Faces of Mount Pleasant | Las caras de la Manplesa

Mount Pleasant Art All Night 2023 is all about the people and faces that make our village in the city vibrant and unique. Meet and learn more about some of the most recognizable faces around Mount Pleasant/La Manplesa!

Frank Agbro, a.k.a. Frankojazz

Frank has lived in Mount Pleasant for 30 years. Around the neighborhood, he’s known as “Mr. Mount Pleasant or “The Mayor of Mount Pleasant.” He moved here be he “saw a lot of potential in all of its diverse elements,” and loved the proximity to shops, Rock Creek Park, and public transportation. His time living in both Cuba and France influenced his musical style, and Mount Pleasant residents have always welcomed his unique style. When he noticed a lack of family-friendly live music in the city, he found his niche performing in the neighborhood he loves so much. He’s a staple a Mount Pleasant events where people of all ages enjoy his music. Frank is excited about Art All Night because it highlights how great the main strip is and it “organically showcases what this neighborhood has to offer”

Hemen “Amy” Solomon, owner of Addis Paris Café

What drew you to Mount Pleasant? What do you love most about it? 

I took over Addis Paris Café in 2017 and have been there ever since. Honestly, I’ve got a soft spot for Mt Pleasant, especially the people. They’re super tight-knit and genuinely care about each other. It’s such a refreshing vibe in a big city and exactly what I’ve been looking for.

What led you to open Addis Paris Café?

I’ve always dreamed of having my own café, and when I stumbled upon this spot, I just had to jump on it. I was raised in the world of hospitality and absolutely adored every bit of it. Plus, I wanted to show my daughter that dreams can come true with a bit of grit and grind. I’ve spent a good chunk of my life soaking up the French culture, which I adore, and can’t forget the incredible spices and warmth from my birthplace, Ethiopia. It just felt right to bring all that goodness to Mt. Pleasant through delish food and warm vibes.

Why are you excited about Art All Night Mount Pleasant?

I absolutely love festive times! Everyone’s so curious and happy, and there’s no better spot for it than Mt. Pleasant. I’m super thankful to be part of organizing all this and hearing everyone pitch in with so much passion. I’m all in for the journey and super excited to see how it all turns out!

Jason Hamacher of Lost Origins Gallery

How long have you lived in Mount Pleasant? What drew you to the area? What do you love most about it?

I’ve lived in Mt P for nearly 20 years. I first experienced Mt P in the early 90’s going to punk rock house shows on lower Irving St. I love the Mt Pleasant’s community  & occasional wildness of the neighborhood.

Why are you excited about Art All Night Mount Pleasant/What are you most looking forward to?

I’m very excited to host the Artist / Exhibit Talk with Armenian Ballet Legend, Roudolf Kharatian.  

What led you to open Lost Origins?

Lost Origins Gallery opened its doors in April of 2017 and has rapidly grown into a vibrant community venue for supporting artists across many different mediums. At the same time,  the gallery has amplified its work through partnerships with a growing roster of internationally-recognized institutions. In 2018, Lost Origins was voted “Best Gallery” by the Washington City Paper staff and became an exhibit partner with Focus on the Story International Photo Festival. In 2019, the gallery was invited to become a programming and exhibit partner with the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and had the honor of co-hosting several exhibits and events. In 2020, Lost Origins additionally became programming partners with Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery, National Museum of Asian Art and the Library of Congress for a citywide Syrian cultural festival, Celebrate Syria. Although the Syrian festival was canceled due to Covid, 2021 brought about new and exciting exhibitions  with Exposed D.C. and the Women Photojournalists of Washington. Most recently, in 2022, the gallery partnered with the White House News Photographers Association to celebrate their Centennial Anniversary.

Lost Origins Outside is an outdoor public exhibition space curated by Jason Hamacher and activated in partnership between Lost Origins Gallery, the restaurant Ellè, and Sambar Market. Located in an alley two blocks north of Lost Origins Gallery, Lost Origins Outside showcases world-class art in an effort to inspire, engage, and unite the public.

Lost Origins Outside was conceived in the early morning hours of November 11, 2020. Hamacher had just been elected to the DC government as an ANC Commissioner and was out walking around the neighborhood processing what it meant to be a public servant. Mount Pleasant was empty, silent and dark. Lost Origins Gallery had been closed for months and in-person gatherings were nonexistent. The global uptick in negativity, violence and instability was weighing heavily on Hamacher. He stopped in the middle of the street to photograph the Park Regent Apartments and noticed the entrance to the alley. Even after living in the neighborhood for fifteen years, he’d never really paid much attention to the alley.  but decided to explore the struck in that moment by how much potential it had. At a time when people were desperately trying to find ways to continue making art, connect and gather safely, he realized the alley was perfect for creating a publicly-accessible outdoor extension of Lost Origins Gallery. Hamacher immediately texted long time friend and restaurateur, Nick Pimentel, co-owner of Elle to see what he thought.

Nick was excited by the idea and secured permission from the landlord. Next, Hamacher just had to figure out how to actually make it work. He called Rob Harris, long time friend and co-owner of CSI, a printing company that specializes in large format and display signage. CSI had just gotten a new machine with advanced printing technology to reproduce artwork on weather-resistant materials. Lost Origins Outside was officially happening.

Since the first exhibit in April of 2021, Lost Origins Outside has hosted a wide range of exhibitions, concerts and public programming to the enjoyment of thousands of people.


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