THIS IS NOT A DRILL By Jefferson Pinder




 WASHINGTON, DC – As a highlight of CulturalDC’s 20th Anniversary Season, alumni artist Jefferson Pinder will bring a limited-run engagement of a performance art piece exploring racial injustices in America to the historic U St and 14th St Corridors. The performance runs for two nights – Thursday, June 13 and Friday, June 14.

In the late summer and early fall of 1919, violence and uprising erupted across the United States. Hundreds of Black lives were lost in the midst of a transitory period of unrest and hostility that was named The Red Summer. This summer, Pinder is embarking on a classic American journey: a road trip to visit major sites of The Red Summer.

“As the nation marks a full century since then, we are in a new era of unrest,” says Jefferson Pinder.

In July 1919, after rumors spread of a Black man sexually violating a white woman, white military officers incited four days of mob violence against Black individuals and businesses in Washington, DC. Police refused to intervene, spurring Black individuals to defend themselves. Over 150 people were injured, and at least 15 people died.

Over a two-month period, Pinder will explore other sites of riot across the South and Midwest – Birmingham, AL; New Orleans, LA; Houston, TX; Chicago, IL – by car to provoke conversations about racial injustices that occurred a hundred years ago and still make up the fiber of Black experiences nationwide.

“My work draws inspiration from The Freedom Riders, who offered an interventionist model. By pushing the boundaries of what was acceptable, they used their physicality to elicit interaction. Through movement, they embodied change,” says Pinder.

Preparing to engage with the demons of past and present day, Jefferson Pinder and performers probe into close-order drill, shooter drills, boxing, and Bo staff training to delve into communal strength. Considering training techniques inspired by the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee, The Black Panther Party, and Marine Corps hand-drill training, the performance crew finds unity through ritualized physical routines.

“CulturalDC exhibited Jefferson Pinder in early 2006 as part of a group show called Assimilation/Dissolution that examined urban decay and shifting boundaries within DC. It’s a real honor to have him back in his hometown presenting not only a historically relevant piece, but a geographically poignant performance,” says Kristi Maiselman, Executive Director of CulturalDC.

THIS IS NOT A DRILL as part of the Red Summer Tour by Jefferson Pinder is presented on June 13 and June 14 at 7pm. Doors open at 6:30pm. The performance runs approximately 60 minutes. Located at Source Theatre, CulturalDC’s Artspace on 14th at 1835 14th St NW, Washington, DC. Admission is free and on a first come, first serve basis. Support from Hotel Hive and Abdo Development, LLC.

Photography Credit: Orlando Pinder



Jefferson Pinder is an artist whose work provides evocative commentary on race and forms of struggle. He aims to investigate aspects of personal identity through the materials of neon, found objects, performance, and video. From uncanny video portraits using popular music to durational works that put the Black body in motion, his practice offers an exploration of the physical conditions that reveal emotional responses. Pinder’s work provides space for observers to directly confront the contemporary, material consequences of racial oppression in the United States.

Over the past two decades, Pinder’s work has been featured across the country and globe in group and solo exhibitions at a number of institutions, including: The Studio Museum in Harlem; the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut; Showroom Mama in Rotterdam, Netherlands; The Phillips Collection; and the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. His work was featured in the 2016 Shanghai Biennale and is part of the permanent collection at the new Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture. He was awarded a United States Artist’s Joyce Fellowship in the field of performance in 2016 as well as the Moving Image Acquisition Award and the John S. Guggenheim Fellowship in 2017.


CulturalDC ( celebrates its 20th year of creating affordable, sustainable artist spaces in the Washington, DC, area. Since 1998, CulturalDC has brokered more than 300,000 square feet of artist space, including: the Arts Walk at Monroe Street Market, Atlas Performing Arts Center, GALA Hispanic Theatre, Source Theatre and Woolly Mammoth Theatre. In addition to providing space, we facilitate opportunities for and present innovative visual, performing and multidisciplinary artists. CulturalDC’s Mobile Art Gallery is DC’s first moveable artspace and a commitment to use art as a catalyst to build community. Each year, CulturalDC serves more than 1,000 artists and welcomes 40,000 audience members and participants who patron local businesses and contribute an estimated $1 million to the local economy.