The Emergence Community Arts Collective is seeking to make an impact on minority residents in the D.C. Ward 1 neighborhood of Shaw, by reinforcing cultural lessons that are not seen in mainstream society.
The use of art as a tool to galvanize self-belief and identity has always been an important part of life. With that in mind the Emergence Community Arts Collective’s (ECAC) mission is to give minority residents in the D.C. Ward 2 neighborhood of Shaw access to art that reflects their history and way of life.
“A model for a true community center - not one imposed on a community, but one built by the community,” a motto of the Emergence Community Arts Collective, located in Washington D.C. Shaw’s very own nonprofit sits on 733 Euclid St NW, about 100 steps away from one of the busiest streets in the United States, Georgia Avenue.
The ECAC provides initiatives, programs, and initiatives in several areas including: The Arts, Education, Civic Engagement, Support Groups, Social Events, Environmental Awareness, and Heritage Education.
Sylvia Robinson, the director of the Arts Collective said that keeping the doors of the center open was important because of the role it plays in the community.
“The trend is to go to neighborhoods that are more expensive, but we want to make sure that we are still accessible,” said Robinson.
To the unfamiliar eye, the home of the ECAC looks like a humble abode with a family who enjoys Christmas lights, but to the Shaw/Howard University community, it houses “some of the best grassroots work” they have ever seen.
Princess Doku, a frequent volunteer with the collective attends the open mic that ECAC puts on weekly.
“You wouldn’t know this was here unless you know that it’s here, but once you know it’s here, your life gets better,” said Princess Doku.
The open mic is held to …… In addition to the weekly open mic, ECAC also has a bi annual workshop where residents are taught to paint or
Robinson also stressed that ECAC’s presence in the community was vital as it reflected the residents that live there.
“One of the goals this year is to be sustainable and creative, not just in the activities, but in the system that runs,” said Robinson.