Books. Coffee. SONICS.

the listening room //

a concept:  

activate a vacant space to develop an experiential space for 3-6 months depending on the scale of the project. incorporate cafe, books, plantlife, small retail to include era specific home decor. 

// host programming and talks around regional and era specific music to include panels, workshops and film. include a bar experience, retail component, installation featuring music archives and headphones stations throughout for well, listening. 

additionally, i imagine a series of genre + era specific events that are centered around the music. for example, an elvis meets chuck brown event, a juke joint soiree, a mini "studio 54" or the beginnings of the hip hop documented in the series, the get down.

include listening stations with headphones can be in order of time.  for example; a layout can be designed to showcase music listening in it's progression.  be it a vinyl space; an 8-track space; cassette lounge; cd station; radio space (this may open up the doors to sponsorships from radio stations be them online streamers or traditional frequencies).  it's possible to even go as far as having ipods of different generations installed and even a station that displays a touch screen for streaming music.  each space can have a wall of music to choose from. 




Nomad Yard Collectiv is itself a project related to cultural and creative placemaking that has a proven track record of working with local small business owners, artists, and the community to engage in a dialogue on the future of art in the city. Nomad Yard was housed in an expansive 3,500 square foot light-infused, industrial loft space on the ground floor level of the Union Arts Building in Northeast DC.  A retail space by day and event venue by night, Nomad Yard hosted corporate events, community programming, author/book talks, private receptions, photo/video shoots, film screenings, discussions, political rallies and artist talks. 

Nomad Yard is founded by Desiree Venn Frederic, an antiquarian, world vintage educator, public speaker, artist and curator. The curatorial collective of 41 micro-businesses, makers and artists. Desiree is a curator of history, of art, and of world vintage goods that are reflective of the many cultures that contribute generously to aesthetic design and art. At its heart, Nomad Yard is collaborative.  We believe firmly that we are stronger together and that where there is a problem there is a solution.  We exist to create opportunities for small business owners and artists to compete within the Washington, D.C. community by bringing a new retail model to consumers who deserve to interface, experience and learn about the rich value of vintage, antiques and contemporary art.

Nomad Yard supported micro-businesses who carry an ever-evolving collection of carefully selected vintage clothing, accessories, shoes, books, antique furniture, contemporary art and hand crafted goods whose stories are deeply influenced by people, passion and possibility.  Nomad Yard’s mission involves providing access to quality vintage, a space for ongoing dialogue designed to strengthen the community, innovative exhibitions, stylized pop-ups and a new generation of retail – all centered around community.  We strive to develop collaborations among artists, collectors, crafters, vintage retailers, connoisseurs and the community.

Nomad Yard Collectiv is a socially driven organization that operates as a cluster of integrated vintage businesses. We connect silos of the used goods industry to create a profitable platform for local and regional businesses to thrive in Washington, D.C. Nomad Yard was founded in August 2014 and celebrated a grand opening on October 31, 2014.

While Nomad Yard Collectiv is not a nonprofit, as a pending B Corp, there is a strong social sector emphasis in its work. Nomad Yard works to develop small business retail stores in an under-retailed city. Retail development plays a central role in the economic development and quality of life for a city and its region.  Thriving stores and local businesses help define the character of urban neighborhoods and provide numerous jobs to local residents. Today, the District of Columbia is enjoying a resurgence of economic vitality that is creating new opportunities for residents.  The number of home purchases is rising, home values are appreciating, and new retail establishments are opening downtown and in other affluent areas.

However, the future viability of the nation’s capital is by no means assured.  Population continues to fluctuate, and the city is becoming increasingly bifurcated;  High-income neighborhoods coexist with severely distressed communities afflicted with abandoned housing and unsafe streets.  Although a building boom is transforming downtown, many other areas of the city are stagnating as residents move out and neighborhood businesses close. Through collaboration, mindfulness, and execution, we bring people together for commerce, cooperation, and contribution to build the city we want to live in. Nomad Yard strives to build a vintage system that is profitable, just, and sustainable. Everyday we work to make local scalable. Through integrated services, our members can make, move, and sell their products. By providing the space for production and opportunities for sales, Nomad Yard catalyzes the growth of business, jobs, and culture. Nomad Yard Collectiv within its capacity is steadily promoting retail creation in line with the District of Columbia’s Five-Year Economic Development Strategy. Nomad Yard is a true example of the robust impact of the District's Creative Economy and its ability to create pathways to the middle class, in a way that Mayor Bowser and her administration have expressed.  

Within our 1st year, we have forged partnerships with multinational retailer Urban Outfitters, the Smithsonian Asian American Pacific Center, James Porter Colloquium, Busboys and Poets to name a few. And recently expanded to 14th street NW in partnership with Andy Shallal, Chair of Washington, DC’s Workforce Investment Council and Busboys and Poets, to increase our capacity in an under-retailed city. Our greatest success has been in supporting one of our brand partners in opening her own brick and mortar store in April 2015 and we are on schedule to launch 2 additional brick and mortar retailers in fiscal year 2017. 


Desirée Venn Frederic is a Sierra Leonean born writer and installation artist of Geeche and Maroon ancestry. Her work pulls heavily from her transnational experiences and understandings. The artist and thought leader explores identity, ownership and contemporary ideas in aesthetics. As the founder of Nomad Yard, a globally minded vintage shop in Washington, D.C., Venn Frederic creates a playground for those who love culture, history and rare antiques steeped in stories. She uses her work to negotiate multiple strata of marginalization being both undocumented and an aboriginal indigenous woman. She is an interior designer creating experiential spaces and interiors. She is a community organizer and founding member of Artist Union DC, with a keen interest in cultural studies and artistic expression. She is particurlarly interested in the ways in which fashion, visual culture and critical theory inform, shape and encourage discourses surrounding the socio-economic, political and cultural. Venn Frederic has shared her creative interests as an exhibiting artist with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center drawing parallels of her own personal immigration detention in 2013 to the criminalization of human existence throughout history. She holds degrees in Fashion Merchandising, Business Management and a certificate in Community Advocacy and is fluent in French and Krio. As a speaker, she has engaged TED Talks as well as audiences at University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business, The National Endowment for the Arts National Maker Faire, Ted Talks, Made in DC Maker Summit, General Assembly, and Creative World’s Creative Economy Summit. As an ambassador with Define American, the activist shares her personal journey to expand the narrative of immigrants. She exists via the internet sphere simply as @xoDVF. She is a mentor to 2 college aged creative entrepreneurs and loves vintage kimonos.