**FILE** D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (Shevry Lassiter/The Washington Informer)
**FILE** D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (Shevry Lassiter/The Washington Informer)

Bowser administration officials unveiled Thursday the creation of the Anacostia Arts and Culture District in Ward 8 along with leaders of the Anacostia Business Improvement District and other local luminaries.

During the one-hour event, Mayor Muriel Bowser highlighted an additional $202,000 investment in the Department of Public Works Murals DC program that is designed to encourage positive, artistic mural painting and drawing throughout the city.

A dozen new murals are slated for Ward 8, but Bowser challenged DPW staff to do more.

“Historic Anacostia is already a hub for D.C. culture and creative expression,” she said. “Now, we’re working with the community to create more spaces and events that uplift local artists and spotlight Ward 8. The Arts and Culture District will be a new destination for residents and visitors — a place for people who want to witness the talent of D.C. creatives and enjoy D.C. culture.”

Last year, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development granted the Anacostia BID nearly $4 million to establish the district. The funding is used for beautification and streetscape enhancements within the district, to support cultural institutions, and to provide programs and initiatives that support local artists by creating platforms that showcase their work.

“The investments we are making in the Anacostia Arts and Culture District will enhance the vibrancy of the neighborhood and drive tourism to Ward 8,” said John Falcicchio, the deputy mayor of DMPED. “While our investment supports local artists, it also supports residents who will be able to derive employment opportunities from having more tourism and more events take place east of the river.”

Anacostia BID Executive Director Kristina Noell said she looks forward to working with MuralsDC in its effort to liven the arts scene in the neighborhood. Noell said her organization is working on obtaining a housing plan for artists in the neighborhood where they can practice their crafts and live affordably on creative compensation.

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