Month 8: Artwork and Airwork


The facade of the Phillips Collection. There is a green tree in the front. The facade is red brick with four stories of windows. Letters spelling "The Phillips Collection" are on the left side on the second floor.

Cultural Event: The Phillips Collection

Anyone who has a “Museum Bucket List” for Washington, DC knows that it can seem ceaseless. This past month, I was able to check off one of the more prominent items off that list: the Phillips Collection.

Located a tad off the beaten path of typical DC tourism, this mansion-turned-museum was one of America’s first modern art collections. In addition to works by familiar artists (de Kooning, Frankenthaler, etc.) that are permanently housed there, you can also enjoy the rotating exhibits. At the moment, George Condo is featured, whose work is inspired by the different facets of the human mind. I love that stuff; if you do too, keep an eye out for his work.

It took less than two hours for me to see everything, and I move slowly in museums. So it was a good reminder that not every museum is a day-long commitment.


People from a labor march, mostly in red t-shirts, stand with the DC WWI Memorial behind them. There are two banners in front. On the left, it says "We are Equal", and on the right it says "NoVA Labor". Most people are holding small signs saying "We are Equal" or "Unite Here".

Labor Event: Labor March for Airport Workers

In the third month of this challenge, I attended a rally in support of Airport Workers. Baggage handlers, wheelchair operators, VIP service employees, and others who work at Washington National and Dulles Airports were pushing for reasonable wages. At the time, they were earning as low as $7.25/hour. Hardly enough to live in a place with expenses as high as the Washington Metropolitan Area.

Last month, UNITE HERE (Local 23) and Service Employees International Union (Local 32BJ) hosted a march from Washington National Airport across the Potomac River to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in an effort to continue raising awareness for the cause. Local and state politicians from Northern Virginia made speeches beforehand, as did leaders and members from these labor unions.

I’m thrilled to say that these workers have since ratified an agreement with their employer, which increases wages to $12.75/hour by 2020.

About Doug Rosenthal

No one told Douglas Rosenthal to give up playing music. Not even his patient siblings, who endured many early-morning practice sessions; even they encouraged their brother to follow his passion. As the years passed, that passion evolved from simply playing music to advocating for music, musicians, and music-lovers. Douglas is based in Washington, DC. He is the Assistant Principal Trombonist of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra/Washington National Opera Orchestra. He currently makes his home on Capitol Hill in DC with a pug named Jake, who serves as a constant reminder to relax, eat well, and sleep plentifully.

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