The District’s Arts & Humanities Festival Kicks Off at St. Elizabeths East

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WASHINGTON - July 19, 2013 - PRLog -- The Humanities Council of Washington, DC and Building Bridges Across the River at THEARC announced today the kick–off of the Arts & Humanities Festival at St. Elizabeths East on Saturday, July 27, 2013.  Made possible through a grant awarded by the Office of the Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development, the festival will be held over four separate days with a culminating event on Saturday, August 24, 2013.  The festival is free and open to the public.

The heart of the festival is located in the center of one of the District’s most prized historic campuses, St. Elizabeths East, in the 1100 block of Alabama Avenue SE.  The East Campus will soon be the home of a new Gateway Pavilion currently under construction and slated to open in September 2013. The Pavilion will serve as a gateway to the St. Elizabeths East Innovation Hub  and will usher in a new chapter of visitors to the campus, including local residents and the 3,700 U.S. Coast Guard employees set to start arriving on the nearby West Campus in August 2013. The Arts & Humanities Festival is the perfect platform to embrace the changes to the historic campus, while celebrating the District’s and Ward 8 community’s rich heritage, culture and creativity.

Festival events will kick-off on Saturday, July 27th, followed by a summer celebration weekend on Saturday and Sunday, August 17th and 18th, and a closing event on Saturday, August 24th.  Each Festival day will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and feature an exciting scope of activities, live performances, art exhibits, readings and workshops and other exciting activities that will be fun for the entire family.

The July 27th kick-off also includes collaboration with the DMV Food Truck Association, as their Curbside Cook-Off will be held from 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the same location. Attendees will have the opportunity to whet their appetites with a variety of food and move freely between the concession trucks and the festival family activity area.  An opening ceremony with Mayor Vincent C. Gray is scheduled for Saturday, July 27th at 11:30 a.m.  

“The overwhelming support from the community and our partners is paralleled by our ongoing commitment to create platforms to experience the best of Ward 8 and engage its residents to help shape that vision,” said Catherine Buell, Executive Director of St. Elizabeths East.

This kick-off Festival event line-up includes special appearances by emerging urban vocalist IhsAn Bilal, Rapper, AB The Producer, Anthony Anderson and the cast of  Anacostia – The Series, and the East of the River Boys and Girls Steelband.  Special narratives provided by noted author, Dr. Courtney Davis, Jay Coleman and master storyteller the Honorable Baba-C, Griot. Additional artists will participate in the events held on Saturday, August 17th, Sunday, August 18th and Saturday, August 24th.  For more information on the upcoming Arts & Humanities Festival at St. Elizabeths East, please visit us at, follow us on Facebook ( and Twitter (@AHFest_DC.)


The Humanities Council of Washington, DC (HCWDC) is a non-profit organization that provides grant support for community projects that enrich the lives of DC residents through the humanities disciplines. Additionally, HCWDC produces humanities programs, such as Soul of the City and Live to Read, with support from area non-profits, the NEH, and the DC government. The organization was founded in1980 as a private affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and is one of 56 similar institutions located in each U.S. state and territory. Visit

THEARC Officially opened in 2005, the Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus (THEARC) was built and is run by Building Bridges Across the River, a nonprofit 501-c-3 organization.  THEARC is a $27 million, 110,000 square foot, state-of-the-art campus located in Washington, DC's Ward 8.  With a mission of working to improve the quality of life for residents of Ward 8, THEARC is home to eleven of Washington, DC's best nonprofit agencies, all of which share the goal of helping children and adults reach their full potential. Visit

St Elizabeths East  At the center of the District of Columbia’s historic neighborhoods in Ward 8, St Elizabeths East is an exceptional opportunity for the District of Columbia and the private development community to create a landmark for the 21st century: a well-planned, mixed-use, mixed-income, walkable, livable community. St Elizabeths East will be transformed into the District’s “Innovation Hub” which features community organizations, universities, technology businesses and technology-focused amenities.   St. Elizabeths East holds immeasurable potential as a gateway to a new future and a catalyst for community revitalization and growth of the technology industry – not only in the neighborhoods surrounding the iconic campus, but throughout the District, the region, and the nation. Visit
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