Mayor Vincent C. Gray joined the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) last evening to highlight the progress of the arts in 2012 and 2013. Commissioners and staff presented an overview of the previous year's work and an outline for the future to the public. The District of Columbia's Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, Victor L. Hoskins was also in attendance.
"The District of Columbia has become a national and international arts leader and we expect that to continue," said Mayor Gray. "It's a statement to the world that the District of Columbia invests in and celebrates the arts and humanities."
The Annual Meeting outlined successes, growth and vision for the future of the District arts. Growth in the funding budget was celebrated. Public Art Programs were highlighted, including three projects from the inaugural 2012 5x5 public art project, which were selected by the Americans for the Arts (AFTA) Public Art Network's Year in Review Top 50 Projects of 2013. The honor could not have come at a better time as DCCAH is simultaneously promoting the 2014 Call to Curators for 5x5. The beauty of the New York Bridge Gateway sculpture, the city's largest public art project to date, was also specifically distinguished. Citing recipient Atlas Performing Arts Center as one example of how the arts and humanities community have been instrumental in the history and transformation of the city, the Cultural Facilities Projects Program was featured as well. Ensuring that young people with artistic talent are supported was the message of the committee report on arts education.
In addition to presenting projects, the Commission seeks to engage community members. The public was encouraged to assist DCCAH's grant programs by recommending potential Advisory Panelists. Lisa Richards Toney, Deputy Director of the DCCAH, spoke to the importance of the arts to a vibrant economy for the District. In closing, Executive Director Lionell Thomas spoke to the DCCAH's commitment to "moving boldly forward" into the future.
"We are pleased to invite all District residents to our first public meeting and to share with them our great progress over this past year," said Judith Terra, Chair of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. "The Commission is proud to support the efforts of Washington's creative community and looks forward to helping more organizations and artists who have made the District a world-class cultural capital."
"The Commission is dedicated to being the leader in arts and humanities for the District," said Lionell Thomas, Executive Director of DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. "Our vision truly is to serve the growing creative economy."
The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities provides grants, professional opportunities, education enrichment, and other programs and services to individuals and nonprofit organizations in all communities within the District of Columbia.
The Arts Commission is supported primarily by District government funds and in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.