Nancy Shia, ‘A Saturday Dance Party,’ 1977

A Saturday Dance Party

Closing Shot

I’ve lived in an apartment on the corner of Columbia Road and Ontario Road in Washington D.C. for forty years. During that time, I’ve used my camera to document the life of the community: parades and evictions, protests and peaceful summer afternoons. In the 1970s and ‘80s, the Adams Morgan neighborhood played host to the D.C. Hispanic Heritage Festival. Every summer the community was treated to a weekend of dancing, music, Latinx food, and fun. In this photo from 1977, people dance in Community Park West (now Walter Pierce Park) to music played by Maria y Sus Magnificos, a well-known group of Puerto Rican musicians. Latinx people came from all over the metropolitan area to attend; at its peak, the festival attracted more than 300,000 people to the now-gentrified neighborhood.

Published in the May 2021 issue: 

Nancy Shia is a photographer whose work focuses on culture, people, struggle, and gentrification. Her archival photo series, Out My Window, tracks how her Washington D.C. neighborhood has changed over time.

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