Thursday, May 29, 2008

New Blog!

The Covenant House Artisans Program has moved its blog to a new page. Click here and come see what's happening at the shop!

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Artisans at Gelberg Signs

Last month, Covenant House and Gelberg Signs began a partnership that will create great opportunities for Covenant House youth. Pictured (top to bottom) are Dominic in the vinyl sign shop, setting up menu boards for a national chain of eateries; Brandon loading screen printed mylar sheets out of a massive print dryer in the screed printing department, and Steven, a 2002 graduate, who is now working in the plastics fabrication area, detailing one of many CNC cut plastic signs.

Gelberg is a family business, with many years as Washington DC full service sign shop - they did our signage on the property at # 7 New York avenue. They are beginning work on the new Nationals Stadium, and are seeking talented DC residents to join their team. The Gelberg team will be presenting at the upcoming employer's open house at CHW, and we are proud that they have chosen to partner with us! We look forward to referring as many talented, qualified youth as are needed as Gelberg grows!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Footstools for Sister Tricia!

Sister Patricia Cruise, President of Covenant House put in a special order for footstols with compartments below the cushions ages ago, and they're finally complete! A set of three matching footstools in solid maple, featuring the new Covenant House logo (!) will soon make their home in her office in New York City.

We are proud to have been able to be of service to Sister Tricia, and for her support of the Artisans!
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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Hall Tables from the PM class

The PM Artisans recently completed their poplar hall tables - and these are some of the best ever. In fact, there have been some arguments over who has the best finish, and some distinct ribbing about small dings in the tops or legs. That tells us that they really care about their work, and are proud of what they have accomplished. Top to bottom - Fred (who finished first!), Anthony, Ty, and a group shot with James.

The Mercedes belongs to a neighbor, but it complements the photo nicely. Great work, guys!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

"Birdie" houses for Fannie Mae HTH Golf Classic

These "birdie" houses were made as tee markers for the 7th Annual Fannie Mae Foundation Help the Homeless Golf Classic on Friday, September 14th at Compass Point Golf Club.

Thanks to Fannie Mae hero Victor Maes, Dianne Lewis at Samaritan Ministries DC, and Chuck James from St. Andrews Episcopal School for making the connection. 100% reclaimed stock went into these pieces, which have laser marked Fannie Mae logo tops.

For information on how you can support Covenant House through Fannie Mae's Help the Homeless Walkathon, click here! Join the Artisans as we walk to end homelessness in the national capital region in November!
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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Off the Block is on the road!

Off the Block is on the road beginning this Sunday 9/9/07!

For those of you who remember us from a favorite annual craft show, Off the Block is returning to several regional shows on select weekends in September, October, November and December. On these dates the Artisans will leave their home base at Eastern Market on Capitol Hill and journey to Adams Morgan, Takoma Park, Downtown DC and Alexandria, VA. A complete date and location list is below.

Thank you to those of you who visited with and congratulated the Artisans over the grand re-opening weekend at Eastern Market! Every weekend we're not at a special event, you can find us at Eastern Market, on the Hine School lot, just south of the new East Hall building. Scroll down for a map to our location.

Click on the listings below for location information and show times.
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Adams Morgan Day
Sunday, September 9th
Metro: Woodley Park or Dupont Circle
Our first appearance! Come on out! Great food, fantastic music, and good art. One of DC's most popular street festivals.
Washington, DC

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Arts On Foot
Smithsonian Portrait Gallery
Washington, DC
Saturday, September 15th
Metro: Gallery Place

Our second annual show, in conjunction with the DC Youth Vision Arts Collaborative. Covenant House youth will be working alongside painters, photographers and printmakers from Latin American Youth Center's Art and Media House, mixed media artists from Life Pieces to Masterpieces, jewelers and painters from Washington Very Special Arts ARTiculate Gallery, and young photographers and artists of many persuasions from New Community's ArtSpace.
Great food and fun at this free downtown event!
Special thanks to the DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation and Downtown DC for their support!

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Takoma Park Folk Festival
Takoma Park, MD
Sunday, September 16th
Free shuttle from Takoma Park Metro

This will be our third annual visit to TPFF - our very first craft show from 2005 - and each year our friends come back to support Covenant House! Come for the food, crafts, music - and stay for the people watching! Our youth always are amazed by the diversity of talent at this event, and you will be too!

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Art on the Avenue
Mt. Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, VA
Saturday, October 6th
Metro: Braddock Road

Our second annual visit to Art on the Avenue can be summed up in one word - HUGE! This show covers nearly a half mile of Braddock Road in the Del Ray neighborhood in Alexandria, VA - and it showcases the highest quality fine crafts, wearables and DIY from the Mid-Atlantic. Many thanks to the Art on the Avenue crew for their second year of generosity and donating our booth space for the second time!

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DC Downtown Holiday Market
Outside the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery
Washington, DC
December 7th - 23rd (two weeks!)
Metro: Gallery Place

This is the big one - if you miss this, you've missed the best. We will be rolling out our very popular holiday ornaments at this show, along with an affordable assortment of holiday stocking stuffers. Brave the elements (we'll have our heater running if you want to warm your toes) and come down for one or fourteen days and nights of entertainment, food, art, wearables - and the Portrait Gallery stays open late for evening strolls! Right across the street from the Verizon Center.

All other weekend dates you can find the Artisans at Eastern Market! See posting below for map of the location.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Covenant House celebrates Eastern Market opening

On Saturday, August 25, join the Artisans as they celebrate the opening of the new Eastern Market building on the Hine Jr. High School side of 7th St.

After the tragic Market fire in May, times have been difficult for all of the art, craft, antique and produce vendors. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the market managers, community leaders and dedicated market "regulars", all EM vendors are looking forward to the opening of the temporary Market building located directly across from the South Hall on the Hine School lot.

To those who came out and visited with us, picked up a special gift or made a donation this summer - THANK YOU!
Your support has kept our youth's spirits high, and raised their hopes for success. It is really important that the Artisans receive positive feedback and a hands-on entrepreneurial experience, and thanks to your support, they haven't missed a beat.

DC Mayor Adrian Fenty will be there, along with numerous civic leaders and community members - and all of your favorite vendors will be back in business!

We hope to see you on Saturday August 25 at 10:00 AM!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Barack Obama Visits THEARC

It was a busy day in the neighborhood today! Youth involved with our Summer Enrichment, Pre-Apprenticeship, and Artisans programs had an opportunity to meet Presidential Candidate Barack Obama. The Senator from Illinois visited THEARC this morning, a follow-up to Mayor Fenty’s endorsement of the presidential hopeful as announced yesterday.
Prior to making his speech, the Senator met with 30 CHW youth and staff members—shaking every hand and greeting each person by name. He also inquired of the youth’s summer activities and offered encouraging remarks. On behalf of CHW, the Senator received an Artisan box with the inscription, "Good luck on your journey from Covenant House to the White House". The Senator referenced Covenant House a few times during his speech which outlined his initiatives for the working class, the poor, and education.
You can learn more by visiting his website:

A round of applause to all youth participating in the meet and greet session with the Senator. They were all very enthusiastic, patient, and well behaved as we waited for the Senator to arrive. He was delayed due to a Senate Vote.

Youth had front row seating during his speech, and one young man received happy birthday wishes from Senator Obama, from the podium, at the conclusion of his speech.

- Jocelyn Harris, Director of Communications

Pictured from top to bottom: Senator Obama and Judith Dobbins, Executive Director; Senator Obama addressing CHW youth; Senator Obama with Prevention Services Youth; Artisan Dominic Jones presents Senator Obama with a engraved Dream Box; detail of the engraved box.

Monday, July 09, 2007

DC Primary Care Association Awards

The DC Primary Care Association has been a generous supporter of the Artisans and Off the Block over the past year, and requested that we create unique plaques for their 2007 Summer Reception. Pictured above with Executive Director Sharon Baskerville are recipients Vera Waltman Mayer, Enrique Cobham, Claude Cowan and Father John Adams. Fr. Adams' plaque features fine yellowheart and wenge veneer inlay, along with custom laser engraving. This three-step process has been mastered by our staff and is an option for major awards. The plaque pictured is 12" x 16", and was designed especially for DCPCA. Click here to learn more about the award recipients and their respective organizations.
Many, many thanks to Lee Paczulla for her advocacy and support of this project, and for linking to CHW on the DCPCA Website!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The new PM Artisans and their Valuables Boxes

The new PM class has created some fantastic red alder valuables boxes.
Pictured are Bill, Fred, James and Tyrone. Like totally, dude!

Dream Boxes for NoMA BID

These cherry and maple Dream Boxes were custom engraved for the North of Massachussets Avenue Business Improvement District's annual meeting and awards. Covenant House's Outreach center - the big building on the corner of North Capitol and New York Avenue - is within the NoMA service area. We love their logo, and are grateful for their support!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Special Order for Adams Elementary School

Andrew Davis came to us with a unique challenge - could we make a beautiful box and two photo frame for special administrators and instructors at a local elementary school, each with custom engraving, in less than three days, and stay within a tight budget?

The answer - absolutely.

Andrew couriered over two school folders with the Adams Elementary logo and mascot printed on them. After a quick scan and a little cleanup, proofs were prepared and delivered.
Our Dream Boxes are always in stock, and Andrew's wife was able to find two perfect wood frames that we measured and engraved. Total project time from start to finish - three hours. On top of that, the items were delivered in person, to ease the pressure that Andrew was under - he had to photoshop many separate photos of children from two classes together to put in the frames, prior to presentation - and he only had a few overnight hours to get the job done!

Our customer was satisfied, and so were we!

We can engrave anything wood that will fit within our 16" x 12" engraver, and soon we will be able to handle double that size! Think of us for engraving your special something - no deadline is too tight!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Custom award frames for Allied Capital

We had a fantastic opportunity to create 47 unique gift frames for Allied Capital's CEO Roundtable, an major event that brings together CEO's from companies that Allied Capital invests in. Each solid mahogany 4x6 photo frame is held to a sold maple 7" x 12" vertical board by rare earth magnets, and the Allied Capital logo and CEO Roundtable imprint is laser engraved on thr front and back of each piece. The bases have a solid mahogany layer laminated between curly maple. The completed frames were presented to each visiting CEO, complete with their photograph taken at the event with with actor / lawyer / commentator / game show personality Ben Stein! Many thanks to Sara Kiser, Craig Feldman and Jim Ilaria for their design brilliance and generous support of the Artisans program and Off the Block!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Kingman Island Signs

We were invited to create cedar signs for the newly opened Kingman Island, which is in the middle of the Anacostia River, between RFK Stadium and the east side, south of the Pepco plant in near SE Washington. This project was commissioned by the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation - we thank them for their generous support.

In process at the shop....

...and installed at Kingman Island!

Dream Boxes from the AM Class

Edgar, Fred, Dominic, Cherrell and Preston (not his Escalade) are truly accomplished woodworkers. They are about to enter the world of production - be sure to come out to Eastern Market soon to see their wares!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Legal Aid Society's 75th Anniversary Awards

Brandon and Iris are holding two Inspiration Boxes made especially for the Legal Aid Society of DC's 75th anniversary and Servant of Justice Dinner on April 17th. This is the second year that the Legal Aid Society of DC has supported Covenant House by commissionning special awards for their clebrated honorees. We thank Gregg Kelley and is wonderful staff for their support, and hope to be there to help duing their 76th year!
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Awards for CUA's Student Leadership Recognition Celebration

For the second year, Catholic University's University Center,Office of Student Programs and Events has selected the Artisans Program to craft beautiful personalized boxes for their Student Leadership Awards. Iris, Chris, Brandon, Mike and Lewis worked hard to prepare over thirty individual boxes for presentation over the course of two weeks. We are grateful to Kim Timpany and her team at CUA for their significant investment in our program.
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Monday, April 02, 2007

Thanks Jim! We'll miss you!

Jim Bradshaw (pictured, center, with the afternoon Artisans) came to Covenant House Washington after learning about what we were doing from reading the Washington Post article that ran in December of 2005, and has been a dedicated volunteer, woodworking mentor, and expert photographer for our youth and staff. Many of his photos appear on this blog.

Jim will be relocating to South Carolina next month, and we will miss him dearly.

Thank you, Jim, for your dedication, excitement, and hopes for our youths' success. Best of luck to you in SC, and you know that you can come back to use our shop anytime!
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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Ced at SurroundArt

Cedric Spicer, a 2006 Artisan grad and 2007 Shop Assistant, has completed a 30 day paid internship with SurroundArt, a leading art display and crating/art handling company in Washington, DC. Ced has assisted with construction of crates that will hold priceless art and antiquities, and was on hand when an enormous Calder sculpture was prepped for shipping to Ireland! Ced is learning from his coworker Sam (pictured) and is confident that there's a career in custom art crates! He is now a contract worker with them, and will be challenged to achieve and move upwards! Go Ced Go!

Stop the presses! Ced passed his GED with flying colors on March 29, 2007! Congrats Ced!
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Datron Gray - Glass Professional!

Datron is a 2005 graduate of the program - we will always remember when he came to us one day asking to learn how to drive an automatic transmission, because he was starting a job parking cars that night! He turned his career as a lot attendant into a driving job for a countertop installation shop, and then into working for Mel and Sons, a nearby glass installation and repair company. We are so proud of Datron!
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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Darall and his new car, Raven with her truck!!

Darall Watson is a spring 2006 graduate, and he recently purchased a car! Since his graduation, he has been a manager a local McDonalds restaurant, and has been saving for his move into his own apartment. He is one test from completing his GED, and we are so proud to know that he is more independent that ever before. Congratulations, Darall!

And what do you know, Raven Reed stopped by today as well! She is an installer with a contractor for a local cable company, and has been working in the trades since she graduated. Raven is a graduate of a class of 2004, and she has been actively recruiting other Artisans who have driver's licenses!
Way to go Raven!

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Friday, March 02, 2007

Module 2 Done with Success


With the pressure off the morning Artisans, are coming out their shells.
Having finished their second module they are eager to move on. They already show
conviction and the drive to improve their skill in this craft.


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Learn more about Covenant House Washington , and and visit the international Covenant House website

See what the Artisans are making to sell - Download the Off the Block Catalog

Download our Custom Table Catalog