How long did it take for Domo to become an omnipresence in the District’s nightlife? The Maryland-raised DJ quit her job at the U.S. Department of Energy last March. Skip ahead 14 months and she was hyping thousands at an anti-gentrification protest concert on 14th and U streets NW. In other words, everything’s been happening fast and fortuitously. “I know how to shake a tree,” Domo says, “but the apples just started falling on my head.”

Much of that has to do with the music she spins (concussive bounce-beat go-go; deep Southern rap music) and the sense of community she’s forging out there on the dance floor. Around the time she ditched her day job, Domo co-founded GIRLAAA, an artist collective dedicated to community activism and empowering women of color in the arts, and has since staged multidisciplinary events all across town, from Howard University to the Hirshhorn Museum.

“Okay, you throw parties. What else are you doing?” Domo asks. “We’re hosting workshops. We’re speaking on panels and having difficult discussions. We’re making sure we’re engaging kids on creative and nontraditional [career paths] … Because they gotta learn it from us — from people who look like them, who they will relate to because we speak their language.”

She’s as adaptable as she is focused. This weekend, Domo will perform alongside some of the brightest local names in rap and go-go at the Flower Bomb Festival in Dupont Circle. The weekend after that, she’s programming an all-female slate of DJs at the opening festival for the Reach at the Kennedy Center.

Domo says that when the Kennedy Center first invited her to tour the premises, she had to fight back tears. The last time she had plans to visit the concert hall, she was a teenager who couldn’t afford the proper formal wear. Now, speaking about her imminent return, her voice conveys gratitude, pride and disbelief. But one emotion prevails: “I feel very empowered right now.”

Show: Aug. 31 at the Flower Bomb Festival at Dupont Underground, 19 Dupont Cir. NW. Festival runs from 2 to 8 p.m. Free with RSVP at

Sept. 7 at the Kennedy Center, 2700 F Street NW. GIRLAAA’s programming begins at noon. Free festival passes available at