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Catalogue Blog

Fears and Successes

My books have, in a way, made me a parent. Peter and his friends grow, have fun, problems, fears, and successes, and I’ve been with them through it all. I love these children, and it’s been one of the greatest pleasures of my life to raise them and see them off into the world.”

– children’s author Ezra Jack Keats, born today in 1906; The Snowy Day appeared on the Adventure Theatre stage in January 2012

Around Town: March 9-10

Where are you heading this weekend, friends? Might we suggest …

We Are Family Senior Outreach Network (at Metropolitan Community Church, 474 Ridge Street NW)

On Saturday at 10:00 AM, volunteers will receive a brief orientation and then go out in pairs or groups to visit with seniors in their homes. You can sign up right here.

Volunteer Fairfax (at The Greene Turtle Fairfax, 3950 University Drive #209 Fairfax, VA)

Compete for prizes at VolunTrivia this Saturday at 1:00 PM!

Play solo, form a team, or join a team; sign up right this way.

Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington (St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church 4700 Whitehaven Parkway NW)

The Spring Gala, coming up on Saturday evening, features both a live and silent auction and will honor the legacy of the late Rt. Rev. Jane Holmes Dixon. All details right here.

Dance Place (3225 8th Street NE)

On Saturday at 8:00 PM and Sunday at 7:00 PM, ClancyWorks Dance Company will combine physically demanding, powerful movement with the sensitive portrayal of cultural nuances and personal emotions. You can nab tickets this way.

Washington Bach Consort (at National Presbyterian Church, 4101 Nebraska Avenue NW)

Rich sonority, sublime harmony, and complex instrumentation characterize this Sunday’s “Honor and Remembrance” program (3:00 PM), which features choral and orchestral music by Schutz and Bach. Buy tickets right here.

Hidden Issues

Yesterday, in The Daily Wrag (Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers), President Tamara Copeland explored “What sequestration means for philanthropy:”

I want to focus on the hidden issues. Much of the impact connected to sequestration will be far less overt. The social worker in me says that as already stressed individuals deal with this reality, mental health-related incidents will also increase. There may be increased incidences of domestic violence, more emergency room visits and falling school performance as home environments become tense. Consider this article about the recession’s impact on our region’s mental health, written when our local economy was actually faring better than the rest of the country.

“The Recession’s ‘Silent Mental Health Epidemic,’ the October 2011 Business Insider article to which Copeland points, discusses a Rutgers University study of “the long-term unemployed,” which found that “32 percent were experiencing a good deal of stress” and “at least 11 percent reported seeking professional help for depression.” Moreover, many more did not have the insurance benefits or financial resources to seek such help, despite potentially needing it.

As Copeland suggests, while our region’s funders should of course ensure that basic needs are met, “it is critical that we keep in mind the less obvious needs a failure to support those, particularly mental health care, can lead to dire consequences.” She also points out that, as much or more so than sequestration, tax reforms could have a critical and perhaps longer-term effect on the national and local nonprofit community.

What are your thoughts? What might be the more “hidden” effects of sequestration?

With Open Arms

“It was only a smile, nothing more. It didn’t make everything all right. It didn’t make anything all right. Only a smile. A tiny thing. A leaf in the woods, shaking in the wake of a startled bird’s flight. But I’ll take it. With open arms. Because when spring comes, it melts the snow one flake at a time, and maybe I just witnessed the first flake melting. — Amir”

– author Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner), born today in 1965

Around Town: March 2-3

Just a few cool ideas for your weekend, coming up at …

Dance Place (3225 8th Street NE)

Accompanied by a live accordion and violin-driven score, this world premiere (“Ruth Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”) sweeps across an array of metaphorical hints and extravagant fabrics. Buy tickets for the Saturday or Sunday show here.

Building Bridges Across the River t/a THEARC (Ritz-Carlton, 1150 22nd Street NW)

The “Wacky & Whimsical Tea to Benefit THEARC” is a fun-filled Sunday afternoon (2:00 PM) that will include high tea, a silent auction and creative games for kids of all ages and their families. Learn more here.

(Martin Luther King Memorial Library, 901 G Street NW)

Free Minds members will join with the Carpe Diem choir in a concert combining spoken word poetry, hip hop, world rhythms, and songs of hope and freedom on Saturday at 3:00 PM.

DC Youth Orchestra Program (THEARC, 1901 Mississippi Avenue SE)

Come see the passion and talent of some of the DC area’s most gifted young musicians when DC Youth Orchestra Program’s top ensemble (the Youth Orchestra) returns to THEARC on Sunday at 4:00 PM. Check out the press release here.

Coming up: Be sure to catch Washington Bach Consort‘s FREE Noontime Cantata Series concert this Tuesday from noon to 1:00 PM at the Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G Street NW.

In The News …

White House estimate spells out tough road for Washington region economy (Washington Post): “… the upcoming automatic spending cuts the Obama administration detailed Sunday would strike a tough blow, with nearly 150,000 civilian Defense Department employees facing furloughs and an estimated average loss of $7,500 in pay [...] funding for elementary and secondary education across the region would be slashed by $29 million.” Economist Anirban Basu (Sage Policy Group) points out that sequestration will have a deeper effect on this region than the nation as a whole, as DC, Maryland, and Virginia are “among the most reliant communities in the nation on federal spending.”

Nonprofit Branding 2013: What Has Changed? (Nonprofit Quarterly): “First, we needed to see information technology not as a peripheral function within our organization but central to our mission pursuits. Second, we needed to see our identity less as an extension of our mission statement, but more as a link between the public perception of the impact we create and our higher calling to strengthen communities.” Carlo Cuesta, founder of the Saint Paul-based firm Creation in Common, goes to point out that “We have access to the tools and resources needed to build meaningful relationships with our stakeholders, what we lack are the capabilities to do it in a way that advances authenticity and mobilizes the public will.” Do you agree?

Gray aims high with sustainability plan; can agencies deliver? (Greater Greater Washington): “Last week, the Gray administration unveiled its sustainability plan, which sets some very ambitious, yet very important objectives for 2032, like attracting 250,000 new residents and making 75% of trips happen by walking, biking, and transit.” GGW argues that “to achieve these goals, agencies will have to push forward not just on their existing laudable initiatives, but go beyond.” For example: “it would be better to focus more new housing near Metro stations, streetcars, and high-frequency bus corridors. To do that, though, some administration will have to modify the Comprehensive Plan and zoning to create denser areas somewhere.”

Universal Pre-School

The Washington Post points out that, “In DC, public school for 3-year-olds is already the norm:”

In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama called for a dramatic shift in early childhood education: free public preschool for all low- and moderate-income 4-year-olds. [...] The District is already doing something more ambitious. Nearly 13,000 of the city?s roughly 15,000 3- and 4-year-olds are attending public preschool. [...]

So as national and state leaders consider a major expansion of public education, the city offers an example of how that that can play out on the ground.

Says Jack McCarthy, Managing Director of the AppleTree Institute for Education Innovation (a Catalogue nonprofit), “Here is a place where funding is in place, universal preschool is policy” [...] If the quality could be improved and ensured for all, “we could close the achievement gap here in five years.”

Hiring teachers with college and advanced degrees to create preschool centers of excellence in language and literacy, and guaranteeing the necessary training and professional development, is central to AppleTree’s mission. You can catch a glimpse inside an AppleTree classroom here.

Around Town: February 22-24

Apologies for the delay, friends! Check out some fun and local weekend ideas at …

Educational Theatre Company (AHC Hunter’s Park:, 2021 N. Nelson Street, Arlington, VA)

This year, ETC launched a new intergenerational model where seniors and college students participated in theatre exercises together to create a strong ensemble. Come check out the results this weekend! More information here.

Joy of Motion Dance Center (Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street NE)

On Friday at 10:30 PM, enjoy DCypher Dance’s hip hop fusion: contemporary hip hop theatre to the latest, hottest new school moves. Only one performance tonight — so be sure to nab tickets.

Dance Place (3225 8th Street NE)

On Saturday at 8:00 PM and Sunday at 4:00 PM, Israeli choreographer Idan Cohen presents an ecstatic piece set to the sound of W.A. Mozart’s Solo Piano Sonatas. Learn more this way.

Anacostia Watershed Society?(Huerich Park, 2916 Nicholson Street, Hyattsville, MD) — Cancelled

AWS is working to restore a section of streambank along the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia River on Saturday at 10:00 AM. Volunteer sign up right this way.