Letter from the Editors

Dear DIRT Readers,

Happy New Year! If you’re reading this, congratulations, you’ve made it through a truly trying year. DIRT is elated to share our many accomplishments with you and announce some exciting news for the future.

In just one year, we’ve published nearly thirty pieces, made possible in part by the brilliant work of seven contributing writers. In the spring, we brought on a new editor, Andy Johnson, and over the summer, three of our editors relocated: Martina Dodd to Atlanta, and Ikram Lakhdhar and Ani Bradberry to NYC (the DMV still loves you!). We gained over 1,000 Instagram followers, we hosted a dinner with Sadie Barnette at Transformer to celebrate her work with Navigation Press at GMU, and we held a happy hour at WPA so that our community could get to know us a little better.

Common Field has been instrumental to our growth this year. We received a Field Grant this past year, which allowed us to pay several writers in 2017 and will continue to support contributors throughout 2018! Common Field also invited us to participate in the 2017 Los Angeles Convening, and contribute to this year's Field Perspectives, which we’ve also printed as a zine. At the Convening, DIRT ran a living archive, which is open to the public on our website.

In the spirit of our founding mission, we added a projects page to archive and share our public programming; a resources page to create a usable list of tools and organizations that we support and use regularly; and gave our website a facelift to be more usable and accessible. Additionally, we have expanded to welcome submissions from national arts writers that are dedicated to participating in the critical arts conversation in and around the nation’s capital. It is our hope that DIRT will not only serve as a platform to critically assess the field of art in the DMV, but also provide an entry point into an arts ecosystem that often times feels compartmentalized.

Looking ahead, we have exciting projects, articles, and contributors ready for 2018. We will be throwing a fundraiser party/birthday bash in the coming months. We will be hosting seasonal dinners throughout the DMV in the hopes of bringing together, for casual and fun conversation, diverse members from the arts community. Much of our focus in 2017 has highlighted DC in particular. In 2018 we hope to expand our publishing network to MD and VA, and to continue to disrupt, survey, and archive the field of art both within and beyond the Beltway.

Lastly, we would like to thank the people who have made this year a success, and to be honest survivable. Immense gratitude to our seven contributors: Angela Carroll, Athena Naylor, Ravon Ruffin, Benedict Payne, Jason Whitney Biehl, Cecily Bumbray, and Nicole Osborne. Special thank you to Courtney Fink and the entire Common Field team, Don Russell, Dawne Langford, Christopher Kardambikis, and Sadie Barnette. Thank you to Transformer and WPA for playing host to our weekly meetings and special events in their respective spaces. Thank you to all our loyal readers.

If you’d like to support DIRT you can buy a hat (tote bags coming soon!), and donate. All proceeds go directly towards paying our contributors and supporting our future programming!


Essays, DIRTDIRT Editors