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Mayor Bowser Releases Discussion Draft of the District’s First-Ever Cultural Plan

Friday, January 19, 2018

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Mayor Bowser released a draft of the District’s first-ever Cultural Plan that is now open for public comment. The Cultural Plan strengthens arts, humanities, culture and heritage in neighborhoods across the city by building upon and investing in the people, places, communities, and ideas that define culture within DC.

“From go-go and street art to murals and jazz, Washington, DC has always been – and will always be – a strong supporter of the arts,” said Mayor Bowser. “My Administration is committed to supporting and celebrating artists, creators, and makers and this plan will help us double-down on the many programs and policies already in place.”

Washington, DC’s cultural economy supports more than 150,000 jobs across all eight wards that generate $12.4 billion in wages and today, the District makes some of the nation’s largest per capita public sector cultural investments, ranging from programs to facilities and infrastructure. The Plan’s recommendations will take this further by maximizing the impact from these investments and forging stronger connections between artists and existing programs such as affordable housing and business development.

“Together, we will strengthen DC culture as the intersection of our history, our role as the nation’s capital, and the ongoing narratives in our communities,” said the Office of Planning Director Eric D. Shaw.

This plan aims to achieve nine key goals in fiscal year 2018:

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  • Partner with the Kennedy Center to increase community cultural programming
  • Partner with Culture 21: A Global Network of Cities, Local and Regional Governments collaborating to advance local culture
  • Leverage DCPS participation in the Kennedy Center’s Any Given Child program to strengthen arts and culture education
  • Create an African American Civil Rights Heritage Trail
  • Establish a LGBTQ heritage program
  • Create a Public Space Stewardship Guide
  • Continue deploying the CAH LiftOff Grant
  • Launch the 202 Creates Residency Program

The Cultural Plan was developed through an innovative partnership between the Office of Planning (OP), the Commission on the Arts and Humanities (CAH) and the Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment (OCTFME). OP lead the plan by leveraging its expertise with place-based policy and systems planning. CAH and OCTFME contributed deep insight in to the arts and culture, as well as creative economy sectors. This partnership enabled the agencies to rapidly develop and refine the Plan’s recommendation through close integration with the 202 Creates and Crossing the Street initiatives.

The public is invited to provide feedback on the Plan by sending an email to during public review period which opens today and closes on February 28, 2018.

Download the draft at