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As a D.C.-area native who’s been attending shows in the area for most of her life, Adriana-Lucia Cotes notices things. As a musician, though, she’s even more fine-tuned to the music community around her. It’s powerful and creative and resilient. But, it’s not always as inclusive as it thinks it is, especially toward women and people of color. Instead of complaining about it, though, Cotes decided to do something about it. Enter Represented DC, a new monthly showcase of women and female-identified musicians and sound artists of color in the D.C. area.
“I’ve had a lot of positive experiences, and definitely some negative experiences,” Cotes, who performs as Antonia and in the duo DAIS, says about her experiences as a musician. “But the positive ones have really reinforced what I do and my drive for doing it.” And it’s those positive experiences that inspired her to become a presenter of music in the area, to give other female-identifying musicians and artists of color the same positivity she’s accrued playing music.
On Sunday, the first Represented DC showcase will kick off at Takoma’s Rhizome DC with a trio of some of the area’s finest rock bands: the bluesy punk trio More AM Than FM, Woodfir from Baltimore, and the local soul-rock trio Sheila.
Cotes came up with the idea for Represented DC in November of last year, with some encouragement from a friend. She put a call out for women musicians and artists of color to submit their music to be a part of the showcase. So far, she says the response has been overwhelming. “I’ve gotten so many submissions, that it’s impossible for me to say ‘sure, you have a show in three months.'” Thus far, Cotes says she has lineups booked for the next three to four months.
Because she’s spent a lot of time in D.C.’s DIY music scene, Cotes says it was important to her to host the shows at a space where both the performers and audience would feel welcome and safe. That’s why she decided to work with Rhizome DC. “I wanted to focus on a demographic that I’m a part of,” she says. “But I also wanted to kind of open it up to a community space that people will feel comfortable in.”
Represented DC’s first show takes place at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 19 with More AM Than FM, Woodfir, and Sheila at Rhizome DC. 6905 Maple St. NW. $10.