Category: Archive

What’s Justin up to this September?

What’s Justin up to this September?
Today is the Jewish Holiday of Rosh Hashanah, celebrating the New Year on the Hebrew Calendar. It’s a high holy day that marks a time of reflection, resolutions, and rest. Starting a countdown to Yom Kippur (10 days), Rosh Hashanah is the start of a cleansing period that requires repentance, remembrance, and forgiveness. A month ago I made a commitment to succeed and not make (as many) excuses in 5773 (2012-2013): I live in Elkridge, MD now; I’ve joined a gym; I’m slowing down to listen and be more aware; and, I am building on my regimen of exercise. With change I am learning means making time to rest and to kick gears. Taking time off on such a busy week for my job (see below) reminds me that faith, religion, and reflection of self come first. A big thank you to all who have helped me get to this point in my life. This is a time to celebrate and to be selfless: to improve and to challenge. Great preparation with a great team allows peace of mind:

This SATURDAY is the 5th Annual Downtown Hyattsville Arts Festival (11 AM – 5 PM)! Counting down the days (6 including today!), I’ve been part of an awesome team with the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation (Hyattsville CDC) organizing the Festival. We cannot wait to meet more of the artists, see our work produce buds of collaboration and interest, and fulfill laying the stage for many folks’ hardwork to pay off. I do hope you join me. It’s a big street festival on Route 1 in the Gateway Arts District, and for the last 2 years I exhibited my paintings, drawings and prints; and, this year I have the honor of being part of the organizing. Let me know if you can come out! RSVP on Facebook here

See over 50 exhibiting artists, enjoy live entertainment and eat some great food on the happening streets of Hyattsville. Last year, over 2,300 DC-area art aficionados lined the streets of the Arts District Hyattsville town center to experience amazing arts & crafts, numerous live performances, as well as tasty local food & drink. This year visitors will find exciting new housing to tour, including new apartments, condos, and row homes; visit new retail shops; and can explore our emerging restaurant district along the corridor. Visit for more information.

What’s Justin up to this June?

Hello everyone! Wonderful news!

What’s Justin up to this June?

I am now working as the Economic Development Coordinator with the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation (Hyattsville CDC). This full-time opportunity will allow me to learn the ways of applying sound urban planning principles in an up-and-coming economic center. I am humbled and thankful. My position works alongside my work as Content Manager for until that positions concludes in the Fall. So far my first few weeks have been challenging and inspirational, and I look forward to continuing our work.


Additionally, please join me as I appear in a new performance by Alan Sharpe as part of the DC Black Theater Festival called “11 x 8 1/2 Inches.” I am humbled to be part of this great cast!  Alan’s works are heartfelt and humorous, touching and at times risque (don’t mind his dark tones in the short description below, I did say he has a flair for the dramatic). I can’t wait for this rare once-a-year opportunity. Tickets are free and can be reserved ahead of time. Please join us for a great evening. Reserve your ticket online here. RSVP on Facebook here

Alan Sharpe’s African-American Collective Theater (ACT) once again showcases many of DC’s most talented actors, in a steamy new series of his short plays exploring the lives of same gender-loving brothers in the Black community.  Darkly dramatic, explicitly erotic, candidly comic and raunchily romantic, these dramas chronicle the challenges of  brothers ‘in the life” embracing their true sexuality…or still struggling along the road to self-recognition and redemption.  This follow-up to last year’s “Hand to Mouth” provides a sneak peek at another collection of edgy, underground works, not likely to ever make it to the more mainstream stage. Friday, June 29, 2012,  9 p.m. FREE. The Blackburn Center at Howard University, 2400 Sixth Street, NW, Washington, DC.  

Thanks for reading!

Have a good day 🙂

L’Enfant Plaza Mall – One Year Later

So one year later, I’m visiting the Tidal Basin and the renovation on the new side of L’Enfant Plaza Mall is in full bloom. A food court connecting to the old (new vacant) mall with a handful of new retailers, this I’m sure is a treat for those who work around here. Last time I was here, I was concerned the red and white would look too drastic, but it looks rather nice and sophisticated with these chains here. Now I wonder what they’ll do with the old mall side.

What Justin’s up to this April

Hello everyone! This month is a short newsletter:

What’s Justin up to this April?

As many of you know, I seek to integrate arts initiatives into community revitalization. I run Soulstrong Arts Blog, I’ve held artist talks surrounding my Artist in Residence at Gateway Arts Center, and I am fortunate to work with both M-NCPPC’s Arts & Cultural Heritage Division at the Brentwood Arts Exchange as an Administrative Assistant, as well as with the Hyattsville & Gateway Community Development Corporations as the Content Manager for As summer is approaching, I am locating arts-administrative jobs and opportunities in the DMV so I can continue to grow my craft and be part of the change I wish to see. While still creating art, my main efforts are now to find my next step and continue on my journey towards urban planning.

A big thank you to those who came to an intimate and delightful Artist’s Talk at Urban Eats Café and to the RAW: DC Stimulus showcase last month. I’ve sold artwork since then, and now have video, stills, and promotional photos up of my work from both events, available on my Facebook fan page. I am beyond grateful to have the opportunity to stay connected with the venues that have helped me find my way. Speaking of which: This Thursday, RAW: DC hosts its April showcase, Menagerie; and this Friday, Hillyer Art Space hosts its April Soapbox, featuring Jessica Hirst and Paula Kellinger with a beforehand roundtable dialogue. I will be speaking alongside previous performers, Devon Hopkins and Sebastian Rousseau. Please join in on the conversation! Lastly, this weekend, Eames Armstrong, Hillyer Art Space’s Performance Art Coordinator, is exhibiting as part of the Open Studios at 52 O Street. If you’re free, please consider coming out to these events!

Please continue to stay active and optimistic in your pursuits. Remember, you stay strong by engaging your soul in balancing the things that bring you happiness with the essentials of life. Let yourself be active, seek balance, and keep working hard.



Watch my RAW Artist’s Interview online at


Thanks for reading!

Have a good day 🙂


“Copyright for Artists – Presented by Stephen Slusher” Workshop at the Brentwood Arts Exchange in the #GatewayArts Center


I’m very appreciative to attend this workshop at the Brentwood Arts Exchange, which is one of several workshops in this series. Hope to share some findings later on today!

For more information, visit

Copyright for Artists – Presented by Stephen Slusher

Your art is unique and creative and your own. Learn how to ensure that it stays that way by attending a workshop on artists’ copyright issues.

The Brentwood Arts Exchange in partnership with the Gateway CDC presents a series of 5 professional development workshops for visual artists. Topics include tips on marketing art work, navigating copyright issues, pricing, and improving your portfolio presentations. All workshops are free and open to the public.

Presented in partnership with the Gateway CDC and the Prince George’s Arts & Humanities Council.