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Enliven Public and Publicly Accessible Spaces in NoMa

The BID plays several roles in this work, acting as a matchmaker between spaces and activators,
providing guidance and both direct and indirect support in the planning stages, as well as creating
and promoting our own activations.

Progress on this initiative in 2023 included:

  • Hosting a full calendar year of in-person events, from small-scale pop-ups to signature celebrations, including place activations, art openings, movie nights, festivals, business socials, board meetings, and the NoMa BID’s annual meeting, with a combined total attendance of more than 20,000 people. 
  • Expanding the BID’s capacity to activate spaces in NoMa by securing a grant from the DC Office of Planning, and hosting a six-week series of activations and art installations in key locations throughout NoMa. 
  • Expanding and relaunching the Metropolitan Beer Trail, a free digital passport and prize-incentivized marketing program, and inviting thousands of customers to visit eleven NoMa and NoMa-adjacent breweries and bars adjacent to the Metropolitan Branch Trail. 
  • Installing new street pole banners throughout the neighborhood celebrating NoMa’s history of incredible wall art, including in the NoMa Breezeway corridor along the Metro station. 
  • Creating the new signature event campaign NoMa in Color, a street art festival to activate neighborhood ground-level spaces, including a reimagined mural festival and six weeks of arts-infused pop-ups, neighborhood activations, music, and film. 
  • With the NoMa Parks Foundation, hosting the grand openings of Swampoodle Terrace, NoMa’s newest park, and the K Street Virtual Gallery, the last of the Underpass Art Installations. 
  • Hosting mural tours to raise the profile and awareness of the neighborhood’s deep stockpile of public wall art, and to raise the profile of local artists. 
  • Expanding the BID’s capacity to delivery events through a partnership with DC Fray, which brought a monthly series of live music performances to NoMa. 
  • Advancing work on the NoMa Meander, a North Capitol-adjacent public plaza space that will create an enhanced experience for pedestrians and attract new businesses. 
  • Supporting and promoting community activations at Alethia Tanner Park, including DPR movie nights, children’s story times, nature walks, fitness classes, bike rides, and more. 
  • Supporting Eckington Hall, the unique art gallery and flexible creative and event space launched by David Ross, a local Black entrepreneur, through social media promotion and paid sponsorship. 
  • Commissioning a new mural by Jesse Kirsch titled “No Way” for the wall of the Marriott Courtyard overlooking the Metropolitan Branch Trail. 
  • Working with Diverse Markets Management, which recruits local BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, or People of Color) makers, to manage the NoMa Farmers Market, ensuring vendor diversity and expanding the roster of vendors to more than twenty. 
  • Creating and filling a new staff position—Manager for Placemaking and Public Art—to focus on public art and placemaking activations, which was filled in February 2023. 

Targeted work on this initiative for 2023 will include:

  • Developing a guide and resources for space activations that can be distributed to community groups and individuals interested in getting involved
  • Implementing the Breezeway activation mentioned above
  • Sourcing the artworks that will populate the K street gallery and launching the installation
  • Working with property owners to permit spaces and implement guidelines for their use
  • Opening the Alethia Tanner Park Café, creating a new focal point for community gathering and park activations in NoMa
  • Working with ATF, Courtyard, and WMATA on streetscape improvements on 2nd Street
  • Developing and installing pavement art beneath the micromobility corrals on L Street
  • Hiring a new staff member to focus on public art and placemaking activations
  • Developing and adding QR codes to existing wall art installations to provide information about the art and artists
  • Installing new wayfinding signage for the Metropolitan Branch Trail

A Magnetic NoMa is Vibrant

Brand & Reputation
Economic Development

Other Vibrant NoMa Initiatives