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Shaw Main Streets Wins National Award for Art All Night

Photo by Charlie Miller, Courtesy National Main Street Center.


On April 1, 2015, at the closing plenary session of the National Main Street Conference in Atlanta, GA, Shaw Main Streets was presented with one of the three inaugural Innovation on Main Street Awards. Shaw Main Streets Executive Director Alexander Padro,  Shaw Main Streets Board Chair Gretchen Wharton, and Department of Small and Local Business Development DC Main Streets Coordinator Cristina Amoruso were present to accept the award.

The award recognizes Main Street organizations for successful, sustainable initiatives that represent new approaches to an existing downtown revitalization challenges or opportunities, per a press release from the National Main Street Center.

“Our hats are off to each of the programs selected for the Innovation on Main Street awards,” said Patrice Frey, president and CEO of the National Main Street Center. “For the Main Street movement to continue to be successful and relevant, we will need to capitalize on changing trends, demographics and economies. We applaud these programs for daring to innovate and for energizing the field of downtown revitalization with fresh ideas.”

In presenting the award, National Main Street Center Senior Program Officer and Director of Leadership Development Norma Ramirez de Miess explained that “Shaw Main Streets was honored for its “Art All Night” festival which was expanded to four other Washington, D.C. Main Street programs this year [2014]. Based on Paris’ Nuit Blanche, an all-night citywide arts festival, Art All Night is a free overnight arts festival that transforms businesses, vacant commercial spaces and warehouses, libraries, recreation centers and parks into performing and visual arts venues for one night only.

“The event is a win-win-win as artists and performers get greater exposure, local businesses get a bump in foot traffic and neighborhoods that may be unfamiliar or only thought of as daytime destination get a boost,” Ramirez de Miess continued. “Using mostly free social media promotion, Art All Night drew 35,000 visitors to five commercial districts.  Shaw Main Street is a designated DC Main Streets program.”

The other two Innovation on Main Street award winners were Main Street New Jersey and Texas’ Winnsboro Main Street.

“During its twelve year history, Shaw Main Streets has consistently developed innovative approaches and programs that have proven to be impactful in attracting and retaining small businesses in the neighborhood,” said DSLBD Director Ana Harvey. “We are thrilled that the organization is being recognized nationally for its efforts.”

 “It's so exciting to be recognized for bringing this arts festival to DC, entertaining tens of thousands of visitors and generating record sales for our small neighborhood businesses,”  said Alexander M. Padro, Executive Director of Shaw Main Streets.

Major funding for Art All Night DC is provided by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanites and the Department of Small and Local Business Development's DC Main Streets Program, Muriel Bowser, Mayor. 


About Art All Night

Art All Night: Nuit Blanche DC was first presented by Shaw Main Streets in 2011 as a DC version of Paris’ celebrated Nuit Blanche event to Washington, DC.  With financial support from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the Shaw Main Streets team redesigned the free overnight arts festival, and transformed it from an exclusively arts focused event into a revenue generating event that gave equal importance to the art and to the businesses in the neighborhood in which it took place. In 2014, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities partnered with Shaw Main Streets and four other DC Main Streets programs to expand the festival, making it the first joint promotion across DC Main Streets.

About Shaw Main Streets

Shaw Main Streets was established in 2003 to encourage and support economic revitalization and historic preservation along the 7th and 9th Street, NW commercial corridors.  The organization has attracted and supported over 170 new businesses to the central Shaw commercial district, resulting in the creation of thousands of new permanent jobs. Over $1 Billion in commercial and residential development have been facilitated by Shaw Main Streets’ efforts. Shaw Main Streets is a designated DC Main Streets program and is funded in part by the Department of Small and Local Business Development, Muriel Bowser, Mayor.

About the National Main Street Center

Established in 1980 as a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the National Main Street Center works with a nationwide network of communities to encourage preservation-based economic revitalization that utilizes the Main Street Four-Point Approach.® The Center participated in the renewal of more than 2,000 older commercial districts during its 35-year history. Now a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the National Main Street Center provides information, offers technical assistance, holds conferences and workshops, and conducts research and advocacy on critical revitalization issues.