Maya Fest 2017: A Day of Community

Over 400 community members, students, and staff gathered at the Maya Angelou Learning Center Campus, under blue skies, in celebration of our community!

Ward 7 is home to historical sites, such as the Deanwood neighborhood, Shrimp Boat, and the Nannie Helen Burroughs School, and is considered the greenest ward in DC. For these reasons, and many more, the community in Ward 7 and surrounding Wards deserves to be celebrated, and the 2017 Maya Fest did just that!

Councilmember Vincent Gray, came out to greet all the community members and participate in the festivities. After Vincent Gray addressed the crowd, the flag football game between the students and Metropolitan Police Department started on the field. The football game was the perfect opportunity to help strengthen the relationship between the community and the police as well as break down stereotypes. Many students have only had negative interactions with MPD, but the game was a great opportunity to build positive relationships. The score was close but Maya students prevailed and won by a touchdown in the last minutes.

Tony Redz from WPGC Radio emceed for half the day and introduced student performances – two singing and one dancing. Ayanna Gregory helped our students prepare, and entertained the crowd herself. Between performances, DJ Finesse played popular tunes until the very last minutes of Maya Fest.

Along with the artistic performances and football game, individuals enjoyed a wide variety of food, served by our volunteers, Maya staff, and the Seva Truck, a non-profit committed to serving nutritional vegetarian meals to those in need. The Fire Department, AmeriHealth, and Family and Medical Counselling Service, Inc. partnered with Maya Angelou Schools to provide health screenings, educational materials, and promotional items to attendees.

One Maya Fest favorite was the face-painting station, as adults and children alike waited in line to get their faces painted by skilled volunteers. After the little ones got their faces painted, they ran over to play on the Moon Bounce, the carnival games, or join their friends in dancing on the stage when there were no performances.

During the celebration, students were able to enroll in Maya Angelou Schools with the help of staff. All the students who enrolled that day were included in a raffle to win a 32” flat screen TV.

This year’s Maya Fest was double the size of previous years, and the Maya Angelou Schools and See Forever Foundation expect next year’s to be an even greater success! Special thanks to everyone who came out and joined in the celebration of our community!