It is with a heavy heart that the ARCH Family announces the death of one of its founders. Sharon Hughes Gautier who died on January 7th after a short, but devastating illness. Sharon was not only one of the original staff but also the one who inspired the development of ARCH Training Center and ARCH Family Services which over 25 years provided more than 11,000 DC individuals and families with job training, education, and social services.
Sharon was also the originator and funder of the Honfleur Gallery “East of the River Distinguished Artist Award” which annually recognizes a living East of the Anacostia River artist for creative excellence as well as for having a significant impact on the cultural landscape of Washington, DC.
ARCH Development Corporation [ARCH] is a small community development corporation whose entire focus is using arts, cultural and the small creative businesses to assist in the economic regeneration of the Anacostia community of Washington, DC.
The Mission of ARCH is: “To create, in partnership with the residents and stakeholders of the neighborhood, a home for arts, culture, and small businesses fulfilling our commitment to the revitalization of Historic Anacostia”
Its Vision is: “Anacostia should be a vibrant residential and commercial neighborhood that retains its historic charm and is filled with small businesses and cultural organizations, which serve Anacostia residents and is a destination for visitors.”
ARCH will operate programs to meet its objectives of presenting high quality arts, helping arts and culture groups find a home in Anacostia, presenting programs that promote art by and for underrepresented populations, providing support to artists who live or work east of the river and bringing visitors to artistic events and disposable income into the neighborhood.
Honfleur Gallery is a contemporary art space located at 1241 Good Hope Road in Anacostia that focuses on offering high-quality visual arts exhibitions in a diversity of mediums; showcasing primarily artists who either currently live or are from the District of Columbia; and giving east of the Anacostia River artists a voice in their own neighborhood. It also showcases underrepresented groups. The curatorial team seeks exhibitions that have relevance/resonance for the District of Columbia and East of the Anacostia River communities. In 2021 it will hold six curated exhibitions.
Vivid Gallery is located within the Anacostia Art Center at 1231 Good Hope Road, SE in Anacostia. Vivid will present exhibitions that are experimental, environmental, unseen, and unusual. Vivid programs will be the high-quality, yet off-beat visual arts programming arm for ARCH. It will hold six exhibitions in FY2021.
Blank Space SE objective is to increase opportunities for artists to show their work with minimal curatorial gatekeeping while bringing in varied exhibitions to Anacostia Arts Center. ARCH uses the walls of its HIVE Shared Space to show this work. ARCH also its represented artists work in businesses offices in the DC metropolitan area.
Theater and Spoken Word Presentations. In FY 2021, ARCH is dividing its theater operations into two components.
The first is a change in the way ARCH’s Theater Incubation Program will operate. ARCH will be providing grants to DC-based theater groups and spoken word artists to develop new works or new reinterpretations of existing work. They will then perform their productions at the Anacostia Playhouse, which will become ARCH’s partner in this program.
The Anacostia Art Center Black Box Theater will continue to provide performance and rehearsal space for small DC-area artists and groups, as well as for book signs and other cultural events. ARCH, in response to the Covid-19 crisis’s social distancing and crowd size regulations, has acquired new studio quality cameras, sound and lighting systems for the theater which can be used not only for ‘live’ streaming performances but also recording performances for future showings.
Music Programs: The Art Center music program will continue its music series, presenting not only performances by its in-house “The Hut”, which is a metaphor for a meeting place for musicians and music lovers to convene in the “village” of DC. ARCH also will increase its music presentations to include Jazz, Zydeco, Reggae, and Blues. Performances will be streamed until regulations allow for “live audiences”. ARCH will present twice a month performances. Additionally, ARCH has added equipment which allow music groups to rehearse and /or record.
East of the River Artist Support: In 2017, ARCH launched a website, DC Artists East, a free directory open to all artists who live or have studios east of the Anacostia River. The East of the River community includes a robust arts community and the goal of the site is to increase its visibility and further connect artists to each other and larger art buyer audiences.
In 2020, ARCH, once again in response to the Covid-19 crisis, initiated an Artist Auction Site to promote and sell work by Ward 7 and 8 Artists. This project will continue with two auctions in 2021.
Artist Housing/Workspace/Residency: ARCH will continue to operate four units of artist housing/workspace.
East of River Distinguished Artist Award: ARCH will reinstitute this annual award that recognizes a living East of the Anacostia River artist for creative excellence as well as for having significant impact on the cultural landscape of Washington, DC. The award with a $5,000 prize is presented by Honfleur Gallery with funding from a board member’s family.
The Hive 2.0, a hybrid coworking space, theater and retail hub in D.C.’s Ward 8 is full — despite the vast economic damage wrought by Covid-19.
“We found that amazing to be quite honest with you,” said Duane Gautier, the CEO of Arch Development Corp., which runs The Hive 2.0 and owns the Anacostia Arts Center building on Good Hope Road SE where it is located. The Hive offers members a low-cost place to work and help navigating the often complex world of business regulations.
The organization had braced for the worst.
“We thought the waitlist would go away and we were going to lose 20 to 25 or maybe even more of our members,” Gautier said.
Instead the coworking venue saw one private office member downgrade to a desk membership, and one private office member leave. But its waitlist for desks remains, and it is in the process of converting that now-available private office into additional space for its 64 coworking members.
The surprising, not-bad news is good news at a time where hundreds of thousands of small businesses have closed, unemployment remains high and coworking as an industry has taken hit after hit. RGN Group Holdings LLC, the company that operates Regus shared office suites, recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for a segment of its portfolio, and once omnipresent coworking giant WeWork is closing locations across the country and locally amid repeated devaluations.
But all is not blue skies for The Hive, which has seen foot traffic drop at its retail spaces, which includes MahoganyBooks, fashion and gift boutique Nubian Hueman, vintage shop Vintage & Charmed, vegan restaurant ELife and organic grocer Fresh Food Factory. The organization decided to waive rent payments during the pandemic, and those retail businesses will begin paying again in September, Gautier said.
Read more here: https://www.bizjournals.com/washington/search/results?q=Duane%20Gautier
The murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of the police have been a painful reminder of how prevalent violence against African Americans is in the United States.
We also realize that the great race-based economic, health, and educational disparities within our country must be addressed.
We stand in solidarity with local organizations strategizing to inspire positive change in our communities.
It is not enough to just speak out against the racist sentiments that permeate our country.
It is not sufficient to just say “BLACK LIVES MATTER”.
We must ACT on these realities facing our society.
Furthermore, it is critical that, on a local level, the voices of the community be heard and acted upon.
We challenge all not only to protest and speak out but to invest in Black initiatives, art, and businesses, especially in your neighborhoods.
Anacostia Arts Center’s very own Mahogony Books was featured in Blavity’s 15 Independent Black-Owned Bookstores Reclaiming Their Shelves And Community list. You can check the article out here.
EXTRA EXTRA READ ALL ABOUT IT!
We are so excited and humbly honored to be listed on The New York Times Five Places to Visit in Washington, D.C. With a Black Digital Storyteller. Thank you so very much!
Award-winning artist Luis Peralta Del Valle was selected for a solo art exhibition at the Anacostia Arts Center in Washington, D.C. Luis is a Nicaraguan-born, District of Columbia raised artist who is known for his vibrant and colorful abstract paintings and his lifelike portraiture.
Del Valle will exhibit “Out of Chaos.” The show features his Out of Chaos Series, a physical manifestation of his work and philosophy; Love, Hope, and Art.
Luis believes that amazing things can be born out of the struggle and pain that we experience when it is channeled correctly. He has used his pain, frustration and setbacks to push himself into manifesting new creations, full of purpose, inspiration, and passion.
Transforming repurposed street signs, Luis captures the essence of Dorothy Johnson, Misty Copeland, Frederick Douglass, and other iconic figures who have converted their pain, challenges, and frustration into purpose. They not only transformed their lives but influenced the lives of others for generations. Similarly, Luis brings together the chaotic elements of life and graffiti art through the metamorphosis of his pain onto the weather-beaten and otherwise damaged street signs.
Everyday street signs are transfigured from one symbolic vocabulary to a new one rooted in love, hope, and art. Visions of strength, determination, prosperity, and beauty, are created using refined elements of traditional portraiture and the embedding of positive messages. Luis connects the visual and symbolic in a way that provides literal interpretations to the viewer. The power of messaging in the signs is volumized by the overlaying of the images of these powerful people, creating new directions for us in our lives. Warnings of potential danger, “YIELD,” cries for help and change, “STOP,” and various direct commands to avoid impending danger, such as “LEFT TURN ONLY” and “ROAD CLOSED AHEAD,” are given a purpose greater than directing our path in traffic.
The dates for the exhibition are October 11, 2019 through November 15, 2019.
Artist Proposal Submissions for Vivid Gallery 2020 Season
January through September 2020
Deadline for submissions: October 31, 2019
For questions or further information, either email or call.
The Fresh Food Factory and The Fresh Food Factory Market are social enterprises that engage low-to-moderate income residents of the Greater District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia (DMV) in Food Equity and Economic Development opportunities that increase the quality of their professional, financial, and nutritional welfare. The Fresh Food Factory hosts a food giveaway for Ward 8 residents in need on Tuesdays at 1 PM.