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Married Couple Brings Coffee and Art to Bloomingdale Neighborhood

This spring, a husband-and-wife duo will open Creative Grounds DC, a space for art education, community collaboration and coffee in their Northwest neighborhood of Bloomingdale.

Asmara Sium and Kenn Blagburn said their hoped for success in this venture goes beyond serving customers — “it is for our children, for a dream realized and for all that is yet to come.”

As a real estate professional, Blagburn handles all Department of Consumer Regulatory Affairs-related issues and as a former nonprofit professional, Sium brokers deals with vendors, oversees staffing and will manage the day to day operations.

Asmara Sium and Kenn Blagburn, owners of Creative Grounds DC, with their children Khalab and Samra (Courtesy of Asmara Sium)

“We have our ‘lanes’ so to speak, and we know that progress in one area, is progress for all areas,” Sium said.

Adding to the family business dynamic, the couple’s children are intimately involved in every step of Creative Grounds DC from the art classes, to the name of the coffee bar itself — every aspect of the venture is created by and geared for family, art, and community.

“Bloomingdale has been a great place to raise our kids,” Sium said. “The only missing piece has been indoor organized activities for children.”

The family strongly believes in the healing and transformative power of art, especially in the lives of children.

The vision was in part born to satisfy the community’s need for enriching activities for children, something dear to Sium, who is currently drafting an arts education curriculum that celebrates famous art movements throughout history.

The program includes pioneering artists and art educators like Sam Gilliam and Alma Thomas who lived and worked in the District.

In Sium’s opinion, the Bloomingdale neighborhood has pockets of wonderful cultural communities that have yet to coalesce.

“We are all ships that pass in the night,” she said.

Sium, a first-generation Eritrean, and Blagburn, an eighth-generation Washingtonian, believes in forging a collective identity to build stronger, healthier and more viable communities.

Ultimately, they hope to encourage a larger cultural community of Bloomingdale businesses and families.

“Ken and I are excited to open our space to the public in the spring,” she said. “Art is healing, transformative and for children, the developmental benefits of arts practice serves as the basis for all learning.”

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