Monday, June 20, 2016

Curbed DC interviews Duane Gautier of Anacostia nonprofit, ARCH Development Corporation

(left - right) Jabali Nash and Duane Gautier of ARCH Development Corporation in front of
a display of renovated Anacostia storefronts completed by ARCH.

Blogger Disclosure: I spent five amazing years working for ARCH Development Corporation, a Ward 8 nonprofit as their Director of Marketing and Business Development. I also ran The HIVE and later The HIVE 2.0 as the Managing Director. 

That said, I am so proud of the working being done by ARCH  Development Corporation, this is a small nonprofit with a lot of dreams, dedicated staff and volunteers and a sincere commitment to true community revitalization by supporting local small businesses, artists and community stakeholders. 

Go HERE to read the full Curbed DC article. 

Tell me your role here in the neighborhood.
I am the President of ARCH Development Corporation, which is a community development corporation. We’ve been in Anacostia since 1986, and ARCH does a number of things. We have a business incubator. We have an arts center. We have two art galleries, artist’s housing, and artist's workspaces.
At the Anacostia Arts Center, we do 12 curated exhibitions a year, three which are digital and photography and three which are fine art and sculpture.
The business incubator started because of local young professionals moving in who were looking for shared space where they could go. You used to have to go to Maryland or to Virginia, basically Crystal City. Our business incubator is about 88 percent minority, 58 percent of women, and over 40 percent of them are people who live in Wards 7 and 8.
We've seen more entrepreneurs come here. Part of it is because of the lower rents. Part of it is because we’re the only incubator in town that is not industry specific.
Do you think your organization has helped to bring more attention to Ward 8?
Our focus is totally on the Anacostia community. We have more than 47 businesses to our business incubator. We’ve created storefronts that have appeal.
Our goal is not to be the end all or be all of economic development, but more as a catalyst. So, we're highly supportive of programs and activities that bring commercial activity here, but we also want to make sure it keeps its neighborhood feel.
We do not want what happened in Columbia Heights. We do not want what happened in H Street where they basically destroyed the neighborhood. We want to make sure that the neighborhood of Anacostia stays what it always has been, which is small scale, no big box stores, and no 10-story buildings.

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