Local art, live music and activities for kids and pets will take over a stretch of 17th Street NW near Dupont Circle on Sept. 12 for the sixth 17th Street Festival.
The festival, which runs from noon to 6 p.m., will be similar to previous years’ festivals and will include more than 50 local artists and special zones for kids and pets.
Artists and other vendors will set up on 17th Street between P and R streets NW. Most of the vendor spots have been filled but submissions to fill the few remaining spots will be accepted until Friday.
Lee Granados, founder and co-chair of the festival, says that the festival tries to have a wide variety of art styles represented.
“We really try to push the envelope a little bit and bring in a pretty extensive variety to touch a lot of interests,” Granados said. “We have our typical traditional paintings and photography, but some of the applications I’ve seen have been for comic book graphic designers and some computer-generated work. There’s definitely a range from very contemporary to very traditional artists.”
While their parents peruse the art, children can enjoy storytelling, moon-bounces and other activities in the “kids zone” located at Stead Park on P Street. There will also be a “pet zone” sponsored by Dupont pet boutique The Cheeky Puppy.
Organizers are still finalizing entertainment for the main stage, but Granados says the festival plans to continue its annual tradition of including performances by local drag queens in the day’s entertainment. Several high-profile LGBT organizations have signed on as sponsors of the festival, including Capitol Pride and the Washington Blade newspaper.
Granados says she is also working with businesses around 17th Street to incorporate them into the celebration. The festival, which is put on by Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets, has a policy of excluding any vendors who might compete directly with area businesses.
“We have something for everyone and we hope that people come and enjoy a variety of entertainment and vendors and learn about some of the nonprofits in this area,” Granados said. “We also hope that people will support our local businesses while they’re here.”
Photo via Facebook/ 17th Street Festival
The third annual 17th Street Festival was Saturday afternoon and this year’s festival has something for everyone: from local art, to live entertainment, and even activities for kids and pets. The free community event celebrates the 17th Street corridor from Riggs Place to P Street NW.
The weather was perfect and the six-hour event drew a steady stream of neighbors along with visitors from other DC neighborhoods and the suburbs.
“We are so proud of the our amazing staff and volunteers who selflessly planned for months and put on an event that celebrates a great neighborhood, businesses, residents and organizations. We look forward to continuing to grow the support and partnerships with our community to enhance the festival,” said Lee Granados, one of two co-chairs of the festival.
Unpaid Staff and Volunteers
Unlike many other festivals, the event’s co-chairs, Lee Granados and Stephen Rutgers are unpaid (along with all volunteers) and consider this event one of passion for the community. They bring in committed individuals to chair the zones. This year, City Dogs Rescue volunteers, Lee Stevens and Laura Pedro chaired the Pets zone. Tena Howell (Ross PTA) and Phil Liebson (Washington DC JCC) chaired the Kids Zone. Mark Rutstein, general manager of Level One/Cobalt, chaired the entertainment. Wes Mosser of Century 21 and Mandy Mills chaired the Arts Show.
Other chairs were brought in based on their previous experience and/or areas of expertise. Aaron Fischbach chaired the Green Initiative, Chris Patton was liaison and chaired city services and Nycole Klein chaired the volunteers.
Sponsorships, Donations, Proceeds
The 17th Street Festival is planned by the Urban Neighborhood Alliance (UNA), which brings businesses and residents together to develop innovative solutions to community challenges. Additional details are available on the organization’s website. All sponsorship proceeds from the festival cover costs for permits, staging, MPD and other event costs. You can still make a donation toward this year’s festival costs or toward the 2013 festival. You can donate online.
2012 Festival Sponsors
Gold Level Sponsors
- DC Department of Small and Local Business
- Washington Blade
- Coldwell Banker Residential
- DC Jewish Community Center
- Ross Elementary School
Silver Level Sponsors
- Borderstan.com and Luis Gomez Photos
- Level One
- Dupont Circle Business Incubator
Bronze Level Sponsors
- City Dogs Rescue
- Dupont Circle Citizens Association
- Councilmember Jack Evans, Ward 2
- Grubbs NW Specialty Pharmacy
- Stonewall Kickball
- TD Bank
- VIDA Fitness
- Whitman-Walker Health
From Tom Hay. Questions for Tom? Send him an email.
This month the website, Twitter account and Facebook page for the Urban Neighborhood Alliance (UNA) went live, and the newly formed community association for Dupont and Logan Circles quickly connected with residents and businesses. Membership in UNA is open to anyone who lives and or works in the Dupont and Logan neighborhoods. While there is no membership fee, donations to support their efforts are encouraged.
Borderstan spoke with Lee Granados, president of UNA, about the goals and vision for the organization. Granados is passionate about the neighborhood she has known since her childhood and where she now lives with her family. In 1922, her grandfather, who emigrated from Spain, opened Casa Pena. It was one of the first international food stores in the District on 17th Street NW near R Street NW, where Salon Rouge is now located. Granados’s grandmother lived on Church Street NW until well into her 90’s before moving in with her eldest daughter; she lived to 103.