Unraveling Identity: GWU Museum and The Textile Museum Exhibit Review

On Monday, I had the opportunity to visit the recently established, since March 21st, George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum. Housed in the same building, the George Washington University Museum recently acquired, as of 2011, the Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection which comprises of a rich and extensive historical documentation of the District of Columbia. Albeit, the name is a bit clunky, both entities offer an appreciated addition to D.C.’s museum-scape that tourists and residents alike should put on their itinerary. The Textile Museum, which occupied a majority of the building’s exhibit space, presents “Unraveling Identity: Our Textiles, Our Stories” (March 21-August 24, 2015) in a 3-floor exhibit of various cultural garments, multimedia, and text. Continue…

Join the Festivities and Build Greater Cultural Networks

On March 28th, we attended the inaugural 17th annual National Cherry Blossom Freedom Walk. As a recent D.C. transplant, I look forward to activities that will allow me to discover the pockets within the folds of the city. The program is an embedded tradition, within what many city residents and tourists have come to enjoy as an event-filled few weeks of concerts and kite-flying. However, the annual Cherry Blossom Freedom Walk reminds us of the relevance of this national tradition, that goes beyond the welcoming of Spring after a long Winter.

On this brisk morning, we gathered within the National Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism During World War II. The program opened with an invigorating performance by Nen Daiko, a taiko (a drum style of Japanese origin) ensemble that has been performing in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area since 1994. It was truly empowering to witness this collective of women and men striking their instruments with unforgiving movement and resound (in a way that put my coffee to shame). A Nen Daiko musician, Maya Nakamura, informed us that the performance group is a collective built from various networks, many with ties to the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) and the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation (NJAMF), who helped sponsor this event. The Nen Daiko drum ensemble has committed annually to the Cherry Blossom Freedom Walk. Continue…