BLOOM X 2! We DOUBLED our programs! Just in time for Columbia Heights Day on Sat.

Greetings Family!

We’re excited to announce 13 new weekly and monthly programs at BloomBars! Most of which you’ll get a free preview this Saturday, September 12th at the 10th Annual Columbia Heights Day Festival. You heard it right, we’ve doubled our current program offerings! It’s all testament to your continued support and belief in our mission.

And speaking of your support, we’ve almost reached our GoFundMe campaign goal to recover from the break-in we informed you about in the last Weekly Bloom.

In addition to our current programs, here’s what you have to look forward to this fall, winter and beyond:

  1. Little Stars! (Ages 2-3) PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED
  2. Harambee Happy Hour (Ages 2-6)
  3. Little Treasures (Ages 0-5)
  4. Learn to Drum! (West African Djembe) (Ages 6-13)
  5. Family Drum Circle (All ages)
  6. Learn the Djembe (Ages 14 and up)
  8. Les Bloom-Artistes (Ages 2-5)  
  9. Samba Baby (Ages 2-6)
  10. Learn the Art of Henna  
  11. Jam Session (Ages 14-23)
  12. FUNdamentals! Music and Movement Around the World (Ages 1-6)
  13. Songwriting Workshop (All ages)

You can find more details about these new programs below, on our website calendar, Facebook group or email

Until soon, keep BLOOMING!

Break in at BloomBars caught on tape. How did we respond?

“There was a break in at BloomBars. It took a while to process why anyone would rob a non-profit arts organization serving the community…and make out with our donation boxes and contents of our curse jar no less. So how did we respond? We told our own redemption song with the surveillance video and made an art installation, appropriately named “Kryptonite,” from the rock he threw through the window and the broken glass. It was cathartic and healing. The lesson: beauty can come from broken glass and a little forgiveness. To watch the video click here … then share with your friends if you agree..”

When I posted that note on Facebook, the response was incredibly supportive and inspirational. People who wanted to feel outrage said that was an impossible emotion after watching this video:

For example, this poignant message came from Sweet Honey in the Rock co-founder Dr. Ysaye M. Barnwell, “Some have lost the art of discernment while some have used art to discern essential truths of what we have lost, what we have gained and who we truly are. Thank you BLOOMBARS. I regret what happened, but am glad that I can help art to conquer.”

And the media also chimed in, including these stories:

Several people suggested we set up a GoFundMe page to help recoup our losses. And that’s exactly what we did. Here’s the link:

But the reality is that this troubling event reaffirmed our belief that art can heal, help us grow and spark our inherent creativity in order to face the world on our own terms… so, no loss as all.

Seed that! And keep Blooming!


Old School Pre-School Musical Foundations 101

Every Friday at 4:30 pm

Join renowned jazz vocalist and music educator Rochelle Rice on a music history journey traversing various genre’s from generation past to present. Parents and little ones learn about the lives and music of America’s greatest performers through interactive musical activities, dancing, singing, and storytelling. From Mozart to Mahalia Jackson, the goal is to nurture well-rounded music lovers and inspire early learning through the arts.

An Artist in Bloom resident at BloomBars, Rochelle Rice is a dynamic and compelling vocalist and songwriter, and has been named Best Jazz Vocalist (2013) by Washington City Paper Jazzy Awards. Her profound and flawless sound joins the singer/songwriters of the 1960s and the contemporary jazz vocalists of today.

Rochelle received her B.M. in classical voice in 2008 from East Carolina University, and in 2012 attained her Master’s degree in jazz studies from Howard University. While at Howard University, Rochelle was a member of the multiple DownBeat Magazine award winning premiere jazz vocal ensemble, Afro Blue, and was the graduate teaching assistant to the award winning and well noted arranger, clinician, and jazz vocalist, Connaitre Miller. She is featured on the group’s 2012 recording, The Best is Yet to Come.

Stepping outside of her jazz and soul background, Rochelle is currently the lead singer of DC’s only live house music band, House of Soul, and is featured as a vocalist and songwriter on the band’s debut album, Let’s Move. Rochelle’s versatility has allowed her the opportunity to work with some of the industry’s most acclaimed musicians, including Kim Jordon, gospel jazz pioneer and former musical director for Gil Scott-Heron. Rochelle can be heard on Jordan’s 2013 CD release, Uncommon. Recently, Rochelle was chosen as a sub for the internationally renowned Grammy award winning a cappella ensemble, Sweet Honey In The Rock®.

Rochelle’s sound is a woven tapestry of jazz influenced contemporary folk and soul. Her highly personal, yet relatable original music reflects her deeply rooted love of jazz and singer/songwriters. Currently, Rochelle continues to perform, record, and write beautiful music.