17 arts leaders ask DC mayor to reconsider plan for downtown cultural center at empty site


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WASHINGTON — Directors from the Smithsonian, private museums and some performing arts groups are asking D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to reconsider her decision to kill an agreement for a downtown cultural project.

The Washington Post (http://wapo.st/1FvrPU1 ) reports 17 leaders from prominent arts institutions are asking Bowser to meet with leaders of the cultural project she axed last month.

The Institute for Contemporary Expression won a competition in 2013 to redevelop the historic Franklin School building. But Bowser's administration nixed the agreement just weeks into her term, citing "financial risks."

Arts leaders from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Phillips Collection, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Studio Theatre, Washington Performing Arts and American University's Katzen Arts Center are asking the mayor to reconsider. They say the arts center can be a cornerstone of revitalizing the neighborhood.

Information from: The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com

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