Free, public programming in DowntownDC’s parks and plazas has become a hallmark of the BID, especially during the summer months. But the organization’s limited funding and resources means that the organization has hit its capacity with regard to free programming hosted in-house to support the community. The DowntownDC Foundation seeks to grow and expand programming and events opportunities downtown.
Existing programming for the BID includes varied outdoor free events in the summer, including a DowntownDC Live lunchtime concert series in Franklin Park, DowntownDC Summer Flicks: Can I Kick It?, a martial arts/hip-hop movie series on Freedom Plaza, Chinatown Block Party, a creative Friday night arts workshop and block party at Chinatown Park, and Children’s Story Hour in Chinatown Park. Enhancing and improving these events, offering them for longer runs, and adding additional event offerings such as how-to classes, exercise programming and other free, community events would be possible with additional resources.
In addition to summer event series, the BID also hosts and funds programming in-house related to the National Cherry Blossom Festival (March-April), Bike to Work Day (May), Park(ing) Day (September), the Chinatown Community Festival (September), and a Fall Festival (October).
The BID also continues to host and fund signature large-scale events managed entirely in-house: the District of Fashion Runway Show (February and September), the DowntownDC Holiday Market (December); the State of Downtown Forum (April), and the Momentum Awards (December). The BID also supports many partner events and pop-up events including World Cup Viewings on Freedom Plaza in 2018, a pole-vaulting competition in 2017, Jazz in Franklin Park, a Step Afrika children’s showcase and more.
The DowntownDC Foundation aims to raise funds to allow the BID to grow current programming offerings and into additional spaces as well as explore new opportunities for events and programs that highlight the rich history and culture of DC.