Art All Night Returns to Shaw

Shaw Streets

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Shaw Celebrates National Night Out

National Night Out, the annual event to strengthen ties between law enforcement and the community, came to Shaw the evening of Aug. 3. Members of the Third District of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) came to the Kennedy Recreation Center to hold this year’s event. Besides Third District Commander Han Kim, the event was honored by the presence of MPD Chief Robert Contee and Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Christopher Geldart.

National Night Out featured booths and displays by District and federal law enforcement agencies, along with a number of community groups. Children received free backpacks and enjoyed face painting, costumed mascots and a large bounce house set up in the Kennedy recreation field. Complimentary food and beverages were available for all. Approximately 500 people attended the event over the course of the night.

Approximately 500 people attended the National Night Out event at the Kennedy Recreation Center. Photo: Alexander Padro, courtesy of Shaw Main Streets

Art All Night Returns to Shaw

Art All Night, the annual overnight celebration of neighborhood arts and culture, returns to Shaw the evening of Saturday, Sept. 25. Last year’s event, in the middle of the pandemic, had to be conducted virtually. This year’s marks a return to a live celebration in Shaw, with the theme “Welcome Back.”

The center of this year’s event, Parcel 42, on the northwest corner of R and Seventh streets, will have an open art market along with art installations, video projections and live entertainment by Christylez Bacon and Ace Ono, fire dancers, drummers and steppers. The Watha T. Daniel Library across the street will offer do-it-yourself art programs for children, teens and adults. Rayceen Pendarvis will emcee a night of cabaret entertainment at the DC Housing Finance Agency auditorium. The Batala Washington, DC, female drum corps will lead a parade along Seventh Street. Fashion shows, dance parties, street performers and visual art installations, indoors and out, will celebrate the fact that the neighborhood is again open for business.

All the events at Art All Night in Shaw are free and open to the public, and no tickets or reservations are required. For more information, visit www.artallnightdcshaw.com.

Mayor Muriel Bowser welcomes Ben’s Chili Bowl to the Washington Convention Center. Photo: Pleasant Mann

Events DC Reveals New Convention Center Interior

On Tuesday morning, Aug. 3, Events DC held a Retail Grand Opening at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, spotlighting renovations to bring the center out of its pandemic hibernation. The event started at the new Shop Made in DC location inside the first-floor L Street entrance.

Shop Made in DC promotes District-made products, and its new location, its sixth outlet in town, is perfect for introducing visitors to what DC has to offer. Mayor Muriel Bowser led the event, noting how the renovations in the convention center illustrate that DC is open for business again.

Inaugurating the new Shop Made in DC store at the Washington Convention Center. Photo: Pleasant Mann

The grand opening moved upstairs to the new outpost of Ben’s Chili Bowl, the venerable DC purveyor of hot dogs and half-smoke sausages. A ribbon-cutting was conducted with the mayor and the Ali family, owners of the brand, including Virginia Ali, the family matriarch.

August also marks the revival of the convention center’s schedule of large events, with Oktakon, a celebration of Asian pop culture, and Awesome Con, DC’s version of the Comic Con geek conventions. More retail is coming in October when four outdoor kiosks are completed along the Ninth Street side of the convention center.

New Howard University Development

Howard University announced that it is planning a new development project. The 260,000-square-foot-building will sit on what is currently a McDonald’s parking lot at Bryant Street and Georgia Avenue. The building will host the university’s new National Research Center for Health Disparities, dedicated to working on the health problems of communities of color. The project joins a number of development initiatives that Howard University is working on along Seventh Street and Georgia Avenue.

The project will include 430 rental units to house the center’s researchers and other medical faculty and students. There will also be 40,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor and two outdoor plazas for events. The project is managed by Capstone Development, Edens and Quadrangle Development Corporation. Construction is expected to start in 2023.

Census Shows Population Explosion in Central Shaw

The recently released results of Census 2020 show an enormous increase in the population of central Shaw over the last decade. The four census tracts that make up central Shaw (48.01, 48.02, 49.01 and 49.02) totaled 13,283 people, a 35% increase over the population of a decade ago. Compare this to the District’s increase in population over the period of just under 15%.

Police Chief Contee addresses the crowd at Shaw’s National Night Out. Photo: Alexander Padro, courtesy of Shaw Main Streets

Shaw’s dramatic increase in population could make things interesting in the redistricting process led by the DC Council. Most of central Shaw is currently in Ward 6, a ward that must lose 17,699 people to meet the criteria of the redistricting process. Shaw could go to either one of the three wards on its borders, but there are limited options. Ward 5 is the least likely home for Shaw due to its already large population, while Ward 1 would not be able to absorb all of the neighborhood. Shaw may find Ward 2 as its most likely home, given that it has been in Ward 2 for most of the Home Rule era, and that a number of residents still have Zone 2 parking stickers.