Cultural Arts Center at Eastgate
In cooperation with the DC Housing Authority, A&R Development, The Henson 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. CulturalDC worked with the development team to design the programmatic framework, plus plan for the construction and operation of a new cultural arts facility that provides space, infrastructure and support for artists and cultural organizations in the Ward 7 community.
CulturalDC brokered the deal that allowed for the redevelopment of the historic Atlas Theater (13th & H Streets, NE). After 25 years of the property sitting predominantly vacant, CulturalDC worked for 3 years to build a relationship with the owners, H Street Community Development Corporation, conduct a feasibility analysis and create a viable plan for the reuse of the site as a community arts center. Recommendations included site plans and financial scenarios. Also working with Jane Lang to vet her vision of a rental house for small theatre companies, CulturalDC introduced her to the Atlas and H Street, and facilitated the sale of the property, including negotiating the forgiveness of the publicly-held mortgage on the property. CulturalDC also provided guidance as the project took shape, advised on design and operational structure, identified key consultants, board members and funders, recruited anchor tenant Joy of Motion Dance Center, and continues to regularly refer renters and resident companies, such as StepAfrika! and Washington Savoyards, to the facility.
Opened in phases, APAC houses four performance venues, dance studios and classrooms, annually bringing approximately 150,000 patrons to the area providing affordable access to professional dance and theatrical performances, plus extra-curricular arts educational opportunities for children and adults.
Having built one of the leading contemporary art galleries in the Washington area, Cheryl Numark longed to have a larger, more visible, state-of-the-art space that she owned instead of rented. CulturalDC introduced her to CarrAmerica and the Terrell Place development project that offered Numark the opportunity to buy and design a street-level commercial condo in the style of her peers in Chelsea. Numark’s new home opened in fall 2003 at 625 E Street NW, with a spectacular show by Jim Sanborn. Numark Gallery closed to the public in December 2006.
With a vision of patrons buying tickets without going through a metal detector, former Ticketplace Treasurer Jose Carrasquillo sought a permanent location for DC’s half-price/day-of-show ticket booth that was visible and accessible. After a lengthy search, CulturalDC introduced him to the Hastings Development Corporation, owners of a small storefront in the heart of the Downtown Arts District. With the help of many, Ticketplace quietly opened their new home at 407 7th Street, NW, in May 2004, doing more business in the first five days than in any other five day period in their history.
13th and U Street Hotel
CulturalDC is working with the JBG Companies to assist them in the development of a boutique hotel at 13th and U Street NW. The hotel aims to complement the existing artistic energy of the neighborhood throughout various aspects of the hotel. CulturalDC is assisting JBG in identifying appropriate areas for artistic inclusion and coordinating the selection of work.
City of Takoma Park Chambers Renovation
Working with iStudio Architecture, CulturalDC assisted the City of Takoma Park, MD in envisioning their current auditorium into a multi-user arts friendly space. The space will now be able to accommodate spoken word, musical performances and dance recitals. New systems, theatrical lighting and stage are just some of the changes that will enable the artistic use of the space. Construction is scheduled to begin in June 2009, with the grand reopening in November 2009.
CulturalDC worked with Artspace Projects, Inc. in the development of approximately 40 affordable, renal artist live/work units in Brookland. CulturalDC is provided design assistance, market analysis support, community outreach, and grant application assistance.
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, to resident companies and area performing arts groups.
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.
In partnership with private developer PN Hoffman, CulturalDC developed a dynamic center for creative living and industry in the heart of historic downtown DC. The project is a culmination of many years of community input and its implementation is a direct result of CulturalDC’s willingness to advocate for and respond to the community vision.
The project includes 38 market-rate loft-style condominiums, 12 affordable artist live/work condominiums and Flashpoint, a multi-disciplinary arts incubator. As a consultant to the developer, CulturalDC recruited and selected 50 qualified applicants, held a lottery to prioritize purchasers to the affordable units and facilitated access to loan programs.
CulturalDC built out 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.
When this project hit a complete standstill, CulturalDC jumped to the aid of 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.
For more information, contact Samantha May at 202.315.1307.