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The ARC Raises Over $800,000 with After Dark the Art Gala

​WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 1, 2018) – The After Dark @THEARC Gala celebrated Building Bridges Across the River’s 13 years of improving the quality of life for children and adults who reside east of the Anacostia River. The gala on Saturday, held at the Town Hall Education Arts Recreational Campus (THEARC), provided attendees with a first-hand look at the new innovative building, and raised over $800,000 for the facility. THEARC features a 365-seat community theater, black box theater, urban farm, regulation-size gymnasium, libraries, computer labs, classrooms, dance studious, music and visual arts studios, an art gallery and a public playground.  The facility also has 14 permanent nonprofit resident partners: Building Bridges Across the River (BBAR), the AppleTree Institute for Education Innovation, Artreach, the Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys, the Boys and Girls Club FBR Branch, the Children’s National Health System, Covenant House Washington, the David Lynch Foundation, DC Central Kitchen, Levine Music, The Phillips Collection, The Washington Ballet, The Washington School for Girls, and Trinity Washington University.


“The After Dark @THEARC Gala was a tremendous success,” said Rashaan Bernard, Building Bridges Across the River president. “The money that was raised will help us continue to open the doors of hope for thousands of local children and adults in our community.  The commitment from our 14 nonprofit partners also ensures that our neighbors in Wards 7 and 8 are able to receive the best-in-class resources.” 

Over the past thirteen years the gala has provided community members, political leaders, corporate supporters and neighboring non-profit organizations an opportunity to witness the talent of local aspiring artists, dancers, and musicians. 

This year’s event included performances from The Washington Ballet, the Levine School of Music, and THEARC’s state-of-the-art Frederick Douglass animatron presentation. The animatron set is an exact replica of Douglass' study in his Anacostia home, and features over two hours of his most famous speeches. 

“Exelon is proud to support THEARC, and I am proud to be on THEARC’s board of directors,” said William A. Von Hoene, Exelon senior executive vice president. “We are committed to being a good neighbor and giving back to the communities we serve, and it is a pleasure to be a part of the extraordinary work THEARC is doing for families in Wards 7 and 8.”   

THEARC provides youth and adults across Wards 7 and 8 in the District of Columbia with equal access to essential arts, education, health and youth services programs. Wards 7 and 8 are home to 40 percent of Washington, D.C.’s youth, and nearly half of those children live at or below the poverty line, making it challenging for them to receive equal access to essential health, educational and cultural services. 

Since its opening in 2005, THEARC has provided high-quality programs and services to children and adults living east of the Anacostia River, enabling them to participate in dance classes, music instruction, fine arts, continuing education, mentoring and tutoring and to receive medical and dental care and other services at a substantially reduced cost or no cost at all.  

The newly completed $61 million, 203,000 square-foot campus sits on more than 16 acres of National Park service land and includes a 5,000 square-foot state-of-the-art playground and basketball court.  THEARC was created with input from the community, allowing residents of Wards 7and 8 to have equal equity and a sense of ownership in the campus. Many residents volunteer their time to support efforts at THEARC and some have even joined THEARC staff. 

With the completion and opening of THEARC’s facilities, the center is poised to become a national model as a programs and services hub for communities.  

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