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New District Initiative Connects District Homeless to Arts Experiences this Holiday Season

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Contact: Jeffrey Scott (DCCAH) (202) 724-5613

(Washington, DC) - Today the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) announced a new initiative, "Heartwarming Holidays," in an effort to make the arts accessible to those experiencing homelessness in the District during the holiday season.

DCCAH has teamed with several DC-based performing arts organizations to make more than 100 complimentary tickets available to those experiencing homelessness. Participating organizations include The Washington Men's Camerata, Thomas Circle Singers, Dance Institute of Washington, Folger Consort, Theatre Alliance, Arena Stage, Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, DC and Washington Improv Theatre, among others. The productions include concerts, musicals and theatre.

DCCAH has partnered with the Department of Human Services (DHS) on this innovative and inclusive program. The free tickets will be distributed during holiday gatherings and social events at emergency housing and homeless services facilities across the District this holiday season.

"The arts can have a profound impact on a person's life," said Kay Kendall, Chair of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. "We are grateful to our wonderful performing arts organizations for sharing their talents with all of our city's residents during the holidays."

"Making the arts accessible to everyone in the District is a priority for Mayor Muriel Bowser," said Arthur Espinoza, Jr., Executive Director of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. "Within that objective, we also want to improve the quality of life for those experiencing homelessness through impactful arts and humanities experiences. We initiated this program to be a link to our incredible arts community for those challenged by homelessness."

"Foremost this holiday season, and all year round, the District is focused on connecting people experiencing homelessness with the supports and services they need to achieve stability in housing. We are also focused on ensuring that all District residents, especially our most vulnerable, have access to experiences that enrich and improve their quality of life," said Department of Human Services Director Laura Zeilinger. "We are honored to partner with the DC Commission on the Arts to make the arts more accessible for the people we serve."

Heartwarming Holidays is part of a larger program, DC Arts for All that aims to make the arts more accessible to District residents. DCCAH currently plans to coordinate other arts experiences to include all DC residents throughout the year in keeping with its accessibility initiatives.

For more information, please visit: http://dcarts.dc.gov/