Art All Night, the annual overnight celebration of neighborhood arts and culture, returns to Shaw the evening of Saturday, Sept. 24. In previous years, the center of the event was Parcel 42, which is now a construction site for an affordable housing development. This year, the Shaw festival welcome center, artists’ market and main stage will be on the west plaza at Banneker Academic High School, along with Tenth Street Baptist Church’s R Street parking lot, which will include art installations, video projections and live entertainment. Headliners include Grammy-nominated hip hop multi-instrumentalist Christylez Bacon, recording artist/songwriter Ace Ono, muralist Aniekan Udofia and fire/bubble-blower Jennifer Shannon.
There will be two dozen other art and performance venues in Shaw during the festival, including outdoor locations and a parade led by the Batala Washington drummers. The Watha T. Daniel Library will offer do-it-yourself art programs and entertainment for children, teens and adults. The Shaw Community Center will close 11th Street and present a program in front of Lincoln Temple including a performance by youth from the Washington Jazz Arts Institute and wrestling matches by C3W Wrestling. Team Rayceen will present an LGBTQIA+ artist showcase featuring a mini ball at the DC Housing Finance Agency auditorium. All of the Art All Night in Shaw events are free and open to the public and no tickets or reservations are required. For more information, visit www.artallnightdcshaw.com.
Shaw Celebrates National Night Out
National Night Out, the annual event to strengthen ties between law enforcement and the community, returned to Shaw the evening of Aug. 2 at the Kennedy Recreation Center. It was hosted by the Metropolitan Police Department’s Third Police District led by District Commander James Boteler. Attendees also included MPD Assistant Chief Morgan Kane, the chief of Patrol Services North, Ward 2 Councilmember Brooke Pinto and DC City Administrator Kevin Donahue.
The Kennedy Recreation field hosted two bounce houses and a “dunk a policeman” tank where attendees could get an MPD officer wet. A grill provided burgers for the crowd along with food and drink from DC businesses. There were also emergency vehicles from District and federal agencies that kids enjoyed revving up.
This year’s National Night Out featured booths and displays from the US Secret Service, the Diplomatic Security Special Agents Association and other District and federal law enforcement agencies, along with community groups and DC government agencies.
Mayor’s Office Meets with Ninth Street Businesses
Solana Vander Nat, the director of the Mayor’s Office of Nightlife and Culture, met with members of the Ninth Street Business Association on the afternoon of Aug. 2. The meeting was part of a series held to resolve issues along the entertainment corridors of U Street and H Street NE and Connecticut Avenue.
The business owners, largely located on the 1900 block of Ninth Street NW, said that the big issue right now was gun violence. The police presence on the block was not effective. Shaw Main Streets had set up a nightly reimbursable police detail using off-duty police officers, but it was often down to one officer due to the reduced size of the police force. When the police were there, they tended to stay on Ninth Street while the crime was taking place in the sidestreets and alleys. The owners said that almost every employee had had their car broken into. They suggested that the police provide more light towers in the area.
All the businesses expressed concerns about their survival. Every owner said that their revenues had gone down 40-50% since the completion of a portion of the Ninth Street cycletrack on the 1900 block, due to lack of parking, difficulties with making food pickups and traffic gridlock. Noting that the rest of the cycletrack will not be constructed until next year, the business owners felt they had been targeted for removal.
Vander Nat held another meeting with the group on Aug. 24 to review progress and remaining issues. The business owners noted that the police had started to provide light towers to the area but that it would help if they could light up Ninth Street down to R Street. Vander Nat was also working to arrange a meeting between Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 1B and the Ninth Street Association to reduce friction between the two groups. The business owners had complained about the inclination of the ANC and neighborhood groups to challenge every liquor license renewal on the block. They also complained about the inconsistent application of regulations for noise and hookah use by DC inspectors. Vander Nat noted that Councilmember Brianne Nadeau had introduced the Harmonious Living Bill, which might clarify noise and nuisance regulations.
ANC 6E Holds Special Meeting
Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6E typically does not hold a meeting in August but it held a special meeting on Aug. 3 to review two requests for support for liquor licenses. The virtual conference had Commission Chair Michael Eichler (6E01), Alex Lopez (6E02, secretary), Rachelle Nigro (6E04, vice chair) and Patrick Parlej (6E05) in attendance. There was a quorum to conduct official business.
The establishments requesting support for licenses were:
• Glo/Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant and Lounge (1608 Seventh St. NW). Alexander Padro, chair of the Alcohol Beverage Licensing Committee (ABC), noted that the investigative history of the establishment showed three infractions since the last license renewal. They were all related to violating COVID-19 compliance regulations, with the establishment paying fines for two infractions and receiving a warning for the third. Padro said that the ABC recommended supporting license renewal. Eichler moved to support renewal and it passed, 4-0.
• Quattro Osteria (1840 Sixth St. NW). Padro said that the establishment did not have an investigative history but that the committee had heard both positive and negative comments from the community. Lopez said that the restaurant had largely been a good neighbor but there had been problems when it obtained one-day permits for entertainment on the patio. He wanted the commission to protest the license so that he could get a settlement agreement. Two neighborhood residents mentioned that the establishment created problems when it introduced entertainment. Lopez made a motion for the ANC to protest the license, which passed, 4-0.
The next meeting of ANC 6E is on Tuesday, Sept. 6, at 6:30 p.m.