Placemaking Projects

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SW Sunday Supper

Every Sunday in August 2017, neighbors came together to meet someone new and get to know one another over a meal. Each supper began with an artistic engagement. Hand dancing lessons by a group that dances every Saturday at the nearby recreation center, poetry recitation, improv theater, and a community talent show. Local restaurants provided the food. All expenses were paid by the SW Business Improvement District and The Art Island collaborated on the production.

 
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IF YOU LIVED HERE

On June 27, 1867, Reverend Richard Hall, pastor of Union Bethel Church (known today as Metropolitan A.M.E.), purchased lot number 5, Section 2 on Stanton Road, SE, the first one-acre lot sold in the new Freedmen’s community, but later renamed Hillsdale. For a down payment of $15.00 a purchaser was provided a wagon-load of lumber and instructions for building a “simple but good quality house.” Reverend Hall was a pioneer −  the 375-acre neighborhood, deeded to the Freedmen’s Bureau, gave newly freed African Americans the opportunity to own land and build their own homes. This self-sufficient community grew and thrived, eventually having its own school, recreation areas, post office, churches, cemeteries, and markets. 

If YOU Lived Here seeks to commemorate the founding of this community, and also to reflect on how we live today. Visitors will draw parallels between the past and the present through a series of interactive, tactile, and creative activities. 

 
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SEE / CHANGE

SEE / CHANGE is a video art installation that puts a human face on how population change and economic shifts affect neighborhoods and communities. The installation can be adapted to any neighborhood wishing to shine a light on its residents and to connect them to one another.

In its first iteration, video portraits of community members were projected in storefronts along Lower Georgia Avenue NW during one week in November 2016. Mobile projections took place on a different wall each night. A series of Interviews with residents telling their stories about the neighborhood were posted on seechangdc.com. Discussions, workshops, and gatherings were hosted in locations throughout the neighborhood.

 
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BLUEBERRIES & CHERRIES

Blueberries & Cherries invites politically diverse guests to break bread and talk to each other face-to-face over a home cooked meal. The goal: to understand the things that influence our votes and to find ways to bridge the vast ideological gap that plagues our country. We engage in civil discourse that is unfiltered by the lens of political punditry and by the anonymity and bias of social-media.