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Kitchen of Innovation #2 (a brief report from ellen)

April 11, 2011

KOI audience members

The second-ever Kitchen of Innovation was held at St. Stephen’s on Saturday night, April 9.  I’m washing the tablecloths and drinking some of our leftover caramba wine, and think the whole thing went off pretty well.  Once again we had $1000 to grant to an independent artist in DC, thanks to people buying tickets for the event.  Once again the projects that were presented were so compelling that the vote was split and the money was awarded to two proposals: Amanda Jiron-Murphy, curating an upcoming show by Janell Olah at Flashpoint ($600), and visual artist Carolina Mayorga ($400), who has a show opening later this month at the Greater Reston Arts Center.

But I think what I’ll remember about this one was the feel of the event.  I heard Spanish, German, English, spied the bartender volunteers having a private dance moment, saw some known faces and some unknown, some olders, some youngers… and the whole thing was bathed in this warm, peaceful red light, thanks to the japanese lanterns strung up in the basement.  To see artists from different disciplines sharing the space with each other and connecting with new potential audiences and supporters made artistic pursuits seem a little more feasible in this unique spot on the map.  I love being surprised by DC; Saturday night reminded me of all the little pockets where art grows in this city, from the studios at 52 O Street NW to Dance Place.

Stay tuned to this space for the date announcement of KOI #3, looking to land in late August or early September.  We have the presenting artists selected already and they are an astonishingly diverse and talented bunch.

Big thanks to our sponsors: the always-extraordinary Pink Line Project, the gracious and generous cupcakery known as Frosting, and our wonderful friends at sweetgreen.  And thank you to our volunteers, who were immensely helpful, and the rocking, co-organizing team of Mariah, Jimmy, Kate, Rebecca, and Wayles.

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