Arlington-based visual artist Barbara Januszkiewicz believes it’s important to educate and help build a stronger creative community with her work. In 2015, she created a Facebook group called the Dotted Line Project. The group provides Metro-D.C. area artists a platform to discuss current issues in the art community and also serves as a networking space. Arlington County praised Januszkiewicz for her creative vision in 2017 with an individual grant that allowed her to open The Metro Micro Gallery. The gallery, which operates 24/7, is an experimental space that encourages creative collaborations between artists and curators. The space was founded on the guiding principle “pay it forward.”
Words that inspire Januszkiewicz: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
Visual branding strategist Joy Rahat came from the city of Kyrgyzstan to the United States over seven years ago with her husband and son. Rahat, who was already educated and experienced in public relations and marketing by the time she came to the United States, set out to expand the reach of her talents and established her own self-titled business in Leesburg. She designs, creates and produces full visual branding assets and concept consulting services for entrepreneurs and businesses alike. Although she is based in Northern Virginia, she serves clients across the country and globe. Rahat also works as branding photographer and dedicates a large part of her business to empowering and celebrating women through beauty portrait photography.
Words that inspire Rahat: “When business is all about numbers and processes, emotions and personality fade out. We feel awkward sharing and talking about what truly motivates us and what we do. Emotions and passion are what I call the heart of everything.” – Joy Rahat
Delegate Kathy Tran serves and represents the Springfield community as the delegate for the 42nd District in the Virginia House of Delegates. Tran is devoted to making sure that all Americans have the skills and education needed to live the “American dream.” Prior to being elected, she worked as a civil servant in the U.S. Department of Labor, and also at the National Immigration Forum, where she advocated for policies that would help immigrants in the workforce reach their career potential. Tran, a mother of four, proudly serves as the President of the West Springfield Elementary PTA, where she works with other volunteers to support the school community. The delegate is inspired by her own parents, who brought her family to the U.S. from Vietnam as refugees. Their hard work and resilience allowed them to fulfill their “American dream.”
Words that inspire Tran: “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” – Robert F. Kennedy