Archive for March, 2010

A team that eats together, works together really, really well.

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Okay, so maybe my play on the old adage doesn’t quite flow as well as I’d like, but you know what I’m trying to say, right?

Team AHCMC works hard, but we also allow some time for play! Here are some snapshots from yesterday’s potluck lunch for Shellie’s birthday:

All our food!

The birthday girl

A plate of food: salad, homemade mac & cheese and enchiladas...we have some really, really good chefs on staff!

Happy birthday, Shellie!

Spotted: AHCMC staff member

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

A Shellie Williams was spotted outside of her natural habitat (the AHCMC office), giving a presentation about AHCMC’s Arts Integration Residency Program at the third annual arts integration conference at Drew Elementary School earlier this year.


Census 2010 begins in March. We all need to be counted!

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

By now, you might have received your Census 2010 form in the mail. (Don’t worry if you haven’t received yours — it’s on the way!)  Forms were mailed for March delivery to households throughout the country. When you receive the form, just take a moment to complete the form and return it.  A complete and accurate count of the population is important as the Census 2010 data will be used in allocating Federal resources, including seats in the House of Representatives. With economic resources and representation at the Federal level at stake, it’s easy to understand why this is important. Since the Census 2000, Montgomery County’s population has grown and is more diverse, so it is crucial that County residents respond to the Census 2010 to assure a complete and accurate count.

So don’t procrastinate when you receive your Census 2010 form in mail — fill it out and return it by mail.  The Census 2010 form contains only 10 questions and can completed in about 10 minutes. How simple is that?

April 1, 2010 is National Census 2010 Day.
Use this date as a deadline for sending your completed census form back in by mail.

Here are a few FAQs about the Census 2010:

Why is the Census 2010 important to Montgomery County?

  • Because Census 2010 data will be used to parcel out $400 billion annually in Federal funds – including funds for education, health care, and other social services.
  • Because Census 2010 data will be used to apportion seats in the House of Representatives and shape Congressional Districts.
  • According to the Brookings Institution the national average for federal funds allocated on the basis of the census is now $1,415 per-person.  So every person counted will “bring in”  $14,150 over the next decade.
  • Census 2010 data will be used to guide State and local apportionments of budget resources.
  • An under count of County’s population will have a detrimental effect on the schools and crucial social services infrastructure.

Who needs to be counted in Census 2010?

  • Everyone who is a resident of the United States Montgomery County.
  • You need to be counted even if you are currently homeless.
  • Your immigration status is not a factor, if you reside in Montgomery County and the United States you need to be counted.

What you can do and what is involved in responding to Census 2010?

  • Talk to your neighbors, co-workers, and friends and tell them to complete the Census 2010 form and return the completed forms by mail.
  • If you know people who are reluctant to respond, encourage them to complete and return the form.  Invite them to look at some of the information online at the links below.
  • From late April through July census workers will make in person visits to addresses that have not responded.  The census workers will have official ID tags.

Who has access to the Census 2010 data?

  • Your private information is never published, your privacy is protected by law.
  • Title 13 of the U.S. Code protects the confidentiality of all your information and violating this law is a crime with severe penalties.
  • By law, the Census Bureau cannot share an individual’s personal information with anyone, including other federal agencies and law enforcement entities.

Where should you be counted?

  • Most people should be counted in the residence in which they live most of the time.
  • People living in group homes, shelters, emergency and transitional shelters for homeless should be counted at those locations
  • Military personnel should be counted: on base in the barracks in the United States, if off base at the residence where they live most of the time. If stationed or deployed overseas the count will use the military’s records for home address.
  • College students should be counted at home if living with parents while attending college.  If living on campus or in off-campus housing students should be counted at their respective residences.
  • Foreign citizens living in the United States should be counted at their residence in the U.S.  Foreign citizens visiting for vacation or business trips are not counted.

The following are web site links for the official Census 2010 web site and online information:

Census 2010 information in select Languages

* There are additional language translations on the Census 2010 web site.

Happy Friday!

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Happy Friday! In a kind of #FollowFriday spirit (y’all on Twitter know what I’m talking about!), here’s some of this week’s posts from blogs we follow:

Bonus: a friend of mine posted this video on my Facebook wall. It’s The King’s Singers’ attempt at condensing the history of Western classical music into a nine-minute piece. I thought it might amusing to other classical music fans! (My favorite part? “CAGE.”)

Again, happy Friday and have a great weekend! (Find something to do and somewhere to go at!)

Dancing outside of the box

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

I don’t usually do New Years’ Resolutions, but two weeks into 2010, I made a decision: 2010 is my year to stop talking about what I want to do and to actually start doing it, particularly in the arts and humanities. My first project: Start dancing.

While I’ve been immersed in music my whole life, I’ve always found dancing fun and have always wanted to take lessons. However, the fact that I couldn’t hide behind an instrument or choir folder completely intimidated me, so most of my dancing happened behind closed doors in my room where I taught myself vintage N*Sync and Britney Spears dances. (The choreography for “Oops I Did It Again” is forever ingrained in my head.) Even now, getting onto the dance floor at a wedding is out of the question — unless the DJ’s spinning songs with built-in choreography, like “Achy Breaky Heart” or “Thriller.”

So in my new “just do it” spirit of 2010, I’ve started taking hip-hop dance classes at Joy of Motion’s Bethesda location and even attended a master class during Dance Bethesda. I also go swing dancing occasionally at Glen Echo Park with friends I’ve made at a zumba class. And I’m even thinking about joining my newfound hip-hop dance friends in taking ballet classes to learn how to control movement.

See the girl with the teal sweats? That's me at a hip-hop master class during Dance Bethesda! Courtesy of Bethesda Urban Partnership

Sure, I look a bit awkward and I’m learning to move in different ways than I’m used to (I’m not that great at following while swing dancing, and watching me try to do a wave in hip-hop is LOL-worthy), but I’ve finally summoned the courage to try something I’ve always wanted to – and I’m having fun. And maybe, just maybe, I can get better at it.

The swing dancing crowd at the Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo Park

What about you? What classes or activities have you always wanted to try but have never summoned up the courage to?

Need a starting point? Check out the Classes and Workshops category on!

Keep Your Lights On with Green Energy

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

On February 26, 2010, AHCMC, in conjunction with Nonprofit Montgomery and the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, convened a forum to help nonprofits identify new opportunities in purchasing energy. Four competitive suppliers – Avalon, Clean Currents, Electric Advisors and WGES made presentations to over 40 Montgomery nonprofits in an enlightening session hosted at the Jewish Social Service Agency. The session was spurred by Councilmember Roger Berliner who, at the 2010 HHS Committee review of the AHCMC budget, asked AHCMC to help its constituents find ways to save on energy by considering clean and renewable energy and energy aggregation pools.

Councilmember Roger Berliner

Rabbi Fred Dobb, chair of Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light and rabbi of Adat Shalom gave a stirring imperative to protect and honor the planet that set the tone for a serious discussion about clean energy offerings, service options, and how nonprofits might realize 10-15% in savings by shifting from brown (coal) to green (wind) energy and essentially, doing well by doing good.

Rabbi Fred Dobb

Next steps include the formation of a Task Force of interested nonprofits who have indicated that they want to take the process further. We’re putting together an Energy 101 Overview to help decipher the terms in this field and, once the Task Force convenes, we’ll present our plan for moving forward. Until then, comment below and let us know what YOU think about purchasing clean energy!

Wishing you Peace and Light,


Marketing Your Creativity Workshops

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

During February the AHCMC produced two of three scheduled marketing workshops for individual artist and craft entrepreneurs. The workshop “Marketing Your Creativity” was presented by Marga Fripp at the Charles W. Gilchrist Center for Cultural Diversity in Wheaton and the BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown. Marga’s presentation focuses on 7 strategies to effective and successful marketing for artists and crafts people. Artists and crafts people from painters and sculptors, to jewelers and potters have attended and found the workshop stimulating, informative, and on the mark for strategies.  At each session attendees had the opportunity to pose questions related to their specific situation, share ideas and network.

Marga Fripp at BlackRock Center

The “Marketing Your Creativity” workshops have garnered high praise from the attendees.  Attendees’ comments attest to Marga’s expertise and the quality and value of the workshop.  These are just a few comments: “a wealth of information,” “stimulating ideas, an emphasis on relationship building,” and workshop attendees were impressed by Marga’s   “breadth of info,”  “depth of knowledge of the presenter,” “very organized, good concrete info and examples,” and “I liked the warm atmosphere and ability to ask questions in a relaxed way.” Marga will present the Marketing Your Creativity workshop again on Tuesday, March 23, from 6:30- 8:30 PM at Glen Echo Park.  You won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn how to market the products of your creativity.

For more information visit our professional development web page at:

You can register at:

The Olympics and Music

Monday, March 1st, 2010

The display of athleticism at the Olympics is always impressive and inspiring, but I’m not going to lie — one of my favorite aspects of watching the Olympics is hearing the music. Whether it’s the artists featured at the opening and closing ceremonies, the theme music or what figure skaters skate to, I’m mesmerized and intrigued by it all.

Here are some blog posts I’ve found about music at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics:

Do you have any thoughts about the music used at these past Winter Olympics? Share them and post a comment!