“You are in my Superbowl of joy right now,” artist Maggie O’Neill told crowds on the rooftop of Union Market Sunday evening. The sold-out event — an experiential evening of BINGO, rollerskating and artwork — brought together people of all types and all ages for a ‘Let’s Play‘ themed pop-up on what was (just a day earlier) a Washington Kastles team tennis court.
O’Neill has been creating BINGO-themed works for the past year or so, an inspiration which stemmed from participating in BINGO at Children’s National with the young patients. She recalls her involvement in that “incredibly moving,” and has since dedicated proceeds from her events and art sales to the cause. Sunday evening’s event also saw 20% of the sales on artwork and other merchandise donated to Children’s National Medical Center.
Explaining why she brought DC out to play, O’Neill said: “We all need more fun – more joy – in our lives. I just hope you all leave here tonight feeling a little bit better about your week.”
Attendees had their senses stimulated with O’Neill’s bright pop-art, a paint splattered roller court, a life-sized BINGO card (in addition to BINGO in the stands), DJ music and other sights, sounds, and smells of summer. In addition to the disco-era nostalgia, there were food stands from Taco Bamba and Chaplin, popcorn, cotton candy and snowcones.
BINGO winners — including former DC Mayor Adrian Fenty — took home coveted prints of O’Neill’s work.