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Live Performance, Special Event

Fall Gala for Indego Africa at Woolly Mammoth

We attended the Fall Gala last night for the Indigo Africa organization, a “social enterprise non-profit that helps Rwandan women deliver themselves out of poverty through the sale of culturally significant handcrafts and the building of long-term skills.” The event was held at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Penn Quarter, one of my favorite spaces downtown for its cinderblock industrialism, as well as its annual hosting of the Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind production.

Since its founding in 2006, IA has had success come its way in a few different forms. A Rwandan woman and former part of the organization recently graduated from Goldman-Sach’s 10,000 Women program, only three years after living in abject poverty with 5 children. IA has also won awards for its work with fashion designer Nicole Miller and been profiled in a case study at Harvard Business Review. Before this event, I had never heard of the organization. That in itself is fairly remarkable.

The challenge shooting this event going in was both lighting – we don’t carry any light with us at this point – as well as tone. Despite it being a fun happy hour atmosphere, this is series work the organization is doing, a country that has made significant progress economically since the genocide of ’94. How to shoot this event and in what direction to go with my off-the-cuff questions were my biggest concerns.

All things considered, this is probably my best video to date. Not as outlandish by any means as the H Street Festival, but thanks to a trial version of a better (but more temperamental) editing program, I was finally able to lay shots over audio, contributing to a shorter running time and a video which is just more visually appealing.

My favorite moment not making the cut was when a board member said about being interviewed “I’m not good on video” then agreed to be interviewed, only to slowly slip out of frame as I was talking to her. And in the Deirdre interview, I could barely hear her above the band, but damn if the mic didn’t do its job yet again.

By the way, we do know what “fair trade” actually means, but don’t tell anyone.


About manonthestreetdc

Reporting on events in the nation's capital


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