A Platform for Artist Writing: Bourgeon

Day Eight’s publication program started with the arts magazine Bourgeon. The magazine publishes artist writing about their work, and poetry, and conducts related events. “Bourgeon” is a French word meaning ‘bud’, as in, ‘a bud on the limb of a tree’. Click here to view Bourgeon magazine online.

We conceive of our publication program as a bridge-builder between contemporary artists and audiences. We believe that greater involvement in the arts can strengthen individuals and communities.

Poetry Publishing and Events

Family members of artist Hilda Shapiro Thorpe looking at the archives of their mother’s work

Alongside artist writing about their work the magazine Bourgeon publishes poetry, and conducts poetry events. Past events include a poetry salon series for local writers, and events for particular writer communities – including children and seniors. In 2015 the organization created an open-to-all poetry competition, The DC Poet Project, currently in its fourth year.

Student Arts Journalism Challenge

In 2008, the magazine Bourgeon started an annual competition for area undergraduates. Past finalists and winners have gone on to work for major print and online outlets. Click to read more about the Challenge on the Bourgeon website.

The Bourgeon Book

Poet Jola Lawal at a 2019 DC Poet Project reading event at the Anacostia Library

In 2014, Day Eight published an anthology of articles selected from the magazine Bourgeon’s archive 2009-2013. Jonathan Katz, Executive Director of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies wrote, “The book is full of revelations about works of art, about how artists work, and about the cultural richness of Washington, DC. Kudos to Robert Bettmann for giving us the fifty-first work of art, this well-conceived and edited book.” Click to read more about the Bourgeon book.

To read about our recent book publications, click here.

Local Arts History

Since 2009 the arts magazine Bourgeon has had occasion to publish more than a few obituaries, and remembrances. In 2014, Robert Bettmann was funded by Humanities DC to examine connections between arts journalism and the Washington Color School. In 2018, the organization partnered with critic John Anderson and the American University Art Museum to produce an archive related to DC’s first artist-cooperative gallery.

The DC Arts Journalism Fellowship

In 2015, through funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, Day Eight created a paid training program for early career arts writers. Now in its fifth year, the program pairs exceptional early career arts writers with local publications. To read more about the fellowship, and to apply, click here.