Responding to Coronavirus and Quarantine

Last updated April 28, 2020

The coronavirus outbreak is an incredibly scary public health crisis. Day Eight’s vision has always focused on contributing to the healing of the world through the arts. That commitment has never been more vital than now.

While Day Eight temporarily suspended public programs a special committee of the Board of Directors has been meeting to brainstorm adaptation of our existing programs, and ways we might additionally serve.

The following changes are being implemented to our existing programs:

  • The culminating DC Poet Project reading will take place on-line on Saturday April 18th. The finalists are an exceptional group of poets and you will be able to vote for your favorites over a 24 hour+ period. Rsvp to the Facebook event to be notified as the videos and voting go live.
  • In the first months of 2020 our in-school and Field Trip Poetry Performances served over a thousand children in elementary, middle and high school. With schools closed to students we are working to bring prior-scheduled opportunities to students in new distance learning formats.
  • With all local theaters closed, several spring 2020 Arts Writing Fellows who had been writing for DC Theatre Scene will have their fellowships extended. We are seeking additional assignments for those writers during this time and remain committed to supporting publication partners The DC Line, Tagg Magazine, and DC Theatre Scene.
  • Our Senior Poetry Programs will transition from in-person to on-line as we believe it is now more important than ever to find ways for art to help deal with isolation and heal divides. Day Eight’s poetry committee is working on ways to increase our service and we look forward to sharing additional details on that soon.
  • Prior to the outbreak a new Interfaith Poetry Reading Series, led by poet Susan Meehan, was set to launch in partnership with the DC Council of Churches and the Washington Interfaith Network. In place of those events an open call for poets of faith to submit for a new poetry book anthology is live now, and online or live readings will occur post-publication.

While adapting our existing programs Day Eight realizes that local artists, along with so many others, are suffering, and the Board of Directors is committed to helping in the following additional ways:

  • We’re launching an open call with our magazine Bourgeon and local news site The DC Line to commission individual artists to write about how this crisis is affecting their work. Full details including honoraria are available at [Link to call for artist participation.]
  • A $1,000 book contract will be offered to one past Poet Project finalist, selected by Day Eight board member Sean Murphy of 1455, and publication will occur this spring. [Link to blog post announcing book.]

We will update this section as further additions are finalized.

Day Eight is fighting to meet the challenges of this moment and we need your support to do so. We’re asking for your one time or monthly gift to help sustain us through this challenging time both for the communities we serve and the organization. Thank you for considering a donation today.

Click to Donate.

We appreciate your involvement as part of the Day Eight family and will continue to keep you updated on all our efforts.

Wishing you and yours good health,

Robert Bettmann and Gregory Luce

Day Eight’s President and Board Chair