Shaw Streets

Friends of Kennedy Playground distribute school backpacks. Photo: Alexander Padro

Shaw Goes Back to School

As the new school year in DC was about to start, there were a number of initiatives to provide backpacks and supplies to Shaw school kids. On Saturday morning, Aug. 15, the Friends of Kennedy Playground distributed 75 sets of backpacks and school supplies to budding scholars in Shaw. Douglas Development Corporation provided a grant to Shaw Main Streets to acquire 250 backpacks to give to children in the neighborhood. Backpacks were given out at Lincoln Westmoreland apartments, Foster House, Jefferson Marketplace, and Heritage at Shaw Station. Backpacks were also given out at a back-to-school event given by DJ NuffSaid at Old City Farm and Guild encouraging HIV testing.

Shaw Vacancies Fill Up

Besides the flock of restaurants and shops moving into new developments in Shaw, such as The Shay and Atlantic Plumbing, previously unheralded spaces are being put to new uses. At 715 Florida Ave. NW, a building that has not seen activity in some time, two new restaurants are moving in. On the first floor a new Vietnamese restaurant, Hoa Tuc, will open. The 74-seat venue will be a sister to a Hoa Tuc restaurant currently operating in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The Takoda Restaurant and Rooftop Beer Garden starts on the second floor of the building. Takoda, a Native American word meaning “open to everyone,” will be an all-American neighborhood meeting place. On the roof will be a 120-seat beer garden. Proprietors Ryan Seelbach and Eric Lund, the names behind The Huxley on Dupont Circle, plan to open Takoda in early October.

Convention Center Retail Gets Help

Events DC announced that it has retained the services of Streetsense, a multidisciplinary design and retail strategy firm, to take on the job of leasing the commercial spaces at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. In the years following the opening of the Convention Center in 2003, a number of small businesses occupied its retail spaces along 9th Street. Since then, as businesses left the Convention Center, they were never replaced by new occupants, leaving valuable retail sites vacant in one of the hottest areas of the city. Events DC Board Chair Max Brown says that “we are focused on finding the right retailers to fill the available space to continue the revitalization of Shaw.” Streetsense has had notable success filling commercial space in new Shaw developments including Progression Place and Jefferson Marketplace. Eleven retail spaces totaling 19,000 square feet await new tenants at the Convention Center.

Art All Night Comes Back to Shaw Sept. 26

September 2011 saw the first Art All Night festival in Shaw. By 2014 the late-night festival of art exhibition and performance that started in Shaw expanded to include four additional DC neighborhoods, adding tens of thousands of new participants to the event. At the beginning of 2015 Shaw Main Streets won an Innovation on Main Street Award for coming up with the concept, with the National Main Streets Center encouraging the use of Art All Night as a commercial development tool nationwide. Art All Night returns to Shaw on Saturday, Sept. 26, at 7:00 p.m. for another eight hours of free art, music, and fun.

This year Art All Night in Shaw will include a “Midway” in the middle of City Market at O, where visitors will be treated to live performances by steppers, drummers, dancers, bubble blowers, and musicians. The Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library will serve as the base of the Shaw festival, providing brochures and maps, as well as offering adult andchildren's crafts and games, face painting, and other activities. IStrategy Labs at the Wonder Bread Factory will host a major breakdancing competition. The currently vacant store fronts of the Washington Convention Center will serve as exhibition sites for the work of local photographers, painters, mixed media artists, sculptors, and much more. Dozens of venues, like the historic Carnegie Library, will be locations for interactive art events including the projection of shadows on a five-story wall. And the businesses of Shaw's buzzed-about food, drink, and dance scene will stay open late, with a number of them sponsoring art installations inside their establishments.

Art All Night DC in Shaw is presented by Shaw Main Streets and funded in part by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the Department of Small and Local Business Development, and DC Main Streets. For more information visit www.artallnightdcshaw.comor pick up a festival brochure at the Shaw library on the night of the event.

Distributing school backpacks at Lincoln Westmoreland. Photo: Alexander Padro
New backpack recipients at Lincoln Westmoreland. Photo: Alexander Padro
Future home of Hoa Tuc and Takoda restaurants. Photo: Pleasant Mann