202Creates Becomes a Year-Round ‘Movement’

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The District Clay Center in Northeast is part of 202Creates. Courtesy District Clay Center.

Malik, the D.C. drummer, will be performing. So will DJ Farrah Flosscett, who “inhabits a blend of Funk, Soulful House, Future Bass/R&B, Afrobeat, Nu Disco, Hip Hop and Classic music.” Allthebestkids, a 10-person band, is “coming from the future with one purpose — to spread the highest vibrational music this world has ever known.”

These and other performers will appear at opening night of the third annual 202Creates, kicking off at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 29, at City Winery, 1350 Okie St. NE, a concert venue and urban winery in Ivy City, the reborn warehouse district off New York Avenue.

Mayor Muriel Bowser launched 202Creates in September of 2016 to amplify and celebrate D.C.’s creative and entrepreneurial culture and community across all eight wards of the District. What started as a September-only celebration has turned into a year-round series of live and video programs, along with educational and grant-support initiatives for local creative entrepreneurs. Bowser calls 202Creates a “movement with no intention of slowing down.”

As important as the artistic performers are at the kickoff, the creative entrepreneurs are perhaps even more so. Several 202Create vendors will be featured, including the District Clay Center, a ceramics arts center at 2414 Douglas St. NE. The center offers a school and shared workspace, as well as an exhibition studio with access to “every kind of rib, bat and trim tool imaginable as well as electric, gas and raku kilns.” “Pottery is the new Pilates,” say its supporters.

Also featured will be Brightly Ever After, a father-daughter business that makes custom-designed and handcrafted props for hire, such as multi-sized light-up letters, creative flower arrangements and greenery walls, marquee and neon signs, photography and videography.

At the 2017 202Creates opening event, sliders and cotton candy were some of the featured food items. Exhibitors included cosmetologists, fashion designers, commercial artists and performers in all the arts.

Many of 202Creates programs are continued, recreated and featured year-round though D.C.’s Office of Cable Television, Film, Music & Entertainment and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, which provide 24-hour public-interest programming on the District Council Channel, the District of Columbia Network and the District Knowledge Network. OCTFME also is responsible for regulating cable television in the District and managing the District’s government-access channels.

OCTFME assists in bringing film production to Washington, D.C., such as the recent “Wonder Woman 1984″ filming in Georgetown and elsewhere.

“You’d better be doing something in D.C.,” said OCTFME Director Angie Gates in a recent phone press conference. “It’s all about the people — inclusive community and inclusive creativity.

OCTFME supports 202Creates’ residential program, providing artistic entrepreneurs with resources to build their creative businesses and “a community of creatives to bounce ideas off of, draw energy from, and develop new collaborations and connections.”

Other 202Creates programs OCTFME supports include a monthly “co-working day,” when the 202Creates team invites the District’s creatives and entrepreneurs to work out of OCTFME’s offices, meet fellow artists, attend skill-building sessions, get drop-in support for specific business or legal questions, participate in feedback sessions and share thoughts and experiences during roundtables. OTFME also provides photography and podcast studios for 202Create artists at its offices.

Gates was appointed by the mayor in January of 2015. The first African American GM of the Historic Warner Theatre, she began her career as a film specialist for the New Orleans Film Commission and previously served as director of engagement relations and marketing for the theatrical division of Clear Channel Entertainment.

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