Our story

The story that inspired a business; Creative Grounds DC.

Creative Grounds DC started as an unconscious habit. As a coffee consumer and art enthusiast, Asmara increasingly found herself in communities where art or coffee were central to the experience. She reveled in coffee tastings, art exhibitions and artists talks. In lockstep with her children they attended local and national art exhibitions always stopping for espresso and chocolate croissants. Her love for the arts (in addition to her advocacy work) led to a stint at the National Museum of African Art as Chair of the African Advisory Committee. It was there that she developed a better understanding of the DC arts and culture community and the role that art institutions can play in supporting and celebrating local artists.

As the DC arts scene grew, local artists were beginning to receive recognition and support. District agencies viewed the arts and its’ cultural assets as vital economic drivers. Slowly but surely Creative Grounds DC moved from the subconscious to the conscious as Asmara became intent on creating an art forward community space that would support local artists, provide enriching programming for families and celebrate the DC arts scene. The addition of coffee is simply icing on the cake, because why not combine Asmara’s two favorite things: art & espresso!

Asmara’s partner and husband, Kenn Blagburn is a DC real estate broker. A self-professed advocate for small business, Kenn believes that good business is not simply about making money it’s about changing lives and filling gaps or voids where they exist. For him, Creative Grounds DC will do exactly this. As a broker, Kenn saw first hand just how many newcomers to the District wanted to live in or near creative neighborhoods and furthermore, how the mere presence of artists, creative outlets, cultural assets and nonprofits improved the quality of neighborhoods. Creative Grounds DC hopes to leverage the creativity and innovation of arts and culture assets in the District to further drive growth and enhance the quality of life of it’s residents. While Kenn leaves all the coffee tasting to Asmara, (he prefers tea) he is excited to see the growing entrepreneurial and creative energy in the District.

Their greatest privilege and honor is being the parents to two amazing kiddos.

Together, they are Creative Grounds DC.