curated project commemorating the 50th anniversary of 1968 in dc

dedicated to bobby r. hale
28 june 1968 & neighbors inc. art & book festival a success

28 june 1968 & neighbors inc. art & book festival a success

#OTD 28 June 1968 Neighbors Inc. (6400 Georgia Ave NW) was still buzzing about its 6th annual Art & Book Festival that took place last weekend at Coolidge HS (5th & Tuckerman Sts NW). The festival was held 22-23 June, 10am-7pm. A reception for exhibitors and "other distinguished guests" was held on the evening of 21 June. 

Maijah Hay served as chairperson of the festival, which required months of extensive planning, organizing and supervising her team of volunteers. Elsa Denham served as chair of refreshments. Thelma C. Lee, served as chair of the bake sale. Ethylyn De Stefano served as chair of professional art. Karen L. Wardlaw served as chair of publicity. These chairpersons led their respective committees. 

The festival had become a major event in the city, "attracting thousands of area residents and visitors each year." The festival features included:

  • 1,000+ original works of art on exhibition and for sale by professional & amateur artists
  • 10,000 used books and record
  • 30 craftspeople exhibiting and selling ceramics, handicrafts, pottery, jewelry, weaving and more
  • outdoor rides and games, movies, refreshments for children
  • demonstrations of glassblowing, glass cutting and use of pottery wheel
  • two magicians and a folksinger
  • children's talent show
  • paint-in for children
  • bake sale
  • Erika Thiney Dance Troupe

Neighbors, Inc., was founded in 1958 to organize toward and maintain racially integrated neighborhoods in opposition to white real estate agents seeking to convince white homeowners in and near Shepherd Park to sell their homes. Their motto was "an intown, integrated, interesting community."

Your comments are welcome below. Did you, a family member or neighbor attend the art & book festival? Did you volunteer? Were you one of the vendors? Did you buy art work? Do you have photographs? You may comment privately here.

Photo source: Courtesy DC Public Library Special Collections, Neighbors Inc. Collection.

Marvin Caplan, Farther Along: A Civil Rights Memoir, 1999.

Phyllis Palmer, Living As Equals: How Three White Communities Struggled to Make Interracial Connections During the Civil Rights Era, 2008.

29 june 1968 & neighbors inc. art & book festival 2

29 june 1968 & neighbors inc. art & book festival 2

27 june 1968 & resurrection city no more

27 june 1968 & resurrection city no more