Did you know that Brookland has a community choir? TheTown and Gown Singers are CUA’s community chorus, which is open to Brookland residents, CUA students, faculty, staff, and alumni and basically anyone who wants to sing. The chorus presents two major concerts each year, in addition to performing at various city events. For those interested in experiencing choral music of many styles and getting free vocal instruction, joining the choir is a great opportunity. Rehearsals start today and are held on Tuesdays from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. during the school year at the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music Building (Ward Hall) on CUA’s campus and no auditions are required. For more information about the group or to find out how to join , please contact the director, Kevin O’Brien at obrienk(at)cua(dot)edu or Brookland resident Hayden Wetzel at haydenwetzel(at)hotmail(dot)com or (202) 526-5986.
We posted last week that the Catholic University Music Library is giving away lots of vinyl LP records. We checked in on our good buddy Thad, the CUA Music Library Assistant, and here’s what he had to say:
Shani, advertising our LPs was a great idea. People have been coming in consistently, so much so that we decided to hold on to them for one more week…We absolutely have to get them out by Friday, but please emphasize we want folks to call ahead. We had a lot of people show up without calling this week. No harm done, but it would have been a shame if someone had come a long distance to find we had closed or all the LPs had been taken.
So there you have it folks, if you haven’t had the chance to stop by and score some sweet vintage vinyl, you still have time. Most of the albums are pretty old – think 1960s and earlier, and are mostly classical, with some jazz, musical theatre, and folk thrown in too. As mentioned above, those interested in the giveaway should call the library at 202-319-5424 before heading over, for several reasons including that it is hard to find and you will potentially be walking through a construction zone, given the renovation. Please bring a bag or box to take your records away with you as they don’t have any to spare. The Library will be open from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm all week except for Friday when they are open from 9:00 am – 12:00 noon.
We learned that the Catholic University Music Library is undergoing a renovation, and is giving away much of their record collection as part of the process. We spoke with CUA Music Library Assistant Thad Garrett, and he told us “We have hundreds of LPs to give away. It’s mostly classical, but we have a smattering of jazz, musical theatre, and folk. The giveaway lasts until Wednesday the 14th, at which point we’re going to throw away what is left.” We checked out the record collection yesterday and there were some amazing finds! It was hard to only pick a few. For those who are interested in classical music LPs, this is a jackpot as I am guessing that many of these old recordings may not have been digitized yet. It would really be a shame to see all these vintage albums go to waste, so spread the word!
Those interested in checking out the giveaway should call the library at 202-319-5424 before heading over, since you will be potentially walking through a construction zone, given the renovation. Also, the Music Library is hard to find! Thad recommends that you bring a bag or box to take your records away with you as they don’t have any to spare. The Library will be open from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm today and 9:00 am – 12:00 noon tomorrow, Friday August 9th, as well as from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday through Wednesday next week.
I was strolling around near CUA the other day and came across this banana, clearly a cousin of this banana we posted back in October. Love it.
Many of us are eager to have the Metropolitan Branch Trail finally completed. If you are one of them, consider signing up for the Big Stinky Hill Climb Challenge. So, what is exactly, is the Big Stinky? It is a hill on the section of the Met Branch Trail at the intersection of John McCormack Road and Bates Drive NE (on the east side of Catholic U). It got the nickname Big Stinky due to the frequent aroma of garbage wafting over from nearby Fort Totten Transfer Station. According to Bicycle SPACE:
The hill is a symbol of the stalled progress in building the Metropolitan Branch Trail which when ultimately completed, will provide a smooth at-grade connection between Silver Spring and the National Mall. With the Trail in place, instead of having to take on Big Stinky, cyclists and other users will be able to pass the transfer station alongside the Metro tracks on a level path. And, the completed Trail will be able to connect with the Capital Crescent Trail to offer a 27 mile “bicycle beltway” encircling a large part of the District, thereby providing a hugely valuable recreational amenity and transportation link.
The hill climb challenge, taking place on Saturday, March 16th at 12 pm is hosted by The Assembly. There will be prizes for winners, riders and fans with the best costumes, not to mention the coveted trophy, the Golden Garbage Pail. They are hoping to draw a large crowd and are encouraging participants to create a party atmosphere complete with costumes, cheering, flag waving, cowbell ringing and the like.
I recently found out about a group, CUAllies, made up of Catholic University of America (CUA) students and supporters, who are working to make university life at CUA more welcoming for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Questioning (LGBTQ) students. We recently caught up with Bob Shine, a 2012 alum from CUA, who is handling media relations for CUAllies, and asked him the following questions.
Tell me a little bit about your organization and your purpose.
CUAllies is an unrecognized student organization aimed at fostering a safe, welcoming, and affirming campus at The Catholic University of America, particularly for those students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning.
Working within the particular Catholic nature of the University, CUAllies affirms the harmony of spirituality and sexuality as each person is created in the image of God regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
CUAllies sustains a marginalized community of LGBTQ students and allies through peer support and on-campus programming. Previous events have included speakers, service projects, prayer vigils, and weekly support meetings.
CUA administrators recently declined to recognize CUAllies as a student organization. Because of this, what rights and privileges is CUAllies denied that other groups have?
A successful CUAllies application in 2012 to become a student organization would have meant that leaders could reserve campus rooms for events, access student activities staff and funding, post announcements around campus. Presently, students are required to find empty rooms impromptu and struggle to promote events, while paying out of pocket.
Yet, the real right CUAllies is denied is a recognized place in the Catholic University community. Continued denial by the administration states, in effect, that LGBTQ students and their allies cannot positively contribute to the campus well-being, or at least contribute as who God create each of us to be. This message is spreading to the student body and it is in direct contradiction to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ request that all those with a homosexual orientation be welcomed into the community.
From what I understand, CUA administrators fear CUAllies will engage in LGBTQ “advocacy” if recognized. What does that mean, and is advocacy part of your activities?
In President Garvey’s denial based upon these fallacious “advocacy” claims, he demonstrated an unwillingness to truly listen to and respect all students at CUA. Nearly a year of dialogue on the present application with countless meetings and written exchanges was disregarded for the very reason of advocacy given as early as 2012.
In the ten months leading up to this December, CUAllies endeavored towards a compromise with supportive staff helping us navigate. We envisioned a student organization that openly addressed the administration’s advocacy concerns, while remaining true to the peer support mission we believed deeply in.
CUAllies has not engaged in advocacy of the “homosexual lifestyle” as the University so crassly described it. In accordance with the Catholic Church’s understanding that sexual orientation is morally neutral, we have only advocated on campus for the promotion of students’ safety and flourishing, without engaging any broader cultural issues surrounding the LGBTQ community.
What would you say to people who question why LGBTQ students would attend, or ask acceptance from, a University whose bedrock is a religion that by and large is opposed to the full expression of gay and lesbian lives and gay rights?
Contrary to popular opinion, the Catholic Church most truly defined as the People of God, all of us, is not opposed to supporting the LGBTQ community. I currently minster at an LGBT-positive Catholic organization and daily witness Catholics affirming every person’s dignity, foundational teachings on social justice and non-discrimination, and living out the love stemming from Christ in and amongst every one of us.
LGBTQ students at Catholic University inspire me by their sacrificial love in service of others and their integration of faith and sexuality. The University’s persistent denial that these students offer anything falls gravely short of Christ’s witness of abundant love of all doctrine.
In short, LGBTQ students attend Catholic University because they empower the school and Catholic Church with far more love than University administrators or bishops have ever shown them. Every student attends CUA for personal reasons, but all acknowledge the true Catholic identity of the University, which is love, dignity, and justice that the present administration has strayed far from.
Tell me a little bit about the CUAllies petition. Can anyone, even those of us not affiliated with CUA sign it? (Note: Petition link below)
Shortly after President John Garvey’s denial of CUAllies, student leaders began the petition with twofold purpose. LGBTQ students, allies, and those deeply invested in CUAllies were deeply rejected. All signs, like the months-long dialogue with administrators and a decision the day before at the University of Notre Dame to positively address LGBTQ issues, had us hopeful that Catholic University would step forward. The petition foremost became an expression by fellow students, alumni, family members, faculty and staff, local community members, Catholics, and those worldwide that you are loved and welcomed in our hearts. All are welcome to sign! Second, we aimed to show the administration that people understood CUAllies as peer support and not advocacy – and should be supported at a Catholic campus. Over 700 signatures so far gives us hope to keep struggling and, perhaps, caused President Garvey to rethink his decision.
Aside from the petition, how can those who want to support LGBTQ students at CUA help?
The rejection in December has caused a period of reflection among student leadership and supporters about the most positive way to proceed. We are looking at how we can fulfill our mission to keep students safe and welcomed, even if just in our CUAllies community, in the face of an administration refusing to budge.
A campus culture of suppression, sometimes enacted personally against CUAllies leadership, has created a fear-based atmosphere, amplified so greatly by this rejection.
As we rebuild, supporters can aid in three ways. First, connect with us – on Facebook, Twitter, our mailing list and other social media – to get updates when we launch our next steps. Second, consider making your voice heard as community members in Brookland, by writing to President John Garvey. Third, spread the word to your family, friends, and networks, who can then inspire students by connecting and pressure the administration.
What are the various ways our readers can keep up with your group?
CUA Allies Facebook Page
CUA Allies Twitter Feed
Email this address to join their mailing list: cuallies(at)gmail(dot)com
CUA Allies Petition is located here
All photos courtesy of CUAllies Facebook page
The 2012-13 Hartke Theatre Season marks the 75th Anniversary of Catholic University’s Drama department. The season will culminate in April with a two-day event filled with performances, festivities, honors and a gala reception. Now is a great time to check out the fantastic local talent we have right here in our neighborhood; and at amazingly low prices. Tickets prices are as follows: $15 adult/full price; $10 senior citizens, CUA Alumni, Faculty and staff; $5 Students. Purchase tickets here. Here is a rundown of shows remaining in the season:
Brutus (an abridged version of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar). Directed and edited by Allison Fuentes. February 21, 22 and 23 at 7:30 pm, February 23 and 24 at 2:00 pm. Great words and noble sentiments from a respected and honorable citizen, yet in most modern accounts Brutus lands on the wrong side of history, remembered best as Rome’s most notorious daggered assassin. This abridged version of Julius Caesar, refocuses the classic tale from Brutus’s viewpoint, revealing the path toward his ultimate “call to fate” and contemplating how thin the line can be between hero and villain
Spooky Action at a Distance, A new play by Matthew Buckley Smith, Directed by Jerry Whiddon. March 21, 22 and 23 at 7:30 pm. March 23 and 24 at 2:00 pm. Love, War and Quantum Physics. In 1971, with the Vietnam War still grinding on, Simon Pirklowski plays it safe, studying physics at Berkeley to avoid the draft. But when he befriends a shady bartender with a nasty temper, and agrees to tutor his beautiful wife, Simon may learn just how exciting uncertainty can be.
Did you know that Brookland has a community choir? The Town and Gown Singers are CUA’s community chorus, which is open to Brookland residents, CUA students, faculty, staff, and alumni and basically anyone who wants to sing. The chorus presents two major concerts each year, in addition to performing at various city events. Their winter concert is today, Friday, January 18th at 7:30. The concert will take place at the St. Vincent Paul Chapel on Catholic U’s campus. The chorus will perform the cantata St. Nicholas by Benjamin Britten with a small orchestra and soloists from the CUA music school. The event is free and will last about 45 minutes.
For those interested in a experiencing choral music of many styles and getting free vocal instruction, joining the choir is a great opportunity. Rehearsals are held on Tuesdays from 6:35 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. during the school year at the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music Building (Ward Hall) on CUA’s campus and no auditions are required. For more information about the group or to find out how to join , please contact the director, Kevin O’Brien at obrienk(at)cua(dot)edu or Brookland resident Hayden Wetzel at haydenwetzel(at)hotmail(dot)com or (202) 526-5986.
We thought this was an interesting little nugget…the first Catholic U football game was played on November 30, 1905. It was an informal game between students and a team from Brookland, which resulted in a tie. More tidbits of CUA history in this article from the CUA Tower.
When I talk to people about the Catholic University development, the topic of retail and restaurants always comes to the forefront of the conversation. But there is more than that in store for our neighborhood. One development that most people are unaware of is my favorite. It’s call the Arts Flex building and it will house approximately 3,000 square feet of open, flexible interior space for performances, community meeting space, and exhibits. There will also be a small catering kitchen and an exterior plaza. We were told at a meeting with a representative from one of the CUA developers, Abdo, that the Arts Flex building will be delivered by summer 2013. As someone who attends a lot of community meetings, I can attest that it is always difficult to find meeting space, so this is definitely welcome. Also, having a vibrant art-filled location will add value and quality of life to our neighborhood. I view it as yet another cornerstone of the arts district our neighborhood is turning into. Here is a rendering of where the Arts Flex will be located:
One of the great things about this location is that it is such a turn-around from what has been at this locations for years – nothing – but random garbage like discarded tires. Here are some renderings of the Arts Flex building. The rendering below is how the building will look when you are standing on Monroe and 8th St. NE looking east towards the bridge that goes over the Metro tracks.
The rendering below shows how the building will look with your back to the Metro tracks, looking west at the Arts Flex.
I checked in on the progress being made on this development the other day – here are some pics. Check back for updates on the Arts Flex as the months go by!