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CAH Lincoln Theatre Rental Underwriting Support

CAH Lincoln Theatre Rental Support

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (CAH) provides underwriting support for venue rental for the Lincoln Theatre at 1215 U Street, NW, which is operated by “It’s My Theatre” (IMT) subject to its funding availability. Annually, CAH provides a limited number of days of support to nonprofit entities (applicants). CAH pays IMT directly for the venue rental cost for approved use of the theatre.

CAH provides two levels of rental support to community member applicants, dependent on whether the applicants are utilizing the Lincoln Theatre as a free community event or as a program with any portion of paid admission.

  1.  For applicant organizations requesting Lincoln Theatre underwriting support for FREE events and open to the general public, CAH will pay the applicable venue rental costs up to three (3) days of any use.
  2.  For applicant organizations requesting underwriting support for an event with any portion of tickets PAID, and open to the general public, CAH will pay the applicable venue rental costs up to two (2) performance days. No underwriting support would be provided for load-in/out or rehearsal only days.

CAH’s Lincoln Theatre rental underwriting program does not cover expenses or services beyond venue rental, including but not limited to: security, marketing, promotion, ticketing, house management, production and technical services, equipment rental, permits, valet, theatrical design, catering, etc. The applicant, if approved, will be required to enter into separate agreements with CAH and IMT, and IMT will advise the applicant as to any expenses or services required under their agreement.

Applicants must demonstrate proof of liability insurance in the amount of $2M for their intended use at the time application and shall protect all those who are occasioned in their event.

Applicants are encouraged to demonstrate opportunities for the public, disabled, and underserved populations to participate and be engaged, whether through a share of complimentary tickets (3% of adjusted house capacity minimum.), open rehearsals or other mission-related community engagement programming, through the use of the theater.

Organizations eligible to apply must:
  • Be incorporated in the District of Columbia; and
  • Be a registered District of Columbia nonprofit business; and
  • Be headquartered with a land address in the District of Columbia as demonstrated by the organization’s most recent IRS Form 990 (Post Office Boxes and the address of board members or volunteers may not be used as a primary business address); and
  • Possess a federal tax exemption status (501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6)) for at least one year prior to the time of application; and
  • Be a registered organization in good standing with the District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs’ (DCRA) Corporation Division, the Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS); and
  • Obtain a Citywide Clean Hands certification, and
  • Be in good standing with CAH should a previous financial relationship exist.


  • Be a District Government agency

Additionally, applicants must not have previously placed a reservation with IMT for the date(s) in which rental underwriting is requested.

In order to allow a greater diversity of use, rental underwriting support is at the discretion of CAH and may not result in repeated annual use by any single applicant. Applicant organizations requesting support for the same event date each year will hold no priority.

Each year, the rental underwriting support application period will begin on July 1 (or the next business day) for the period beginning October 1 to September 30. Applications received prior to July 1 for the subsequent fiscal year will not be accepted. Only requests submitted via the online form linked below will be accepted.

After July 1, Applicants may submit the Request Form at their convenience through June 30 of the following year. Applicants are highly encouraged to submit the Request Form no later than three (3) months prior to the requested first usage date. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis by an advisory review panel consisting of CAH staff monthly and ranked based on artistic content, organizational capacity and District impact and community engagement. The highest ranked applications will be recommended to receive rental underwriting support. Responses will be provided to the Applicant within thirty (30) days of receipt of the application.

Applicants are limited to receive rental underwriting support once per fiscal year, based on availability.

Complete the Lincoln Theatre Rental Support Request Form.

For questions on CAH's Lincoln Theatre Rental Support program, please contact Christopher Naoum at [email protected] and Edward Daniels at [email protected].