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 was central to the experience. She reveled in coffee tastings, art exhibitions, and artists’ talks. 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. There, 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 precisely 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 communities. 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 its residents. While Kenn leaves all the coffee tasting to Asmara (he prefers tea), he is excited to see the District’s growing entrepreneurial and creative energy.
Their most incredible privilege and honor are being the parents of two fabulous kiddos. Together, they are Creative Grounds DC.