making space for art, since 1998

As part of our mission to make space for art, CulturalDC provides consulting services to research, design, and implement creative placemaking initiatives including art installations, artist housing, feasibility planning, creative space development, and public art. Since 1998, we have brokered over 300,000 sq. ft. of space for artists and arts organization in Washington, DC.

CulturalDC works with real estate developers, artists, city officials, residents and other key stakeholders through creative placemaking initiatives, community-centered engagements, and innovative real estate partnerships that have resulted in the creation of Atlas Performing Arts Center, Source Theatre, Brookland Arts Lofts, and the 27 artist studios at Monroe Street Market in Brookland.





In 2016, CulturalDC 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. CulturalDC advised on the rental market analysis for the units, marketed the units, and fully vetted tenants leading to successful leases. 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.

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CulturalDC partnered with Artspace Projects, Inc. to develop approximately 40 affordable artist live/work units in the Brookland neighborhood of 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.



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.



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 managed Flashpoint – DC’s first arts incubator. A collaborative laboratory, Flashpoint provided strategic business support and affordable space for up to eight arts organizations. This stylish downtown venue showcased new and experimental work by visual and performing artists. CulturalDC presented the Mead Theatre Lab and Gallery programs that competitively selected proposals from independent producers, curators, and artists.  Program participants received mentorship by leading area curators, staff support, and free access to space. The result was a dynamic season of exhibits and productions enriching the local contemporary art scene.

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the anthem

PN Hoffman partnered with CulturalDC to install a mobile/chandelier-type hanging art piece for the 5-story atrium in the 9:30 Club’s new 6,000 seat venue, The Anthem. CulturalDC was responsible for recruiting multiple artists with a variety of proposals for the space. After assembling the different proposals, CulturalDC, along with PN Hoffman and the 9:30 Club collaborated and discussed their options, selecting Dan Steinhilber to fill the space. His installation aims to reflect the musical nature of the space with a rhythmic configuration. The Anthem opened in 2017 at The Wharf, located on the Southwest waterfront.



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 hosted a grand community block party in April 2017 in partnership with the Walter Reed Development Team of Hines, Urban Atlantic, and Triden, and 18 local community organizations. The event featured public artwork created by local Ward 4 artists. Each artwork installation celebrated the history of the site, the surrounding neighborhood, and the dreams for the future of the campus. The Walter Reed Army Medical Center, a 67-acre site 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 historic buildings onsite, add residential housing, park space, veteran and senior support services and office, retail, medical and educational spaces.



CulturalDC partnered with Vision McMillan Partners to consult in the redevelopment of the McMillan Sand Filtration Site. The site of 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 will include affordable housing (both townhomes and apartments), healthcare facilities, retail spaces, park area, 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.



In 2016, 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 at an affordable price. The historic Allen Lee Hotel was remade to feature crisp, clean rooms of approximately 250 sqft that merge today’s technology with refined minimalism. Abdo Development hired CulturalDC to bring 6 artists to fill the elevator shaft with a different mural for each floor. The selected artists were all DC-based and include: Jordann WineCory OberndorferJD DeardourffTim ConlonMonica Stroik and Victor Ekpuk. They successfully delivered a cohesive iconic statement for Hotel Hive guests and visitors to admire and enjoy for years to come.


In July of 2015, CulturalDC was hired by Twelve12, an apartment complex managed by Forest City Washington, to select a rotating group of artists for an installation within the building lobby. These exhibitions rotate on a biannual basis and the two artists currently represented in the lobby are Soomin Ham and Amie Oliver.



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 Flats development in the Petworth Neighborhood of Washington, DC. Nekisha Durrett, a Petworth-based artist, was selected 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 Commission on Arts and Humanities awarded CulturalDC a 2011 Public Art Building Communities grant to oversee the project.

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feasibility PLANNING



Jair Lynch Real Estate Partners is currently working with CulturalDC to develop a diverse range of arts uses within their development of the Ballpark District, a new neighborhood directly outside of the Washington Nationals Ballpark. CulturalDC is creating an arts activation plan that will include a sustainable financial plan that will support a rotating video art program, a mural wall, and a net-neutral flexible arts space. After creating the development plan CulturalDC will manage the arts uses and work to keep them dynamic and engaging for the local neighborhood as well as visitors coming to the area for stadium events. This development is set to deliver in 2020.



Developers, DB Lee and Brooke Rose, partnered with CulturalDC to help shape an arts program at their new boutique hotel located at 411 New York Ave, NE. The arts program will boast a stable platform from which artists, creative entrepreneurs, cultural collectives, and organizations can thrive in the Union Market neighborhood for many years to come. The program will provide subsidized, protected space for artists to work and present. Renovations are expected to begin in 2018. 



Silver Spring Black Box Theatre is a venue in Montgomery County that welcomes new artists and arts organizations into its space with one-night engagements and limited runs. The theatre features an intimate space where one can connect with audiences and feed off their energies. Use of the space is maintained through rentals at affordable rates. From 2014-2017, Silver Spring Black Box Theatre hired CulturalDC as a consultant to advise them on their business plan and day-to-day management. CulturalDC worked with the staff there to create a self-sufficient and successful company (Forum Theater).



The Arts Walk at Monroe Street Market features 27 artist studios on 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 with multiple studios offering classes and workshops for aspiring and established artists. CulturalDC developed the concept of the Arts Walk, the financial strategy, and contributed to the design of the multi-use arts complex, which includes the 27 studios as well as the 3,000 sqf flexible 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. Currently 40 artists collectively rent the 27 studios and there is an active waiting list of 70+ artists for this popular affordable enclave.



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 at 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's SOURCE theatre

CulturalDC purchased the Source Theater at 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



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 venue 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. 



After many years of renting space in an old shopping center, Rockville Arts Place (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.