Art All Night unites DC neighborhoods, residents and artists
Annual art festival filled the District with creativity
D.C. held its annual Art All Night: Made in DC event on Sept. 24. Art All Night is the city’s free overnight art festival that begins in the afternoon on Saturday and runs into the early hours of Sunday morning. The festival unites the neighborhoods of Tenleytown, Dupont Circle, Shaw, Congress Heights, Van Ness, North Capitol and H Street in a night of visual and performing arts. The evening features artists of all mediums such as painting, photography, fashion, music, sculpture and poetry. In honor of the Made in D.C. partnership, an initiative that promotes small businesses in the city, the festival exclusively showcased the art of D.C. natives.
The evening kicked off at 4 p.m. with a “pre-party” in the Shaw neighborhood. The pre-party was highlighted by a performance from La Cirque de la Nuit, a troupe of more than 25 aerialists, jugglers and gymnasts. For those who did not attend the pre-party, their night began at the Embassy Row Hotel in Dupont Circle. Upon entering, guests could choose between a sprawling ballroom with a DJ or an elevator ride to the rooftop terrace where visual artist MASRAE presented a light projection show on the terrace’s pool. The projections seemed to be synchronized with the DJ’s mix of pop and electronic music. Throughout the night, artists walked around the terrace along with models wearing paper-mâché dresses, which guests were invited to paint.
While many attendees enjoyed the lightshow and D.C. skyline from the hotel’s rooftop, venues all around the city exhibited sculptures, music and paintings, among a variety of other performances. At the Embassy of the Ivory Coast, visitors could view intricately carved wooden masks and taste wine of the country as a DJ played traditional, upbeat music. In other neighborhoods, such as Congress Heights, various restaurants stayed open late for old-school dance parties with vinyl records or glow-in-the-dark silent discos. In addition to art performances, some venues featured lecture and panel discussions on current issues like police brutality and the 2016 presidential campaign.
Throughout the night, guests of Art All Night ventured into and across the city to experience the plethora of free events. The residents and artists of the District’s many neighborhoods united in an exploration of art and in discussion of the issues facing the city and world.