clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

VISIONDC 2017: Schedule, keynote speakers, and what to expect

This arts and urban innovation summit will be hosted at Arena Stage for the first time on April 24

Image via VISIONDC

When people think, “Washington, D.C.,” what do they think of? Typically, it’s government agencies, monuments, memorials, and chili dogs. One day, though, it may be known for its arts scene, thanks in part to CulturalDC’s brand new arts and urban innovation summit, VISIONDC.

There’s a lot to know about the event, from the schedule to the keynote speakers to how to get there. To help readers, Curbed put together this guide for the event. See what to expect below, and get excited for this all-day arts extravaganza.

What, when, and where is VISIONDC?

On April 24, the very first VISIONDC will make its debut at Washington, D.C.’s Arena Stage, located at 1101 6th Street SW. This event is an inaugural arts and urban innovation summit that will cover topics like community development, gentrification and strategies that foster equitable growth, and how crowdsourcing can be used to invest in developing creative communities, especially in the District.

CulturalDC is launching the event in order for artists, commercial real estate developers, city planners, policy makers, technologists, business leaders, and the public to be able to exchange ideas.

Here are some past projects accomplished by CulturalDC that the public may recognize: the Atlas Performing Arts Center, GALA Hispanic Theatre, Source Theatre, and the Woolly Mammoth Theatre.

Where did the idea for VISIONDC come from?

Ava LaTanya Hilton, executive director of CulturalDC, told Curbed DC that the real question board members in CulturalDC had was, “How can we really contribute to this growth [in the arts scene]?” Well, the idea was similar to the phrase, “Two heads are better than one,” so CulturalDC reached out to several local community organizations and artists and was successful in finding a space and an event that could bring them together to learn together and grow together.

The event ended up taking a year-and-a-half of planning.

Who is expected to show up at the event?

Over 20 artists will participate in the event. These artists include Sheldon Scott, Street Light Circus, and Linda Hesh. Other community leaders expected to join in on the fun include Jamie Bennett of ArtPlace America, Isabel Castilla of The High Line NYC, Vicki Davis of Urban Atlantic, Phillipa Hughes of The Pink Line Project, Scott Kratz of the 11th Street Bridge Park, and Andy Shallal of Busboys & Poets.

Panelists of the event will include Jim Abdo of Abdo Development, Michael Abrams of Foulger-Pratt, Vicki Davis of Urban Atlantic, Martin Ditto of Ditto Development, Deborah Ratner Salzberg of Forest City Washington, and Stacey Mickelson of Artspace

What’s the full schedule?

See the full schedule here.

Can’t see the schedule? Check it out on Scribd here.

What else should the public get excited for?

The city’s first “Art Tank” will debut at VISIONDC. “Art Tank” was unsurprisingly inspired by ABC’s TV show, “Shark Tank.” In this event, artists will be pitch concepts for city art projects to investors, who will bid on and fund the projects on the spot. The budget for each project is expected to be between $5,000 to $10,000.

The artists who will participate in “Art Tank” include: Charles Bergen, Joseph Corcoran, JD Deardourff, Nekisha Durrett, Hiroski Jacobs, and Tim Mcloraine.

How to get there?

Thankfully, the VISIONDC website has all the information you need on this front. Check it out on this webpage with options that vary from driving directions to public transportation to parking.

How do I get tickets?

That’s the spirit. If interested in attending the event, ticket prices vary from $25 for artists and students up to $65 for general admission. Get your tickets here.

A little too pricey? Here are some promotion codes: Visitors can get a discounted ticket through DMVfollowers with the code “VDC-DMV.” For artists, The Pink Line Project also has free tickets. Send them a message at

Will this become a regular annual event?

While VISIONDC is expected to occur once every two years, the “Art Tank” event is hoped to become a regular annual event.

VISIONDC [Official Website]