While the K Street corridor isn’t exactly known for its culture, there is more to the bustling business center than glass windows and gray suits. For example, if you visit downtown DC during the springtime, you’ll inevitably notice brightly colored placards featuring short poems from local writers — “Golden Haikus” breaking the monotony of sidewalk and heralding in the warmer weather.
The Golden Haikus exists thanks to the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID), an organization that sponsors several public art projects, sustainability initiatives, and free events that enhance the daily experiences of workers from roughly 6,000 businesses in the neighborhood, and spur economic development.
While many businesses’ doors have been shuttered amid the coronavirus outbreak, the Golden Triangle BID continues its efforts to support those that remain open, as well as those that hope to return.
“Since the pandemic began, the Golden Triangle BID has been working to survey, support, and respond to the evolving needs of DC’s central business district,” says Mareike Finck, Golden Triangle BID Director of Communications and Marketing.
Their latest initiative, WINDOWS, is a “direct response to COVID-19,” aiming to highlight and uplift local artists while “infusing the neighborhood with creativity and vibrancy.”
“WINDOWS by Golden Triangle is part of our public art program, but it very intentionally dovetails with our support for the business community… The initiative will place artwork created by local artists in vacant storefronts to beautify and activate ground floor spaces and to bring positive attention to spaces for lease,” says Finck.
Local artists from DC, Maryland, and Virginia have the opportunity to submit their work on the themes of joy, community, hope, and love for consideration to the BID through May 8. Submissions will be reviewed by members of the Golden Triangle organization, alongside a panel of professionals working in public art, creative placemaking, design, and contemporary art.
Up to five artists will be selected to have their artwork reproduced on storefront windows, each receiving a $2,000 stipend. In addition to having their work displayed for the public to experience and enjoy, participating artists will also benefit from exposure through marketing efforts on the Golden Triangle website, social media outlets, and other media.
Installation of WINDOWS will begin in July, as safety measures allow, and is directly funded by the BID. The organization has hopes of securing additional outside funding to support even more artists in a second phase of the project.
For more information about the Golden Triangle BID, visit https://goldentriangledc.com. To submit artwork by May 8, visit https://goldentriangledc.com/initiative/windows_call/.