Office of Planning, Government of the District of Columbia

Funding Received: 2011
Washington, DC
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
August 12, 2012

Over the past eight weeks, the Brookland neighborhood of Washington, DC has come alive with the sights and sounds of Artland Brookland, an innovative community arts project featuring 12 weeks of free cultural events in some of the neighborhood’s vacant and underutilized spaces. Artland Brookland is operated by Dance Place, Washington, DC’s home for dance and a cultural hub in Brookland for over 25 years, and sponsored by the DC Office of Planning and ArtPlace.

The DC Office of Planning’s (OP) ArtPlace grant is to develop Arts and Culture Temporiums in four emerging creative neighborhoods, where vacant and/or underutilized storefronts and empty lots would be transformed into an artist showcase/village for three to six month periods. The goals are to activate vacant and underutilized spaces, promote artist entrepreneurship, and community building.

Dance Place’s vision for the temporary arts spaces has resulted in a vibrant mix of visual art exhibits, dance performances, music concerts, poetry readings, dance parties, workshops, and recreational activities for people of all ages. “We are so grateful for the opportunity to curate and manage this project,” said Dance Place Founding Director Carla Perlo. “Art and creativity are an essential part of what makes us human and the ability to provide such a diverse array of free programming to DC residents all summer long is just a dream come true.” Dance Place is operating a visual arts gallery “the 12th St. Gallery” (formerly a real estate office) and performance space (formerly Island Jim’s restaurant) called “DP3,” in addition to offering free outdoor performing exhibitions and arts workshops,

Over 100 artists from a variety of genres are taking part in Artland Brookland, which is organized into 6 themes: African-inspired Art, Latin-inspired Art, Freedom of Expression, Hip Hop, Youth Art and Brookland Artists.  “Thanks for the opportunity to work with Temporium and the other artists involved today… Everyone was telling their stories -- first through film, then music, then writing, then dance, surrounded by paintings that told their own stories…These accessible art events are so important,” wrote artist Ginny Myers her creative writing workshop at the 12th Street Gallery. “I had a beautiful time on Sunday!! I LOVE the venue, and the vibe was awesome!! The audience and dancers had a joyous and memorable time.  I would love to do any of this again another time!” said Chloe Arnold after performing at “DP3” in June.

It’s not too late to catch up with Artland Brookland! Each weekend, see something new, whether it be a poetry reading, arts workshop, dance performance, music concert or hip hop demonstration. “A student who had just arrived in town to study at Howard Divinity School remarked how thrilled he was to have stumbled upon the event while driving through the neighborhood” recalls Jack Gordon, who curated the 12th Street Gallery’s “Freedom of Expression” exhibition in July. To find out more about Dance Place and Artland Brookland, go to: http://www.danceplace.org/events/artland/

Check out our videos!

African inspired art: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHkh0Wl1zck

Latin inspired art: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idGjJ0PXUZs&feature=relmfu