Chances are, you’ve already met our new 826DC Publication Programs Manager, Emily Moses. If you haven’t, though, you’re in for a treat!
She started her 826DC journey as a Publishing Intern in the spring of 2016. She continued working with us as a volunteer in the years following her internship, in addition to stints as the 826DC Interim Programs Coordinator in 2017 and the 826DC Public Programs Coordinator in 2018. She’s done it all—from bringing student publications to life and running various on-site writing programs to facilitating community workshops and curating “the lowercase,” 826DC’s monthly reading series.
We’re thrilled to finally welcome Emily as a full-time member of our staff! We recently sat down with her at Tivoli’s Astounding Magic Supply Co. to learn a bit more about her:
What first drew you to 826DC, and what’s kept you involved?
Back in January 2015, I stumbled into 826DC’s old space, The Museum of Unnatural History, at the exact right moment. At the time, I was considering dropping out of grad school and high-tailing it back to Texas because nothing in DC felt right, nothing here was coalescing the right way. However, after learning about the programming at 826DC, and after finding the exact place where my skill set met some of 826DC’s needs, I was hooked. Immediately, 826DC became a place where I could connect with and invest in my community, the place that transformed DC from being simply the city where I lived into being my home.
What’s one unusual thing on your desk right now?
When I moved into this office last week, my desk contained, among other things: six pairs of binoculars, a bowl full of screws, a roll of caution tape, a jump rope, and several cryptic notes, like, “Get crazy with the cheeze wiz,” and “Life is like a big mountain,” so it’s going to be really difficult to narrow it down to just one unusual thing!
What’s your favorite character or setting from an 826DC program?
I am particularly sentimental about the first student text I ever read at 826DC: “It was a normal Monday morning on Planet Drool and the evil Ice Witch, Mrs. Right, was eating ice pancakes when she looked up and saw that the sun turned into seven suns.” There’s a lot to unpack here, but suffice to say that I think Mrs. Right and Planet Drool are an unbeatable combination.
If you were a magician, what would your stage name be?
Naming can be a very literal act for me (my laptop is named Lappy), so my stage name would probably be “Girl in a Cape,” or “Girl With a Wand.”
What inspired you to get involved with this kind of work, and why do you think it’s so important?
When I was a kid, I taught my toys a lesson every afternoon. I used to line my Barbies and stuffed animals along my bed, facing forward with little packets of blank computer paper set in front of them, human-sized pencils in their hands and paws. I would pretend to teach them how to do my homework assignments, how to write in cursive, how to read a poem the right way. This is to say I have always been drawn to the specific intoxication of learning new things, of collaborating, and every step (and sidestep) in my education and professional life has been an investment in this kind of work.
I believe that contributing to your community in whichever ways you have the capacity to contribute can be a deeply impactful way to move about the world, and I believe that choosing to do so is a radical act. Now more than ever, it feels paramount to be thoughtful about the ways we spend our time, and I think there is no better place to be thoughtful and radical than 826DC.