Category Archives: Philippa’s Writings

Everything is Still Possible in the World

Huffington Post

By Philippa Hughes

February 3, 2012

Last January, the most incredible thing happened: I received an apology letter from a guy who tried to mug me the previous fall. He wrote the letter on lined notebook paper with a pencil in beautiful script, the kind of script your grandparents were taught in grammar school. Delivered to me via the District attorney’s office, the stunning letter expressed remorse and asked for forgiveness that the mugger didn’t expect to receive. The apology didn’t dismiss the crime. The mug had served jail time and I was glad for that. It didn’t matter that a judge may have ordered him to write the letter or that he may have written it to get parole a little sooner.

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D.C. Developing an Arts Identity

Huffington Post

By Philippa P.B. Hughes

November 23, 2011

Descriptions of the D.C. art scene used to begin like this: “It’s not New York, but…” I don’t hear that very often anymore. Lately, it seems like the arts in D.C. are starting to develop a unique personality from the ground up.
Many smart, ambitious, culturally curious D.C.-ers have seen the need for more creative opportunities for artists and they made it happen themselves. They didn’t wait around for someone to give them permission. This kind of creative initiative defines the D.C. art scene.

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Searching for Beauty in Haiti

Huffington Post

By Philippa P.B. Hughes
November 9, 2011

I attended the Transculturel Forum of contemporary art in Haiti a little over a month ago. This program brought artists from around the world (Madagascar, Cameroon, Canada, Guadeloupe, Togo, Benin, France, Dominican Republic) to make art with Haitian artists and students for one week.

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Bucking The Trend:Four Galleries Break New Ground

Home and Design

by Philippa P.B. Hughes
November 1, 2011

Despite the sluggish economy, four visionaries have opened galleries in the DC area over the past year. Though their offerings are diverse, these curators share a conviction that art transcends the everyday and offers solace in every climate.

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Embassies Are a Rich Source of Arts and Culture in D.C.

Huffington Post

By Philippa P.B. Hughes
October 13, 2011
 

 D.C. has lots of embassies, and lots of embassies host cultural events that showcase arts and culture from their countries. The thing is, whenever I go to any of these events, they are filled with people who are from those respective countries. Don’t get me wrong! I love meeting people from other countries. I seek them out. But I think embassies produce this kind of programming because they want to share their culture with Americans. Cultural diplomacy at its best! I’ll highlight a few cultural programs I know about right now and I encourage you to check these out. Many embassies have mailing lists, which is a great way to learn about future programs. No passport required. 

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An Avalanche of Arts

Huffington Post

By Philippa P.B Hughes
September 23, 2011

What’s the state of visual arts in D.C.? Four years ago, a contemporary art fair called ArtDC took place at the convention center. Fair organizers convinced all the D.C. contemporary art galleries to participate and enticed numerous non-D.C. galleries to exhibit, including many international galleries. The fair seemed well-organized and contained all the elements of a typical art fair: panel discussions, VIP section, performance art, and lots of other fun fair fanfare. Nonetheless, most in the D.C. art scene proclaimed it a failure for various reasons. For me, it felt sterile (maybe having been organized by non-D.C. art fair corporate organizer types) and there didn’t seem to be any buzz around it at all. It came and went and was quickly forgotten.

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An Ex-Lawyer Learns To Dance

Huffington Post

By Philippa P.B. Hughes
September 15, 2011

When you think of Washington, D.C., you generally think of politics, bureaucracies, and grand monuments. At least that’s what I thought when I first moved to D.C. to be a lobbyist about 10 years ago. After I’d been here a little while, I started feeling a little antsy and boxed in by my desk job so I looked around to see if there was anything else going on beyond the Smithsonians and the Kennedy Center. I discovered a thriving arts scene beyond the National Mall filled with amazing creative people that even D.C. residents didn’t know about, much less tourists. I wanted to tell the world about what I’d found!

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Washington DC Contributor Art Enthusiast Philippa Talks About Street Art

Przman

by Philippa P.B. Hughes
September 4, 2011

It’s such a delight to walk down the street and suddenly stumble on a little artistic gem that pops up out of nowhere and then disappears the next time you walk by. That is the ephemeral nature of street art and that’s what makes it so appealing to me. I feel it’s the perfect temporary public art that takes the art of galleries and museums into the streets and reminds us of what it means to have beauty in the world.

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“The Uncover Series Photographers”

FotoDC

by Philippa Hughes
March 12, 2011

It was an unseasonably warm and sunny Sunday in February when we reviewed the portfolios from which we would select work for the Flash exhibit. I woke up that morning feeling resentful about spending such a nice weekend day inside. My resentment soon turned to pleasure! I saw a great deal of terrific work and I had some really great conversations with photographers who revealed the stories behind their images. It was difficult to narrow down the field to only five.

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“Jones New York: Little Black Book of Career Advice”

Jones New York

by Philippa PB Hughes
December 13, 2010

Some of the best career advice I have ever received came from “Letters to a Young Poet” in which the great German poet Rainer Maria Rilke advised: “Go inside yourself. Discover the motive that bids you to write: examine whether it sends its roots down to the deepest places of your heart, confess to yourself whether you would have to die if writing were denied you. This before all: ask yourself in the quietest hour of your night: must I write? Dig down deep into yourself for a deep answer.  And if this should be in the affirmative, if you may meet this solemn question with a strong and simple ‘I must,’ then build your life according to this necessity; your life must, right to its must unimportant and insignificant hour, become a token and witness of this impulse”  I think you could substitute any career choice for writer and Rilke’s advice would still make a lot of sense.

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