Our mission is to build power, shift culture, and heal spirits through the arts.
The Sanctuaries is a new expression of a long lineage of artists, organizers, and visionaries who have shaped the rich culture of our nation’s capital. In 2013, twenty neighbors came together to create “sanctuaries” – sacred spaces where artists of diverse backgrounds could build trust and take collective action. We've grown a lot since then. But we remain committed to the bold spirit of those early founders.
Today, our community comprises over 150 artists working across artistic media, from creative writing to hip hop to screenprinting. Our artists gather regularly in multicultural community to build lasting friendships, support each other’s personal growth, and collaborate on artistic projects that make a social impact. We also train artists to use their artistic skills and spiritual resources to transform the systems that perpetuate injustice. Select alumni from this program facilitate workshops with other organizations to build collective capacity for lasting social change.
Together, we can transform two of the most divisive issues of our time – race and religion – into powerful forces for social transformation.
Our values guide everything we do.
1. Honor the spirit.
We seek the sacred in everything and everyone.
2. Trust the process.
We pay attention to how we do what we do.
3. Rise to your best self.
We make the ongoing choice to grow.
4. Community means commitment.
We show up for ourselves and each other.
5. We’re better together.
We embrace our similarities and our differences.
We're a collaborative community where leadership is shared.
Rev. Erik, Co-Director
Rev. Erik W. Martínez Resly is a visual artist, community organizer, and ordained Unitarian Universalist minister. He grew up inFrankfurt, Germany, and studied at Brown University and Harvard Divinity School.
Ahmane' Glover is a community organizer and healing artist who uses the tools of spoken word. She graduated from the Inner Visions Institute for Spiritual Development and Loyola University New Orleans.
The Celía Burke Award for Community Leadership
This award celebrates leaders who have made a lasting impact on The Sanctuaries. It is named after Celía Burke, who discovered our community in 2013 and quickly became an active participant, workshop facilitator, Core Team member, and co-leader of the Performance Team, before leaving Washington, DC to study urban planning in 2016.
2016 Awardee: Celía Burke
2017 Awardee: Aden van Noppen
2018 Awardee: Mazaré Rogers
Truly, we're better together.
And we're grateful for our incredible partners in this work. More coming soon!