Creative Placemaking Initiative Takes Site-Specific Dance into Hyattsville, MD

Art Lives Here celebrates Maida Withers and the Dance Construction Company’s pivotal role in the 1970s dance revolution that became known as site-specific work.

Four On The Wall

Photo Courtesy of Maida Withers Dance Construction Company

On September 20th at 8:30 pm Maida Withers Dance Construction Company will be joined by electronic musician/composer Steve Hilmy in the new location for Gateway Arts District arts organization, Art Works Now at 4800 Rhode Island Ave in Hyattsville, MD. Lighting will be designed by Enoch Chan of Deviated Theater. Withers, a pioneer and innovator of site-specific work in the world of dance, proposed a concept to the Art Lives Here partners back in January that would engage audiences with the question, “does art live here?” and “what does it mean if art lives here?” The piece, entitled “Trans Action” allows the audience to decide if “art” (two female dancers) can survive the onslaught of eight dancers in business suits attempting to dominate and suppress her. Withers asks, “join us to get down and get dirty and help make art happen…a plan to keep art alive!” “The intimacy of participation by the audience in a site location seems to forever change the artist and the audience view of the space and feeling about art, dance in this case. It can be liberating for all when dance happens in places other than the formal stage.” (Maida Withers)

Photo Courtesy of Maida Withers Dance Construction Company

Photo Courtesy of Maida Withers Dance Construction Company

Art Works Now Executive Director Barbara Johnson and Joe’s Movement Emporium Executive Director Brooke Kidd met with Withers to discuss the potential for a creative placemaking occurrence. By breaking the boundaries of space, movement, and classic passive role of the audience, Withers hopes to change the sense of space.

Photo Courtesy of Maida Withers Dance Construction Company

Photo Courtesy of Maida Withers Dance Construction Company

Prior to the performance, Withers will present a free discussion and film presentation September 17th at 7:30 pm at Joe’s Movement Emporium entitled “On Site / Insight”. Withers will give context to the role and place of space in the creation and performance of dance for “live audiences” with examples of site events such as Wet and Wonderful in Washington, DC on the National Plaza (Western Plaza on Pennsylvania Avenue); Sunday Maneuvers at Theodore Roosevelt Island National Park, DC; LENIN, Lenin Museum, Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia; Seeing JAZZ MOVE, Smithsonian International Gallery exhibition, Seeing JAZZ.

These two events are a part of the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Maida Withers Dance Construction Company in 1974 in Washington, DC. The event is made possible by funding from Art Lives Here via Joe’s Movement Emporium.

FINAL event of the Southside Music & Skateboarding Series August 2nd!

Live music starts at noon! And check out what else we’ve got lined up!!

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FINAL event of the Southside Music & Skateboarding Series 

Saturday, August 2, NOON til 4 pm

  • FREE skateboarding competition with CASH PRIZES!
  • Guest judges: The DC Wheels!
  • Competition open to all ages, free to compete
  • Registration starts at NOON, skaters be there early!
  • Live music by Lee Blackwood & Graham, NOON to 1 pm
  • with drum ‘n bass DJ sets after!! featuring
    • Julez (subdistrick, one love massive, chalet crew)
    • InnerLoop (liquid drops, offworld recordings, kill inc.)
  • Skateboarding competition: 1 pm to 4 pm

At the Mount Rainier Skate Park: 3792 Otis Street, Mt. Rainier, MD 20712 (corner of Otis & Wells, across the street from Red Dirt Studio)

More info parked & updated on our facebook event page, please join the “Going” list here.

Questions: call the Brentwood Arts Exchange (301) 277-2863 or send email to PGP-Brentwood-Arts@pgparks.com

Please pass the word along!

GOOD MORNING: Jam-pack your weekend with a healthy dose of Art Lives Here

TONIGHT: FIRST stop by the happenings at the Route 1 Farmers Market & Bazaar – Gateway CDC Twilight Market between 4-8 pm. Patrick McDonough of Catalogue Brewing will be leading a workshop. Lopez Farms provides a variety of fruits and vegetables. Gone Green makes all sorts of condiments using collard greens. Crafters Jerrell Baker with Glass Adornments, John Polhemus with Spun Limited, and Aimee with Plush Knits will have their items on display. Music will be provided by Playlist, CopperRose & Bone, and Grupo Clan DC.


STILL TONIGHT: THEN stop by for the LAST TIME the Anacostia cafe, a pop-up gallery and cafe at 4802 Rhode Island Ave to check out Krista Schlyer‘s Meet Your Neighbours photos, support The Anacostia Project, and enjoy a glass of wine with your Art Lives Here friends! This event is meant to produce MINIMAL waste, there are glasses for wine and water and mugs for tea, but remember to wash your cup out and put it back for the next person!


TOMORROW: The Route 1 Farmers Market will open bright and early at 9 am and stay popping until 1 pm featuring NEW FARMER: Diveley’s Fruit Farm located in Biglerville PA. Dave Eiker, our new farmer, will bring seasonal produce including melons, peaches, blueberries, greens (collards, kale), tomatoes, potatoes, summer squash, onions, cucumbers, eggplant, etc.


TOMORROW AFTERNOON: Post Farmers Market be sure to stop by artist Leslie Holt‘s pop-up exhibit (as part of Hyattsville CDC’s Biz-Art match up program) plus a hands-on art activity to decorate a mall shopper tote next to RadioShack at The Mall at Prince Georges. Space is limited. RSVP for the art activity here: https://www.facebook.com/events/592826890830162/ (she also asks you wear your Hello Kitty Bling… yolo)


TOMORROW EVENING: Join us “til the twilight’s last gleaming” with Hyattsville Community Development Corporation‘s for the longly anticipated Bursting in Air from 3 pm to 8 pm on Saturday. L
ive music and performances, live public art on the bridge itself, food, drinks, kids activities, and two artist-instructed Citizen-Paint-Project murals. RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1468785960004268