Oversight of the new direction of the Lincoln Theatre has been delegated to the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities

From a press release:

“Today, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, Victor L. Hoskins took the first step in moving the Lincoln Theatre towards a new long-term sustainable plan for the future. Oversight of the new direction of the Lincoln Theatre has been delegated to the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH), the District’s agency for arts and culture.

“Creating a long-term sustainable structure for the management and operations of the theatre is one of the District’s highest priorities. I felt it was important to move in that direction by asking DCCAH to develop a comprehensive plan for its future operations in consultation with community members and the outstanding arts related organizations we have in the city,” said Victor Hoskins, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. Mr. Hoskins continued, “With less and less resources in the city, we must be diligent in our fiduciary responsibilities regarding all District-owned assets.”

Future plans include the introduction of an artistic director to facilitate the long-term artistic vision for the theatre and work on needed upgrades within the theatre itself.

“I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the U Street Theatre Foundation for their support of the Lincoln Theatre. The DCCAH is embracing the opportunity make this once great theatre a valued treasure in the city again,” said Lionell Thomas, Executive Director for the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

The Lincoln Theatre, built in 1922, has featured some of the most influential entertainers in American history, including Duke Ellington, Pearl Bailey, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday, Nat King Cole, Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong, and Sarah Vaughn who performed regularly.”

We spoke about the Lincoln Theatre’s troubles here and here. Does placing oversight with the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities a good idea?

12 Comment

  • Turn it over to whomever is managing the Atlas on H Street.

  • Marginally better than the idiotic group that has been running it, but really not so good overall. If you knew how much of our tax dollars the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities has thrown at absurd projects over the years (remember that horrible bike musician sculpture that was approved for 18th and Columbia?), you wouldn’t be optimistic about this.

  • There’s nothing wrong with the Lincoln Theater that an expensive, unaccountable bureaucracy can’t prolong.

  • that is a horrible idea. dccah? fuck.
    there goes ANY funding to anything artistic but dance troupes that are completely unsustainable.

    please let me be wrong about my concern.

    • +100

      I can only agree. The poor theater will continue to be wasted by a bunch of old school, Maryland-living, unsophistacted boobs just like the old management. I can’t wait to hear about their season – filled with “community” dance troupes that play to an empty house.

      There is huge potential here, but it must be run by new residents who know what the public wants. As a previous poster said, the Atlas Distirct should be the model. Obviously the PC acts scheduled in the past were not paying the bills!

      • i don’t agree with the old school maryland living comment. are you familiar with dccah? that’s a mischaracterization, at least from my experience. they’re quite dc proud, but since fenty systematically destroyed it, and i have yet to see any commitment from the arts from gray it is not been strong. maybe the rehiring of lionell thomas will be a good thing.
        here is a list of their current programming

  • Look – here’s my bottom line:

    I feel that the theater has been run too long by a group of people who do not like the idea of non-black people moving into the neighborhood and making it more cultrally diversve. I’ve heard some muse about the wonderful times when it was all black and everyone knew and supported eachother. These people use the cultural venues of the neighborhood to enforce the idea that this is only African American land, by booking acts and events that they feel would appeal to those with the same afro-centric views.

    While it was 100% black at one time due to racist segregationist policies, those days are long gone. we now live in a diversifying City, and it is not okay for one group to lay claim to a neighborhood on racial grounds.

    Ironically, ths is allowed to continue, because most of the new non-black residents are young renters who are not involved in local politics and institutions. This allows those who fear change to pack the boards of local institutions – even when they have long moved to Maryland!

    Time will change this, but I had hoped that the city would recognize this and allow the Theater to cater to the changing interests of the current community – not just the nostalgic musings of the past.

    While I’m sure I’ll be attacked as a racist, I appreciate the space PoP provides to air these points of view that exist. Until we are able to respectfully listen to all views in our new community, we won’t make any progress.

    • No, you’re right. Which is why they did not want to allow the gay film festival to be at the Lincoln until CM Graham basically forced them to do so (he is gay). That type of bigotry should be front page news, but we all know there is a double standard.

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