Jackson is a non-profit art organization that has leased the school at 3050 R Street NW for studio space from the DC government since the 1980s. Jackson is in danger of losing the site when the current lease expires in June 2018, as the District may proceed with a public disposition process for the school. Under a disposition process, the District will consider all options for use of the school upon a determination that the public property is surplus. These options may include whether to sell the former elementary school to a commercial or residential developer or, preferably, to allow it to remain an art center. The 40-plus artists who currently have studios in the old school include Georgetowners and Burleithians. All are working hard to make their case to the District to extend their lease, either by way of special legislation or in the public disposition process itself.
In our letter, the BCA lauded the Jackson Art Center’s role as an active community arts organization that offers art workshops throughout the city, including the Georgetown Public Library, DC’s Fillmore Art Center, the Georgetown Senior Center, and the Nueva Vida program at GWU Cancer Institute. Using rent subsidies and monthly membership dues, Jackson has also made improvements to the building on its own.
We are pleased to join the Citizens Association of Georgetown in asking the DC government to preserve the Jackson School for Jackson Art Center and not develop the site for other purposes.