CulturalDC offers a wide range of consulting services in art space development, artist housing, and public art. For more information on our consulting services, please contact Samantha May at 202.315.1307 or email@example.com.
CulturalDC has built a reputation for successfully “brokering” space. We’re a trusted voice when it comes to real estate development involving artists and arts organizations. Since 1998, we have brokered 17 arts space projects, totaling 164,000 square feet of arts space development. CulturalDC is DC’s clearinghouse for cultural facilities information. We maintain a database of arts space seekers that includes individual artists, arts-related businesses and cultural organizations. This demand-side data collected from questionnaires and site visits, combined with continued analysis of the metro area, steers our development.
We offer consulting services to developers, architects, owners, and other real estate professionals for developing space for arts uses — theatres, galleries, museums, dance studios, artist housing, etc. We also work with the District government, Main Street efforts, community development corporations, business improvement districts, and federal government agencies in order to match arts organizations with development projects.
recent clients and their projects
Developers Brook Rose and DB Lee Development partnered with CulturalDC to help shape an arts program with a stable platform from which artists, creative entrepreneurs, and cultural collectives and organizations could thrive in the Union Market neighborhood for many years to come. The program will provide subsidized, protected space for artists to work and present and renovations are expected to being in 2017. It is designed to maximize the artists’ reach and impact by providing state-of-the-art studio, classroom, and exhibition spaces that increase exposure and support.
The new boutique hotel will be located at 411 New York Ave, NE in the Union Market Distric. CulturalDC will be responsible for recruiting and selecting artist-tenants, managing the rental and use of the spaces and creating a thriving artist enclave. The hotel will feature 11 subsidized studios, a dynamic classroom space, rotating exhibitions as well as permanent artwork commissions, and an activated arts space that lends itself to a variety of connections and networking opportunities.
In 2016, CulturalDC received Kreskge Foundation funding from the DC Office of Planning as part of their “Crossing the Street” creative placemaking initiative and launched Walter Reed Dreams, a community-driven arts and culture tribute. CulturalDC launched our programming for the project in the Fall of 2016 and is planning a grand celebration in the early Spring of 2017. The Walter Reed Army Medical Center, a 67 acre piece of land located next to Rock Creek Park in DC’s Ward 4, will be a landmark redevelopment project for the district as it plans to preserve the historic buildings onsite, add residential housing, park space, veteran and senior support services and office, retail, medical and educational spaces. The redevelopment will create a new community that will be integrated with the surrounding historic neighborhoods, including Brightwood, Shepherd Park and Takoma, and will honor the legacy that this site has brought to DC.
CulturalDC will also work with Urban Atlantic, Hines, and Triden – the developers of the site – to create a long-term public art plan for the redevelopment that will continue to build upon the community relationships and installations created through Walter Reed Dreams.
Public Art at McMillan
CulturalDC has partnered with Vision McMillan Partners to consult in the redevelopment of the McMillan Sand Filtration Site. The site is a decommissioned water treatment plant in northwest Washington, DC located adjacent to the McMillan Reservoir. The master plan is to build a new community that integrates the historic site with a progressive development that looks into the future. The site with include affordable housing (both townhomes and apartments), healthcare facilities, retail spaces, park area, and a community center with a pool, fitness center, and gallery space.
CulturalDC is responsible for the public art aspect of this site. This includes working to fill the gallery space, implementing murals and other artistic installations throughout the site and connecting the art to the site’s historic background. Construction on the site is set to begin in 2017.
Hotel Hive – Elevator Shaft Murals
CulturalDC partnered with Abdo Development to hire 6 local DC artists for a mural project at the new Hotel Hive, located at F and Virginia Ave NW in Foggy Bottom. The Hotel hive is DC’s first pod-style hotel with innovative designs and intelligent accommodations an affordable price. The historic Allen Lee Hotel is being remade to feature crisp, clean rooms of approximately 250 sqft that merge today’s technology with refined minimalism.
Abdo Development hired CulturalDC to find 6 artists to fill the elevator shaft with a different mural for each floor. The selected artists are all DC-based and include: Jordann Wine, Cory Oberndorfer, JD Deardourff, Tim Conlon, Monica Stroik and Victor Ekpuk. The Hotel Hive plans on opening in the winter of 2016.
H-Space at U Street
CulturalDC has partnered with Hamiltonian Artists on a new initiative that establishes subsidized space for artists in the heart of the U Street/Shaw neighborhood located at 1932 9th Street NW. Three brand-new, thoughtfully designed live/work units provide much-needed homes for working artists in one of DC’s most prominent cultural corridors. In addition, a 700 square foot, ground level, multidisciplinary start-up space for arts organizations and creative entrepreneurs offers a platform to engage the community through short-term projects.
In designating and reactivating urban spaces for DC’s creative community, H-Space solidifies the valuable role of artists in neighborhood growth and vitality. The initiative broadens DC’s capability to grow and sustain a dynamic community of innovative artists and creative leaders, while also integrating more contemporary art and bold creative endeavors into the cultural fabric of this rapidly developing city. This project launched in September 2016.
With funding from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), CulturalDC partnered with the DC Council of Arts and Humanities (DCCAH), The Community Foundation, and the Anne and Ronald Abramson Family Foundation to launch StorefrontsDC, a project which aims to reengage vacant storefronts in order to reinvigorate the area and make it more appealing for future business rentals. The goal of this project is to turn the unused space into an engaging activation, in order to facilitate growth and sustain development.
Two models, Hands on Drums (2015-2016) and Knowledge Commons (2015), have already been implemented and completed throughout the city. Hands on Drums was executed with the assistance of the National Endowment for the Arts and the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities. Knowledge Commons was executed with the help of the Menkiti Group. CulturalDC is working on implementing at least six additional models in other storefronts around DC.
In July of 2015, CulturalDC was hired by Twelve12, an apartment complex managed by Forest City Washington, which is located between the Washington Navy Yard and Nationals Stadium, right next to the Anacostia River (1212 4th St SE). For this project, CulturalDC has been responsible for for collaborating with a rotating group of artists for an installation in the Twelve12 lobby. These exhibitions rotate on a biannual basis and the two artists currently represented in the lobby are Soomin Ham and Amie Oliver.
Silver Spring Black Box Theatre is a venue in Montgomery County that welcomes new artists and arts organizations into its space one night engagements and limited runs. The theatre features an intimate space where one can connect with audiences and feed off of their energies. Use of the space is maintained through rentals at affordable rates. From 2014-2015, Silver Spring Black Box Theatre hired CulturalDC as a consultant to advise them on their business plan and managment. CulturalDC worked with the staff there to create a self-sufficient and successful company.
The Arts Walk at Monroe Street Market features 27 artist studios along a pedestrian walkway located right next to the Brookland-CUA metro stop. The artists featured on the Arts Walk represent a wide range of disciplines – including abstract and figurative painting, hand-carved and molded sculpture, custom leather goods, letterpress cards, and hand-crafted jewelry. Theatre and poetry organizations bring a dynamic performing arts aspect to the Arts Walk as well. Multiple studios offer classes and workshops for aspiring and established artists. Special events such as receptions, readings and Arts Walk-wide open houses provide opportunities to connect with DC’s creative community.
CulturalDC developed the concept and contributed to the design of the multi-use arts complex, which includes the 27 studios as well as the 3,000 sqft felxible arts space, Edgewood Arts Building. CulturalDC was hired by Abdo Development and continues to manage the Arts Walk with Bozzuto Management. The Arts Walk opened in 2013 and has been flourishing ever since. For more information about the current Monroe Street Market Arts Walk artists click here.
In 2014, this internet-based tool designed to connect artists and creatives with space to rehearse, meet, perform, work, exhibit, and create was brought to the DC-Metro area by CulturalDC. This platform allows developers, landlords, and facility managers to quickly submit available spaces in a simple format and artists and creatives are able to easily find temporary and permanent space based off of neighborhood, type, size, and other options. The website focuses on revitalizing the neighborhood, bringing economic sustainability and supporting the growth of the DC arts community.
When this project hit a complete standstill – in 2012, CulturalDC jumped to the aid of the Horning Brothers in planning the restoration and redevelopment of the historic Tivoli Theatre (3333 14th Street, NW). CulturalDC advised on the site design and the physical and economic impacts of various arts uses. CulturalDC proposed an arts use that would not require full restoration of the theatre space, but would provide a dynamic addition to the program — a compromise of arts and historic demands. Pleasing city officials, community leaders and the performing arts community, the finished project now includes a 250-seat theatre and a permanent home for GALA Hispanic Theatre.
CulturalDC partnered with Artspace Projects, Inc. to develop approximately 40 affordable artist live/work units in Brookland, Washington DC which were opened in 2011. Each unit features a residential space as well as a studio space for artists and their families. The property also has 2 multi-use spaces that function as classrooms, office space and intern housing for Dance Place. CulturalDC was responsible for providing design assistance, market analysis support, community outreach and grant application assistance for the project.
Petworth Public Art
CulturalDC partnered with JAIR LYNCH Development Partners and AHD Inc. in 2010 to lead the selection process for a large-scale public artwork on the exterior façade of the 3Tree Flats development in the Petworth Neighborhood of Washington, DC. Nekisha Durrett, a Petworth-based artist, was selceted by a community input panel to design the artwork for the building. The piece, known as Sweet, has a playful pop aesthetic and depicts a woman overlooking the changing city below. The DC Commision on the Arts and Humanities awarded CulturalDC a 2011 Public Art Building Communities grant to oversee the project.
Artist Housing at Loree Grand
In partnership with Union Place Phase I, LLC and the Cohen Companies, CulturalDC developed marketing and leasing strategies to attract 14 new artist households to the luxury high-rise Loree Grand, located in the NoMa neighborhood just steps from downtown DC. In 2009, CulturalDC developed a multi-platform marketing strategy, as well as user-friendly application and financial certification processes that resulted in 19 artists moving into the newly renovated building. The artists represent a range of creative disciplines including visual art, music, theatre, film, arts education, and more. Apartments were awarded to artist households making at or below 80% of area median income.
City of Takoma Park Chambers Renovation
CulturalDC and iStudio Architecture worked with the City of Takoma Park, MD in 2008 to plan and execute the redevelopment of their auditorium into a multi-user, arts friendly space. The space can now accommodate spoken word, musical performances and dance recitals and is available to the community 6 days a week. The backdrop for the auditorium features acoustic wall panels that are overlaid with photographs of the city throughout its past. Some of the other cost and energy efficient renovations include new systems, theatrical lightning and a new stage.
CulturalDC purchased Source (1835 14th Street, NW) in October 2006 with the vision of redeveloping the theatre’s multi-use performing arts space. Source’s 150-seat black box is vital to the area’s small and medium-sized arts organizations because the space is intimate, flexible, and affordable. Following an extensive $3.5 million renovation begun in early 2008, Source now provides a classroom, rehearsal studio, and administrative space. In addition to the black box, Source houses three resident companies and area performing arts groups that maintain offices on the second floor of the building.
All Source spaces are available to area arts organizations and businesses with emphasis on inclusion and variety among activities. The range of events attracts diverse audiences, including students from the area’s many schools and universities, neighborhood residents, and professionals, and arts patrons throughout the region. Source acts as a fulcrum for reinvigorating the performing arts industry and building community.
The Numark Gallery was one of the premiere contemporary art galleries in Washington DC. Cheryl Numark, the director and owner, came to CulturalDC for help in finding and securing their current state-of-the-art space. CulturalDC introduced Numark to CarrAmerica and the Terrell Place development team so that she could buy and design a street-level commercial condo inspired by the Chelsea style of her peers. The gallery, located at 625 E Street NW, had a successful 3 years of spectacular shows from artists like Jim Sanborn, Terri Friedman and Chan Chao, before closing in 2006.
Cultural Arts Center at Eastgate
In corporation with the DC Housing Authority, A&R Development, The Henson Development Company, and Community Leadership, CulturalDC developed a business plan for a new cultural arts center for the Eastgate Gardens HOPE VI Project site along Benning Road, SE in Ward 7. In 2006 CulturalDC worked with the development team to design the programmatic framework, plus plan and construct a new cultural arts facility that provides space, infrastructure, and support for artists and cultural organizations in the Ward 7 community.
PN Hoffman partnered with CulturalDC in 2005 to develop a dynamic center for creative living and industry in the heart of historic downtown DC. The project was a culmination of many years of community input and its implementation was a direct result of CulturalDC’s willingness to advocate for and respond to the community’s vision. The project features 38 loft-style condominiums, 12 affordable artist live/work condominiums and Flashpoint, a multi-disciplinary arts incubator. CulturalDC acted as a consultant to the developer to recruit qualified applicants and hold a lottery to prioritize purchasers to live in the affordable units and facilitated access to loan programs.
CulturalDC built and manages Flashpoint – DC’s first arts incubator. A collaborative laboratory, Flashpoint provides strategic business support and affordable space for up to eight arts organizations. This stylish downtown venue showcases new and experimental work by visual and performing artists. CulturalDC presents the Mead Theatre Lab and Gallery programs that competitively select proposals from independent producers, curators, and artists. Program participants receive mentorship by leading area curators, staff support, and free access to space. The result is a dynamic season of exhibits and productions enriching the local contemporary art scene.
ARCH Arts in Residency
In 2005, CulturalDC partnered with the ARCH Training Center, a training organization aimed at encouraging DC’s “at risk” residents to learn academic and carpentry skills while also rehabilitating residential property in the Anacostia area. ARCH wanted to incorporate a program that would support the DC arts community and its clients, so they hired CulturalDC to assist in the development of their Arts Residency Program. CulturalDC’s job was to help ARCH in every stage of the planning process and provide consulting services to the developers, owners, government agencies and real estate professionals involved in the project.
Ticketplace is a means to buy discount tickets to theatre and performing arts events hosted by many different venues, including the Kennedy Center, Ford’s, Woolly Mammoth, Wolf Trap, and more. CulturalDC was sought out by Jose Carrasquillo, the former Treasurer for Ticketplace, to find an accessible and visible half-price/day-of-show ticket booth. CulturalDC searched for a space matching Carrasquillo’s description and introduced him to the Hastings Development Corporation. They provided Carrasquillo with a small storefront in the heart of the Downtown Arts District (407 7th Street, NW), which opened in May 2004. In the first five days of opening its new location, Ticketplace did more business than any other five day period in the history of the company.
CulturalDC built a relationship with H Street Community Development Corporation, the owners of the historic Atlas Theatre, in order to redevelop it into an active venue. The historic theatre, now the Atlas Performing Arts Center (APAC), is located on the corner of 13th and H Streets at 1333 H Street NE. After 25 years of the property remaining vacant and isolated, CulturalDC worked for 3 years to create a viable plan for the revamping of the site into a community arts center in 2000. CulturalDC also facilitated the sale of the building and worked with Jane Lang to turn it into a rental house for small theatre companies.
As the project progressed, CulturalDC continued to provide guidance by advising on the design and operational structure, identifying key consultants, board members and funders and recruiting anchor tenant Joy of Motion Dance Center. CulturalDC also continues to regularly refer renters and resident companies, such as StepAfrika! and Washington Savoyards, to the facility.
APAC is a 59,000 sq ft facility home to 4 performance venues, dance studios, and classrooms. Annually, they bring roughly 150,000 patrons to the area by providing affordable access to professional dance and theatrical performances as well as extra-curricular arts educational opportunities for children and adults.
VisArts (aka Rockville Arts Place)
After many years of renting space in an old shopping center, RAP was eager to work with the City of Rockville to plan a permanent home as part of the reinvented, expanded Rockville Town Center. Home to a gallery, an arts school and individual artist studios, RAP needed to plan for more effective operations including staffing, board engagement, finances, and facility management. CulturalDC helped them plot a roadmap to secure their future and play a more dynamic role in the city center.
For more information, contact Samantha May at 202.315.1307.