Washington, DC

GAWF 85x11 flyer Nov 27

From a press release:

“A DC community is harnessing community assets to repurpose a currently vacant building and create a safe, fun, space for neighbors to connect, engage and celebrate their neighborhood. The Georgia Ave Community Development Task Force and the Georgia Ave and Lamont Public Safety Task Force will host the 1st Annual Georgia Ave Winter Fest: a neighborhood-wide demonstration of the positive aspects of the Georgia Ave corridor, such as the strong community spirit and activism and the exciting and engaged local businesses in the community.

The 1st Georgia Ave Winter Fest takes place from 11:00am to 4:00pm on December 5th at 3400 Georgia Avenue NW. The event is free and all are welcome. Attendees can:

– See performers ranging from salsa dancing to boxing demos, from school choirs and cheerleading to an Opera singer formerly of Park Morton public housing and the DC-based Eminence Band;
– Purchase Christmas trees from Annie’s Ace Hardware with 20% of proceeds going towards the neighborhood;
– Engage in arts and craft activities for children;
– Learn more about city services ranging from youth programming to addiction
– Sample and purchase foods from local restaurants like long-time Georgia Ave
Morgan’s Seafood, EatsPlace restaurant incubator, 11th Street favorite Kangaroo
Boxing Club, and newcomers Heat Da Spot and Colony Club;
– Peruse local artist wares for the holidays;
– View local student’s artwork made specifically or the event;
– Visit DC firefighters and see a fire truck up close and personal;
– Discover additional ways to get involved in the community.

The event has been made possible by massive community support and is being executed completely by volunteer effort and with donated funds. Audra Grant, a volunteer, neighbor, and President of the nearby Luray-Warder Neighborhood Association, says, “This is an opportunity for the community surrounding lower Georgia Avenue to come together and celebrate what lies ahead for the area. We’re excited!”

The Winter Fest is taking place in the former home of the Murry’s Grocery Store chain which has been under development for over a year and is part of an overabundance of vacant properties along Georgia Avenue. The repurposing of this property for a community celebration is in large part due to support from the owner/developer Zuckerman Gravely. Neighbors hope to set a precedent for community stewardship for other developers with vacant properties in Washington, DC. Says Grant, “It’s an interesting experiment in finding ways to use existing spaces for placemaking activities.”

The event is a culmination of intense community response to an increase in crime and violence in Washington, DC. It is part of a grassroots effort by neighbors to improve the safety in the area, which includes, among other activities, creating placemaking activities for the area, and repurposing currently vacant property for the neighborhood’s benefit. Laura Recchie, volunteer, and President of Root + Branch, one of the event’s sponsors says, “Seeing the neighborhood unite around this celebration is inspiring. Our neighbors are rallying to emphasize and support the things that make our community amazing.”

You can learn more about the event at www.georgiaavewinterfest.wordpress.com.”


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