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CulturalDC buys its Flashpoint space, plans changes

CulturalDC has purchased its Flashpoint arts space, ensuring a permanent home for this well-established arts leader in the Penn Quarter. CulturalDC has been using the 916 G Street NW location for a decade, but the rent was set to increase beyond the organization's means. Luckily, their landlord gave them the option of buying the space.

"We intend to take this time to make some updates to the property and want to reconfigure the space so that's it better optimized for our artists and organization," says Juanita Hardy, executive director of CulturalDC. 

Flashpoint is comprised of the Mead Theatre Lab, a 60-seat black box theater; Coors Dance Studio, a 400-square-foot space, and Flashpoint Gallery, a 900-square-foot art gallery. CulturalDC also owns the Source arts space at 1835 14th Street NW and has helped launch such arts organizations as Artomatic, Fringe Festival, Step Afrika! and Washington Improv Theater, to name but a few.

The arts provider is considering a number of things for their newly purchased, roughly 6,000 square feet of space: the organization wants to expand the dance space and address signage and access issues for patrons visiting the dance studio and black box theater.

"Nothing is finalized, we're just thinking," says Hardy. "We need to raise funds… we want to make changes, but do them in a fiscally responsible way."

Developer PN Hoffman owned the building and had an "art use requirement," says Hardy, which obliged the developer to use 12 of the condos in this 10-story building as live/work spaces for artists. CulturalDC has helped by occupying three of those spaces. When the arts requirement expired and the developer decided it was time to hike up the rent 20 percent, the landlord made them an offer to purchase the building instead of having to move.

“We were thrilled to offer the building to CulturalDC. We are proud to have had them as tenants in the building for the past 10 years, and this purchase will allow them to continue to provide a venue for emerging, contemporary arts in downtown and serve a thousand artists and 30,000 audience members each year,” said Jon McAvoy, vice president and director of finance at PN Hoffman in a statement.

Read more articles by Lisa Spinelli.

Lisa Spinelli is Elevation DC's development editor as well as a freelance journalist, copy editor and mother of two. After receiving her Master of Science in print journalism from Columbia University in 2004, Lisa worked across the country and in Italy as a journalist, editor and Web editor. Her website LisaSpinelli.com has links to a smattering of her published clips.
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