And Now, a Word from Our Sponsors…

people eating having fun

If you attended last week’s Lights, Camera, Collective Action! at Room & Board, chances are you got a taste (pun intended) of how delicious fundraising can be. Be it a piece of &pizza, chicken-lime skewers from the crew at Corcoran Caterers, an array of Cava Mezze dips or delicious brownies courtesy of Nourrie Cuisine, there was plenty of food for feasting. Not to mention drinking – thanks Green Hat Gin, DC Brau and Monument Fine Wines for all the good times that an open bar inspires!

But did you know that CASS’ annual gala is made possible almost completely by donations from lots of other sponsors as well? And we don’t just mean sweet door prizes like gift certificates to Zengo Cycle, Flowers on 14th and Cove, or that awesome-sauce photo booth from Mediavolution that had a line the entire evening.

Laser war between Flan and friendThough, while we’re mentioning that photo booth, can we talk about this shot? Amazing.

No, our annual gala – which this year raised more than $13,000 – happens because of incredible local businesses who give so that we can show you a good time. And if you stopped by the silent auction table this year, you got to see just how much they gave.

Some of our lucky auction winners took home packages of goodies, like Caroline Stuart-Frees, who nabbed SoulCycle class passes, Pleasant Pops treats and a massage from Freed Bodyworks via the “Collect Yourself” package. Or Amy Van Meter, who will be hitting up classes at Flow Yoga Center and Yoga District thanks to our “Calm Spaces” package. (If her photobooth shot below is any indication, she’ll need to de-stress after all that light saber action) And after a serious bidding war, our “Action!” package of theater tickets to Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and Studio Theatre went home with volunteer Leah Farchmin. After all her work making our event a success, we hope she enjoys it!

Star Wars princessAlong with the packages, LCCA guests went home with some pretty awesome gift baskets, like those from Glen’s Garden Market, Flying Fish Coffee and Tea, Fast Snail, and Howl to the Chief! We also had earrings from TableTop (congrats, Laura Small!) a District Karaoke party hosted by Board Chair Mindi Westhoff, free drinks at Maple, and plenty of opportunities for people to get their sweat on, with gift cards to Xtend Barre and [solidcore].

And the evening would not have been complete without our amazing Director’s Chair ticket-buyers. Sponsors in their own right thanks to their generous donations, these VIPs went home with a CASS tote full of goodies, like cake pops from Baked by Yael, flower discounts from Urban Stems, gift cards to Union Kitchen Grocery, and so much more.

All in all, this event kicked street harassment’s ass! And while you may have another 11 months to wait for the next LCCA, there are plenty of empowering upcoming events from some of our kick-ass sponsors.

Check out a short calendar below for all the fun that’s still to come:

Nelle and Cecilia
June 5:
Come As You Are: The Science of Women’s Sexuality with Emily Nagoski workshop at Lotus Blooms.

June 11: Women Opening Doors for Women networking event, sponsored by Women’s Information Network

June 24-26: 2016 Annual Conference/50th Anniversary of the National Organization for Women.

Until next time, stay safe out there!

The Artists Behind Lights, Camera, Collective Action!

Nima Veiseh

“A world without street harassment is a world illuminated.” – Nima Veiseh, featured artist.

Here at CASS, we believe in the power of words to change worldviews. Words like those above inspire hope for a vision of what our city, country, and world can look like. But sometimes, words are not enough.

The tagline for our annual gala – Lights, Camera, Collective Action! – is not just an absolutely delightful play on our name. Yes, it is a reflection of what makes CASS succeed: the collective action of dedicated volunteers and supporters like you. But it’s also indicative of our belief that the arts, including the performing arts, can spur action, affect change and even begin healing when words fail us.

This year’s LCCA on April 28 is packed with entertainment, including stand-up comedy, live music and gorgeous pieces of art for sale. Ahead of Thursday’s gala, we thought we’d give you a taste of what these talented artists have to say about what they do and why they do it. We asked them a few questions, and we hope you enjoy the responses as much as we did.

If you could describe your work in one word, what would it be?

DJ DougstepAuthentic – Chelsea Shorte, comedienne

Moist – Stephanie Sapienza, Abby Normal

Bestrogen – Michael Stettes, Abby Normal

Kind – Liz Hutcheson, Fast Snail owner and featured artist

Textural – Nima Veiseh, featured artist

Interpretive – Christy Hayek, featured artist

Nostalgia – people love love hearing music from their formative years. So I’ll be playing lots of 90’s hip hop and R&B for at least the next decade or so. – Doug Foote, aka DJ Dougstep

If you could describe your work in five words, what would they be?

Christy HayekI’m bad at being concise – Doug Foote, aka DJ Dougstep

Layers of life and time – Nima Veiseh, featured artist

Whatever it wants to be – Christy Hayek, featured artist

Encouraging a chick rock habit – Stephanie Sapienza, Abby Normal

Colorful, witty, thoughtful, patterned, classic – Liz Hutcheson, Fast Snail owner and featured artist

CASS believes strongly in the relationship between art and social justice. How does art express what grassroots activism and public policy/politics cannot?

Abby Normal PosterI believe art can serve as the manuscript and powerful imagery of social justice. It allows the individual to engage in social issues, create their own opinions about it, and become involved. Art has a way of showing light to situations that could be easily ignored by the common passerby – but when it is not easily ignorable (IE tagged on street walls and signs) it only strengthens the cause. – Christy Hayek, featured artist.

Art provides a means to communicate important/universal ideas without words. It can be a “gentler” way of getting a message across and allow people to interpret and assimilate messages on their own terms. – Liz Hutcheson, Fast Snail owner and featured artist

People can tune out the onslaught of news and social media being thrown at them, especially today, but music can invite you back into a difficult subject and make you realize that it’s not just a news item to ignore on your social media feed, and it’s not separate from you – it’s part of the human experience. – Stephanie Sapienza, Abby Normal

Art conveys universalities and ideas that plain language cannot. Despite its importance, humans don’t connect to law; humans connect to art. There’s no Billboard Charts for Supreme Court decisions, no infomercials for Now That’s What I Call Policy! CDs. – Michael Stettes, Abby Normal

Art and Social Justice are both in their own right reflections of the evolving state of humanity, and they do well to enable each other. Art is a way of communicating through a different medium, the feelings, frustrations and reflections that are often impossible to do through words. – Nima Veiseh, featured artist

Art switches on the mental light bulb in a way few things can. – Doug Foote, DJ Dougstep

Comedy is space where our voices are underrepresented and dismissed. I teach and use my skills to encourage others to share themselves via stand up and give our community the joy and laughter necessary for survival. – Chelsea Shorte, comedienne

What does a world without street harassment look like to you?

Chelsea Shorte-2Peaceful – Liz Hutcheson, Fast Snail owner and featured artist

As a white cis straight man, it’s the world I live in now! The most insidious thing about street harassment — it renders itself invisible to those not affected by it. CASS and other orgs have done a great job of connecting women and connecting the policy dots, so that we have a shared understanding of what happens in D.C. every day, whether those in power personally experience it or not. – Doug Foote, aka DJ Dougstep

A world without harassment is a world where people are able to travel freely, not only with their persons, but with their ideas — thinking, sharing and loving with liberty. – Nima Veiseh, featured artist

In addition to a safer world for queer folks and women in general, a more specific example would be walking hand in hand with my girlfriend and people either smiling when they see us or not taking particular notice. – Chelsea Shorte, Comedienne

What are you most excited about for this year’s LCCA?

Being able to excite a group of feminists (men and women) with music at an event where we’re all on the same page about an important issue! – Stephanie Sapienza, Abby Normal

This will be my first CASS event. I’m mainly excited to meet the variety of people involved in such an important cause, and as the entertainment, I hope to help prime the atmosphere for ideal schmoozing. – Michael Stettes, Abby Normal

To be with other members of the community who are excited and engaged to fight street harassment and are ready to celebrate themselves and CASS’s hard work. – Chelsea Shorte, comedienne

Get your tickets now to enjoy art and music from these amazing artists! 

We Chalked, We Canvassed, We Reclaimed Safe Public Space.

This month, CASS staff and volunteers took to the streets to spread messages against sexual violence and reclaim public space.

We chalked the streets!




It was empowering for those of us who experience street harassment every day to take back the streets, to use art to heal, and to amplify our messages against this most prevalent form of gender-based violence.

…even though our messages weren’t universally appreciated.



We canvassed Metro stops to share information on how to report harassment on public transit.



If you experience or witness harassment on public transit, report it at! Metro Transit Police will follow up, and we’ll be able to collect better data on when and where harassment is happening, so we can recommend solutions.

We hosted a public workshop training community members to respond to harassment!



We rallied against street harassment in Baltimore in partnership with HollaBack! Bmore and with the support of organizations like FORCE, Baltimore Transgender Alliance, the West Family Coalition, and many more.



Now, let’s party. Join us on Thursday, April 28th to celebrate six years of creating safe public spaces for everyone. Buy your tickets to our annual gala here!

We Know You’re a VIP

Here at CASS, we know you’re important. Very important. One might even go so far as to call you a VIP.

With that in mind, we are thrilled to release the details of our VIP gift bags, complimentary with the purchase of a Director’s Chair ticket to our upcoming fundraising gala, Lights, Camera, Collective Action! on April 28th at Room & Board.


The event is not one to miss, especially for an important person such as yourself. Along with our open bar, sponsored by DC Brau and Green Hat Gin, we have oodles of entertainment in store for you, including stand-up comedy by Chelsea Shorte, a set by woman-fronted DC cover band Abby Normal, a photo booth, free massages, delicious hors d’oeuvres and so much more.

Now, all that excitement comes included with a $42 general admission ticket to the LCCA. But for you. Well … you deserve something a little more. An important person such as yourself? Come on.

With your purchase of a $100 Director’s Chair ticket to our event, you’ll be handsomely complimented with a CASS tote bag stuffed chock full of the following gifts from our wonderful sponsors:

We know. It’s all pretty exciting. But because you’re extra important, we’re offering a special incentive: Buy a Director’s Chair ticket before they’re gone, and you’ll be eligible to win a $100 gift certificate to Flowers on 14th, as well as a 1-month membership to Cove.

These door prizes are only available to VIP ticket holders, so your odds of taking home one of them are pretty stellar. Not to mention all the complimentary items in our VIP gift bags, which you get just for buying a ticket!

So go ahead and buy that Director’s Chair ticket, you awesome person.

See? You’re getting complimented already.

Join CASS for Our Fourth Annual Gala for Safe Spaces: Lights, Camera, Collective Action!

On April 28th, we’re celebrating our seventh anniversary with our annual gala: Lights, Camera, Collective Action! We invite you to join us at Room & Board (yes, it’s a furniture store) for unlimited drinks and photo booth fun at this soiree for safe spaces.

Until March 13th, early bird tickets are on sale for just $32 – ten bucks off the regular ticket price! Get your tickets now to enjoy some of the following ah-mazing treats we have in store for you:

Open bar ✓
Free massages ✓
Live performances ✓
All that’s left is you!
Besides getting you into the most fabulous party of the year, your ticket purchase today helps us build safe streets through advocacy, awareness campaigns, and workshops that equip everyone in our community to speak out against harassment.

Collective Action for Safe Spaces - #LCCA15

Join us to celebrate a safer DC. And drink all the free DC Brau beer.

Get your tickets to LCCA today! Let’s party like we’ve smashed the patriarchy.