Washington, D.C. was the last official stop on the Crusade for Collecting tour, and it could not have been a better place to wrap up this amazing journey. There was a great interview in the DC Examiner, the pop-up was listed in Southern Living's Daily South blog as the number one thing to know about that week, and social media was on fire like it had not been in any of the other cities. DC was ready for their art! As usual, our first order of the day was to drive around the city, get the lay of the land (for pop-up locations) and get some b-roll video footage. Washington is not the easiest city to drive around in, and when we finally got to a spot where we could get a great shot of Lady Blue in front of the White House, it felt like winning the lottery. Until I saw police lights behind me. Apparently parking "this vehicle" in front of the White House during a time of high national security was a problem. Fair enough.
The first night there I met up with E. Brady Robinson (a phenomenal photographer, photo professor, and force of nature when it comes to organizing art-related community programming) and Theo Adamstein (founder and executive director of FotoDC and all-around amazing doer) for drinks and dinner. Foto DC is an incredible organization, and I loved hearing more about their mission and programming. You know, arts engagement stuff I geek out on. . .
But the real highlight was the final pop-up of the tour. The weather was beautiful, the photographers were pumped, and the parking spot was primo. Seriously, Lady Blue was proud as a peacock, with the Capitol on one side and the Washington Monument on the other. We had great foot traffic on the National Mall from both people who worked in the area and tourists. As usual, we had to make a real effort to get people to stop (Brady's technique was unparalleled across the tour - approaching someone unassumingly and in a regular, non-salesy voice saying, "you look like a collector. . ." - worked every time), but the people who did seemed to really connect to the artists and their work.
It was a sunny day, and the art was moving. People were excited, photographers were smiling, the bus was purring. . . I could not have asked for a better experience to end the tour on.
After the pop-up, I was surprised by how emotional I felt. A lot of blood, sweat, tears and sheer will went into making this tour a reality, and it's hard to believe this part of the journey has ended. The photographers, friends, family and supporters who have helped push this forward are way too many to name, but each of you made a difference. Art wins!
The day and DC stop ended with a sold-out lecture at the Goethe-Institut, sponsored by FotoDC. I love speaking about audience engagement and the importance of facilitating opportunities to create connections between a person, an artist and an image. Great crowd, great questions. Ah, this just gets better and better!