Bourgeon is a project of the non profit Day Eight.

In 2005 I was invited to participate in a series of discussions for Artistic Directors and Executive Directors of local dance companies. A local foundation – longtime local dance funders – were interested in doing more than funding individual companies, and convened 10 meetings over 12 months to discuss how the local dance community could be strengthened. The idea of how to build new dance audiences was discussed over and over. Audience education can’t really happen at performances, because attendees want to just enjoy art. How do you encourage understanding of new work? How do you support a community that makes new work? During those conversations I had the idea for an arts magazine that would connect artists and audience, and in July of 2005 we published the first issue of Bourgeon.

Bourgeon’s mission, through our online publication and community initiatives, is twofold: to increase participation in the arts and to improve access to the arts. Bourgeon serves as a bridge-builder between contemporary artists and audiences.

We published seven printed issues of the magazine between 2005 and 2007, and in 2008, we moved the magazine online to reduce expenses. In our first half dozen years we have published several hundred articles by artists. Most of the articles are about the art a particular artists is (or was) in that moment making. We have also published the occasional feature, and about a hundred answers to the question, “what is art?”

I hope you’ll enjoy browsing through what is now a record of the DC arts community, and broader, the art making process.

Bourgeon exists to fill the void left by declining traditional print coverage of the arts. We aim to do that by helping to project the voice of individual art makers, assisting them in documenting their work, and encouraging readers toward personal understanding of arts issues and art-forms.

The word Bourgeon is French for ‘bud’, as, ‘a bud on the limb of a tree’. Writing about art is not the flower itself; it is the bud.

Bourgeon needs your support. If you like the publication, please donate to keep it going. As a project of the non profit Day Eight, all contributions to Bourgeon are tax deductible.

I’m grateful for all of the past support provided by board members, editors, contributors, and private and foundation donors in support of Bourgeon, including the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and the Humanities Council of Greater Washington.


Robert Bettmann

Founding Editor