I received the following from my friend Sean who runs the Bloomingdale blog. It sounds phenomenal. Sean writes:
“The WPA, Artomatic, and the Warehouse Theatre have teamed up to propose an Art Space at the old JF Cooke Elementary at 30 P Street NW.”
Show your support in the comments. Find the full proposal after the jump.
A collaborative arts center located at J.F. Cooke Elementary School
FLUX is a collaborative arts center partnering the visual and performing arts, arts
administration, community arts programming, artist studio space, and a design workshop
under one roof. The mission of the FLUX partners, the Washington Project for the Arts,
The Warehouse Theater & Gallery, and Artomatic, is to create a synergetic hub for the
arts that meets the needs of area artists, designers, performers, residents and arts
administrators by creating a multi-purpose flexible venue which is deeply used to further
the mission of the individual partners and provide unique, exciting and culturally rich
The Washington Project for the Arts, founded in 1975, has a rich 31-year history as an
artist member organization, with over 1200 members, and a provider of engaging, highprofile,
well-attended arts programming in the DC metropolitan region. The WPA has
implemented and supported programs that include exhibitions, panel discussions,
printed catalogues, a digital artfile, ArtFile Online and a comprehensive artist directory
that benefits local residents.
The Warehouse Theater & Gallery is Washington’s leading alternative art space.
Currently located in three historic buildings on 7th Street NW, the Warehouse presents
independent and experimental theater, music, art, film, dance and happenings
Artomatic began in 1999 when three hundred and fifty artists cleaned, lit, painted and
colonized the Manhattan Laundry building for a 6 week art show. Over 50,000 visitors
attended the most recent Artomatic 2008, held in the NoMa area of downtown
Given the substantial lack of studio, gallery, performance and arts administration office
space, this facility could potentially fill critical needs in the city’s arts-space continuum.
The property requires little alterations to be repurposed for artist studios, exhibit space,
classrooms, performance and rehearsal space, office space, and the required
administrative, storage and other support space. FLUX will be developed and managed in
a collaborative model with complimentary partners whose use of the space would
provide a dynamic and synergetic presence in the community and create affordable
workspace and venues appropriate to house artist studios, galleries, theatre space, a
community arts workshop space, a design workshop and arts administration offices.
Professional artists require particular physical characteristics – high ceilings, natural
light and ventilation. The lack of an industrial base, compounded by the limited
development envelope, has always made finding affordable studio space a particular
challenge for District artist residents.
Creating FLUX addresses three critical needs facing the artists of the District of
Columbia: 1) viable, affordable work/studio space; 2) effective facility management of a
visual arts center and community facility; and 3) professional yet nurturing arts
environments that encourage innovation and the creative process. FLUX will adapt the
space to provide low-cost studio, exhibit, design, and theatre and support space to
District artists and visual arts organizations, allowing their focus to remain on the
artistic process and community service.
FLUX SPACE USAGE
• Cultural Experiences Monthly open studios will invite area residents to engage
artists, purchase their work, and engage in community arts programming.
Residents will also have the opportunity to attend gallery openings, rotating
exhibitions and artist talks. The gallery and theatre will host events featuring well
known local artists, performances, art workshops, discussion groups and artist
• Performing Arts A regular program of theatre performances will be planned,
along with music and spoken word events, workshops and special theatrical
events, affording area residents the opportunity to access high quality theatre in
• Festivals/Markets The land surrounding the building would be used for weekly
artist’s markets, outdoor sculpture and other outdoor community events.
• Arts Education and Salons The Washington Project for the Arts and Artomatic
will hold regular workshops and classes covering best practices for professional
artists and will also engage outside speakers to lecture to the local arts
community. Regular salons for WPA member and studio artists will take place in
the workshop, along with classes led by artists for area teens interested in careers
in arts and design.
• Arts and Design Administration Office space for Artomatic and a separate
design workshop for resident designers, the fastest growing component of artists
living in DC, provides a hub for individual and area culture groups to work
together in creating and designing websites, print materials, theatre sets,
exhibitions, and other special events, both internally at FLUX, and for outside
clients where there is high demand for design services.
• Community Meetings FLUX will be an accessible space for community residents.
The classrooms, gallery and conference room will be available for ANC and
community meetings, plus other civic associations or neighborhood groups.
CONFIGURATION OF USES
Space allocation of the 43,500 feet would be as follows:
1st floor: Box office, Theatre manager, Warehouse office space, Design
Workshop and rehearsal, set storage space, community workshop space,
2nd floor: Artist Studios, and studio manager office space
3rd floor: Large gallery in former library, artist studio space, kitchen,
workshop, community space, WPA Office, Artomatic Office space
The parking lot and adjacent area could be used for festivals, artist
markets, weekend outdoor events and outdoor sculpture space.
Washington Project for the Arts, The Warehouse Theater & Gallery, and Artomatic
propose to manage and use J.F. Cook Elementary School at 30 P Street, NW as a
collaborative visual, performing arts, design, and arts administration center that serves
multiple constituencies and attracts a broad audience. This use incorporates a variety of
culture and community needs which could create a neighborhood asset and a prominent
regional destination. The reuse of the property as a visual and performing arts center,
arts administration offices, and a design workshop will allow it to provide a haven for
some of our city’s hardest working residents – our artists – and a cultural haven for area
residents and their families.
Paul Ruppert – [email protected]
Adam Griffiths – [email protected]
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