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Jacob Lawrence's Toussaint L’Ouverture Series at The Phillips Collection

January 9, 2017

Now throught April 23, 2017, visit The Philips Collection to see15 rarely seen silkscreen prints created by American artist Jacob Lawrence (1917–2001) between 1986 and 1997.


The series portrays the life of Toussaint L’Ouverture (1742–1803), the former slave turned leader of Haiti’s independence movement. L’Ouverture led the fight to liberate Saint-Domingue from French colonial rule and to emancipate the slaves during the 1791 Haitian Revolution, the first successful campaign to abolish slavery in modern history. Lawrence had explored the same subject more than 40 years earlier—when he was only 20 years old—in a series of paintings of the same title (now in the Amistad Research Center, New Orleans). The celebrated paintings, which were featured prominently at the Baltimore Museum of Art in 1939, laid the groundwork for Lawrence’s lifelong interest in the human quest for freedom and social justice.


While he based these later prints on the earlier 11 x 19-inch paintings, Lawrence distilled the story to 15 works from the original 41 panels and significantly expanded their scale. He worked closely with DC-based master printmaker Lou Stovall to translate the colors and fluid movement of the original tempera paint to each composition. In the print series, the narrative follows L’Ouverture from his birth to his rise as the commander of the revolutionary army to his eventual capture by Napoleon’s men. In the original painted series, Lawrence continued the story through the death of L’Ouverture as a prisoner of war in 1803, just one year before Haiti declared independence with the crowning of Emperor Jean-Jacques Dessalines. In highlighting the life of the courageous leader Toussaint L’Ouverture, Lawrence invites us to reflect on Haiti’s transformation from an enslaved French colony to the first black Western republic. At the same time, the series reminds us of the country’s ongoing struggle to overcome poverty and political instability.


Since acquiring 30 panels of Lawrence’s epic Migration Series (1940–41) in 1942, the Phillips has been dedicated to sharing the life and legacy of the artist and his work. The Phillips is excited to present this exhibition—on loan from the collection of Di and Lou Stovall—while The Migration Series is on view at the Seattle Art Museum for an exhibition celebrating the 100th anniversary of Lawrence’s birth. Learn more about The Migration Series—including video interviews with Lou Stovall discussing working with Jacob Lawrence—on the Phillips’s online resource

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The Washington Harbour Ice Rink Opens for Season

November 10, 2016

The Washington Harbour Ice Rink opens November 11th for recreational skating every day, including all holidays through mid-March.


Whether you’re new to skating, brushing up, or wanting to take your skating to the next level, you’ll love their Learn to Skate classes. Enthusiastic instruction along with an unbeatable view of the Potomac River from the Washington Harbour Ice Rink will make your skating lessons an experience to remember! 


They teach all ages (3 and up, including adults) and skill levels.  The program stresses a skating environment that is exciting, rewarding, safe, and fun.

The Washington Harbour Ice Rink is located at 3050 K Street in Georgtown.

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My Endorsement of Bill Starrels

November 6, 2016

Written by Victoria Rixey


Like many Georgetowners, I am a big supporter of Bill Starrels for re-election. This is a tough year for our ANC – three experienced and popular commissioners are retiring at the same time, and out the door goes 30 years’ collective experience. That is just one small reason to vote for Bill, who has served our ANC2E with distinction for 16 years. There are many other reasons.

Bill has a vast list of contacts in DC government and in Georgetown, and is very well regarded. He knows everyone, and they spring into action when he asks. In my various roles on the Citizens Association of Georgetown Board, including as its president, I have seen this time and again. This is really important for Georgetowners who want to see results. I’ll give one example, though there are too many to even list. When I chaired CAG’s Historic Preservation and Zoning Committee, I reached out to Bill because we were very concerned that the proposed development on Prospect Street on the Doggetts parking lot would add to already tough traffic congestion. The developer did not have space for an on-site loading berth, so street side loading would be needed. Not only did Bill agree to meet our committee members and the developer on site to look at the problem, but he also arranged for a team of five people from DDOT to join us. From this meeting, Bill was instrumental in brokering a solution that appeased all, including the folks at DDOT. Not an easy task.This is what Bill does.

Bill Starrels excels at forging consensus. I’ll tell you why this is important, as the workings of the ANC are sometimes confusing to people. Each commissioner works with individual homeowners, CAG, or businesses to solve minor problems, but major projects and issues are reviewed by all ANC2E commissioners in executive session and in public meeting. Issues are voted on and the majority rules. Bill may not always agree with his colleagues, but he is respected, to the extent that he has been endorsed by all three retiring ANC commissioners. Bill likes to find solutions among disparate views while keeping the interests of his constituents at the forefront. This is what Bill does.

Bill is a nice and caring man – he does what is right. Years ago, a Georgetown University student died in a basement fire in a house on Prospect Street. I sat next to Bill in Holy Trinity Church at the memorial service with tears rolling down our eyes, and we thereafter resolved to make rental housing safer. We worked with the University, CAG, and all pertinent DC government agencies to begin licensing houses that are for rent, and requiring a DC code inspection. Ten years later, that process is still effective and helps protect vulnerable students. Bill saw a need and took a leadership role. This is what Bill does. 

Bill is results oriented. The West Heating Plant project has languished due to mixed signals to the developer from the Old Georgetown Board. After redesign and redesign, the developer is again ready to go back to the Old Georgetown Board to begin anew the approvals process. Bill Starrels met with the developer and the architect, David Adjaye, last month, and is fully supportive of the new design. He is calling for this project to proceed with utmost haste – Bill understands what his constituents want, and will not stop until this project is approved. And he can certainly help with that. This is also what Bill does.

I don’t see anything his challenger brings to the table except change for change’s sake. Let’s stick with a winner and elect Bill Starrels in ANC2E05. 

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