Helen Hayes Awards Nominations Released


Nominations for the 27th Helen Hayes Awards were announced Feb. 28 at the Helen Hayes Gallery in the National Theater, highlighting 156 artists and 45 productions as outstanding contributors and contributions to DC theater.

This year, Arena Stage tied with the Kennedy Center in their total number of nominations with both venues receiving 23 nominations in categories such as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Residential Musical and Outstanding Set Design in a Residential Production. The Arena Stage, however, received most of its nominations in residential production categories while the Kennedy Center gained more recognition for its non-residential performances.

The Shakespeare Theater was close behind the Arena Stage and Kennedy Center with a total of 22 nominations split between six different productions, the most recognized of those being “Candide” with 12 nominations.

The Folger Theater also received a substantial 19 nominations, an admirable number especially considering the fact that it only presented three shows in the 2010 season: “Henry VIII,” “Orestes, A Tragic Romp” and “Hamlet.” All three productions were nominated in various categories.

Other venues and companies whose names frequented the list of nominees are the Synetic Theater, the Signature Theater and Theater J, among others.

The ceremony revealing the winners of the 2011 awards will be held April 25 at the Warner Theater.

DowntownDC BID and PepsiCo Team Up to Fight City Waste Problems
By Samantha Hungerford

In an effort to green up our streets, DowntownDC BID and the Department of Public Works announced their partnership with PepsiCo on March 1. This joint venture will place 363 new recycling bins and interactive kiosks in convenient areas throughout DC as part of PepsiCo’s Dream Machine recycling initiative.

The initiative, introduced by PepsiCo in 2010 on Earth Day, aims to increase the recycling rate of beverage containers from 34 to 50 percent by 2018. The project will also help to advance the Greening Downtown DC initiative.

For every bottle and can recycled in DC’s new kiosks and bins, as well as other bins across the country, PepsiCo has agreed to make a donation to the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities, a program that trains disabled post-9/11 veterans in entrepreneurship and small business management.

“This latest public-private partnership achieves the BID goal of providing citywide approaches to environmental issues while enhancing the quality of the visitor experience Downtown,” said Richard H. Bradley, executive director of the DowntownDC BID in a Downtown DC BID news release. “This partnership will have real results.”

Bradley stated that DowntownDC BID is estimating that more than one million pounds of recyclable bottles and cans will be diverted from the owntown area’s annual waste output.

While DC is the first city to join with PepsiCo’s venture, 20 states have already signed on and about 1,500 bins and kiosks have been placed throughout the U.S. in high-traffic areas such as retail stores and gas stations.

The DPW will install the bins and kiosks in batches of 75 through May and will convert 63 existing recycling bins into Dream Machines.

Old Post Office Pavilion May Find New Purpose
By Samantha Hungerford

The Old Post Office Pavilion, a landmark on Pennsylvania Ave. for the past 112 years, faces an uncertain future as the General Services Administration renews its efforts in seeking a private partner to restore the space.

The 400,000 square foot property is currently the home of the National Endowment of the Arts, the National Park Service, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Although it also contains over 100 boutiques and restaurants, indoor putt-putt and a multimedia theater among other attractions, a large portion of the property remains underutilized.

The building and its currently vacant pavilion could be repurposed so that its facilities are more actively used. One suggestion has been to transform the space into a hotel, a solution that might fix the imbalance between the building’s revenue and operating costs due to unused space, low retail rent and high operating costs.

Several months ago, the Republicans on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee released a report stating that the government spends about $12 million annually to maintain the historic building, producing an operating loss of $6 million.

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