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DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Presents Go-Go Swing: Washington, DC’s Unstoppable Beat

Thursday, July 25, 2013
Multimedia Exhibition Celebrates the Capital’s Signature Sound

200 I STREET GALLERY – 200 I (EYE) Street, SE, Washington, DC 20003

Exhibition: August 16 – October 18, 2013



Gala Opening Reception: Friday, August 16 from 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Press Preview: Wednesday, August 14, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Instrument Petting Zoo: Saturday, September 14, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Gallery Talk: Saturday, September 14, 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM

Gallery Hours: Open 7 days a week, 9 AM – 8:00 PM

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) presents a new multi-media art show, Go-Go Swing: Washington, DC’s Unstoppable Beat. The special exhibition, opening on Friday, August 16 with a Gala Reception, will feature fine art and memorabilia, as well as musical performances, to reveal and document untold stories of the inventors, contributors and legacy carriers of the city’s signature sound. Curated by DCCAH Resident Curator Zoma Wallace, Go-Go Swing will be on view through October 18, 2013. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

To premiere the exhibition, the Commission has planned an evening of interactive art, music, photography, fashion and poetry celebrating the history of Go-Go from its African, Latin, Jazz and Funk roots to the present. This Go-Go Swing event will honor the pioneers of the indigenous genre with an “all white attire” affair from 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM, featuring performances by Rare Essence and Black Alley Band. In partnership with Radio One (WKYS 93.9 and WMMJ 102.3), winners of radio tickets gain access to the VIP Lounge. This event is free and open to the public, but an RSVP to gogoswing.eventbrite.com is required.

Go-Go Swing honors the collective contributions of the District’s Go-Go community to the city and the world,” said Judith Terra, Chair of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. “We are pleased to be able to take a multi-media approach to showcase the influences of Go-Go’s influence on popular culture. Visitors to exhibit will be able to hear cassettes from shows from the 1980s and 90s while viewing the artwork and instruments played by Go-Go pioneers.”

“This exhibition acknowledges the pioneers of the Go-Go genre, who have given and continue to give a significant musical gift to the world,” said Lionell Thomas, Executive Director of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. “As one of the city original art forms, Go-Go Swing highlights the major contributions of the local arts scene to making our city a wonderful place to live, work and play.”

Go-Go Swing: Washington D.C.’s Unstoppable Beat recognizes that once the danceable Go-Go beat winds up, the rhythms are hard to resist. The exhibition will feature one of Chuck Brown’s Gibson guitars, on loan from the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum and photographs documenting key people, places and events. Photographer, scholar, and author of the critically acclaimed book of poems called The Maverick Room, Thomas Sayers Ellis has contributed greatly to the visual narrative of this exhibit. Also supporting a survey of essential Go-Go instrumentation, compositions known to have inspired some of Go-Go’s inventors will also be prominently interwoven into the visual story. Finally, a Listening Library will be installed within the Gallery, comprised of hundreds of PA cassette tapes featuring live performances that gallery attendees can listen to and enjoy. 

About the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities provides grants, professional opportunities, education enrichment, and other programs and services to individuals and nonprofit organizations in all communities within the District of Columbia.

The Arts Commission is supported primarily by District government funds and in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.