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D.C.’S EXPERIENTIAL ISSUE. July marks the second month in 2022 where we’re debuting a brand-new theme for the magazine, and we’re very excited to introduce readers to our take on all things experiential in the D.C. area. We’ve played with the idea of a tech or innovation issue for quite some time, but both felt limiting in some way. When we started thinking about how experiences across all facets of life, from arts & culture to food and cocktails, are made immersive through technological advances and innovative approaches, we realized we could expand our theme to encompass so much more of what our city has to offer. This began with our cover stories. July is also noteworthy in that we’re introducing our first-ever split cover: half of our print copies feature new age art destination ARTECHOUSE’s latest exhibit, “Aṣẹ: Afro Frequencies,” and the other half feature prolific indie artist Angel Olsen, who is playing Wolf Trap on July 21. And both are equally experiential: ARTECHOUSE turns five this year, celebrating a successful run as one of the District’s first locations to invite artists to push boundaries by embracing the latest technology and engaging audiences in new ways. Olsen, on tour with Sharon Van Etten and Julien Baker this summer, is trying her hand at a retro country album, tackling yet another genre as she expands her ever-evolving repertoire. Each cover story feels like a choose-your-own-adventure exercise, where you can deep dive into one art form or another and what makes it tactile, interactive and a form of unique expression.

Within this month’s robust pages, we packed in as much experiential content as we could: a look back at Smithsonian Arts + Industries Building’s “FUTURES” exhibit, closing on July 6, a return to Capital Fringe Festival, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at National Building Museum, Burning Man reimagined by a DMV photographer, a deep dive into all things Web3 — including NFTs, DAOs and more complex acronyms, experimental cocktails, hemp-infused liquor, navigating polyamory, and a “how to” on tarot card reading. We also interviewed entrepreneur Chinedu Enekwe, who is pushing digital boundaries and building pathways to prosperity for Black creators; Nayef Issa, the founder of promotion company Nü Androids, marrying digital art with dance music; and Molly Smith, the outgoing artistic director of Arena Stage responsible for years of innovation in contemporary theatre. Plus, an afternoon with three powerhouse female food bloggers, behind the scenes with 2022 RAMMY nominees, “Beyond King Tut” at National Geographic Museum and much more. A special thanks to my incredible team for the long hours, intentionality around delving into new subject matter and fresh approach to the visual storytelling in this issue. Please pick up a copy at Whole Foods or one of our retail or partner locations, and join us on July 14 for our next issue launch party at ARTECHOUSE. 

Monica Alford