Sunday, September 12, 2010

Third Arts District Branding Public Meeting Monday @ Jewish Community Center

The third public meeting regarding the branding and marketing of the so-called Mid-City Arts District will take place tomorrow (Monday) at 6 7:30 pm at Theater J in the Jewish Community Center, located at 16th and Q streets NW. Among the items up for discussion include:

-What do you think are the unique/special characteristics of this district?
-What does "ART" and "ARTS DISTRICT" mean?
-How do you think the district should be named?
-Do the proposed boundaries capture the intensity of the marketable arts assets in this district?

The last point is something that has come up at both prior public meeting; that is, the question of whether the boundaries for the arts district are too large. How, it has been asked, can a singular brand be applied to an are that encapsulates both 7th and M streets and 16th and U?

The simple answer is that it can't. The arts district, as it has been defined, includes a number of neighborhoods with established identities, such as Shaw, Logan Circle, Dupont Circle, U Street and LeDroit Park, among others. Clearly, no single brand can effectively convey the unique attributes of each of those areas. Thus, the arts district should be thought of more as a collection of established neighborhoods--perhaps even a small city--with an overarching identity as a center for the arts and for commerce. Think "U Street in the Arts District", or something similar.

If you have thoughts or opinions to share about this or the other topics listed above, please plan to attend tomorrow evening's meeting and have your voice heard. Participating on the panel will be two executives of the Toronto-based design and branding agency L.A. Inc., who will share their thoughts and perspectives about establishing an identity for and marketing urban neighborhoods.

Additional information about the Mid-City Arts District project can be found on their blog,

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