Sometimes different cities throughout history have acted as acupuncture points for change and movements. Art movements in particular are place-based; there needs to be an aggregate of talent in the same place, collaborating and supporting each other. A handful of beat poets, a community of French impressionists, a clan of talented musicians…
These pockets and subcultures of artists have proved to be very important influences on our modern thoughts, worldviews and paradigms. It feels as though Washington DC is coming to that kind of moment in time; the conversations are pivotal, the polices and decisions made here have international impact. A lot of eyes are on this city right now… and there is a space and need for an increase of artists here, and I think many people feel it. Many people in DC have communicated to me their desire to have more artists and people of the creative class to be here. People ask me all the time, “How can we get more of you here?”
So what if we made this a reality? What if the District of Columbia intentionally created the conditions for an infiltration of artists to come here to work and create, even if it were for a short period of time? I’ve talked to many artists who said that right now, for the first time in their lives, they would consider moving to DC to do their work and contribute to its fabric… on one level, it’s all a matter of logistics and finding a uniquely affordable place to live. On another, its about our vision for what can become and our creativity in making it be.
I would LOVE to see the District and community manifest this opportunity to create a historical moment in time where it created a voice changed history and culture for the better… but a city can’t do that without a strong community of artists. Artists amplify who we are and where we are going. What better time to do that right now, than in Washington DC?
What would happen if 10,000 artists moved to Washington DC for a 6 month commitment? How would our world change?
— Christen Lien