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Mission Vision & Values

Mission

To empower people to do what they love — dare to be different — and have fun.  We inspire creativity, diversity, and imagination through the fusion of the arts.

Vision

The creative process comes in many forms: from the wrinkles on your grandmother’s face to a refugee’s smile in Darfur.  Every story has a beautiful lining that we can all learn from, and share with each other.  We seek to reshape how people see and connect with the beauty of the world around them, starting from their power, within.

Together we can achieve things beyond what we know.

Values

Freedom of expression: we actively support and embrace freedom of expression.

Connecting the dots: we celebrate scientific discovery, the arts and religion, from every culture.

Seeking greater purpose: we believe there is something bigger in life, than self.

Embracing diversity: we foster inner strength and peace through diversity.

Protecting privacy: we respect and protect an individual's privacy as an important step to trigger and sustain the sharing process.

 

The Experience

Dedicated to serving cultural, scientific, and educational growth through the creative process, we foster inner strength and peace through diversity, to provide a unique forum that inspires guests to:

•    Realize your vision
•    Experience the creative process
•    Inspire imagination
•    Empower authenticity
•    Dare to be different

The O Street Museum Foundation promotes and embraces life, from every culture, resulting in a wide-ranging collection of paintings, photographs, sculpture, books, artifacts, and music, from all over the globe.

The only museum of its kind, the O Street Museum has always been dedicated to exploring the creative process. The collection rotates and changes daily. From the art, to the music, to the surroundings, no visit is ever the same. From artist's letters, to animation stills, to written manuscripts, to one of the largest "raw and exposed" music collections, our galleries are not limited to one genre.

O Street Museum offers an immersive, tactile experience where you will hear rare studio cuts, leaf through manuscripts, touch sculpture and tour through a multitude of achitectual styles. We offer a wide range of programs including artist-in-residence, live concerts, art-leasing, jammin', raw & exposed, songwriter's workshop and kids programs.

No matter where you look you will miss something. But it's not what you miss, rather what you're willing to see. Magic and miracles exist. Not just in the mind.

It's the simple things, small steps, the goals we choose, the way of life we want to breathe. How easily everything changes when you choose to look at the same thing from a different angle.

Our History

Located in the nation's capitol, The O is located in a series of five interconnected town houses that includes over 100 rooms and over 70 secret doors.

Designed in 1892 by Edward Clark, architect for the US Capitol two centuries ago, the buildings were interconnected and served as a home for himself, his brother James "Champ" Clark, Speaker of the House (during Teddy Roosevelt's Presidency), and a third brother, known as "the artist." Additional plans to replace the side garden with an adjoining home for their sister never came to fruition, although the archway to her house was one brick away from "being there".

Originally spanning three row houses (it now spans five), the residence was connected through the basement and main floor and contained separate sleeping quarters for each brother upstairs. As one of the last architects working on the U.S. Capitol between the 19th & 20th century, Clark incorporated left over tiles and wood from the Capitol into his new home - rich in detail, these items and detailed woodworking by August Grass (who also worked on the Heinrich Mansion) can still be found there today. A testament to the fine craftsmanship, it is believed to be the last, virtually intact, private residence of that period in Washington, D.C.

In the 1930's the home was converted into three separate rooming houses for FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's G-men.

In the 1960's, the student leaders of the protest movement lived at 2020 O Street now home to O Street Museum. Norman Mailer wrote about them - and the house - in his book "Armies of the Night".

From 1977 to 1990 "America’s Black Forum", a nationally syndicated news broadcast, & "Sounds of the City", a black radio series both recorded at 2016 O St. "America’s Black Forum" is one of the longest running U.S. syndicated television series and is now produced and recorded at TV One.

UniWorld Group, Inc., (the parent company of Uniworld Entertainment, UniWorld Hispanic and UniWorld Healthcare) run by Walker Williams and Byron Lewis was also housed in 2016 O St. until it was sold to us and reconnected to the original buildings in 1990.  Walker was a Mansion on O Street Board Member for over 30 years.  

On February 14, 1980 the property was purchased by H.H. Leonards, with the intent to restore its original character by reconnecting the row houses. In 1985, nearly a century after its original construction, she transformed the garden site into a unique five-story companion annex - completing the Clarks' dream.

A resident of The Mansion and supporter of O Street for over a decade - Mrs. Parks was a mother figure and mentor to Founder, H.H. Leonards. She entertained friends, dignitaries and guests while she was with us and hosted a Sunday gospel brunch each month. You can see her room on the third floor along with many of her signed letters and artifacts in the museum collection.

In the spring of 1999, Jay Bothwell- architect, developer and good neighbor of The Mansion- donated marble pieces from the Washington Monument construction project that was going on at that time. These pieces can be found in the back of The Mansion.

Today, the property consists of more than 100 rooms of varying architectural, artistic and design periods, from the Victorian Age to Art Deco/Avant Garde. Highlights include hand painted ceilings (so you look up, and out of your self), original Tiffany stained glass windows, a two-story Log Cabin and the secluded Art Deco penthouse with private elevator.

Most of the artifacts in the collection - the signed guitars, memorabilia, documents, letters and more - have been donated by their original owners who support The Museum's mission and stay at The Mansion.

The best thing about any art form is that it provides an outlet to get your thoughts and ideas into the open. But the rewards of art don't stop with the creative process, for art is an expression of love that has a lasting effect. This effect is felt not just in the giving and receiving, but in the telling, the creating-and in the freedom to express one's feelings.

The O Street Museum Foundation was created for everyone to share and collaborate within - and then go out into the world, where anything is possible, and dreams can be made real.

People are often afraid to approach art (and we use the word in the broadest of terms to include one of the greatest forms of art, scientific discovery) because they feel inadequate and inferior to the "artist" and/or artistic creation. But as raw music demonstrates (the process the artist takes before it hits the air waves), art is the result of hard work and devotion to the process.

An artist is a spiritual carpenter and a craftsman. Everyday he/she goes to work, to apply their knowledge and create their work. Creativity manifests itself in many different forms making artists out of many you wouldn't ordinarily consider. Top Fortune 500 CEOs for example possess a rich artistic vision - solving complex problems by imagining the unimaginable. That's what art is.

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Leadership

We do not have paid employees or board members. Everyone is a volunteer at the O Street Museum Foundation. Because of our talented, and dedicated volunteers, The Museum is proof that business can succeed without "profit" and endure even when dollars do not flow to that imaginary bottom line.

We are a testament to the fact that one can start without money, achieve a vision and share wealth that transcends a monetary figure. When you are true to your vision, committed to your path, and willing to share yourselves, we all can achieve things beyond what we know. It's about letting go. Taking risks. Opening your heart.

Our board members and volunteers go beyond the traditional directorial tasks of setting policy and defining goals. We think with our hearts and feel with our minds because we all believe it's love that stimulates our collective vision, which in turn fuels our practical efforts. Each of us share a passion for, and commitment to the Museum's mission, and are willing to roll up their sleeves to help with the day-to-day work.

Books by the Founder

Giving Back

As a non-profit we understand the importance of donations to support the work of local charities and organizations. we are grateful for the opportunity to support our community and promote a culture of social responsibility, collaboration and caring.

Though we would like to fulfill every request - we have limited resources available for this purpose. please know we carefully consider each submission.

Please review our policy below before submitting:

  • Any public school or small non-profit 501(c)(3) organization (making less than $100,000/year) may submit a donation request.
  • Requests must be submitted at least 4 weeks prior to the date when the donation is needed. requests received with less lead time will not be considered.
  • Previous support of donation requests does not guarantee a repeat donation, as we strive to support as many worthy causes as possible.
  • Requests must be made through our on-line form.
  • No requests are accepted by phone.
  • Donation requests are reviewed on a bi-yearly basis each April & October notifications of approvals will be emailed only to those organizations receiving a donation. no notification will be sent to requests that have been declined.

Request a Donation

Donation Recipients

Some of O Street Museum Donation Recipients

  • Jesuit Refugee Service/USA
  • Adas Israel's Gan Hayeled
  • Broad Run High School
  • Boy Scouts of America
  • CCI Sails & Tails
  • Centerville Elementary School
  • Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
  • Dick Hollander Charity Golf
  • District of Columbia Forensic Nurse Examiners
  • Ethiopian Community Development
  • Factory Athletics Foundation
  • Friends School of Wilmington
  • Garfield Elementary School, Springfield, Va.
  • Human Rights Campaign
  • Janney Elementary School
  • Kalorama Park
  • Lafayette Elementary School
  • Lowell School
  • March of Dimes
  • NAMI
  • NARAL
  • National Cathedral School
  • National Collegiate Cancer Foundation's Scholarship program
  • New Hope Housing
  • NPSEC
  • Nicaragua Mission Group at St Louis Catholic Church in Alexandria, Virginia
  • Olam Tikvah Preschool
  • Pets with Disabilities
  • Rebuilding Together Montgomery County
  • School Within School at Logan Annex
  • The Belvoir Officers' Spouses' Club (BOSC)
  • The Children's Inn at NIH
  • The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
  • Thomas Jefferson Middle School
  • Tobacco Free Kids
  • Turning the Page
  • The Children's Charities Foundation (CCF) annual BasketBALL Gala
  • Yu Ying Public Charter School
  • Holy Trinity Catholic Church
  • Beth Chai International
  • Cherry Blossom Festival
  • Washington First Mortgage
  • Courage on All Fronts Vet Group
  • American Psychiatric Association
  • Linda Creed Breast Cancer Foundation
  • School Without Walls at Francis Stevens
  • Wilderness Leadership & Learning
  • St. Mary Catholic School Home Association
  • John S. Mulholland Family Foundation
  • Hearts and Homes For Youth
  • Greater Refugees Ministries
  • Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance
  • Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Washington, DC
  • Women in International Trade association
  • Mount St. Scholastica
  • Creative Minds International Public Charter School
  • umttr

Thank you to our generous supporters

Rock Star Supporters

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Aloha Pool Service Gibson The Kristina and William Catto Foundation Larry Kramer Family Fund Morris Family Foundation Castellini Foundation

Platinum Record Supporters

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Asia 54 The Mansion on O Street Al Tiramisu Republic Wilson-Epes Printing The Potomac Fund

Gold Record Supporters

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NMPA ProFish Voss Water The Chrysalis Fund Seth Greenstein Recording Industry Association

Top 40 Supporters

Individuals

Adi Karisik
Alvin Stenzel
Ari Fitzgerald
Brad & Sheryl Schwartz
Brent Polkes & Sheryl Staren
Davey Yarborough
David Israelite
Doug Dowling
Heather Gerum & Brent Schrader
Howard Vine
John Dillon
John Simson
Mark Bryan
Mitch Glazier
Paul Cohn
Roy Beaumont
Steve Schraeder
Tracy Halliday

Corporate

Citrin Cooperman
Contemporary Electric
Craig Specialty Advertising
DC Sustainable Energy Utility
Foundation for the Carolinas
HMI
Hogan Lovells
Home Depot Foundation
Jensen Communications
Kalliopeia Foundation
Linda Roth Associates
Pets with Disabilities
PIR Marketing
Ratner Companies
The Hamilton Live
The Purdue Club of DC
The Whitman Institute
Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program
Washington Nationals Baseball Club
www.thatpalecouple.com
Z Stein Law