BloomBars is not something you can easily describe. Some have called it an artist and non-profit incubator, performance space, art gallery, theater, dance studio, screening room, youth academy, and center for health, wellness, and community engagement-They were all correct.
Both innovative and old-school wisdom, BloomBars is turning a concept to unite communities through the arts into a model for energizing and inspiring communities to strive for personal and collective progress. Established in 2008 in Washington, DC’s burgeoning Columbia Heights neighborhood, BloomBars is driven by a volunteer team of artists, educators, and community and business leaders. Redefining the perception of a bar, BloomBars does not serve or allow alcohol on its premises fostering a safe and family-friendly environment.
Our vision is a global network of BloomBars-like spaces that serve as a training ground for a new generation of change agents who believe in the transformational power of art to affect positive growth in the community.
We believe art has a critical role in community building, social justice, advocacy, youth development, and health and wellness (Art meaning music, visual and multi-media arts, martial arts, dance, and film). We believe art can be a powerful conduit to link individuals inspired to serve, and communities and organizations in need. We believe there is an urgency to unite people around these principals.
• Build compassionate communities that nurture and support artists committed to service and social responsibility
• Create meaningful connections between artists and community-based organizations
• Empower youth and parents to use art as an education and literacy tool
• Establish a space for artists and community members to learn and practice social activism
• Provide a premier performance space for artists to hone and share their craft
• Provide a (live and digital) platform to amplify artists’ work, and engage and connect local and global communities
• Foster an environment that allows music and art (musicians/artists) to be more accessible to non-artists
• Inspire exploration and discovery of new ideas, places, and people within, and outside of the surrounding community
Guiding Principals- Community first, honest dialog, take risks, safe space, back to basics, experiment, innovate, have fun.
BloomBars was named one of the city’s “Best Open Mic” locations by the staff of Washington City Paper. Here’s what they had to say:
“Don’t let the name fool you-if you’re looking for beer, conventional “service,” or consistent hours of operation, then BloomBars is not the spot for you.
But sign up for its mailing list and wander over to this barely established establishment on an evening when it’s holding a showcase, and you’ll discover one of D.C.’s best-kept secrets. Sure, the lineup may look similar every week-the choir singing for the benefit of the choir, if you will-but it’s always earnest.
And when you stumble in from Wonderland during the wee hours to find two women singing the loveliest, most heartbreaking rendition of “A Change Is Gonna Come,” or whispering an African lullaby to a spellbound audience of six, you’ll realize that there’s no place in town quite on the same wavelength.”
Read More at the Washington City Paper.
Would you like to be a member of the BloomBars team? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!