Art Rental Sunday May 6th 2018

Inspired by the Oberlin College art rental project, which for more than thirty years has allowed college students to live with real artwork in their dorm rooms, and through a partnership with the arts center BloomBars, and funding from the DC Arts Commission, we have more than twenty works of art to loan for $5 dollars for four months.

To preview the artwork available for rent, visit

 What’s an Art Rental?

None of the artwork in the Art Rental is available for sale; it’s all only available for rent. For $5 dollars, for 4 months. Looking at art in a museum or gallery is great. But you have a whole different relationship with art that you live with. But art collecting isn’t in the budget for a lot of people. Thanks to a grant from the DC Arts Commission, and the partnership of Day Eight and BloomBars, we’re able to offer an affordable art rental opportunity, modeled on the art rental offered at Oberlin College.

How do I Rent the Artwork?

The art rental will occur Sunday May 6th, 2018, beginning at 1:00pm, and will occur “first come, first served.” The art rental is taking place at the Gallery at Bloombars, located upstairs at 3222 11th Street NW, DC. To rent artwork you must have a valid photo id and $5 dollars cash or check.

Screenshot of works available in the rental on the DC Art Rental site –

Lyft Awards Community Grant to Day Eight

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 18, 2018) – Lyft, the fastest growing rideshare company in the U.S., today announced the April winner of its monthly Community Grant Program, Day Eight, a non-profit which empowers its participants through arts performances, classes, workshops, and publications. The grant will be used to provide transportation to seniors to and from poetry events.

“Transportation is often a significant barrier to participation, and with this award we can help residents of senior village communities travel safely to and from these poetry events,” said Robert Bettmann, project director for Day Eight. “Lyft’s support helps bring seniors together.”

Lyft has worked to reduce the transportation limitations which affect the ability of older adults to operate independently. It recently partnered with Erickson Living to expand transportation access to thousands of active senior residents, offering them an on-demand mobility option to go to destinations of their choice.

“Inclusion is core to Lyft’s values, and we continue to be committed to safe and reliable transportation for everyone in the community, including our seniors,” said Steve Taylor, General Manager for Lyft Mid-Atlantic. “Art should be accessible to everyone, so we’re proud to award Day Eight our Community Grant to support connecting seniors to life-enriching activities.”

Launched in January 2018, Lyft’s Community Grant Program supports the incredible work of DC area non-profit organizations focused on building stronger, healthier, more equitable communities. Any 501(c)3 organization that operates in the DC metro area is eligible to apply. Interested applicants can learn more about the opportunity and apply by visiting Lyft’s DC Community Grants website here.


About Lyft:

Lyft was founded in June 2012 by Logan Green and John Zimmer to improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation. Lyft is the fastest growing rideshare company in the U.S and is available to 94 percent of the US population. Lyft is preferred by drivers and passengers for its safe and friendly experience, and its commitment to effecting positive change for the future of our cities.

About Day Eight:

Day Eight was founded in 2005 to empower individuals and communities to participate in the arts through the production, publication, and promotion of creative projects. Recent programming includes an open-to-all poetry competition (“the DC Poet Project”), an Arts Writing Fellowship, and the Jefferson Place Gallery Archive —, and funders have included the DC Commission on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information visit

Announcing the 2018 DC Poet Project Finalists

This past weekend, poets Alan King and E. Ethelbert Miller selected DC poets Jeffery Banks and Monica Leak as finalists for the spring 2018 DC Poet Project, completing the grouping. At earlier events, John Johnson, Aiyi’nah Ford, and Shaquetta Nelson, were selected.

Join the finalists at the culminating event May 5th, 2:00pm – reserve tickets here. At the culminating event each finalist will read their poetry for fifteen minutes. At the very end, the audience will live vote to select the series winner, who receives a book contract including $500 cash prize.

Read about last year’s DC Poet Project winner, Susan Meehan, on NPR here.

Bios of the Spring 2018 Finalists:

John Johnson is a native Washingtonian and graduated from the University of the District of Columbia. He is a poet and playwright and has dedicated his work to capturing the narratives of African Americans that live in Washington DC. He recently has finished a project capturing the stories of residences east of the river called Anacostia Unmapped which can be explored at

Aiyi’nah Ford simplifies her life’s work as an endeavor to expose the truth of the collectively oppressed. A native Washingtonian, she has experience in social justice advocacy, community organizing, and art-ivist expression has helped raise awareness and change legislation on the local and federal level. She is Executive Director of The Future Foundation, where her leadership development and popular education facilitation help pave the way for leader-full youth in this city, and across the Nation. She is also Founding C.E.O. of STAND Omnimedia™, a digital media brand with a mission to “STAND with and amplify the voices and cultures that are often silenced.” She hosts “The One Mic Stand with SimplyNay” and has published “#SucessfullySingle: Confessions Of A Professional Dater.” When she is not fighting for our collective liberation, she is sipping loose leaf tea and wearing a #supportisFREE™ t-shirt.

Shaquetta Nelson, better known by her stage name R.E.I.L (real), is a poetic, creative visionary. Founder of R.E.I.L.4.R.U.D.D nonprofit organization, and Harmony’s Harmony wood burn collections. R.E.I.L started at local open mics such as Spit Dat, and Bus Boys and Poets. At 16 was 1/4 of Maryland first slam team competing in NYC for Brave New Voices Youth Poetry Slam. REIL seeks inspiration from past, and present life experiences to help the lives of other unsung souls.

Jeffrey Banks is poetically known as “Big Homey.” He’s worked with notable people such as the late Fred “Rerun” Berry of What’s Happening!, Gospel Singer Maurette Brown Clark, GRAMMY-Nominated Soul Singer and Television Star Syleena Johnson, New Jack City Actor and Singer Christopher Williams, Gospel Trailblazer Dr. Bobby Jones & others. He’s been featured in national media such as ESSENCE Magazine, Sirius/XM Satellite Radio, Radio-One Inc., the CBS Early Show and BLACK ENTERPRISE Magazine. Big Homey’s album, Exposed-The EP, is the poetic testimonial of the trials & victories of a Christian Believer. He’s had the opportunity to perform across the USA & has done numerous engagements on East Coast college campuses. He’s also an event planner, and was named one of the “Top 40 under 40” American Meeting Planners of 2013 by Rejuvenate Magazine. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Speech Communication from Syracuse University, an Event Management Graduate Degree from the George Washington University and a Master of Divinity Degree from Howard University. He’s been a grant writer since 2008, and was licensed as a minister in 2010. He’s a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc.

Monica Leak is a graduate of Appalachian State University with a Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders, South Carolina State University with a Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology and North Carolina Central University with a Master’s of Library Science. She is the editor and a contributing writer of, Faith of our Founders 100 Daily Devotionals to Inspire, Encourage and Propel the Finer Woman. She contributed writings for lenten devotionals The Road to Calvary Surviving a Season of Suffering and Resipiscence, a Lenten Devotional for Dismantling White Supremacy. She currently works as a speech-language pathologist in southern Maryland, and as a seminary librarian in northern Virginia.

Space is limited. Reserve your tickets for the final event here.