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ADC Announces 3-Year Plan to Get More Art Into Anacostia

The nonprofit behind Honfleur Gallery, Vivid Solutions, Lumen8, and more plans to build housing units for artists and launch a new marketing campaign.

Anacostia is about to get more art. Photograph by Flickr user Daquella manera.

Phase One of ARCH Development Corporation’s mission to make Anacostia DC’s next arts hub is complete. In the past five years the company has established two galleries (Honfleur Gallery and Vivid Solutions) and one creative office space (the HIVE)—with another soon to follow—and it hosted a weeklong arts festival, LUMEN8Anacostia, earlier this year.

Now for phase two, which, according to a document ARCH released on its website yesterday will attempt to bring more artists to live and work in the neighborhood, as well as launch a new community marketing campaign titled “I [he]ART Anacostia.” LUMEN8 will return in 2013, and ARCH is also adding a family-oriented film series to its poetry and musical projects.

Anacostia’s future as an arts district has been making the news recently, thanks to the H Street Playhouse’s impending move to the neighborhood (after which it will be known as the Anacostia Playhouse). See this month’s Washingtonian for more on ARCH’s work east of the river. The new three-year plan seeks to build on the nonprofit’s 2004 shift toward focusing on “creating a home for small businesses, artists, arts and cultural organizations to fulfill our commitment to the revitalization and sustainable economic development of Historic Anacostia.”

The 2013-15 plan aims to do this not by expanding ARCH’s own stable of arts organizations, but by encouraging other institutions to set up shop in Anacostia, much as the H Street Playhouse will do next year. In fall of 2013, ARCH will finish work on four units of live/work housing for artists, and collaborate with ArtSpace, a nonprofit that seeks to find affordable housing and communities for artists, through 2015 to start work on a larger development studios and homes. Starting in 2014, ARCH will also launch a residency program to bring domestic and international artists to live and work in Anacostia for three-month cycles. The program is an expansion of ARCH DC’s current artist-in-residency program.

What does this mean for Anacostia? First and foremost, the plan solidifies ARCH’s efforts to bring artists to the area, attempting to revitalize the neighborhood through cultural institutions and building on the presence of artists who are already established there. Second, you might see “I [he]ART Anacostia” show up on flyers and posters around town. Most important, the organization is committed to continuing its arts-related development in Anacostia while also working with residents to make sure the needs of the community are met.

To see the entirety of ADC’s new three-year plan for its projects in Anacostia, visit Honfleur’s website.

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