March’s Theme: Risk

The theme for the month of March is Risk. The theme packet can be found at: As we dive into our examination of Risk, the platform topics are:

  • March 5 — “Risking It All for the World” Congressman Jamie Raskin, joined by Amanda Poppei, Senior Leader. Join Rep. Raskin as he imagines what the world could look like with the strong leadership of communities like WES, and Amanda as she invites us to envision what that leadership can be in the year to come. This platform kicks off our annual operating budget drive for 2017-18. Music from the WES Chorus.
  • March 12 — “Teen Platform” WES Teen Group. You won’t want to miss the WES Teens put on their annual platform as they explore the theme of risk from their own perspectives, and how it applies to their own lives as teenagers in the greater Washington DC area.  The teens will also offer an opportunity for audience participation in a fun game show.  Are you willing to risk it?
  • March 19 — “Money Makes the World Go Round (?)” Amanda Poppei, Senior Leader. Often when we think about risk our mind goes to the stock market…investments, risk and reward, high-yield bonds. But sometimes, even talking about money can feel like the biggest risk. Amanda will explore our complicated relationship with money, income, socioeconomic status, and more.
  • March 26 — “Risking Connection, Risking Failure: All Music Platform.” WES Chorus, Bailey Whiteman, Music Director. As has become a tradition, the WES Chorus will again fill the platform with words and song, this year exploring how we risk, and what we gain. From the first moments to the closing words, we will risk together, and see where the music takes us.

Below is the art for this month from our WES 2016-2017 Artist Carol Clayton along with her statement.

At first glance, an easy topic to photograph — risk is everywhere — it’s an everyday occurrence as we bare ourselves to each other.  Each day we risk the pain of rejection, we risk loving people that may leave, we risk walking sidewalks that seem safe until an out of control vehicle veers off course. Risk is a constant for drivers, and we generally don’t even think about it.  One day when my son Adam was about 7, he made the observation that the only thing that kept us from wrecking as we drove around a curve on Rock Creek Parkway was that there is a social obligation to stay in your own lane.  Creep over the center line, and you risk injury, even death.  All these things could keep us shivering in our beds, covers pulled up to our chins, frozen in a miasma of fear, yet almost all of us get out of bed each day, walk the streets, drive, fall in love, marry, have children, travel to exotic places, try new foods. Some of us climb, or hike, or ride bikes (on DC streets a risk indeed), indulge in sports where we risk our tendons and our egos.  We make new friends, we reach out to strangers, we protest.  All of these are risky behaviors.  Which is why this was a difficult topic to photograph, because in the end, life is a risk.  And so I chose the dice.  They were the best example of the risks we all take everyday, when we swing our feet over the side of the bed and stand up and go out into the world to live another day. We throw the dice and hope for the best.

Life is a crapshoot.