tool for rigorous thought. 

In the Music & Words Workshop, Veterans & Service Members from the Walter Reed & Ft Belvoir Hospital Communities work with accomplished, contemporary, Award-Winning poets and musicians during a weeklong workshop for Veterans and Service Members at the USO Warrior & Family Center at Bethesda. Participants contribute to an anthology and professional recording of work from the week.

The completed creative work is presented in a public performance at the Strathmore Performing Arts Center, connecting participants through their art to build understanding and dialogue between civilians and military communities. 

Facilitator Bios:

Christylez Bacon is a GRAMMY® Nominated Progressive Hip-Hop artist and multi-instrumentalist from Southeast, Washington, DC. As a performer, Christylez multi-tasks between various instruments such as the West African djembe drum, acoustic guitar, and the human beat-box (oral percussion), all while continuing the oral tradition of storytelling through his lyrics.

With a mission towards cultural acceptance and unification through music, Christylez is constantly pushing the envelope – from performances at the National Cathedral, to becoming the first Hip-Hop artist to be featured at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, composing and orchestrating an entire concert for a 12-piece orchestra commissioned by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Smithsonian Institute, or recording a Folk/Hip-Hop children’s album. He is the recipient of multiple honors awarded by the Washington Area Music Association including 2013 Artist of the Year, and the Montgomery County Executive Award for Excellence in the Arts.

Wytold is a DC-based composer and cellist who has performed his original compositions with the National Symphony Orchestra. Wytold's music is featured in the Sundance award-winning and EMMY-nominated film, Blood Brother, the recently released award-winning documentary, New Chefs on the Block, and the critically acclaimed Woolly Mammoth Theater production of "An Octoroon". His newly released album, "Fireflies, Fairies & Squids" ranked in the Top Ten RMR World Music Radio Chart for 13 weeks in a row, with “Giant Squids” at #1 for 6 weeks. Wytold is also an active composer for the contemporary dance company, Christopher K Morgan & Artists (CKM&A). Wytold is an NS Design featured artist, recent Strathmore Artist in Residence, and a recipient of several grant awards from the Maryland State Arts Council, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County. Wytold was also selected to study and collaborate with Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble in their 2015 Global Musician Workshop, and the Wytold Ensemble was selected as one of the top 5 finalists in the 21st Century Musician Emerging Artist Ensemble Competition.

Mahogany L. Browne has toured Germany, Amsterdam, England, Canada and recently Australia as 1/3 of the cultural arts exchange project Global Poetics. Her poetry has been published in literary journals Pluck, Manhattanville Review, Muzzle, Union Station Mag, Literary Bohemian, Bestiary, Joint & The Feminist Wire. She is an Urban Word NYC Artistic Director (as seen on HBO’s Brave New Voices), founder of Women Writers of Color Reading Room, Director of BLM@Pratt Programming and facilitates performance poetry and writing workshops throughout the country. Browne is also the publisher of Penmanship Books, the Nuyorican Poets Café Friday Night Slam curator and recent graduate from Pratt Institute MFA Writing & Activism program.

Seema Reza is the author of When the World Breaks Open, a memoir of essays and poetry published by Red Hen Press. Based outside of Washington DC, she coordinates and facilitates a unique multi-hospital arts program that encourages the use of the arts as a tool for narration, self-care and socialization among a population struggling with emotional and physical injuries. Her writing has appeared in print and on-line in Entropy, The Feminist Wire, Bellevue Literary Review, The Offing, Full Grown People, and The Nervous Breakdown among others. In 2015 she received the Col John Gioia Patriot award from the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore.

Sponsored by 501(c)(3) non-profit organization Community Building Art Works

Funds will be used for artist travel and time, professional recording of work, and a chapbook anthology of poetry from the week.

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$615 of $16,500 goal

Raised by 8 people in 14 months
Funds raised will benefit:
Community Building Art Works
Certified Charity
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Rockville, MD
EIN: 814784695
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Jennifer Patterson
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