Wacif Announces $3 Million Grant Award for Reimagining the Anacostia Arts Center

Arts Center capital campaign in final mile with catalytic Community Project Funding

Washington, D.C. (June 8, 2023) – Wacif today announced $3 million in funding to redevelop the Anacostia Arts Center (AAC) as the region’s largest hub for inclusive entrepreneurship, advancing the $37 million project into the final mile of philanthropic fundraising. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D – D.C.) – a longtime champion for equity and opportunity in the District of Columbia – selected Wacif and the AAC for Community Project Funding which received Congressional approval in late December.

“By 2030, Wacif will invest $100 million in our communities and reach 5,000 underserved entrepreneurs with advisory services, ultimately helping those entrepreneurs create or retain 100,000 local jobs,” said Wacif Interim CEO Brendon Miller. “A central part of that vision is reimagining the Anacostia Arts Center as a hub for inclusive entrepreneurship while honoring its importance to the community and creative economy. As we close this final mile of fundraising, we are grateful for Congresswoman Holmes Norton’s partnership, the support of all of our project partners, and the momentum they provide.”

Wacif has mobilized an array of public, private, and philanthropic partners to financially support the project. With a total project cost of approximately $37 million, and remaining fundraising needs of approximately $5 million, Wacif is actively seeking strategic partners for the final philanthropic dollars needed to close fundraising and move to prepare for the construction phase of the project. Current financial partners include: the A. James and Alice B. Clark Foundation, Bank of America, the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the D.C. Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, the D.C. Department of Planning and Economic Development, JPMorgan Chase, the Meyer Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, Truist, and the Yelp! Foundation.

The AAC’s redevelopment is one example of Wacif’s success in scaling the organization’s impact. Wacif has deployed more than $50 million and helped local entrepreneurs create or retain more than 20,000 local jobs in the last five years. The organization’s track record of performance also includes being named 2022 and 2019 D.C. Nonprofit Organization of the Year by the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, winning the 2020 Citizenship Award from the Washington Business Journal, being identified in 2022 for the third time as one of the region’s best community nonprofits by the Catalogue for Philanthropy, and being highlighted in 2022 as the country’s #13 Best Nonprofit to Work For by the Nonprofit Times.

About the Washington Area Community Investment Fund

Washington Area Community Investment Fund, Inc. (Wacif) is one of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area’s leading Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) focused on small business development. Wacif’s mission is to increase equity and economic opportunity in underserved communities in the Washington, D.C. area by investing knowledge, social, and financial capital in low-and-moderate-income entrepreneurs. To learn more about becoming a financial partner in the redevelopment of the Anacostia Arts Center or Wacif’s mission of equity and opportunity more generally, please email Wacif’s Chief Development Officer Megan Carras at . To learn more about Wacif’s mission, visit www.wacif.org.