Creating Safe Spaces at DC Music Venues – What’s Being Done

This Sunday evening, an important event is taking place in our city.

Through a brilliant partnership with Mayor Muriel Bowser's Office of Nightlife & Culture, the DC-based nonprofit record label This Could Go Boom! and one of DC's most beloved music venues Dangerously Delicious Pies DC are hosting the "Safer Scenes Workshop for Musical Venues" to provide training to nightclub staff, bar managers, and music professionals.

The goal of the workshop is to proactively address harassment and develop comprehensive policies sensitive to the specific needs of those who experience gender-based violence. 


How did the Safer Scenes Workshop for Musical Venues come about?

Last September, a heckler popped up at a showcase being hosted by This Could Go Boom! (TCGB), whose mission is to "curate, create, publish, promote and distribute the music works of under-represented, gender diverse artists." Although the situation was resolved without fanfare thanks to the action of alert music fans, according to TCGB co-founder Ara Casey, "in this age of mindfulness and activism something took root."

“It was a blip really, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. What if the patron was angry. What if it escalated?” thought Casey.

As a nonprofit label tasked with amplifying the voices of underrepresented groups, the TCGB organizers were left wondering if they were prepared to protect its artists and patrons. Was the venue ready to de-escalate a potentially volatile situation? These events can have a lasting negative impact on individuals but they can also leave a mark on bystanders and businesses.

This Could Go Boom Logo


That’s when TCGB reached out to Shawna Potter, who literally wrote the book on the topic. 

Shawna Potter

“Harassment happens,
so it’s best to be prepared when it does
and let patrons know you care
about everyone in your space.”

Shawna Potter  // Author

Potter is the author of Making Spaces Safer: A Guide To Giving Harassment The Boot Wherever You Work Play Or Gather, as well as founder of Hollaback Baltimore, an organization created to end street harassment powered by a network of local activists around the world, and frontperson of punk band War On Women.  As a leading voice in the conversation about Safer Spaces, TCGB was thrilled when she said she could lead the workshop.

“Harassment happens,” says Potter, “so it’s best to be prepared when it does and let patrons know you care about everyone in your space."


Why Venues Need to Buy In

TCGB found a perfect partner in Dangerously Delicious Pies DC (aka Pie Shop), co-owned by Sandra Basanti, who agreed to host the workshop

Photo Courtesy Dangerously Delicious Pies

Photo Courtesy Dangerously Delicious Pies

"Sandra is amazing and was 100% in from the jump," said Casey. "Sandra had just met with the Mayor’s Office of Nightlife & Culture and said they’d be interested, so we partnered with them to expand the invitation list to all of hospitality in the district because everyone benefits from safer spaces."


According to Basanti, "from a business standpoint — and from the standpoint of someone lucky enough to be involved in this incredible and resilient community  and as a woman, venue operator, contributor, artist, or supporter  we are all in this together for one common goal."

With the Pie Shop on board, everything fell into place and the team identified venues in the DMV area to invite to the workshop to be part of the conversation and solution.

“We all want to nurture, support and celebrate the diverse culture and community surrounding DC's art and music scene. To truly do that successfully, mutual respect, general safety, and inclusion must be the defended foundation on which this community continues to thrive. It takes a village."



 — Sandra Basanti

co-owner, Dangerously Delicious Pies

“We all want to nurture, support and celebrate the diverse culture and community surrounding DC's art and music scene. To truly do that successfully, mutual respect, general safety, and inclusion must be the defended foundation on which this community continues to thrive. It takes a village."



 — Sandra Basanti

co-owner, Dangerously Delicious Pies


What is on the agenda for the workshop?
The workshop will cover harassment intervention, how to avoid victim-blaming, responding in the moment, grounding someone in crisis and implementing measures to ensure that patrons, talent and staff feel safe, welcome and relaxed in live music spaces. Although the focus is gender-based harassment, the skills taught apply to ALL identity-based harassment. Participants will receive a packet of tools and resources to help them keep their spaces safer.


Cinema Hearts (left) & Margot MacDonald (right) play Dangerously Delicious Pies DC on 7/14/19 following the workshop

Cinema Hearts (left) & Margot MacDonald (right) play Dangerously Delicious Pies DC on 7/14/19 following the workshop

After the workshop, a show!

Following the workshop will be live performances open to everyone featuring Cinema Hearts, Northern Virginia Magazine’s Best Local Band (2017), and Margot MacDonald, three-time winner of the Washington Area Music Association’s “Artist of the Year” award.  

The organizers of the workshop felt that there was no better way to end this important conversation than inviting artists and patrons to gather in a space that was mindfully created and designated as SAFE for all.

For more information about the workshop or show, see below. 

Performance Details

Performance Details

Performance

Details


Sunday, July 14, 2019

Workshop: 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Concert: 7:30p ft. Cinema Hearts and Margot MacDonald open to the public!


Dangerously Delicious Pies DC

http://www.dangerouspiesdc.com/ 

1339 H Street NE

Washington, DC 20002

(Google Maps Link)


FREE - But Please Register In Advance


Additional Resources

Additional Resources

Additional

Resources


For additional information about the workshop and its partners, click the links below:

Click for a full size image

About the author
Nina Goodman

Nina Goodman

Nina Goodman is a music lover, dancer, artist, keyboardist, and an avid ukulele player. You may even see her up on stage performing with local DC bands. Above all, Nina is a fierce supporter of the Washington DC local music scene. Nina's talents are mostly behind the scenes where she maintains and curates our event calendar and conducts interviews with local artists. If there is music playing in the DMV, you can expect to see her attending or at least making sure that our audience knows about it.


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