Within The WASH Project’s two core, stand-alone operations, Creative Spin & Resource Rinse, exist a number of other resident operations.
The resident coordinators of operations at The WASH Project are Zaw Win & Barrett Gordon.
Zaw, originally from Burma, is a longtime human rights activist. A former political prisoner and victim of trafficking, Zaw has spent the greater part of his life in humanitarian advocacy. He remains active on both sides of the world & serves as a liaison for many Burmese refugees & immigrants new to Buffalo. At WASH, Zaw specializes in human services, e.g. citizenship, financial literacy, home and job finding, and English-Burmese translation services. He is also a business owner of the Westside Value Bottle & Can Redemption Center at 327 Rhode Island on the corner of 14th. Awardee, Community Leader Business Award, National Federation for Just Communities of WNY; Board Advisor, Erie County Senior Services; Board member, Commission on Citizen Rights & Community Relations
Barrett is a librarian, artist & organizer. At WASH, he specializes in visual & information literacy, and serves as the project’s coordinator. He moonlights as a professional writing tutor at Buffalo State College, and very much enjoys the classic, communal pastime of rollerskating.
Zaw and Barrett are both dads, too, for what it’s worth;))
The library at the The WASH Project houses a donation-driven & honor-system shared collection of books, including Burmese-language texts. We accepts donations from individuals, schools, & public libraries within the WNY region. All are encouraged to borrow & return (& donate) books. And READ!
Many of the books in our collection have been sourced from the Global Book Hour, a program of the Buffalo State College Education Department’s Global Book Project, a Fall and Spring semester-long, weekly book hour with universal themes from books that travel through many countries.
WASH is also host to a weekly, mobile, book borrowing program with Rust Belt Books, in where local participants walk a red wagon 2 blocks up Grant Street to Rust Belt Books and select a book of their choice, to borrow and return for another the following week.
The WASH Project hosts a drop-in tutoring center & study area, open during all hours of WASH operation. The tutoring center is supervised by a professional tutor (Gordon), and welcomes all to drop in with school or non-school related work, to work with a tutor, or on their own.
As a part of WASH’s inherent human services assistance, The Project also hosts a book, food, & clothes drop station, and serves as a satellite location for Zaw’s Westside Value Bottle & Can Redemption Center (hours TBA).
The WASH Project hosts monthly exhibitions debuting and juxtaposing 1) art made in-house, with 2) local practicing artists’ work. WASH also coordinates longer-term residencies & invite ALL to inquire.
The WASH Project hosts two music series.
WASH the Mic! is a bi-monthly (every 2 weeks) open mic, fed by the steady stream of musical folk who walk through the door. WASH the Mic! aims to provide an audible outlet for the neighborhood & to help the artistically but quietly inclined to emerge from the woodwork.
The second, WSADA series, is a monthly curated series dedicated to exploring the talent surrounding the experimental noise, drone, ambient & psychedelic music scenes in Western New York. This music series aims in part to explore creative destinations for American outsider music in refugee & immigrant communities.
Admittedly, the pool table is a core operation at WASH. It is usually always in use. $1 to play, pays the internet bill.