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Village News for Feb. 16, 2024

From Frank.....

Our Tuesday Talks speaker series is a program that I so proud of and thrilled that we, the Village, co-sponsor it along with Cleveland Park Main Street and the Cleveland Park Library. There’s a terrific team of folks from the neighborhood, led by the extraordinary Linda Ayres, who also happens to be a Village member. The series features some of our neighborhood’s most fascinating people sharing their experience and expertise. Of course, we’ve had some extraordinary speakers on a variety of topics, including espionage, raptors, public radio, honey bees, feeding the hungry, historic preservation, and of course in our Nation’s Capitol, political intrigue.

Linda leads a group of volunteers from the neighborhood, providing a terrific opportunity for social engagement and education for other neighbors. It’s certainly in line with our Village motto of “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” and I only wish that I could claim to be the brain child behind such a terrific program. I can only say “mille grazie” to those that had the vision for such a wonderful, community-based program that brings us together to learn from and engage with one another.


This coming Tuesday Talk on February 20th at 7pm by independent film maker, Lance Kramer, has special significance to me. As coincidence would have it, many years ago when I worked for a large international non-profit, Lance and his brother, Brandon, were my interns. The work that these two brothers did for me was nothing short of magical. They took many hours of footage and created a very technical, complicated video that truly helped those learning English as a Second Language (ESL). That film was in use for nearly a decade and likely made a huge difference to both the ESL teachers and students.

Imagine my surprise when walking through Cleveland Park to stumble across Lance walking his dog. Always soft-spoken and humble, I had to pry out of him what he and Brandon were up to and learned that they’d founded Meridian Hill Pictures, and received many awards as independent film makers. I wasn’t at all surprised to hear that they’d been given such accolades as the Mayor’s Arts Award, a Webby Award, four individual Arts Fellowships, among many others. Their work is personal, dramatic, and emotional.

Lance’s Tuesday Talk will focus on how, as an independent film maker, he produces films that make meaningful change in our divisive times. He will explore how he’s

addressed complex social issues through bipartisanship and finding common grounds. It’s sure to be a fascinating talk by yet another fascinating neighbor. Please register by calling the Village office at 202-615-5853. I hope to see you there to cheer on someone that I knew way back then, but always knew would go on to do great, impactful things. I just never imagined that it would be in my own community!

P.S. Those attending are encouraged to grab a bite to eat in the neighborhood beforehand. Spices Asian Restaurant (3333 Connecticut Ave) will offer a 10% discount off your dine-in bill either prior to or after the talk.

Frank Finamore, Executive Director, Cleveland & Woodley Park Village


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