Archives for posts with tag: chaw

Sometimes it takes a little re-prioritizing to return us to our authentic selves–which, so much of the time, has to do with filling up our creative wells and reminding ourselves that we are artists.  Now, not all of us will spend our lives designing, creating, and making, but let Linda’s story be an inspiration that we can always return to what makes us creatively alive.  Her extraordinary story, in her own words:

Much of my life has centered on art in one form or another. My father made a small table and chairs for me so that I could sit in the kitchen while my mom cooked. She would give me used paper bags, construction paper, and office paper and I would tear them up, pasting them together with that white paste to make “collages.” When I could use crayons I went crazy with color. I often attempted to use all of the colors in the large 64 crayon box…the one with the sharpener built right in.

In elementary school the teachers tended to put me in charge of anything vaguely “artistic,” such as seasonal decorations and bulletin boards. Then when I was about eight or nine, the local Richmond television station, WTVR, participated in the launch of a new line of dolls, the Teri Lee dolls. As a part of the publicity they asked their young viewers to design a wardrobe for the dolls. I worked diligently and actually won the contest. The prizes included the dolls with complete wardrobes and an appearance on the television show. It was all very exciting and I still have these dolls, which launched a career in the arts.


I continued a focus on art in high school, designing the school stationary and yearbook covers. In college I majored in Art (and Secondary Education, just in case the becoming a famous artist didn’t happen right away). I then taught Art at Elementary, Junior High, and High School levels. By then I was married and my husband’s job brought us to Washington. As it was not the right time of year to get a teaching job I went to work for an Interior Designer. I worked my up through the ranks until I started my own design business and enjoyed that profession for over twenty five years.

In 2000 I survived a brain aneurysm and re-ordered my priorities. What with raising two sons and running a business, I had been absent from doing my own artwork for quite a while. That was when I joined Gina Clapp’s drawing class at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop. I found that drawing was something that came back easily and improved with practice. I ended up headed back into watercolors and pastels.


The second year of class we had the luxury of being invited to spend time on the island of Bornholm, Denmark. Most of our class and some spouses went on the trip. After almost two weeks together, we were great friends and we remain so today. The art on the trip centered on keeping a travel sketchbook.

Since that time I always travel with a sketchbook and small supply kit for drawing and watercolor work. These completed books are some of my most treasured possessions.


I have now published two small volumes: Capitol Hill is Home, celebrating the vibrant community on Capitol Hill, and Hiram Blake Camp: a sketchbook, which honors the 100th year of that family camp on Cape Rosier, Maine.

Learn more and purchase Linda’s beautiful books on her website.  And don’t forget to stop by the CHAL wall in the CHAW gallery to see the latest pieces from this talented group!  Next up is Stu Searles’ show, “In the Square,” opening Saturday, July 16 with a reception at 5pm.

Some Mind of the Artist stories begin late in life, with a big change or sudden discovery.  Others, like Naomi’s, begin in childhood, evolving into the processes and materials that have come to define the artist’s practice.  Naomi’s story comes back to the art at the center of her life, although, like many of us, her journey has not necessarily been linear.  Naomi’s story, in her own words:

My mother tells me that when I was very young she thought I wouldn’t be very interested in art, because while the other children were drawing pictures of dogs and houses, I was scribbling patches of color across the paper. In a way I guess I’m still doing that in a different medium. Now it’s acrylic paints, pens, and sometimes bits of collage on large and small wood panels. I work out of my home studio in Washington, DC, where I live with my husband, young son, and daughter.

in a minute there is time

in a minute there is time

I began my formal art training at the high school of Music and Art and Performing Arts in New York City, where I was introduced not only to painting and drawing but also to printmaking, ceramics, and photography. In college at Washington University in St. Louis I majored in illustration, thinking it somewhat more practical than painting, and back in New York worked at a graphic design firm designing subway signs for the transit authority.

In 2001 I met my husband in a painting class at the Art Students League in NYC. We noticed each other across the nude model we were painting and have supported each other in our artistic pursuits ever since.

After September 11th work was slow and I left the graphic design firm where I worked to pursue another interest, teaching. I taught elementary school for ten years in New York and then Washington, DC until giving birth to my son in 2012 and deciding to take the time at home to revisit my art. The following year I had my first solo exhibition at the FoundryGallery in Washington, DC and from there began exhibiting and selling work. While it’s been challenging at times to find the time and space to paint while taking care of my children, it’s also given me balance, taught me the value of using my time productively, and most of all has let me to truly appreciate my time at the easel.

which way the world turns

which way the world turns

My paintings have evolved over the past several years from representational oil paintings to colorful acrylic abstractions based on pattern and geometry. Even as an illustrator in college I came to realize that I was less interested in creating figurative compositions and more excited by drawing patterns on a shirt or letting the leaves on a tree take on an abstract form.

My other obsession is color- I am endlessly fascinated by the way colors shift and clash when placed alongside each other, and this interest has become perhaps the most prominent aspect of my work. I’ve never been able to plan a painting in advance- even when I try the composition takes on its own life and I just need to follow along and listen to it.



To follow along and see more of my work and my process, you can find me on instagram @naomitaitzduffy and at my website,

Interested in learning more about the Capitol Hill Art League?

We’re three quarters of the way through our Mind of the Artist series here on the blog, and what better way to celebrate than with Rindy–inimitable CHAL chairperson and CHAW fixture!  Her story is one of creative evolution, and we are so excited to bring you a little insight into the art and lens of Rindy O’Brien.

Framing the World, by Rindy O’Brien

Ten years ago, I stepped away from my frenetic life as an environmental lobbyist. Digital photography was just coming into its own, so it seemed to be a logical step in restarting my art.

The digital camera functions were similar to the film camera, but the post-production was a whole different experience. No longer did you have to be cloistered in a dark basement room, breathing in toxic chemicals and swearing under your breath when film tore or paper spotted.

Suddenly, you could shoot as many frames as you wanted to, unlike film, where the cost of film, paper, and development limited the photographer. The software to take the digital files from camera to paper, Photoshop, opened up all kinds of tricks of the trade to improve a photograph. And over the past ten years, the technology of printers has vastly improved to where now an inkjet print is considered museum quality.

Garfield Park in Spring

Garfield Park in Spring, c/o Rindy O’Brien

When the world is your oyster (what an odd saying, but so true), photographers explore everything. I shudder to think of the thousands of poor frames I have taken over the years. Photographing for the Hill Rag as part of my monthly gardening column began to focus me on a body of work: photographing Capitol Hill throughout the seasons. It was a labor of love to produce a photographic book, @Home on the Hill, in 2011. The project had taken two and a half years to produce 50+ photographs.

In the course of the book, I switched back to a basic manual camera, the digital Leica M 8. The camera, a throwback to the old days, requires each frame to be set manually. The depth of field is set, no automatic focusing. Instead of being limiting, my creative life exploded.

I had to focus – choose how each frame looked through the small viewfinder. The world was now framed for me. I still could shoot as many photographs as I wanted, but by being forced to slow down, hand-focusing and setting the speed and light, I also began to choose my subjects more selectively, putting more creative intention into my work.

California Solo

California Solo, c/o Rindy O’Brien

I also began to think about what caught my eye as I raised the camera to take a picture. Color! My frames are full of intense color. It has become an important key to my successful images. Of course, light is the ingredient that makes the colors work and I have to work with the camera’s settings to capture it the way I want the photo to be seen. I also began to be bolder in making sure the person or object in my frame was positioned to be captured at its best.

It was returning to the more traditional photographic methods that helped me move from a person shooting photographs to an artist creating pieces of art by selecting just the right frame.

Learn more about CHAL here, and come check out their upcoming gallery opening at CHAW on June 11!

Happy spring!  This month, we’re diving into Kay Fuller’s light-filled studio in Capitol Hill and learning more about her journey to art.  It may have started later in life, but she has taken full ownership, even serving on the board of the CHAWsome Capitol Hill Art League.  Here’s Kay:

I am a native Washingtonian, but spent most of my adult life in Prince George’s County, where I raised my family. My first husband died in 1985, and I remarried in 1987 and moved to Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, where I paint in a wonderful, light-filled studio in our home.


MY ART: I was a cactus flower when it came to art and never picked up a paint brush until I was 62. Thank goodness I met an artist, Janice Beck, in 2005, who taught me how to use watercolor paint, while enjoying the ambience of Provence. The painting bug bit me hard and I started taking every class I could. Eventually, one of my teachers suggested that I enter my work in the student show, and then in local juried shows. I became a signature member of the Baltimore Watercolor Society and Potomac Valley Watercolorists. Then, I entered a national juried competition, the MFA “Strokes of Genius,” show and my painting, Abstract Landscape, was accepted and used on the postcard. Now, I belong to several other art organizations and serve on the steering committee of the Capitol Hill Art League and the Board of Governors of the Baltimore Watercolor Society.

Several years ago, my representational watercolors became mundane and soon morphed into expressionistic acrylics and collage pieces, and then into non-representational abstracts. Now my paintings go between representational and abstract. I find inspiration from other artists and workshop instructors. My husband is also an artist and we enjoy taking workshops and painting vacations together. My work can be viewed on my web site, and my blog,

CHAW and ME: My early watercolor painting instruction was from Gina Clapp at CHAW. She encouraged me to enter the CHAW student show and, later, to join the Capitol Hill Art League. I enjoy calling CHAW my home base.

Learn more about opportunities to pick up a paintbrush (or camera…or clay…or tap shoes…) for yourself at CHAW!

It’s that time again–wherein the CHAW blog is turned over to a fantastic member of the Capitol Hill Art League (CHAL), and we get to zoom inside his or her creative brain! This month, we’re talking to Margo Johnson, longtime art-lover, traveler, teacher, and more.  Read on to learn more about Margo and her process of capturing place.

Originally from Wilmington, Delaware, Margo is a lifelong student of the arts. Having taught art in the public school for 36 years, she was trained in the fine arts and later in education, receiving a B.S. from the University of Delaware and later, a graduate degree from West Chester University.

Margo began her interest in art while in high school. Her art teacher would take those who had a serious interest in art to various shows in Philadelphia and New York. She became enamored with the work of the impressionist artist Claude Monet and in later years, visited his home in Giverny. After seeing both the watercolors and oils and having visited many of the places that John Singer Sargent painted, she was deeply influenced by his style.

Margo Johnson, CHAL Artist

Her Greek roots are the primary influence in both her approach to painting as well as her love for the outdoors. When traveling, either in Europe or locally, Margo stays in one location long enough to get to know the people and observe the influence the environment has on them.

Margo Johnson, CHAL Artist

In painting oceans, in whatever country she finds herself, she tells a story and creates a feeling about the location. Her oceans are filled with lush, sensual colors that create a certain atmosphere. She relates and retells a story in a variety of visual ways.

Margo Johnson, CHAL Artist

In the painting of her landscapes, be they urban or fields, she tries to relate an impression of life in that location. Again, with her rich colors, she creates a feeling of what it is like to be there. Lighting and palette are primary in Margo’s creation of that feeling.

Margo Johnson, CHAL Artist

She fell in love with the art scene in Washington, DC when her son, Todd, was a rower at Georgetown University and she became “food Mom” for their rowing team. She made repeated trips to D.C., during which she made time for visiting local art galleries: including the Corcoran, the National Gallery, the Freer Gallery, and a variety of others. The diversity of the people as well as the art in D.C. is most appealing her as she incorporates the importance of place into her own artistic practice.

Margo has participated in a number of juried invitationals and exhibits in Wilmington, Delaware; Chester County, Pennsylvania; and Philadelphia.

Some of her awards include:

Darlington Art Center – Best in Show

Center for Creative Arts – 2nd Place Winner

Delaware Valley Art League – 2nd Place Winner

Art Along the River – Featured Artist





Welcome back to our Mind of the Artist series, featuring members of the Capitol Hill Art League (CHAL), a program of CHAW.  Today’s featured artist is Carolyn Rondthaler, an artist who came to painting later in life–and is an inspiration to anyone who feels like there’s no time to fit the arts into the day. Read on to hear her story in her own words!

I didn’t get serious about painting until I was in my late 40s. I sketched a little and made drawings for my family, but my real interest didn’t begin until I visited an aunt who was a watercolor artist and teacher. As she was showing me the paintings in her home, I remarked that I had always wanted to paint in watercolor. She looked at me very directly and said, “I don’t think so. Knowing you, if you wanted to do it, you would.”

Around the same time, I had a dream that I had found a room in my house with beautiful things that I had forgotten about. I understood that dream to refer to my creativity and interest in art, which I had neglected. I wrote about the dream in a journal and found I was writing more and more about painting. I realized that I could be doing art instead of writing about it, and gave up the journal. I was working out of town on a three-month assignment, but went to an art store one evening after work and put together a simple watercolor kit and started painting an hour every day—even though I was working full time. I gave up my writing time, but it was worth it.

P1060989 (2)When I returned home to Portland, Oregon after that work assignment, I enrolled in a watercolor class at a nearby art center. I was fortunate that the teacher was Dory Kanter, who has written a book called Art Escapes. Her book is pretty much like her classes, with exercises that are simple and help build confidence. She also teaches color triads, which have been useful for me as I continue painting. She no longer teaches, but definitely got me started.

P1060919My favorite paintings are plein air, and I have included a few DC plein air paintings. For more, please visit my website,, and also my art blog,

Check out more CHAL work at their March exhibition at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, co-hosted by CHAMPS (Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce), “Appetite for Art.” The opening will take place 5:00pm-7:00pm on Saturday, March 5th at CHAW, 545 7th St. SE, and is free and open to the public. The jurors, Deirdre Ehlen MacWilliams (public art expert) and Stephen Cheung (local restaurateur), will speak at 5:30pm and present awards to the prize-winning artists. General gallery hours are: 9:30 am–9:00 pm (M-Th), 9:30 am–6:00 pm (F), and 9:00 am–2:00 pm (Sat).  The exhibit will run March 5 through April 15 in the Gallery. For more information, visit, or call (202) 547-6839.

A seasoned teaching artist and writer; a whole new role.  Old and new meet again in our latest gallery show, Bullfinch: Memories and Fairytales, opening Saturday, January 16th!  In this multi-media and multi-disciplinary exhibition, explore the relationship between literature, visual arts, and making the old new again. To celebrate this collaboration, we interviewed Hannah Sternberg, the creative visionary and writer behind the exhibition, to get the lowdown on how this one-of-a-kind project came to be.

1. What inspired you to create this exhibit?
Well, I had this manuscript of my book lying around, and it was too sentimental to throw away, but I also didn’t want to feel like a clutterbug by keeping it. I love the idea of recycling and repurposing things–whether it’s fashion, kitchenware, furniture, or technology–so it just came to me that this artifact of existing art could be used to create new art.
I have a number of friends who are visual artists, and I always admired them and their skill, so I think I’ve always been drawn to doing a visual arts exhibit, but told myself I can’t because I’m just a writer. One of my biggest inspirations is my childhood friend Liz Goss, who grew up to be a very talented illustrator. She designed the cover of Bulfinch, so she was one of the first people I went to when I had the idea for this show (she contributed three pieces). From there, I was lucky to receive the help of many talented and enthusiastic participants!
2. Have you ever done anything like this before?  Tell us a little bit about how your experience–or lack of experience!–informed the process.
Heck no, I’ve never done anything like this before! It was all a big adventure. I think my lack of experience made me very open to breaking the mold and trying things a different way. But that was only possible because I had the support of some really fantastic and helpful people with a lot of experience, like the CHAW staff. I learned a lot from them, and from the experience of bumbling my way through it. A friend just said to me, “I always like doing things more the second time”–meaning, she always appreciates having the lessons of the first time under her belt. This experience has definitely left me with a taste for more!
3. What were the challenges, surprises, and/or unexpected joys of this process?
Trust was the biggest personal challenge for me. Writing is solitary, but curating an art exhibit is highly collaborative. I knew I trusted the people I recruited for it, because that’s why I recruited them, but it’s very hard for me to step back and simply wait while they do their creating. I learned a huge and valuable lesson from that experience. The unexpected joys were experiencing how willing and able so many people were to step in and help me, from the artists who really threw themselves into some fantastic works, to the staff at CHAW and my friends and family who all helped support the show. I really struggle with asking for help. It’s not easy for me. But this show introduced me to the joys of receiving help from a crew of positive and enthusiastic people.
4. Why did you choose CHAW as the home of this exhibit?  
I teach creative writing at CHAW, and my first CHAW experience was being teamed up with teaching artist Alicia Gleason to help develop a writing program with complementary classes taught by both of us, so I knew right away I’d learn a lot about collaboration here. Hosting the show at CHAW seemed like a natural fit, not just because I was already teaching here but because it’s such a friendly, warm, and supportive environment. I’m so grateful I’ve had a chance to learn what CHAWsome really means!
5. How (if at all) does location (CHAW, DC, and the many places from which the artists hail) play into this exhibition?  Community?
Community plays a big role in the show. Three of the six artists are from DC, but the sense of community goes beyond the neighborhood; I felt like we made our own international community of artists all working together to create something really cool. Each work is very well done individually, but I also felt like each artist was contributing with a mind to how their piece enhanced the exhibit overall–so the show itself is like one big collaboration. And I myself learned a lot about community and collaboration through working on this, and really getting outside my comfort zone both in terms of the type of work I do (going from being a writer to being a visual arts curator), and in the way I’m used to doing it (from writing alone in my home, to collaborating with six artists and the CHAW staff to create a show).
6. How was this experience of turning text into visual art both similar to and different from your writing process?
Well, I can’t speak for the artists in the show, and I’m sure they’d each have a highly unique answer to that. From my perspective, I think the differences are easier to spot, in all the ways I already listed–I had to break out of my solitary shell and collaborate with a lot of people, and learn to rely on them and ask for help when I needed it. But I think the similarity between writing and curating a show is that my focus in both was still storytelling: what can this show do to create an atmosphere or a world within itself that will take viewers on a journey from one part of the book to the next? (I tried to send book excerpts to each artist that I thought would be a good fit with their visual style.) And, what can the viewer learn from this story? How will they feel, walking through it?
7. Are there any other observations or particularly salient takeaways you’d like to share?
I think I learned not to limit myself. I went into this fairly meekly, almost apologizing to all the people I invited into it, by explaining to them that I’m “not a visual arts person” and that I’d never done this before, so I should say sorry in advance for anything I’m about to screw up. It turned out to be a big confidence-boosting experience. I learned that there are some things I tell myself I can’t do, just because I haven’t tried them yet. I put myself in a box, and while everyone has limitations, maybe I could make my box a little bigger. And I also learned that if I am going to grow, and overcome my self-imposed limitations, I have to learn how to collaborate, cooperate, and build a community.

Happy New Year and welcome back to Mind of the Artist!  We’re excited to kick off 2016 in style with artist Stephanie Bianco, who shares her fascinating history with art and craft-making and some surprising and delightful ideas for how we can all bring a bit more art into our daily lives (and “junk” drawers)! 

About Stephanie and why I became interested in art

I grew up in Philadelphia doing modestly artistic things. In addition to frequent trips to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, fabric stores, and dime stores, I was allowed, as a preschooler, to “sew” on a treadle Singer by stitching onto construction paper. My aunts and grandmother were quilt makers. I loved shopping for cloth with them—the sights from the trolley window, the smell of polished cotton–and imagining delicious combinations of designs and patterns! They made dresses for me, and remnants of these clothes live on in the quilt pieces. I still have several.

Before first grade, Mom and I also passed many hours absorbed in this pursuit: she’d let me arrange a simple still life as I wished. Perhaps two apples or a vase with water in it. Then we both sat in one of the four chairs at the dining room table and drew it in pencil, even doing it from two views (different chairs.) Sometimes watercolored it in. This was special; paper was not plentiful and cheap in our 1950 household. From this simple activity, I learned an important life lesson: look carefully—there are more nuances than you first thought!

Mom allowed me one kitchen drawer filled with a kaleidoscope of household junk (spools, buttons, ribbon, scraps of wrapping paper, magazines) with which I constructed anything I wished, whenever I wished, free of criticism. Zoom forward into adulthood and I’m a mother of five with endless opportunities to craft things with kids. A favorite winter one was: have the kids forage for their choices of pinecones, acorns, stones, leaves, strings, berries, scraps of paper. A loop of twine. Then, arrange them in tin foil pans and fill with water on a suitably icy day. Waiting a bit for it all to freeze, we’d later hang our creations, with the pan peeled off, from the loop of twine on a tree branch to sparkle and dazzle in the sun. Might be there tomorrow–or drip and melt!

What is my medium and what inspires me to express myself?

I’m inspired by curiosity. Curiosity guides my media. I paint, write, redesign spaces, compose video stories and more. What might happen if I…? I often haven’t started with a set idea; rather let intuition and fun rise to the surface. The doing of creating is awesome fun for me, though getting started, and finishing up, are sometimes more of a struggle :–)

About ten years ago, I thought I’d simplify: specialize in just photography. Nature became my most successful topic, though I shot a whole lot of everything. Eventually I chose to employ some of these by inventing video stories; you can look online to see “How I Make A Video” on YouTube.

“Painting like Matisse” inspired my current exploration. A few months ago I imitated his famous Madame Matisse as closely as I could. Then I painted my granddaughter in this style several times. Now it’s evolving into more realistic portraits with whimsical color.


In November, I attended Springfield Art Guild in Virginia–I’m a past president of this group of about 100 members–and learned about Zentangle, and have already made about 40 of them. It’s addictive! Try it yourself!


My work has been sold at the Art League Gallery (Torpedo Factory) and I have participated in numerous local venues, including a MiniSolo show at Touchstone Gallery in DC, and won a few awards. One of my non-nature photos from the CHAL juried exhibit Black and White and In-between was featured in East City Art.

I recently enjoyed a lovely workshop with Katie Kaufman on Encaustics at CHAW. This is my third year as a member of CHAL and through them exhibited at Hill Center. I was an exhibitor and gallery manager for Artomatic 2009 when it was at 55 Mass Ave. SW, and of course made a video of my experience.

Don’t miss CHAL’s upcoming Gallery Show Opening of “Critters” on Saturday, January 23 from 5pm to 7p at CHAW for great artists, great art, and great conversations about art!  And, of course, be sure to join us in February for next month’s edition of Mind of the Artist!

Inspired by the National Endowment for the Arts’ 50th Anniversary call for #ArtStories, we will be posting some of our favorite student stories from the CHAW e-newsletter.  This month we are featuring Wan, a fixture of the Wednesday Morning crowd in teaching artist Ellen Cornett’s class, who has been a treasured part of our CHAW community for years.  Ellen wrote to us recently to let us know how “pleased and proud” she is that Wan has not only been juried into the Potomac Valley Watercolor Society, but also was awarded an Honorable Mention in his very first show with them.  We are so grateful to have Wan’s presence at CHAW and are especially thrilled to be able to share his story, below, in his own words: 
Wan in his artistic element

Wan in his artistic element

Growing up in Malaysia, Chinese lion dances inspired my first childhood drawings.  The lavishly colored lions shattered the light of the tropical sun into a pulsating spectrum that seduced me.  I drew a lion dance for a third grade contest, and the thrill of winning first prize set me on the journey that decades later brought me to CHAW.

I started learning to paint watercolor in high school.  After graduating, I spent several years with a local master learning traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy with its pale pastel shapes, and bold black lines.  I had produced dozens of such paintings by time I immigrated to the United States.  Dealing with the challenges of day to day life in my adopted country left neither time nor energy to paint.

By the end of my first decade here, I had established a more stable and satisfying life living on the Hill and practicing massage therapy, but something was missing.  Eventually, the boy at the lion dance returned to remind me why I became a painter back in Malaysia.  In a mostly drab world that focused mainly on survival, painting made me happy.

I had read about CHAW in the Hill Rag and thought a long time about taking a class in watercolor painting.  Inertia and frustration interfered with my actually enrolling, until a client, who happened to teach at CHAW, introduced me to Gina Clapp.  Gina asked me to show her my paintings, then over a decade old.   I brought them to one of her classes.  She looked at them, and invited me to stay.  Gina recognized the artist in me.  CHAW has given me a home where the artist can grow.

Every class at CHAW provides me with a safe space to enter into myself in the way I must in order to paint.  Each class also offers a group of talented and supportive artist friends to whom I can turn for help at any time; and an opportunity to help and support them in return.  Painting heals me.  It makes me happy.  Each stroke of the brush also helps me to express many other feelings for which I have no words.  Not in Chinese, nor in English.  Colors become my language, and the painting, my story.

With the support of Gina and my many friends at CHAW, I was recently accepted into the Potomac Valley Watercolor Society.  I had two paintings accepted into a recent show, and received an award for one of the paintings.   When I heard my name announced at the opening, I went from the man I am today to the boy I was in third grade, thrilled with winning a prize, and grateful to CHAW for giving that boy a home.

Have a student who exemplifies our CHAW community to feature in this section?  Email us at to nominate a CHAWsome member of our community; we welcome and encourage nominations for kids, adults, adults who act like kids, and everyone in between.

Never miss a good #ArtStory: sign up for our enews to get these delivered to you monthly, hot off the presses!

We are excited to welcome our friends and partners, United Social Sports (USS), to our blog today!  Sports and arts might not seem all that related at first glance, but USS is all about bringing communities together–much like CHAW.  Whether it’s through sports, arts, or something else altogether, building relationships matters…and you can do that in a pretty spectacularly #CHAWsome way with USS next month.  We’ll let them take it from here!

HUNT DC, DC’s largest scavenger hunt, is back for its 5th year on April 25th and we are very excited to be partnering up with CHAW!

United Social Sports has a mission of bringing people together and building communities through social sports leagues, but leagues are not all USS is about: our CEO Robert Kinsler has been working on including other projects that help build communities and that speak to our members and their friends. It’s from this starting point that Hunt DC was born.

Memories of scavenger hunts as kids are often unique, cherished memories, and we wanted to bring that sense of fun and excitement back to our participants. Here at USS we don’t do things small, so our scavenger hunt is nothing like you have ever done before. We take our participants all over the city, trying to decipher riddles, while showing them areas of the city that they may have never seen, or get to see in a new light thanks to our challenges.

We want to make sure that our events bring friends together, help create new friendships, and enable participants to experience DC in a whole new way!

Whether it is trying a new food you’ve never tried before, or seeing a side of the Lincoln Monument you have never seen, you are sure to discover something new on the hunt. To add an extra touch of fun, this year we have included an outdoor after party where attendees will get to enjoy live music, lawn games, drinks, and food trucks. Participants can be sure that this will be a day packed with fun, from sunrise to sunset!

This year we are also partnering up with various nonprofits in the area, and we want to make sure that HUNT DC serves as a platform for these organizations to reach new people, raise money for their organizations, and to engage with the local community. These groups serve such an important role in our city, and this is our way of helping ensure that our DC residents are aware of all the great non-profit organizations that so enthusiastically work day in and day out on bettering our communities.

Our title nonprofit for 2015 is Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, otherwise known as CHAW. CHAW has had a presence on Capitol Hill for more than four decades and helps bring people together through the creativity and unity brought about by the creative arts. We are proud that this year’s nonprofit leaderboard prize is sponsored by CHAW and is just one more chance for participants to win!

So now that you are excited about this event, go ahead and register a team! Use the discount code CHAWBACK to get $10 off your registration AND help raise funds for more activities at CHAW!

Want to see a video of all the action?! We thought you’d never ask 😉

See you at the Hunt!