Arts Desk

Arts Commission Assumes Temporary Control of Lincoln Theatre

In a press release sent this afternoon, the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities announced it is taking temporary control of the troubled Lincoln Theatre. The venue's current operator, the U Street Theatre Foundation, will remain in place—along with the theater's day-to-day staff—until Dec. 31. "DCCAH is basically mangaging the process of finding an artistic director and getting it off the ground until there's management in place to run the theater," says DCCAH spokesperson Marquis Perkins. The U Street Theatre Foundation's contract has not been renewed for next year.

From the press release:

Today, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, Victor L. Hoskins took the first step in moving the Lincoln Theatre towards a new long-term sustainable plan for the future. Oversight of the new direction of the Lincoln Theatre has been delegated to the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH), the District's agency for arts and culture. "Creating a long-term sustainable structure for the management and operations of the theatre is one of the District's highest priorities. I felt it was important to move in that direction by asking DCCAH to develop a comprehensive plan for its future operations in consultation with community members and the outstanding arts related organizations we have in the city," said Victor Hoskins.

Plans are in the works to hire an artistic director to "facilitate the long-term artistic vision for the theatre and work on needed upgrades within the theatre itself."

Photo by Flickr user Steve Snodgrass used under a creative commons license.

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  • U Street Buzz

    I worry about this approach (the DCCAH appointing an artistic director). Maybe they should have put out an RFP and and gotten proposals from some really creative, experienced and BUSINESS-MINDED people. Call me jaded but does anyone think the Arts Commission is going to pick the right person to make the Lincoln a success?

  • Paul

    @U Street Buzz - I agree

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  • John Pelham

    Simply laughable that the DCCAH would have even the slightest concept of who to hire. A business-minded individual, with a solid track record, is what's needed. This is now such a vibrant part of town and someone with both creative and free-market acumen can make it work.

  • Scott

    I hope there will be more details very quickly about their short and long term plans for the theatre. This press release makes me a bit anxious.

    Where is the operating capital to hire an artistic director going to come from and what is the programming going to be and how is that going to be funded? And what about the maintenance and upkeep that is currently needed?

    The Howard, Studio, Arena, all had capital campaigns and solid business plans that leveraged the necessary funding to expand to meet the needs of their programming. That is what the Lincoln needs, and the plan and campaign needs to include incorporating the back lots into a mixed-use that directly supports the operations of the theatre.

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