Like many great artists, Stephanie Mercedes stands out because she thinks of things that don’t occur to average folks.
For her piece “The Ring of Freedom,” Mercedes (the name she goes by) bought a Sig Sauer MCX rifle — the same kind used in the Orlando, Fla., Pulse nightclub 2016 massacre — and melted it, using the aluminum to make 49 liberty bells to represent the 49 victims.
Halcyon, a nonprofit that supports socially engaged artists and social entrepreneurs seeking to address some of the world’s greatest challenges, is looking to blanket Washington with art during its inaugural By The People festival this month.
WASHINGTON — Those who live in the D.C. area know that the region is brimming with creativity. The nation’s capital is home to a number of artists, musicians, writers and chefs.
But what is the city’s reputation like beyond the Beltway? Kate Goodall, chief executive officer of Halcyon, worries.
The Smithsonian Institution Arts and Industries Building (A&I) will serve as the headquarters and central hub for the inaugural By the People Festival, an international arts and dialogue festival taking place across Washington, D.C., Thursday, June 21, through Saturday, June 24. Presented by Halcyon, the four-day arts takeover was created to promote empathy and spark civil discourse.
"The Smithsonian will celebrate the first Saturday of summer— 'Solstice Saturday'—with free parties, programs and performances June 23. In addition to programs for adults and children, most Smithsonian museums will be open until midnight..."
"For Will Avila, walking around the District’s Brightwood neighborhood brings back memories of crime and neglect. His mother abandoned him at a McDonald’s when he was small; his father struggled with alcohol; the only sense of family he found was in a gang..."
"Washington society came out to raise more than $650,000 for Halcyon on Friday at the local arts and business incubator’s annual awards night, held this year at Washington National Cathedral. The evening honored filmmaker Lee Daniels; Mitchell J. Landrieu, the former mayor of New Orleans; and Shinola founder Tom Kartsotis..."
Both legends in their own right, Case and LaMontagne are teaming up for a night of flourishing folk at The Anthem as the official kickoff to the inaugural run of Halcyon’s By The People Festival, an arts and dialogue festival “bringing people together around the themes of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” It’s a win-win for all involved.
At the inaugural By the People festival, created by the start-up incubator Halcyon, artists will cover the District with yarn (as in Stacy Cantrell’s yarn-bomb at the Parks at Walter Reed), light (Nick Cave’s “Untitled” projection at Washington National Cathedral), fabric (Chloe Bensahel’s installation at Union Market) and more in a series of installations and performances, most of them free.