Start Something—A New Mantra for DC’s Creative Economy

It is a rare opportunity for those of us among the unelected to command the attention of hundreds of our peers at a single event. Our fifth Annual Meeting and Development Showcase demonstrated that a well-conceived and flawlessly executed program could convey a singularly powerful message: Start Something.

The stars of the program were a politician, a professor and a poet—three young, talented and promising individuals who represent the heart, the mind and the soul of the creative economy in Washington, DC.

Councilmember Adrian Fenty, the Democratic mayoral nominee, kicked off the luncheon with the observation that the District of Columbia is “a city that has made fantastic progress over the past 16 years” and confirmed that he intends to “keep the progress going.”

Dr. Richard Florida, acclaimed social theorist, author and professor, examined the factors that make Washington, DC a great city—not the monuments or the politics, but the people—and impressed upon the audience that “we need to understand what’s happening in the District of Columbia…and the sooner we begin to understand that and the important nodal role played by the District of Columbia, the better off we will be…in this most fortunate and incredible city….”

Poet Raquel Brown, born in Philadelphia and raised in the District, mused on the creative energy that has inspired her life. Guiding the audience on a spoken word journey across Washington, DC, she recalled “discovering community…discovering culture…doing something constructive…doing collectively…delivering on change.”

The realization of what can be accomplished through creative energy and spirit in the District of Columbia was celebrated through our Recognition Awards, as we honored the vision, progress and innovation demonstrated by the individuals and institutions of three neighborhoods: the 14th & U Street corridor, Barracks Row and the area comprised of Downtown, Chinatown and Penn Quarter. All of the recipients were acknowledged for having embraced the changes that have revitalized and transformed their respective neighborhoods and the District of Columbia.

A high concept, flash technology, video animation offered a look into the future of the newly emerging NoMa area. And the rousing drum line of the Eastern High School Band closed the program with the exuberant sounds of youthful energy applied to musical instruments. These are the places and people of tomorrow’s District of Columbia.

I am pleased that so many of our colleagues and supporters were able to join us last week at the Annual Meeting and Development Showcase. It is your commitment to developing what is new, dynamic and original that will continue to lead the economic revitalization of the District of Columbia. It is up to all of us to ensure that the District of Columbia continues to grow as a tolerant, technologically savvy community that not only attracts talent, but also provides the training and opportunities that will benefit all of our residents. And while we are at it, let’s see if we might find some creative solutions to the transportation issues in our region.

The Annual Meeting program will air on the District Government’s Cable Television channels 13 & 16 throughout November. If you have questions or comments about the program, please contact me at 202.661.8683 or

Posted Under: DC News