The DC Office of Motion Picture and Television Development is pleased to recognize The Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus (THEARC) in Southeast Washington as the July 2013 One City Location of the Month. The 11,000 square foot award-winning campus located east of the Anacostia River boasts a 365-seat theater, which features a spacious stage, a movie screen for film events, and professionally designed and installed sound and lighting systems that complement a full variety of productions.
In addition to the theater, THEARC’s multi-purpose campus consists of a regulation size gymnasium, a computer lab, an art gallery, a library, a community conference center, state-of-the-art music, art and dance studios and other first-class facilities. The $27 million facility officially opened in October 2005 and was initiated as part of the revitalization effort of the Congress Heights neighborhood in the District’s Ward 8. THEARC was built by Building Bridges Across the River, the nonprofit organization founded by William C. Smith + Co. to fundraise to build THEARC, oversee its construction and secure its resident partners. Building Bridges Across the River remains at THEARC as one of eleven resident partners and operates as the managing partner agency.
While THEARC was designed as a facility to provide resources to underserved children and families east of the River, it has become a world-class facility that attracts local and national attention. In recent years THEARC has hosted President Barrack Obama who launched his fatherhood initiative at the center, award-winning hip hop artist Doug E. Fresh, and a movie screening of the Blind Side hosted by NFL linebacker Chris Draft.
There are currently eleven not-for-profit resident partners at THEARC, including arts organizations: The Washington Ballet, the Levine School of Music, and The Corcoran Gallery of Art. The Washington Ballet features two light-filled studios that look out onto Mississippi Avenue and the Levine School of Music features soundproofed rooms, Steinway and Suzuki instruments, and a recital hall that provides space for student concerts as well as master classes by resident and visiting artists. There is also an art gallery on the first floor, managed by The Corcoran, which presents shows by local artists and features student work from the on-site Corcoran Art Reach program.
In 2011, the DC Film Office launched One City Location of the Month to bring attention to the wide range of varied, cinematically compelling locations that are available to film and television productions. Former One City Location of the Month recipients include Gallaudet University in Northeast, the Hillcrest neighborhood in Southeast, East Potomac Park in Southwest, and the Howard Theatre in Northwest.
To learn more about THEARC and to view photos please visit the One City Location of the Month feature on our web site. If you are interested in using THEARC for a future filming location, please contact us at [email protected].