The Metro Chamber proudly exists to advocate for and support the economic success of its members and the six-county capital region by leading the effort to grow and retain business. One critically important element in that regard is to have a vibrant and diverse slate of civic amenities that create a sense of place and community and foster a desire to live, learn, and work here. A robust offering of Civic Amenities creates both clients and customers for business and the workforce necessary to make it thrive.
The Chamber’s annual Cap-to-Cap program includes a very active Civic Amenities Team. While not necessarily advocating on the Hill for regulatory change, the Team has for many years held Study Missions to research Civic Amenities in the D.C. Region, including what makes them tick, prosper, grow, fail, and succeed.
This past April, the Cap-to-Cap Civic Amenities Team made a deep dive into the area of FESTIVALS AND FACILITIES. We can now report that all meetings and tours exceeded expectations. Some highlights:
The Team was privileged to tour the brand-new Wharf Development, a five-phase multi-billion-dollar re-purposing of an outdated wharf facility along the water’s edge.
The Team met with AFI Docs to learn how the American Film Institute programs, which promotes and prospers a meaningful annual documentary film festival.
The Team met with representatives of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, the largest of its kind in the nation, drawing over one million people to the National Mall and spanning over ten days every year around the July 4 holiday. We learned about the programming, architectural, security, cultural, and other aspects of the festival and discussed the critical balance between preserving the public resources and promoting the culture and community.
And the Team sponsored a panel discussion by various dignitaries titled “Fe$tival$ and Facilitie$: The Bigger Picture.” Did you know, for example, that in just one short weekend in Sacramento, the Aftershock Festival generated $1.4M in revenue for the region and attracted 30,000 people, 80% of which were from out of town? And that is just one of many festivals produced in our region every year.
The goal now is to bring the research back home. Whether we expand and revitalize the riverfront, promote signature film and concert festivals, make greater use of our Capitol Mall, or support a myriad other amenities, let’s keep the conversation going. Mayor Steinberg attended many of the Civic Amenities Team programs. Can we count you in?