A woman by the name of Barbara Parker was honored this spring by N Street Village, a group empowering homeless and low-income women to claim their highest quality of life through service and advocacy. Parker was among three strong-willed honorees in April by N Street for their moving and motivational life stories.
N Street Village Assistant Director of Development Carline Meehan, who spoke to Parker last Friday after she performed live at the Rock ‘N Roll hotel alongside her friends from the N Street’s in-house choir Bethany’s Women of Praise for the first N Street Village Night Session Thursday, illuminated the night’s story.
“She was really glowing [about the performance]. I mean I could just tell that she had really enjoyed being on stage and felt a good energy in the room and good connection with the people.”
Parker is one voice amongst a company of female vocalists making up Bethany’s Women of Praise. This particular assembly of music lovers and melody chanters came together at the same place. N Street Village is what they have in common and The Holster Project is what made their “live on stage” moment become a reality.
The Holster Project is the early 2008 brain child spinout initiative led by Holster Records.
“There’s an artistic renaissance happening Washington,” according to Holster Project co-founder Justin Fishkin.
Fishkin is a District native who skipped town for a little while and moved back home. He’s been bringing artists to D.C. ever since.
“We’re working with artists already in Washington on causes that are important to them or that they have some personal experience with. We’re trying to bring the young people, people who are most impactful on those particular issues into the room for a dialogue about the state of play of that issue.”
That’s what the Holster Project does … with music.
How do they do it? Well, the project’s self-description states that they’re a “Uniting governmental, non-governmental, not-for-profit and for-profit organizations to create popular music content that educates, inspires individual action and promotes collective solutions to global human issues.”
This collaboration of like-minded people is all too predictable in a town as political as D.C. “Politics is what everyone does in D.C.,” local singer-songwriter and high school friend of Fishkin, Evan Bliss said.
“Everyone in someway’s involved in it even if they’re doing something completely not political […] living in Washington, there’s something political about you living there or you being a-political is you being political.”
Albeit a slightly confusing sentiment at first, there is something political about not being political, which means everyone has a stance on everything whether they admit they do or not. Mix in some musicians who have a passion for a similar cause as all those other people out there in the world that agree with them and you’ve got a rockin’ good concert for an awfully good cause.
The problem in Washington is most of what people see are the arguments. Americans see a policy grudge match daily. The Holster Project prefers the ‘big tent for ideas’ approach. “[We’re] like after hours beneath all the power once people sort of hang up their boxing gloves that are blue or red or whatever they are,” Fishkin said.
N Street Village teamed up with The Holster Project thanks to a very proud mother. Justin’s mother and N Street Village committee member Jane Fishkin made good use of her familial obligation to share her son’s latest and greatest successes in life by adding Justin to the N Street Village awareness conversation just over a year and a half ago.
“It was a no brainer [to get involved],” Fishkin said. “We’ve got to help the people across the street or down the street or sitting right next to us first before I think we can sort of point fingers. There are people who need help right in our backyard.”
The women of N Street Village are as strong inside as their vocals resonating from the stage.
“You would never notice that any of [these women] had actually been through anything or have dealt with half of what they dealt with because of just how they act,” Bliss said regarding sharing a stage and two rehearsal sessions with the women for Night Sessions.
“Everything is so inspiring because there’s so much courage and just so much perspective on where they are now, not where they were. […] It gives you a certain perspective on working with other people and the reason that we’re doing this is because it’s people who help people that get things done.”
It’s people who help people that get things done – wise words from a wise Evan Bliss about some very strong women at N Street Village. Write that down.