By Diana Rhodes, Nomadico Events & Programming Lead
As Nomadico embarks on its next adventure in a new and warmer season, our curator-in-chief reflects on the breadth and depth of the Nomadico music, art, and community experience. The dedicated team of curators included Besnik, Anand, Kate, Samantha, Sanam, and Jenna – with a whole host of creative contributions from so many others along the way.
The first Nomadico was held in October 2016 – the end of festival season, the end of harvest, colder weather was settling in. And at that time, we attempted an experiment. What if we curated an intimate festival with the meaningful elements that brought this community together in the first place?
Meso Creso was birthed from friends who shared the sentiments of an underground diaspora –- we came together from motherlands across the globe and found ourselves in the thriving city of DC and brought our traditions, music, art, and values with us. Oh, and parties. We loved a good party. And so we embarked on this grand experiment of Meso Creso, and an even grander experiment of Nomadico. A large, but intimate, space that culminated in stretching our programmatic and music curation boundaries. From local house parties, to DC dive bars, to a 100-person theme camp, to a full-on festival.
Our second Nomadico is now being held in June – the beginning of festival season, the beginning of harvest, warmer weather finally starting to settle in. And so this year, we are embarking on another experiment. What would it look like if we pushed ourselves further and brought even more people on board. We wanted to give life to a beginning, rather than culminating a closing. And so we took risks and set off to curate a program that attempts to encapsulate the beauty of the underground, the magic of the preposterous, and fully bringing out what the warmer months bring us.
We wanted to book music that speaks to the global soul of Meso Creso. We sought out immersive art experiences, creating experimental worlds within this larger world we were building together. We saw a vision of roving performance artists, avant garde in style, but modern all the same. We wanted to learn new skills and expand our minds and imagination.
Of course, a festival is a risk. It’s a risk on finances, it’s a risk on our volunteer staff’s time, it’s a risk of attempting to please all the people who are even willing to take a chance on Nomadico.
But I’m hoping the risk is worth it – especially now – as we look at the diverse, experimental, and lush sounds that will be booming from over 40 DJs, producers, and live music acts at the Bayt, Tamasha, and Caracol stages… As we peer into the imaginations of nearly 20 people as they create immersive art experiences and roving art performances, dedicated to tantalizing your taste buds or sweeping you off your feet and into another world… As we are in awe of the dedication of 20 experimental performers, who have been rehearsing for months, to entice you to stop in time and expand the notions of movement and the stories our bodies can tell… As we anticipate to absorb a vast range of skills and topics, from over 40 workshop teachers and healers… And as seven theme camps from up and down the East Coast, prepare to bring their own magic and specialized flavor to the space.
What can you expect at Nomadico? You can expect the unexpected, to have all your senses activated. You can expect to find your new favorite DJ and maybe learn to play music yourself. You can expect to dance under the stars and maybe smoke a hookah while doing so. You can expect to learn new skills, maybe that yoga pose you never thought your body achieve. You can expect to expand your notions of beauty, of art – and you can expect to dive deep into the preposterous.
What can you expect at Nomadico? You can expect to find a home, to find others who are part of your diaspora, to build a community, and of course, to party. I mean, we all love a good party.
Diana Thu-Thao Rhodes wears many hats, among them: advocate, change-maker, policy nerd, facilitator, creator, curator and creative schemer. For Meso Creso, she has been a board member, organizer, but mostly a mama-bear. She currently sits on the Music Curation Committee and is the Consent Co-Lead for Meso Creso, while helping make creativity and magic come to life as the Head of the Arts/Programming Team for Nomadico. In her professional capacity, she is an advocate that works on reproductive and sexual health/rights/justice issues, especially those that impact young people, women, LGBTQ and communities of color. Her passion lies in cultivating intentional and safe spaces for community-building, activism, and creative expression.