Friday, May 31, 2013

Recap of ARCH Development Corporation's spring community update

Good Morning! You may have already received this email from me last night in my "official" ARCH capacity but I wanted to share it on the blog as well. I love spreading the word and the good news about new things coming to Ward 8. Last night's meetings was so great on so many levels.  In case you couldn't make it out last night this is what you missed.   --- The Advoc8te

Hello Neighbors!

A big "Thank You!" to everyone who was able to come out to last night's ARCH Community Development Corporation spring community update. Over 75 community stakeholders, residents, community leaders, and business owners came out to our new Anacostia Arts Center (1231 Good Hope Rd SE)  to hear about ADC projects and to provide feedback and support on plans for the future. As a Ward 8 resident I know there are a lot of community meetings so it was very inspiring to see so many community members coming together to learn more about how we can work together to continue to make Anacostia a great place to eat, shop and live! ARCH hosts these community meetings every four months because we want you to be informed and engaged in our programming. It was great seeing a lot of familiar faces over the past 18 months we've been holding these quarterly meetings and so exciting to see a lot of new faces! 
 Go HERE for pictures of last night's community meeting.

Last night's meeting was held in the lobby of the Anacostia Arts Center
At last night's  meeting Duane Gautier, CEO of ARCH Development Corporation presented a Powerpoint presentation on the following:
  • ARCH Staff introductions
  • Mission statement and strategic plan
  • Community Engagement
  • Anacostia Playhouse construction update and event schedule
  • East of the River Distinguished Artist Award
  • Honfleur Gallery
  • The Gallery at Vivid Solutions
  • Sister Cities project with Paris, France
  • The HIVE + The HIVE 2.0 small business incubators
  • Small Business Technical Assistance including upcoming events
  • Storefront Improvement
  • Anacostia Arts Center
  • NURISH Food + Drink cafe @ Anacostia Arts Center
Duane Gautier discussing ARCH's mission
Although ADC presented the entire presentation during last night's community meeting we understand not everyone could make it out. In the spirit of sharing as much information as possible, in the most convenient way as possible, I am attaching an online link to the PowerPoint presentation we presented at the community meeting.  You can view, download or print the presentation at this link:

While we appreciate the convenience of email, ARCH understands not everyone has computer or Internet access, so if you would like a printed copy of this presentation for your neighbors or community association please let me know. I would be more than happy to make printed copies available. Just reply to this email with how many copies of the presentation you need.

In addition, I am including links to the other documents that we provided during the community meeting. Again, if you need printed copies please let me know. 
We went through a lot of information last night and by far the most exciting was the introduction of the new operator of the cafe at the Anacostia Arts Center! Kera Carpenter, owner and founder of Domku Bar & Cafe in the Petworth neighborhood shared her vision and plans to open a NURISH Food + Drink cafe in the Anacostia Arts Center. After sharing her story of opening one of the first sit-down restaurants in Petworth 8 years ago, Kera shared her hopes and vision to open a community cafe in Anacostia that provided quality, healthy and locally sourced food options, a coffeeshop, and an evening menu that included beer and wine. After sharing her plans for the new cafe and her intent on hiring from within Ward 8 (she is already looking for a Cafe Manager, stay tuned for a job description!) the entire room exploded in applause. Thank you so much for making Kera feel welcome and for asking thoughtful questions about the new cafe and her request for a liquor license. There was definitely a lot of excitement about a sit-down cafe and coffee bar coming to Good Hope Rd SE!  
Kera Carpenter at last night's ADC community meeting
We can not thank everyone enough for their heartfelt offers of support for the cafe and for Kera's efforts to seek a Class CT liquor license for the new cafe.  Before we could even invite people to sign the petition of support  so many of you offered to write letters of support for NURISH Food + Drink, collect letters of support for the liquor license application from your neighbors, and we received several invites to present to local community groups and civic associations!  Tonight's meeting was just the first step in many steps to spread the word to the community about the new cafe but it was by no mean the last! We understand that many neighborhood groups and civic associations are going on summer vacation so we are trying our best to get on their agendas before they close for the summer. We would really like to have the cafe open and ready for business by September and we would like to celebrate that joyous occasion with a glass of wine! :) Anything you can do to help us connect to local groups or request their support would be greatly appreciated.  This will be a community cafe so we will need community support to make it happen! 

If you are interested in writing a personal letter of support for NURISH Food and Drink at the Anacostia Arts Center (1231Good Hope Rd SE) you can mail, email, fax or drop off a letter to ARCH at the following:

ARCH Development Corporation
C/O Nikki Peele
1227 Good Hope Rd SE
Washington, DC 20020

If you would like a copy of the petition of support in order to collect signatures from your neighbors we would be happy to provide you with a copy! We want to make this as easy as possible. If you (or your neighbors) have any further questions about the cafe feel free to contact me directly at this email. You will find a lot of the information in the packet you received tonight (and in this email) but if there is something that was not addressed we will be more than happy to get an answer for you.

Last but not least "Congratulations" to our three raffle winners! Luck must be a lady tonight because all three of our $100 raffle winners were local women! "Congratulations" ladies and don't spend it all in one place -- unless its at an Anacostia business! ;) 

Have a great rest of your week and we look forward to seeing you onWednesday, June 5th 6:00pm - 8:30pm  for our BUZZED Co-Working Happy Hour and Thursday, June 6th, 7pm - 9pm for our free jazz concert.Both events will be held at Honfleur Gallery (1241 Good Hope Rd SE). These will be great events, please spread the word! Refreshments will be served. You can also visit the "Events" page of the ARCH Development Corporation website to stay up to date on our free events, you can also send an email to to get on the mailing list. 

See you in September for our next community update! Stay tuned for a date and time! 

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Carlene said...

Thanks so much for the update! I missed last nights meeting furniture shopping, but I feel totally in the loop now. Excited about all there is to come!

Southside Thaddeus said...

Thank you for sharing this information. Your organization is a model for how other civic orgs in the neighborhood should run their meetings and disclose what's going on.

Thank you again for holding these open meetings and keeping folks in the know.

You've single-handedly changed the narrative/discussion in Anacostia. This is no small task. Best of luck on all of the upcoming projects and events. Thank you for raising the standard and expectations for Anacostia.

We see you.