“Why I Support CASS:” An Interview with DC Artist, Rose Jaffe!

How’s that for awesome art? DC artist and acitvist, Rose Jaffe.

This Thursday, we’re celebrating our 5th anniversary with a blowout party, the second annual “Lights, Camera (Collective!) Action!” In addition to live jazz, vegan snacks, an open bar by DC Brau, a photobooth, free massages and a silent auction featuring local loot, the event will feature live portraits (yes, drawn live!) by DC artist, Rose Jaffe! We spoke with Rose about her work and why she supports CASS.

Can you talk about why you want to support CASS’s work?

Organizations like CASS are critical to our cultural climate today in many ways – from spreading integral awareness to actively fighting against street harassment by empowering women with a platform for their voices. As a local artist, I look to work with local organization whose goals involve bettering our community. I have always believed art should serve a greater purpose, and supporting CASS with my art, time and energy is one of the ways I am making that happen. As an artist, an activist and a woman, I support CASS, and I want to use my skills to further their efforts. 

You’ve done a lot of art to support political movements and campaigns. Do you think street harassment is a political issue? Why?

Yes, I think lines can be drawn directly from the individual instances of harassment that happen on the street to broad political questions. My opinion is that street harassment is first a social issue, but change is hindered by a lack of political will to address the status quo. There needs to be a larger focus and attention paid to how harassment affects women’s lives, not only on a daily basis, but also lifelong. This attention can and should come in part from the political players we have here in Washington. With awareness at a political level (and an understanding that this is a high priority issue for many) in D.C., necessary change can be made.

What do you have in store for the future, on this issue and on others?

I am thrilled to be collaborating with CASS and DC artist ADAPT on a community mural this summer. Beyond that I am working hard everyday with my middle and high school students on exciting art projects from sculpture to painting and mural making. I teach art, but even more than that, I teach the importance of empowerment at a young age to the young women and men at my school. I think it is everyone’s job to influence youth with critical themes of respect, acceptance and inner strength in order to face darker parts of society we are still working hard to change. I look forward to continuing to learn from and work with some incredible and influential groups like CASS – and use art as a tool for change!

Want to get your portrait done by Rose?
Grab your tix to “Lights, Camera (Collective!) Action!” (3/27) before they sell out!
All proceeds go to our programming to prevent sexual harassment & assault. 

Scroll down to check out some awesome portraits by Rose. Visit her website and Tumblr for more! 

Rose drawing caricatures at CASS’s first annual “Lights, Camera (Collective) Action” fundraiser.
Rose drawing caricatures at last year’s CASS fundraiser.
Portrait by Rose Jaffe
Portrait by Rose Jaffe
Portrait by Rose Jaffe
Portrait by DC artist Rose Jaffe
Portrait by Rose Jaffe

Help support RightRides DC this weekend!

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All proceeds from the WCL’s presentation will go to the Holla Back DC! launch of RightRides, so join us and help support RightRides DC either this Friday or Saturday at 7pm. We will be there with information about Holla Back DC!, RightRides, and how to become a RightRides DC volunteer.

Come early for great seats! The law school is at 4810 Massachusetts Ave, NW, DC. and can be reached by shuttle from the Tenleytown Metro or by several buses that run on Mass Ave.

If you cannot attend and want to make a donation for RightRides DC, you can do so here.


Save the Date! Chispa!

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We are excited to announce that we will be presenting our mural project at the upcoming Chispa!

When: Thursday, March 11th, 7:30pm
Where: the fridge dc
Rear Alley, 516 8th St SE
(Across the street from Matchbox; Eastern Market Metro)
Cover: $5, but the inspiration is free!

Join us to learn more about the HBDC!/CHARTS mural on public sexual harassment, why we want to use art to raise awareness about public sexual harassment,  and connect with other creatives and activists in the DC area about what they are dreaming and doing. Read more about us and the other presenters here.

We are still looking for a home for our mural and on the hunt for private wall space in Columbia Heights/U Street. Have you seen a wall that you think is perfect for our mural or know someone that might be able to help us? Leave us a comment or email us at dchollaback@gmail.com

Mural, Mural on the Wall

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Photo by rsgranne via flickr
Photo by rsgranne via flickr

One of our year long dreams has been to find ways to use art to raise awareness about public sexual harassment in DC.  So a few weeks ago when we attended Social Justice Camp, we knew we had to go to Regina Holliday’s workshop on Social Media and the Arts.

We were so inspired by her story and we walked away knowing that it is time for an anti-public sexual harassment mural.  And what could be a better place for our mural then in one of the “high harassment zones” we’ve identified through this blog?  So we emailed our our friend Josef who recently started the Columbia Heights Arts Foundation (CHARTS) to ask him what he thought about collaborating on this project to get a mural in the Columbia Heights Neighborhood.  Then we emailed a couple of our friends in the artist community and got them on board.   Now we are asking you, the community, to get involved.   This mural can only happen if we have the support of the community, artists, and volunteers.

What we need: a private wall in the Columbia Heights/U street neighborhood.  If you have any ideas or contacts, let us know!

We’ll need artist, individuals interested in helping us fund raise, and folks who want to help us find private wall space somewhere in the Columbia Heights/U Street neighborhood. Email us at dchollaback@gmail.com if you are interested in volunteering to help with the HBDC!/CHARTS mural project.  If you are specifically  interested in painting or helping coming up with the concept, email Josef at chartsdc@gmail.com. When you email us, let us know what you are specifically interested in working on!

“Street Love”

We LOVE the idea of using art and music as a way to raise awareness about gender based public sexual harassment so we were thrilled to stumble across this song on the Stop Street Harassment Blog about street harassment entitled “Street Love” by by Lauri Apple Music Corp. — Annex.

Listen here and share your thoughts under the comment section.

If you know of any other artist raising awareness about gender based violence, let us know about them by leaving us a comment,  emailing us at dchollaback@gmail.com, or sending us a note usingmusic our anonymous online form.