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DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Announces Fifteen Innovate DC Special Arts Initiative Grant Awardees

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Today, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) announces the grantees of its special arts initiative grant, Innovate DC. The grant is aimed to support projects that encourage and maintain the long-term development and impact on the arts, humanities and creative activities in Washington, DC. Innovate DC offers one-time grants up to $100,000 to District-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts and community-based organizations. Fifteen separate projects received funds from $10,000 to $100,000 for a total just over $1,000,000.

“The Innovate DC grantees exemplify the District’s dynamic, innovative community and support our creative economy,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “The new grant offers a fresh start for arts-based organizations who work to enrich our community and create pathways to the middle class.”

The announcement is part of InnoMAYtion, a pioneering initiative launched by Mayor Muriel Bowser that will showcase innovative programs during the month of May that create jobs, engage residents and position the District as a hub for innovation.

Highlighting various sectors, including the arts, transportation and technology, InnoMAYtion will concentrate on how the city will respond to the needs of residents through the innovation economy and create Pathways to the Middle Class.  

The grant awards go to a diversity of projects and programs across the District, from a new film festival organized by reporters and a concert series celebrating culinary arts to a new reading and writing program for formerly incarcerated youth. Fifteen projects were selected by panels from over one hundred applications.

“Innovate DC is about supporting District arts pioneers to foster sustainability,” said Kay Kendall, Chair of the DCCAH. “The Commission’s grants are investments in our amazing arts for residents and visitors to enjoy.”

“The Commission is excited to support these diverse projects that aim to serve the District with new creative offerings,” says Lisa Richards Toney, Interim Director of the DCCAH. “For Innovate DC, we’ve encouraged organizations to think outside their daily operations, connecting with new partners to create impact.”

Innovate DC is a funding initiative of the DCCAH that best reflects the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of the District of Columbia’s arts, humanities and cultural sectors. This new initiative strongly supports Mayor Bowser’s Administration’s efforts to advance a fresh start with programs that are creative, innovative and improve neighborhoods in the District. Funding opportunities included culinary arts, fashion, graphic design, digital media and film.

The grant is aimed to support projects that encourage and maintain the long-term development and impact on the arts, humanities and creative activities in Washington, DC. Innovate DC offers one-time grants up to $100,000 to District-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts and community-based organizations. Fifteen separate projects received funds from $45,000 to $100,000 for a total just over $1,000,000.

The 2015 Innovate DC grantees and projects:     
100 Reporters: Investigative Film Festival
Atlas Performing Arts Center: Mobilizing Our Community
Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington: Summer Tech Camp
Bread for the City: Her Story Radio Co-Op
Capital City Symphony: Taste Your Music
Dakshina: Persistent Voices
dogandpony: NexusDC
Ford’s Theatre: Women’s Voices Theater Festival
Free Minds Book and Writing: Reading, Writing and Re-entry
George Washington University:
John F. Kennedy Center: Creative Measures
Men Can Stop Rape: Counter Stories
National Theatre: Partnership with Imagination Stage
ScholarCHIPS: Artistic Interpretations
Teaching for Change: Teach the Beat