Mayor Bowser Launches Encore Program to Support DC’s Creative Community

Tuesday, April 26, 2022
Program to provide support through subsidized community events, productions, and performances

(Washington, DC) Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser launched the Encore Program, an initiative created to support DC’s creative community by funding and subsidizing the development of live in-person events. The program was created to invest in and employ local talent, including event producers, entrepreneurs, creatives, content makers, and District businesses that help sustain the creative economy in Washington, DC. The Encore Program is made possible through the DC Creative Affairs Office (CAO), the DC Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment (OCTFME) in partnership with the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED). 

“Washington, DC is bustling with creative talent and as we stay focused on our recovery, we’re looking at all the ways we can tap into and support local artists and creatives,” said Mayor Bowser. “The Encore Program is about investing in local talent and providing equitable and inclusive opportunities for artists to create and perform right here in the District.” 

Through the Encore Program, local DC talent will have the opportunity to develop and produce a subsidized live performance event, demonstration, or showcase. All proposed events must be open to the public and take place by Friday, September 30, 2022. Participating venues include:

  • Kennedy Center - Outdoor Areas | Ward 2
  • Starburst Plaza - H Street | Ward 5
  • The Wharf | Ward 6
  • East River Park Shopping Center | Ward 7
  • Sandlot Anacostia | Ward 8

The Encore Program is open to DC-based businesses who must provide the following: 

  • DC Business License or proof of District residency if a sole proprietor
  • A detailed description of the event they would like to produce
  • Proof of three previously produced events along with supporting documentation
  • Proof of a negative impact on their business from March 2020 to present
  • If selected, applicant must submit a District Clean Hands Certificate

“It’s essential for us to continue to provide access to programming, funding, and initiatives like the Encore Program,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, John Falcicchio. “Our city thrives when we provide dynamic opportunities for our creatives to be supported and continue to grow.”

Following the application round, eligible Encore Program applicants will be selected by an equitable and inclusive lottery process for each community date and location. To learn more and for a complete listing of details for the Encore Program, please visit Application submissions begin Tuesday, April 26, 2022, and close Tuesday, May 24, 2022. A representative will then contact selected recipients to connect with the venue to coordinate event logistics and date availability. 

“The work that CAO and OCTFME do through programming and various initiatives are important assets for our creative community,” said Dr. Angie M. Gates, Director of the DC Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment. “The Encore Program provides local creatives the access and leveraged partnerships needed to flourish in the District. Encore will employ DC talent, enhance local production, and invest in District businesses and entrepreneurs.” 

Information sessions will take place on Wednesday, May 4 at 12 pm and 5 pm, as well as on Wednesday, May 11 at 12 pm and 5 pm. Interested applicants may RSVP to information sessions here. For all other questions or inquiries, please email [email protected]


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