DC's Office of Planning is preparing to launch a series of temporium projects in vacant spaces along the Central 14th Street corridor, which stretches from Spring Road to Longfellow Street NW. The project is funded by a $250,000 grant from ArtPlace, a collaboration between federal agencies and private foundations that seeks to revitalize commercial corridors through arts-based uses. The same grant money helped to fund the Lumen8Anacostia series of events (which had a very successful opening day last weekend).
The Office of Planning is partnering with the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the 14th Street Uptown Business Association on the project, which is being referred to as Summer of the Arts. OP has enlisted the assistance of the arts planning collective Rebar to assist with designing the temporary spaces (which is exciting, as Rebar has implemented lots of innovative projects all around the country).
The project was developed in coordination with the recommendations of the Central 14th Street Revitalization Strategy Plan, which calls for creative uses of the commercial spaces along the corridor in order to spur revitalization.
Two events this weekend will kick off planning for the project. Both are free and open to the public:
When: Friday, April 20, 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Where: Sorg Architects, 918 U St NW
Panel discussion on how commercial corridors like 14th Street can use art to bolster neighborhood vitality.
Moderator: Donald Russell, executive director, Provisions Learning Project/Provisions Library
John Bela, founder, Rebar
Liesel Fenner, public art program manager, Americans for the Arts
Julian Hunt, AIA, Hunt Laudi Studio
Linn Meyers, artist
Suman Sorg, Sorg Architects
Harriet Tregoning, director, DC Office of Planning
When: Saturday, April 21, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Where: The plaza in the 5500 block of Colorado Avenue NW
From the Office of Planning: "Community residents will re-create a temporary art-plaza in the 5500 block of Colorado Avenue and 14th Street (in front of the old Colorado Dry Cleaners). This will be a hands-on and fun activity using chalk, stencils and plantings to create a short term art plaza as recommended in the Central 14th Plan. After the mock-up, everyone is invited to join Rebar and business owners for a hands-on discussion on how street furniture will help with revitalization. The discussion will address the following questions: How are sidewalks currently used? Could street furniture support a more active and engaging street? What are the needs of businesses to attract more visitors? This discussion will take place from 4:00 – 6:00 pm at 5538 1/2 Colorado Avenue (Linn Meyer's studio)."