30 july 1968 & new thing art and architecture center photographers prepare for arena stage shoot
#OTD 30 July 1968 Children and teenagers from the New Thing Art and Architecture Center (2335 18th St NW) photography studio were preparing for a shoot scheduled for tomorrow at Arena Stage. Four photographers were selected to document a play performed by children and teens taking part in Arena Stage's summer improvisation workshop, its first for the general public. More than 60 children and teens participated in the summer program.
David Rector, an 18 year old McKinley HS student, was one of the photographers. Tom Zetterstrom, a white 23 year old, was the photography teacher. According to the Evening Star newspaper, Zetterstrom was a conscientious objector and was able to work at the New Thing as an alternative to being drafted into the military.
The photographs taken at Arena Stage by Rector and his fellow photographers would be added to a compilation of 500 and shared with Mayor-Commissioner Walter Washington to document art and recreation programs throughout the city.
Rector and his fellow photographers also took photographs of the New Thing and the surrounding Adams Morgan neighborhood for an outdoor art installation on a building at 18th & U NW.
The New Thing Art & Architecture Center was founded by Colin "Topper" Carew" c1966. He is the individual with the beard, glasses and dashiki in the above photo which was taken in 1968 while Mayor-Commissioner Walter Washington, in suit and tie, was visiting the New Thing.
Your comments are welcome below. Were you, family members or neighbors one of the photographers at New Thing? Did you participate in or work at the Arena Stage summer program? Do you remember David Rector? Do you remember Tom Zetterstrom? Were you a part of the New Thing? Do you remember Topper Carew? Do you remember the New Thing building? Do you remember the outdoor are installation at 18th and U? Do you recognize anyone in the photograph? Do you have photographs? You may comment privately here.
Photo source: Courtesy DC Public Library Special Collections. Evening Star Photo Collection. Photographer unknown.
Donald Fitzhugh, "Shutters Click in 'New Thing'," Evening Star 1 August 1968.