Anacostia is going pretty damn big on the temporium front.
The neighborhood is getting a chunk of a $250,000 grant to the city from ArtPlace, a heavily backed (think the Rockefeller Foundation and the Nonprofit Finance Fund) nonprofit that seeks to encourage arts-based placemaking, via the Office of Planning. (Other neighborhoods slated for funding from ArtPlace include Brookland, Deanwood, and central 14th Street NW.) OP is partnering with the nonprofit ARCH Development Corporation, Anacostia’s creative-class incubator, to distribute the money.
ARCH is calling the effort LUMEN8Anacostia. There will be temporiums, of course—those seeking to make use of some of the currently vacant commercial space on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Good Hope Road SE will be required to be open at least two days per week, including Saturdays, for 10–12 weeks, in exchange for a stipend up to $5,000. But per an email from ARCH’s Director of Economic Development and Marketing Nikki Peele (also known as Congress Heights on the Rise), the ArtPlace grant will also fund “creative lighting” of MLK and Good Hope, the projection of silent short films onto buildings, and a 12-hour street festival in April that will make use of warehouse space for performances.
Funneling nationally established money through a city agency into a neighborhood-based nonprofit is smart policy; ARCH, which also runs Honfleur Gallery and Vivid Solutions Print Lab, both in Anacostia, knows how to get neighborhood residents involved—and comfortable —with its projects. (Example: A community meeting tonight will explain LUMEN8, and a walking tour on Feb. 4 will show off the sites. There aren’t any secrets about how this will work.)
But strategies for neighborhood revitalization aside, LUMEN8 sounds, well, really cool. That there will be several temporiums and performance spaces (a site list shows six available interior spaces) to plug the gaps in Anacostia’s nascent commercial district will maximize foot traffic more than a single place would. And the interior nature of the temporiums will be tempered by those movie projections and street lighting, public-art features that can keep going when the latter close their doors. LUMEN8 has a chance to integrate with Anacostia’s fabric in a way that a single storefront cannot, and maximize its limited period of existence while doing so.
Applications for temporium operators, performance artists, and film and video artists are now open; additional information can be found on the LUMEN8Anacostia website.