Coming Back from the House Of Eternal Return

By David Kosub (Contributor)

On a recent swing through New Mexico to see some friends, we stopped in to visit the House of Eternal Return. This is Meow Wolf’s interactive, immersive art experience that started it all in Santa Fe.  What better way to get our heads wrapped around what’s coming to Riggs Park as part of Block B of the Cafritz Foundation’s Art Place at Fort Totten development, than to experience their first installation up close and personal. We had a blast. Here’s a sampling of what you may experience too…and don’t forget your 3-D glasses…

Meow Wolf, Santa Fe, NM

You start, as you would any time you come home, by getting the mail, but this is no ordinary mailbox…there are clues!

David Kosub at Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return

….upon entering the house, you see a scene, probably one pretty familiar to us all…

…while exploring the house, looking for more insights on what this family is up to, you find yourself being sucked into a portal…in the bathroom when nature calls nonetheless …

…going through the portal, you naturally find dinosaur bones, but not just any normal bones, these make music when you tap them. Yabba Dabba Doo!

…coming out the other side, you’re under water….

….traveling further, you begin to enter a magical forest world

…complete with a treehouse to play in.

…You stumble upon a bus…a tad askew, that probably has seen better days….

….and then, of course, you dance like you’ve never danced before to some deep electronic beats in the strobe light room ….

… portaling back from whence you came, you reanimate inside a cake, because, why not…

…other worlds exist to explore here with Meow Wolf, but you will need to go and experience it yourself. Before you leave though, don’t forget to stop and smell the roses

New Riggs Park Neighborhood Mural

Artist Jay Hudson brings us another neighborhood mural – this one a “We are Riggs Park” statement on the side of Riggs Wine & Liquor. Funding for the mural was provided by The Parks Main Street, District Department of Small and Local Business Development, and Riggs Wine & Liquor owner John Yoo. Next up is restoration of the sign.

“We are Riggs Park” mural by Jay Hudson. Photo credit: Jay Hudson

Jay is well-known around the neighborhood. He installed a mural on the other side of the liquor store during the inaugural 2018 Riggs Park Art Crawl.

Mural at Riggs Wine & Liquor by Jay Hudson. Photo credit: Jay Hudson

He brought us this cool mural on the side of Hellbender Brewing Company’s building (though unfortunately that mural is no longer with us).

Mural at Hellbender by Jay Hudson. Photo credit: Jay Hudson

And he is the creator of the large mural inside of Culture Coffee Too.

Mural at Coffee Culture Too by Jay Hudson

October 24: Meow Wolf Community Conversation

Sharing from Meow Wolf. Note – due to space limitation, RSVP is highly encouraged:

Join Meow Wolf D.C. for two informal gatherings at the Lamond-Riggs Neighborhood Library! We want to hear from Fort Totten residents,
community members, artists, students, and YOU about the challenges and
opportunities the local arts community faces. You’ll also learn more about the ins and outs of Meow Wolf, hear about our upcoming DC project, and have the opportunity to ask questions and provide input.

We’re scheduled to open Meow Wolf D.C. in 2022 and we’re just getting started. Community Conversations will take place throughout the D.C. metro area throughout the coming years with more dates to be announced.

Thursday, October 24

There will be 2 sessions on October 24. Information presented will be the same
Pick one to attend:
4:00pm – 5:30pm
6:00pm – 7:30pm

Lamond-Riggs Library
5401 South Dakota Ave NE
Washington, DC 20011

RSVP is not required, but helps us with planning.
Kindly RSVP to
Light refreshments will be provided.

Events June 28 & 29, 2019

A few events to highlight this weekend

June 28, 2019

  • Fridays at Fort Totten Concert Series featuring music by Allthebestkids and Carnivore BBQ food truck. 6:00 pm, corner of South Dakota Avenue & Galloway Street NE. Bring a lawn chair for seating

June 29, 2019

  • DDOT Rock Creek East I Livability Pop-up: Share your views on how to make the transportation network safer and more accessible. Study area is defined by Rock Creek and the Maryland border to the West, Eastern Avenue to the North, New Hampshire Avenue NE and the Red Line Metrorail tracks to the East, and Military Road NW, Missouri Avenue NW, and Riggs Road NE to the South. 10:00 am-12:00 pm, Safeway, 6500 Piney Branch Road NW

Bring The Paint! – 2nd Annual Riggs Park Art Crawl 2019

By Joann Stevens and Edwin Washington*

Art met life, or at least neighbors and businesses in upper Northeast Washington D.C., as artists and artisans created art to depict local small businesses and engage the community at the 2nd Annual Riggs Park Art Crawl. Originally created and sponsored last year by Veronica “Ms. V.” Cooper, owner of local small business Culture Coffee Too, and muralist and creative director Jay Hudson, this year, The Parks Main Street and Culture Coffee Too partnered on the event, held on June 14 and 15, 2019.

The Parks Main Street, formerly known as the South Dakota Avenue and Riggs Road Main Street, is the newest member of the District’s Main Street program aimed at retaining, revitalizing and recruiting small businesses in traditional historic business districts across the city. The Parks Main Street is a community-based organization that utilizes public-private partnerships and community volunteers to build on neighborhood assets and implement strategies to support and improve the business corridors in the Riggs Park and Manor Park neighborhoods.

The 2019 event kicked off on Friday June 14 with artisans stationed at Culture Coffee Too presenting their creations, such as jewelry, for sale. In the evening, a lively discussion was held during an artist panel at the Bilingual School located on Riggs Road NE.

On Saturday June 15, live painting by artists was a howling success under the gaze of the silver wolf sculpture located at the intersection of South Dakota Ave NE and Ingraham St NE.

Sculpture at the Modern at Art Place

This is where the Modern at Art Place apartment community resides and is also the future site of the famed arts collective Meow Wolf, a children’s museum, and a Family Entertainment Zone.  In addition to this site, painters were stationed at a total of 10 participating small businesses in the Riggs Road and South Dakota Avenue NE corridor. When the paint dried, the muralists then handed off their completed masterpieces to the small business who inspired them, which we can also enjoy as a community for a long time to come.

Let’s meet some of the artists who shared their art and views about the Art Crawl now.   

Nessar Jahanbin

Artist Nessar Jahabin creating a piece for T-Mobile

“I like painting natural and organic imagery,” says Nessar Jahanbin, also known as JAH One. He created a flower bud suspended in a dewdrop to represent the T-Mobile Store at 5210 South Dakota Avenue NE.  Using the company’s logo colors and a creative vibe inspired by graffiti street artists, the muralist deftly free formed the image, twisting and turning aerosol spray paint cans with a finesse usually reserved for paintbrushes.

Trained in the fine arts and a painter since childhood, this was Nessar’s first year participating in the Riggs Park Art Crawl. His T-Mobile inspired piece paid homage to the environment and graffiti street artists like Jay Hudson.

“It’s important to remind people about the artwork that comes from graffiti,” he says of the art form. “People appreciate murals but look down on street graffiti because what they generally see are tags and letters written on walls. They never get to see the beautiful art hidden away in places under bridges, or understand there is no way I could have done this (mural) without learning graffiti.”  

Painting letters with spray paint and then learning to manipulate their shapes and textures to create new images inspires Nessar’s career as a muralist who shares stories and history on city walls.

“We live in a society where people want instant gratification,” he says. “But spray painting takes time” to record the times of our lives.

Orange Clockwork

Piece created by artist Orange Clockwork for Shining Stars Pediatric Dentistry

The mocking feline from Alice in Wonderland found a place on South Dakota Avenue during the 2nd Annual Riggs Park Art Crawl. “When I got here they told me the business I was to represent was the dentist office,” Shining Stars Pediatric Dentistry, located at 435 Ingraham Street NE. 

The camera-shy aerosol artist calling himself “Orange Clockwork” says he focused on “creating a kid friendly street scape, something with a big smile,” to present the message “stay fresh,” adding stars to make it pop. “That’s how I came up with the Cheshire Cat.”

J’nell Jordan

Artist J’nell Jordan working on a piece for Ramdass Pharmacy

“I love people and figurative work; a smile, body language,” says artist J’nell Jordan, a newcomer to the Art Crawl thanks to muralist Jay Hudson, who helped recruit the participating artists.

Painting for more than a decade, the Northern Virginia native said she moved to the District five years ago after studying art at Adelphi University in New York.  She represented Ramdass Pharmacy, located at 475 Ingraham Street NE, creating a piece depicting a child clutching a lollipop and the hand of an adult to convey her message of a friendly, neighborhood community. Learn more about Dr. Ramdass and his pharmacy by listening to a podcast here with David Kosub, Vice Chair of The Parks Main Street. 

“It’s nice to do something in your own neighborhood and have art uplift the businesses and get people involved.”

Matt Riegner

Artist Matt Riegner in front of his piece for the Modern at Art Place

“Originally I had some grandiose ideas” of how to interpret the Modern at Art Place apartment community, says muralist Matt Riegner. See how grandiose his work can be. Eventually the elegant simplicity of the building’s logo won out, inspiring Matt to create a bold, abstract art piece.

“The arts scene in DC has blossomed and grown dramatically over the past 10 years,” he says. “It comes and goes with who is in office, idea exchanges, and social media.”  Recruited by Jay Hudson for the project, Matt said he has worked on projects with the legendary street artist for the past seven years. 

“The arts draw attention. Attention brings money. Money brings development,” he mused. “I think DC has done a good job of defining the District’s art culture. They’re using the arts in a constructive way that I think people can appreciate and engage.”

 Rhythm Bowers

Artist Rhythm Bowers working on her piece for Riggs Dry Cleaner

Even mystical, purple-hued, fairylike beings need their garments dry-cleaned. At least that’s the playful message Rhythm Bowers, a graduate of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, wanted to communicate while painting her animated street art outside Riggs Dry Cleaner at 5585 South Dakota Avenue NE.

“The Art Crawl has been amazing,” she said of her debut experience with the second annual event. “I’ve been wanting to paint outside and do something like this for a while.” 

“I feel it will give my work more publicity and, hopefully, bring my pop culture style into the city.  It’s nice seeing art in the city that has an animated style, like the art I create.”

Will Watson

Artist Will Watson in front of his work for Riggs Wine & Liquor

“I didn’t know how to represent a liquor store in a positive light, admits Will Watson

The recent graduate of a MFA in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art represented Riggs Wine & Liquor at 5581 South Dakota Avenue NE. He rose to the challenge, using spray paint to create an image of friendship and celebration. 

“I wanted to show something that wouldn’t encourage alcohol abuse but light heartedness and fun, with a diverse group of colors. Cheers to friends,” says Will. “I hope the work ends up in a place where people can look at it and smile.”

The young artist says his first time participating in the Art Crawl resulted from his patronage of the Art Crawl’s co-sponsor, Culture Coffee Too.

“I come to Culture Coffee Too often for lunch.  I overheard Jay Hudson and [Edwin Washington, (the Executive Director of The Parks Main Street)] planning this event and I slipped them my business card.”

*Joann Stevens is a board member of The Parks Main Street. Edwin Washington is the executive director of The Parks Main Street. To learn about sponsorship and engagement opportunities, contact Edwin Washington at (202) 774-5542 or 

June 29: RSVP for Explore! Jumpin’ July Community Festival

Explore! Children’s Museum Jumpin’ July Community Festival
June 29, 2019
10:00 am-1:30 pm
The Modern at Art Place (400 Galloway Street NE)

Another Explore! FREE Community Festival is coming for everyone to enjoy. Learn about Explore Children’s Museum of Washington, D.C. while you enjoy arts and humanities activities with your friends and neighbors.

From 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. The Explore! Mission Mobile bus brings Sounds of the Solar System a musical composition program

Performance Schedule:
10:15 – 10:45am: Story Time with Lamond-Riggs Neighborhood Library Children’s Librarian

11:15 – 12:00pm: A Mad Science of DC Show: Spectacular Science of Fire and Ice!

12:30 – 1:30pm: Sarah Stardust: Science, Music and Movement! 
Stardust will play a science-y music set about microbes and supernovas from 12:30-1 p.m. followed by low gravity Space Yoga appropriate for all ages.

From 10:00am – 1:30pm:

The Uncle Devin Show – A Percussion Petting Zoo! 
Cowboy Barry’s Farm Petting Zoo
Color with Luna from Adventures with Luna and Friends
Face Painting by Fairy Jennabelle
Makerspace with District Dance Arts

** Supported in part by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, these festivals are free to the community. The Modern is an ADA compliant, indoor/outdoor space donated in kind for these community events. Due to the free nature of the events, please only take as many tickets as needed, and cancel so others may attend if you are no longer able.**

June 14 & 15: Register for the 2nd Annual Riggs Park Art Crawl

Culture Coffee Too & the South Dakota Avenue/Riggs Road Main Street Present the 2nd Annual Riggs Park Art Crawl on June 14 & 15, 2019!

Free registration:

Creative Fun for the Whole Family – Live Painting at 12 locations featuring 10 Small Businesses in Riggs Park

  • Pick up a “Crawl Passport”
  • Have participating businesses stamp your passport
  • Take pictures of live art
  • Return passport to Culture Coffee Too
  • Crawlers who return their passports with at least 6 stamps to Culture Coffee Too will be eligible for a prize. Winners need not be present.
  • Participating businesses will have exclusive promotions for crawlers. Just present your passport. (See crawl map for participating businesses).

Friday, June 14

10:00 am: Craft Vendors
Location: Culture Coffee Too
Crawl passports available

7:30 pm: Artist mixer & panel discussion
Location: DC Bilingual Public Charter School 
Crawl passports available

Saturday, June 15

10:00 am: Live painting at 12 locations
Crawl passports available at Culture Coffee Too, The Modern, Riggs Liquor, Troka Insurance, & Hellbender Brewery

10:00 am: Mural painting 
Location: Hellbender Brewery

12:00 pm: Storytelling with live painting
Location: Hellbender Brewery

5:00 pm-6:30 pm: Sip n’ Paint ($$-RSVP on eventbrite)
Location: Culture Coffee Too

5:00 pm-7:30 pm: Jam Session 
Location: Culture Coffee Too

8:00 pm-10:00 pm: Karaoke 
Location: Culture Coffee Too

Events at Crawl Headquarters
Craft vendors
Giant hand-painted photo booth
Live music
Dancers from the Davis Center
Crayons ‘n’ paper for kids
Art contest & more!

Crawl Map/Participating Locations

Culture Coffee Too (300 Riggs Rd. NE)
Hellbender Brewery (5788 2nd St. NE)
Hunan Shrimp Boat (5585 South Dakota Ave. NE)
DC Bilingual Public Charter School (33 Riggs Rd. NE) (Panel discussion only)
Ramdass Pharmacy (475 Ingraham St. NE)
Riggs Dry Cleaning (5585 South Dakota Ave. NE)
Riggs Wine & Liquor (5581 South Dakota Ave. NE)
Robtco Property Management (206 Riggs Rd. NE)
Shining Stars Pediatric Dentistry (435 Ingraham St. NE)
The C.H.I.L.D. Center (202 Riggs Rd. NE)
Troka Insurance (212 Riggs Rd. NE)
T-Mobile (5210 South Dakota Ave. NE)
The Modern at Art Place (400 Galloway St. NE)

Culture Coffee Too; South Dakota Avenue/Riggs Road Main Street; District Department of Small & Local Business Development; Center for Nonprofit Advancement; Yo Jay Hudson 
Creative Director: Yo Jay Hudson

Tonight: Culture Coffee Too Anniversary Art Exhibition

Culture Coffee Too One-Year Anniversary Art Exhibition
November 9, 2018
6:00 pm-8:00 pm
Culture Coffee Too
300 Riggs Road NE

To celebrate its one-year anniversary in the neighborhood, Culture Coffee Too is featuring an artist exhibition showcasing every artist that has shown work in the space throughout the year. If you have not had a chance to check out the neighborhood coffee shop and arts space at all, tonight is a great time to see work that has been displayed from different artists each month. If you are a regular, take a look at some of your favorite pieces. Check it out!


October 6: Capoeira at Riggs-LaSalle Rec

Capoeira Malês DC
Batizado & Troca De Cordas
Riggs-LaSalle Recreation Center
501 Riggs Road NE
1:00 pm-4:00 pm

Mestre Curisco is often called the Bruce Lee of capoeira. Mestre Curisco is the supervising mestre of Capoeira Malês DC (Capoeira DC), our neighbors at The Capoeira Spot at 20th and Rhode Island Avenue NE. This Saturday they will celebrate the changing of the cords “Troca De Cordas” of their students at Riggs-LaSalle Recreation Center at 1:00 pm. Free and open to the public.

Capoeira Malês DC joined us for Riggs Park Day in May, so if saw them then, you know the energy they bring. Bring your children. Come yourself.


April 6 & 7: Riggs Park Art Crawl

Festivities begin today for the Riggs Park Art Crawl, taking place at various locations around the neighborhood April 6 & 7. Check them out.

Hellbender Brewery (5788 2nd Street NE)
Friday, April 6, 5:00 pm- 9:00 pm
Artists Celebrate New Beers Eve
Saturday, April 7, 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Darts for Art
Artists Networking

Newlen Early Childhood School Readiness Center (405 Riggs Road NE)
Friday, April 6, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Large Format Drawing for Kids
Puppet Show
Games for Prizes
Day Care Tour

Culture Coffee Too (300 Riggs Road NE)
Friday, April 6, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
First Friday Artist Reception
Saturday, April 7, 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Live Drawing/Painting
Coffee Tasting 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Wine & Chocolate Tasting 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Live Music 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Lamond-Riggs Library (5401 South Dakota Avenue NE)
Saturday, April 7, 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Artists Panel Discussion
Meet & Greet the Artists
Drawing for Kids

The Modern at Art Place (400 Galloway Street NE)
Saturday, April 7
Explore! Children’s Museum Spring Festival10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Featured Artists on Display 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Artists Reception & Mixer 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Save the Date April 6-7: Riggs Park Art Crawl

Join Culture Coffee Too, Hellbender Brewery, The Modern at Art Place, Newlen Early Childhood School Readiness Center, Riggs Wine & Liquor, and the Lamond-Riggs Library for the very first Riggs Park Art Crawl on April 6 & 7, 2018. Free art events for the entire family. Schedule below

Hellbender Brewery (5788 2nd Street NE)
Friday, April 6, 5:00 pm- 9:00 pm
Artists Celebrate New Beers Eve

Saturday, April 7, 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Darts for Art
Artists Networking

Newlen Early Childhood School Readiness Center (405 Riggs Road NE)
Friday, April 6, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Large Format Drawing for Kids
Puppet Show
Games for Prizes
Day Care Tour

Riggs Wine & Liquor (5581 South Dakota Avenue NE)
Saturday, April 7, 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Mural Opening Party

Culture Coffee Too (300 Riggs Road NE)
Friday, April 6, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
First Friday Artist Reception

Saturday, April 7, 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Live Drawing/Painting
Coffee Tasting 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Wine & Chocolate Tasting 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Live Music 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Lamond-Riggs Library (5401 South Dakota Avenue NE)
Saturday, April 7, 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Artists Panel Discussion
Meet & Greet the Artists
Drawing for Kids

The Modern at Art Place (400 Galloway Street NE)
Saturday, April 7
Explore! Children’s Museum Spring Festival 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Featured Artists on Display 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Artists Reception & Mixer 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

For artist opportunities, send email with brief bio, 3 samples, and contact information to

December 3: Save the Date for Explore! Winter Wonder Fest

From Explore! Children’s Museum:

Explore! Winter Wonder Fest

Saturday, December 3, 2016
11:00 am – 1:00 pm
5455 3rd Street NE

We’re hosting our second FREE backyard fest – and this time we’re celebrating winter! Enjoy family-friendly activities, meet new neighbors, and learn what Explore! has in store for the new year. Families and children of all ages welcome; dress for outdoor weather and bring your own smock or old t-shirt for wall painting.

Activites to include:

  • DIY snow globes
  • Playful wall painting
  • Snowflake creations
  • Experiment with light
  • Large-scale whimsical weaving is back! You’re invited to bring your own fabric, ribbon, etc. to weave into this collaborative community project.
  • Snacks and Drinks

Event details and RSVP available here. If you wish to volunteer, send an email to




Free arts events: Art on 8th

Today marks the start of Art on 8th, free arts events in nearby Brookland/Edgewood. Events take place on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays during the months of May through September at venues near the Brookland metro station. This week, hear Americana music, learn hand dancing, or indulge in arts and crafts.


Free events at Dance Place this week 9/10 – 9/12

This week, Dance Place is hosting an open house with free events to kick off its 35th anniversary.  Dance Place is located near the Brookland metro station.

Be In Brookland / Experience Edgewood Full Schedule


September 10 – 12

Thursday, September 10

6:30pm: Free live music performance with Cheick Hamala Diabaté and open artist studios on the Arts Walk at Monroe Street Market (716 Monroe St NE).

Friday, September 11 at 6:30pm

6:30pm: Free interactive dance with the DC Casineros on the plaza outside of Busboys & Poets Brookland (625 Monroe St NE).

8:00pm: Cuban Dance Social with the DC Casineros at the Edgewood Arts Center (3415 8th St NE). $12.

Saturday, September 12

Get the Dance Place experience for free! Sample dance classes for kids and adults, enjoy a day full of outdoor activities and get creative with arts & crafts workshops for all ages.

Classes for Kids at the Brookland Artspace Lofts (3305 8th St NE)
9:30am: African Dance with Coyaba Dance Theater
10:30am: Ballet / Tap with Judy Estey
11:30am: Creative Movement with Shannon Quinn
12:30pm: Hip-Hop with Princess Riddick

Classes for Adults at Dance Place’s Cafritz Foundation Theater (3225 8th St NE)
9:30am: Modern Dance with Carla Perlo
10:30am: Jazz Dance with Ralph Glenmore
11:30am: Balance Harmony with Deborah Riley

Classes at the Edgewood Arts Center (3415 8th St NE)
12pm: Judo for All Ages (7+) with DC Judo
1:30pm: African Dance for Adults with Sylvia Soumah
2:30pm: Hip-Hop for Adults with Culture Shock, DC

Pop-up arts events on the Arts Walk at Monroe Street Market (716 Monroe St NE)
10:40 – 11:15am: Balance Harmony with Deborah Riley, 35 by 35 dance with Carla Perlo and People Objects Play (POP)

Interactive fun for all ages on the future Arts Park (3225 8th St NE)
11:30: POP and 35 by 35 with Carla Perlo
12pm: Gardening with Carla Perlo
12:40pm: Balance Harmony with Deborah Riley
1pm: Chalk Painting, Balloon Art and more
1:30pm: Hula Hoop Jam