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Support The Possibility of A Super Cool New Collaborative Arts Center in Bloomingdale

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

community benefits.


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.


• 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

their neighborhood.

• 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.


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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