Lower Georgia Avenue Main Street
District Bridges to Launch New Lower Georgia Avenue Main Street Program
Washington, DC. Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 - On October 16th, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the designation of District Bridges as the Lower Georgia Avenue Main Street grant recipient. The new Lower Georgia Avenue Main Street program will serve the commercial corridors between Barry Place and Kansas Avenue along Georgia Avenue in Wards 1 & 4. The DC Main Street grants are awarded through the Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) to revitalize communities by retaining and recruiting businesses, improving commercial properties and streetscapes, and attracting consumers.
Mayor Muriel Bowser, along with Councilmember Brianne Nadeau, DSLBD Interim Director Tene Dolphin, and many community supporters gathered for the dedication ceremony at Georgia Avenue’s Wall of Books, a small,minority, and veteran local business on the newly designated Lower Georgia Avenue Main Street corridor. This is the second Main Street grant awarded to District Bridges, following its designation in 2016 as the Columbia Heights and Mount Pleasant Main Street organization. District Bridges Executive Director, Brianne Dornbush says, “We are honored and excited to continue to support the growth and vitality of our local businesses and the communities we love so dearly in each of these unique neighborhoods.” In remarks at the dedication ceremony District Bridges’ new Neighborhood Director, Jennifer Kuiper thanked the Mayor for this opportunity and acknowledged the many small businesses and community groups that came together to advocate on behalf of Lower Georgia Avenue, saying “Many of these local leaders have dedicated decades to ensure that no one is left behind or forgotten as we move ahead together in this joint effort toward building a more prosperous, inclusive, and caring community.”
In its first year of designation as the Columbia Heights and Mount Pleasant Main Street, District Bridges, formerly known as the Columbia Heights Initiative, worked to develop a multi-neighborhood program that served its two distinct neighborhoods equitably. Its relational and collaborative approach focuses on growing the economic vitality of each distinct neighborhood while promoting and working towards diverse and inclusive community engagement. With the addition of Lower Georgia Avenue, District Bridges will expand upon its multi-neighborhood model to continue to cross-promote businesses and increase connectivity amongst these vibrant corridors. District Bridges Executive Director, Brianne Dornbush explains their approach: “We believe that no one can thrive in isolation; that’s true of businesses, organizations, individuals, and neighborhoods. That’s why we have and continue to invest time, effort, and energy into building relationships with all stakeholders, community leaders, and residents in our neighborhoods so that together we can build a thriving and connected community across all the neighborhoods we serve.”
The DC Main Streets program is managed by the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development. With DSLBD’s addition of four Main Street designations in 2017, there are now 16 programs in the DC Main Street serving neighborhoods across the city. The $175,000 start-up grant to the new programs gives the Main Street nonprofit organizations seed funding to assist businesses and coordinate sustainable community-driven revitalization efforts in their respective neighborhoods.
Main Street programs rely on the communities they serve to be intricately involved in developing programming, events, funding, and outreach opportunities that serve each community. District Bridges will be hosting several public meetings to explain in more detail opportunities for businesses, organizations, and residents to get involved. Dornbush encourages community engagement, adding, “We invite you to come and connect to your community because connected communities are thriving communities.” More information on how District Bridges serves its communities is available on its website at www.districtbridges.org and via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.