Ivy City is a small and contained neighborhood in Northeast Washington, DC. It is home to many gems, including Gallaudet University, a private university for the education of the deaf and hard of hearing; the notable Hecht’s Warehouse that sold in 2011 and is now loft apartments; and the Crummel School named after Alexander Crummel, an abolitionist and Episcopal priest.
Ivy City is also the site of one of the District of Columbia Office of Planning (OP)’s creative placemaking initiatives.
Creative placemaking is the intentional support of arts and culture-related organizations and activities that bring residents together to make social, physical, and economic changes in their neighborhoods.
After conducting a thorough competition, DC’s Office of Planning chose a diverse set of curators to develop and deliver arts-related projects in all eight wards of the city. LISC DC, in partnership with buildingcommunityWORKSHOP (bc), was selected!
The OP’s Crossing the Street: Building DC’s Inclusive Future through Creative Placemaking goal was to foster civic interaction and engage residents in a conversation about the future of their city.
As part of our creative placemaking work in Ivy City, LISC DC, Empower DC, The Sanctuaries, Open Studio DC, and bcWORKSHOP worked with Ivy City residents to create a large piece of community art.
Residents took photos that represented what Ivy City – both current and historic – meant to them. The photos were included in big letters that spelled out “Ivy City.” See photos below.
The screen printed installation was unveiled at a community celebration on Saturday, October 29th. It was a great event. Over 200 people came out to promote community building in a neighborhood that is experiencing swift demographic and social change.