Arts Desk

Arts News Before You Start Your Weekend: Arts Commission’s PR Camp, WPFW Firings, New Downtown Concert Venue

- Although the 100 teenagers in the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities' Media Arts Camp are part of the city's Summer Youth Employment Program, they're in at least one sense lucky: They don't have to wear uniforms, blue or otherwise. "They get to be completely artsy-fartsy," says Gloria Nauden, the executive director of DCAAH. This evening at THEARC on Mississippi Ave. SE until 7 p.m., those kids—visual artists, musicians, performers, all between 14 and 21—are showing off the fruits of their summer-long efforts: In this case, the campaigns they created to promote businesses east of the river, like Big Chair Cafe and the Ward 8 Business Council. (They'll also be displaying photo projects and performing songs.) As part of the Anacostia-set camp, the kids were paid to create posters, TV spots, radio ads, and other publicity materials for a host of businesses, with the city picking up the tab for the airtime. It's all part of Nauden's approach to broadening the "creative economy" her agency is tasked with fueling—with the Media Arts Camp, her hope is to take city teens who are interested in the arts and teach them bankable skills, from graphic design to advertising to journalism.

- On City Desk, Erin Petty and Michael Schaffer report on some staff turmoil at City Paper's downstairs neighbor, WPFW: "Station Manager Grigsby Hubbard and Program Director Bob Daughtry were both friday yesterday during a visit by Arlene Engelhardt, the executive director of the station's owner, the Pacifica Foundation. According to one WPFW host, it's all part of Pacifica's recent "dumbing down" of the progressive jazz-and-politics station.

- The Washington Post's Chris Richards reports that a new venue is coming to the  14th and F streets NW space that in two days will no longer be occupied by a Borders bookstore. The Clyde's restaurant chain is going to install a restaurant and 500-capacity concert space there, with the aim of catering to the adult, singer-songwriter set. And Clyde's executive vice president, Tom Meyer, plans to book the space himself despite having no experience in talent-buying. It'll open late next year.

- Al Miner—Hirshhorn Curatorial Assistant, ace D.C. artist—is moving to Boston to work at the Museum of Fine Arts, TBD's Maura Judkis reports. Which also means, Judkis points out, that a third artist in Lenny Campello's upcoming book 100 Washington Artists won't be a Washington artist by the time it comes out.

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  • Interesting

    Interesting... the City Paper is so quick to condemn the Summer Youth Employment Program at every turn when it involves a youth doing the wrong thing. But when 100+ kids are doing the right thing (and actually really high quality work for the benefit of the city), they choose to give it minimal attention. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Hopefully this will teach you to dig a little deeper. There are many youth who did amazing work this summer.

  • Jonathan L. Fischer

    Who's condemning? I think it's a great program.

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