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Join a virtual paint night to raise money for Black Lives Matter DC
On July 18, 8-year-old Micah will be painting at home with his family. For elementary school age children, the pandemic has made the dog days of summer a little heavier, with camps canceled and playgrounds roped off. But Micah, a D.C. resident already passionate about serving his community, is painting not just for play, but for social justice. Motivated by current events and conscious of the disproportionate toll the coronavirus is taking on Black people, Micah will host his first ever online fundraising event, Paint for Justice, to raise money for Black Lives Matter DC’s East of the River Mutual Aid Fund, an initiative that provides assistance and supplies to those who are impacted by the pandemic or are food- or housing-insecure. He invites anyone to join him in this virtual paint event, which will be facilitated by Gene Anthony Foster of iGotchuDesigns, a D.C.-based artist who will lead participants in the creation of meaningful art. Black Lives Matter DC was chosen as the recipient of the event’s proceeds not only for the work it is doing to directly address racism, but also for its effort to support the Black communities that have been disproportionately devastated by the pandemic due to systemic racial injustice—D.C.’s Black residents represent nearly three quarters of the city’s COVID-related deaths. “I just want to give a shoutout to everyone who’s supporting me, and it really means a lot to me,” Micah says in a video on the event page. With Paint for Justice, he intends to raise awareness, work toward solutions, and make a colorful statement with tangible financial action. The event begins at 4 p.m. on July 18. Tickets are available at eventbrite.com. $25. —Ryley Graham
The past months of isolation have thrown the limitations of humans as individuals into high relief. Living with reduced person-to-person contact highlights our need for it, and forces us to ask ourselves what we’re really doing when we replace friends and family with more screen time. In By Proxy, the first online exhibition from the Arlington Arts Center, seven artists share dispatches from a culture suspended between physical isolation and digital interconnectedness. Some contributed pieces spill off of the AAC’s website and into social media platforms. Jeremy Hutchison’s “Dear Mr. Zuckerberg,” for instance, is a series of letters to Instagram’s owner posted on Instagram. My Husband, a collaborative duo consisting of artists Eliza Doyle and Annika Berry, use Zoom to tell a story about women preparing to emerge from a bunker after a cataclysm. In their piece, titled “SHTF (Shit-Hits-The-Future),” they try to concoct an alternative to the individualistic mindsets of the doomsday preppers who came before, creating a new post-collapse paradigm. Meanwhile, in her piece titled “Habitat Actions,” Mariah Anne Johnson, an artist best known for creating installations from bedsheets and pillowcases, moves through the space of her home to perform seemingly mundane actions in surprising ways. (In a launch event for By Proxy, Johnson said that while making the piece, she asked herself, “What can I do? What’s a possible space to put my body into? I will succeed, or something else will happen.”) The artists of By Proxy will also participate in talks in which participants can ask them questions about their creations and inspirations via Zoom. Follow the Arlington Arts Center on Instagram to watch By Proxy unfold during the summer. The exhibition is available at arlingtonartscenter.org. Free. —Will Lennon