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Petworth Jazz Project

My name is Tom Pipkin, and I try to be awesome, often. My newest awesome project involves my neighborhood, Petworth, in N.W. Washington, D.C. First a bit about my awesomeness: I am a board member of the first and only Farmers Market in Ward 4. I have managed tons of independent special events that focus on art, music, and community, from conception to execution. I know my neighbors and like them. I often have awesome ideas, most of which I choose not to act on, due to time and money. But this is my AI (awesome idea) for 2011, and now you, the Awesome Foundation, can be a part of it. As follows: Outdoor Jazz performances in a small grassy lot at the corner of 8th and Taylor Streets N.W. This is a small field adjacent to a little community center that was recently renovated. The performances would take place about an hour before dusk on Saturdays, once a month. Talent will be sourced from the preeminent jazz club in the city, Bohemian Caverns. Omrao Brown (owner) has agreed to get a rotation of local trio’s and quartet’s lined up. 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. The Farmers Market we operate is a perfect example of this. More important than the fresh, locally farmed produce that is available is the environment created for neighbors to chat and meet and discuss issues and events. The merging of cultures, colors and ages that is occurring in Petworth makes an event like this important, slowly building the foundation of a stronger community. My experience in managing music events, outdoor festivals, and projects in general, along with 20 years of roots and connections in the city, will make implementation a reality. Music performed outdoors in warm weather is really one of the best things in life. With a little bit of awesome support we can make this happen!

Funded by Washington, DC (March 2011)