Lumen8 Anacostia This Saturday

H Street Gallery and Courtyard creates Pop-Up Gallery with Video Projection

Gallery O on H activates historic Anacostia building during Lumen8

During Lumen8 Anacostia, using a combination of projection, art installation and live music performance, Gallery O on H will recreate their gallery and courtyard in a historic Anacostia building.  Located at 2021 Martin Luther King Blvd., the event will take place from 4 to 9 p.m. and will showcase outsider artist, Brian Dowdell and a live local music showcase by Listen Local First.

Gallery O on H, located at 1354 H Street NE is an indoor/outdoor community space where art, music and minds intersect for cultural experience.  The pop-up gallery, much like the H Street space, will combined art and music allowing sound to flow into the street using speakers to project out the windows of the second floor space.

The space will be recreated through a mix of live art, live music and projected video scenes of the original space, featuring hyper-local H Street celebrities.  The experience is open to the public.

“Recreating the outside in is an exercise in fusing sensory realities, and I find that fascinating. This piece of video projection art captures the burgeoning and exciting Gallery O on H space – and its lively community on H street – within the walls of Anacostia,” explains Isabelle Carbonell, videographer.

Live musical performances include local artists Rene Moffatt, Justin Trawick, The Sweater Set and Jess Dye of Lightfoot.

Gallery owners and community advocates, Steve Hessler and Mary Ellen Vehlow are using this experience to launch a series of events that they hope will build community on H Street.  After holding onto this property and surrounding structures for years, the couple has begun execution for a mix-use plan including temporary and permanent concepts that foster creative entrepreneurs.  The full concept, set to roll out in stages over the next two years, will begin with a more active use of the current gallery and outdoor venue space for ticketed events including art, music and community featuring a pop-up markets for food and retail.

“We see this as an opportunity to infuse local community with an energy beyond the bars and the night life of H Street,” explains Vehlow.

The space will host their first event, Blossom Bake+Brew, on April 21 in collaboration with ScoutMob, Chocolate City Beer and Think Local First to benefit H Street Main Street.  Jazz in the Hood, a component of the DC Jazz Festival, is set for June 2 and 9th.   A summer music series, Music in the Courtyard, hosted twice a month begins in July.  A full listing of events can be found online at

For more information about the pop-up space in Anacostia, Gallery O on H or their events please contact Stacey Price

About Isabelle Carbonell

Isabelle Carbonell is a documentary photographer and documentary filmmaker who documents political, social, whimsical, ethnographic, and environmental stories around the world. When filming, she becomes her environment — sleeping, eating, and breathing with those she is focusing on, absorbing their culture, transcending the divide between observer and subject.

Isabelle also taught documentary filmmaking to a class of software designers and engineers at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, and more recently did a two-week photography workshop for National Geographic.

Unique in her perspectives and methods, she also comes from a wide cultural background as half-Belgian and half-Uruguayan. Based out of Washington D.C. and Brussels, Belgium, she graduated from the Residential College at the University of Michigan with degrees in Environmental and Social Science, Photography and Filmmaking. Her documentary skills have taken her to countries such as India, Qatar, Cuba, Mexico, Vietnam, the Dominican Republic, Nepal, Kazakhstan, and Nicaragua.

About the Music

Rene Moffatt –
Justin Trawick –
The Sweater Set –
Jess Dye of Lightfoot –

Listen Local First, an program of Think Local First DC is a local music initiative devoted to building awareness and creating opportunities for local musicians and venues in order to raise the profile of DC’s local music scene. This campaign includes a monthly Local Music Day and Local Music Showcases highlighting a variety of venues and genres of local music.

About Brian Dowall

Like many of the self-taught artists, Brian is prolific & compulsive, he intuitively taps into a space that spontaneously spills out onto that which is his favorite canvas “cardboard” or scripts sand spirits deftly.

Brian Dowdall is an original self taught creative force; prolific in paint, colors drawn from nature’s elements: fire, water, wind & earth …he calls up the spirits of animals & goddesses from his inner being. The work is joyful, unconscious & sometimes strange. Brian is a 35 year VISIONARY & “outsider” internationally exhibited.



Stopping the Music Monopoly: Why Independent Musicians and Music Fans Should Take a Stand

Listen Local First supports talented independent musicians in developing their art form, building their brand and cultivating their fanbase.  It is for these very reasons that we believe a merger that threatens the development of new digital distribution services and the ability of consumers to access new music at an affordable price is one that needs to be stopped.

As an artist or a music consumer, YOU can Help Stop the Music Monopoly!

HERE is a link to an Op Ed we published in the Huffington Post titled “Tell the FTC to STOP the Music Monopoly – Support Music Freedom”  We have highlighted some key points from the article below.

Why the Merger is Bad for the Independent Music Community

  • Universal Music Group/ EMI (UMG) will own 40% of the recorded music market.
  • Sony ATV Publishing will become the largest music publisher in the world with rights to up to 750,000 songs including the Beatles catalog.
  • Digital distribution services have to negotiate licenses with the major labels, and competition is essential for these negotiations. A major label that gains control of 40% of sound recordings would have the power to demand significantly more for its catalog and to choose, for its own purposes, the winners and losers in this market.
  • Without a licensing agreement from the now-largest label, a digital music service would lose traffic and advertising and become unsustainable. If these smaller digital services go under and new ones are prevented from entering the market, these artists will lose additional avenues of exposure and essentially forfeit their bargaining power for higher rates. Higher rates for the services mean smaller payments for independent musicians.
  • A mega label with unchallenged market power could withdraw significant portions of its publishing catalog from performance rights organizations.
  • Individually negotiating for publishing rights with labels would be detrimental to webcasters and streaming music sites. With limited or higher-priced access to playlists, web traffic would stagnate, advertising dollars would dry up, and new programming targeted at local markets that feature independent artists would disappear.
  • Due to higher licensing fees from the labels, music services will be forced to offset those costs by raising prices on the consumer end.
  • Finally, higher prices to legitimately access the digital music market will force consumers to find alternate illegitimate music sites that do not compensate artists.  Those artists that will take the hardest hit will be the independent artist.


February DC Local Music Day, Live Panel Discussion & Music Showcase

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DC Local Music Day – Wednesday Feb 8th
The Sweater Set
Cornel West Theory
Lucky Dub
The Jolley Brothers
More Humans

Please Visit –


Thursday February 9th at The Dunes (1402 Meridian Pl NW)

Co-Sponsored by:
DC Hip Hop Project
Capital Bop
Words Beats & Life
Think Local First DC


Black Broadway: The Roots of DC Hip Hop
Live DC Hip Hop Project Podcast recorded from The Dunes

Moderators: James Benson and Kokayi – DC Hip Hop Project

W. Ellington Felton – singer/songwriter/actor/poet
Luke Stewart – Editor of Capital Bop
Stacy Brooks – Blues Musician
DJ Alizay

LIVE SHOWCASE – 8:30 – 11:00pm

+Special Guests!!!

FIRST LISTEN: Lightfoot’s “Scarlet Sails” EP on the Pink Line Project


Listen Local First and The Pink Line Project have teamed together to support and promote DC’s talented local music scene!  Creating alternate avenues for music exploration and local music promotion is crucial to cultivating a thriving cultural community!


On Monday January 23rd music fan’s everywhere can hear Lightfoot’s FULL “Scarlet Sails” EP in its entirety on the Pink Line Project website.  The ONLY place to hear the brand new 6 Track EP in its entirety up until January 27th is (HERE)

Lightfoot’s front woman Jessica Louise Dye is a product of the great American Southwest. A child of the valley of the sun now living inWashingtonDC, she pulls inspiration from scorching heat waves, summer drought and breathtaking sunsets into her writing. Influences of her desert upbringing can be heard in repetitive rhythms and unique instrumentation such as rain sticks and rattles. However, Dye was not always destined to be a musician. She fell into music by pure necessity. Honorably discharged from the Air Force, abandoned by her lover and forced to live out of her car for several months, Dye sought the creative process of music as a distraction that would become her salvation.

Lightfoot recently returned from a six week European tour, have played such showcases as SXSW, CMJ, REEPERBAHN, BIMAFEST and have shared the stage with acts like Lenka, Lights, Julia Nunes and Nicole Atkins.


Friday January 27th

BlackCatDC– 9pm

w/ Loose Lips (last show), Ugly Purple Sweater, and Paperhaus



Download the “Scarlet Sails” EP (here)


Attend the EP release show (buy ticket here)  


Get a FREE 7” Vinyl Record of the EP (offer limited to first 100)


Special Salon Contra Listening Party with Lightfoot!

Tuesday January 24th 7-9pm

@Pink Line Project HQ

RSVP to – space limited

ABOUT Pink Line Project and Listen Local First

The Pink Line Project consolidates information about everything cool and smart in the DC arts and culture scene into one place for anyone looking for something different to do that’ll make your life richer and more interesting.

Listen Local First is a local music initiative campaign launched by Think Local First (TLF), a non-profit organization, working with independent business, consumers and policymakers to grow a sustainable, local economy in DC.

The LLF initiative is devoted to building awareness and creating opportunities for local musicians and venues in order to raise the profile of DC’s local music scene.  LLF seeks to partner with local musicians, local arts organizations, local venues and locally owned businesses to create performance opportunities and new avenues for local music exploration. LLF’s mission is not genre specific.  In order to promote the true cultural depth of DC’s music scene LLF would seek to equally represent all local genres, from folk to funk.

Defining Local in the Name of Music

by Listen Local First contributor, Ann Margaret Millspaugh

Listen Local First DC — The premise is a noble one: pick six to eight DC bands (not genre-specific), partner with any establishment that draws a decent crowd and has a sound system, then stream local music during designated time periods for four weeks. Next month, new bands. The only prerequisite? Being local.

Since our beginning in October 2011, we’ve endorsed musicians, we’ve subsidized coffee shops and bars, we’ve worn flannel shirts, Toms, and a second-hand leather backpack, all while sipping DC Brau, because we’re local. It’s a city-wide stopwatch for listening, eating, drinking, consuming, outside of our normal defaults. Hundreds of people have come to attend various LLF events around the city – an opening event at the Dunes, Local Music Day, a Holidayfest at Wonderland. And then there are those hoards of unknowing bystanders weaving in and out of the city – bumping, grinding, or muffling in unison to mainstream frequencies with local bands.

So, we love local. We listen local. But, what does it mean to be a local musician? How do we define local music and how is a local music community cultivated?

As someone who shies away from religion, I was skeptical when a friend of mine sent along an email with the subject line “parable”, but as time passes, and the impression it left grows, I can’t help but draw a parallel to the ever-changing face of what is local, and the reasons why localism can never be authentically defined outside of its unique community.

There was a boy wandering around the woods near his new home. His father asked what he was doing, and when he said, “I’m looking for God,” his father replied that God is the same everywhere. To that, the boy responded, “I know. But I’m not.”

For me, this story serves as a reminder that we are always moving through versions of ourselves, layering and morphing as individuals, and subsequently as communities. When we try to concretely define ourselves, we seep into the myth of closure – where our lives span across a linear trajectory of milestones and accomplishments, events are measured through attendance, and relationships are gauged by timespans. (No, Facebook doesn’t help here.) These markers and rites of passage inevitably overshadow the gaps – those pervasive, yet anticlimactic in-between periods that come and go, unmarked and unnoted.

Music is a way to chronicle this journey. It’s our belief that music, like other mediums, cultivates a community that empowers the rich contradictions of time and place. Over the next few months, we’ll be highlighting and interviewing the community around DC music – bands, fans, places – in hopes of discovery and reflection, and most of all, personalization. Bringing faces to a movement, but also looking at the community as a boundless entity, a fluid action and reaction, a microcosm of age-old questions both in and around the music.

For all those who can be buried in the frosts of winter, we hope this quest to unearth what comprises local music will bring warmth in the words of the individual and the song of the people.

Howdy DC!


What is Listen Local First and What is DC Local Music Day?


Listen Local First DC (LLF) is a local music initiative devoted to building awareness and creating opportunities for local musicians and venues in order to raise the profile of DC’s local music scene.  LLF was born out of a collaborative effort with Think Local First DC and seeks to partner with local musicians, local arts organizations, local venues and locally owned businesses to create performance opportunities and new avenues for local music exploration. LLF’s mission is not genre specific.  In order to promote the true cultural depth of DC’s music scene LLF would seek to equally represent all local genres, from folk to funk.


DC Local Music Day is a monthly city wide event that will feature a wide range of local musicians through a series of local music days.  DC Local Music Day normally happens either the first or second Wednesday of each month.  The purpose of DC Local Music Day is to promote LLF’s mission through collaborations between local musicians and local businesses.  LLF and the local musicians will support and promote the local businesses while they in turn promote the musicians


For the last three months between 20-30 local businesses across the city partnered with Listen Local First and Think Local First, to promote our awesome and diverse local music community. DC Local Music Day received massive media attention with articles in the Washington City Paper and The Washington Post as well as in many local blogs and media outlets. For more info on our past events and featured artists please visit