DC gets Jazzed

February 21, 2011

Spring is in the air and we’re excited here in DC.  In fact, we’re toe tapping, booty shaking, finger clicking excited. You could say we’re just totally jazzed to announce our February grant recipient.

A huge Awesome Foundation DC congratulations to Tom Pipkin (who tries to be awesome, often), and his project, The Pentworth Jazz Festival – a monthly jazz performance in the local park for the residents and neighbors of Petworth to enjoy, and an excuse for people to meet and interact.

The performances will take place about an hour before dusk on Saturdays, once a month over Spring and Summer.

Tom told us that “I believe it will show folks how easy it is to bring arts and music to local communities.  There is tons of talent in this city, and loads of people who are thirsty for it. Without this Awesome Grant, I wouldn’t be able to fund the project.”

We were particularly impressed with Tom’s ability to describe how his skills and experience would make this a viable and achievable project. He was able to clearly explain how he would spend the grant money (to pay musicians and purchase some AV equipment), and he has already started to develop partnerships with local music venues to make this project a reality. Now he’s going to celebrate his win by “getting to work and getting the ball rolling!”

At Awesome Foundation DC headquarters, we look for projects that demonstrate some kind of community impact. Tom was also able to clearly articulate how his projects would seed positive engagement in the local community.

“Blue moving blankets would be laid out in a grid on the grass so anyone can walk up and grab a piece of real estate.  If you have ever sat and relaxed and listened to a good jazz trio or quartet, outside, as the sun sets, then you know how awesome this is.

While our neighborhood is safe‚ and comprised of families and older folks who have lived here for generations, it is not without its violence.  In 2010 we had 8 homicides, almost exclusively teen gang violence.  The park location is one block from the 7th and Taylor St. crew territory, as well as at least 3 other crews in the immediate area.  Clearly an opportunity for the neighbors to come out and meet each other in a positive atmosphere is critical.”

We wish Tom the best of luck, and if you have relevant skills, and would like to get involved in the festival – as a performer or in support of Tom, please get in touch via email.