Forecast part of national team for Washington D.C. 11th Street Bridge Park
Forecast was selected through a national competition to join internationally recognized firms OMA and OLIN along with engineers at Whitman, Requardt & Associates on the celebrated 11th Street Bridge Park, a project of Building Bridges Across the River, in Washington D.C. Our team will work to facilitate a selection process to commission artwork for the Park, with a focus on amplifying the stories, culture and heritage of neighboring Black residents.
Forecast led the selection process for five commissioned artworks at the Park—all selections are local, all-women artist teams
“It’s been an extraordinary experience being guided by Forecast. …Forecast set up an excellent set of metrics for engagement.”
Our team is honored to support transparent, equitable processes for public art reflective of its community. Forecast led the artist selection process for the 11th Street Bridge Park in Washington DC. In total, these five projects comprise $520,000 of investment in the local community.
Joining the mother-daughter duo selected for the park’s first major commission, Jackson Jarvis Studio, announced in spring, the selected artists who will create 4 more artworks tied to the park’s design principles and values are all local, all-women artist teams.
Navy Yard Wall
Our Land by Nicole Bourgea and Mickey Demas
Our Land is a recognition of the people who have cared and are still caring for the land where the Bridge Park will be constructed. This mural features members of the native Piscataway Tribe and Ward 8 farmer JJ Boone propagating a native Paw Paw tree.
Navy Yard Underpass
Biophilia, by Becky Borlan
Biophilia is defined as the innate human instinct to connect with nature and other living beings. This engaging sculpture is inspired by the native and non native plant life that grows along the edge of the Anacostia river. This sculpture is comprised of overlapping plant cut outs, an engaging mirrored surface for pedestrians during the day and a colored lighting program during night time.
Hammock Grove, by Aliana Grace Bailey, Rhea Beckett & Syreeta C
The Hammock Grove is a grassy area that consists of poles from which 10 individual hammocks will be strung for the public’s enjoyment. This popular element lends a casual air of a backyard and will attract all ages but particularly younger visitors. Each hammock will be unique and a special color scheme, named after and honor a specific theme, story, or place relevant to DC culture. Hammock posts will feature a collage relevant to the hammock’s theme.
Small Business Kiosk
Small Business Kiosk by River East Design Center, Anna McCorvey
The Kiosk will be a multi-functional mobile unit featuring local businesses that can be moved to different locations on the 11th Street Bridge Park and nearby events. This mobile unit will engage local entrepreneurs and residents incorporating the design principles of accessibility, reflecting the east of the river neighborhood, flexibility and connectivity.
Anacostia’s Sunrise / Sunset Portals by Jackson Jarvis Studio
We are thrilled that Jackson Jarvis Studio is the first public artist commissioned through a selection process led by Forecast for a major public artwork at 11th Street Bridge Park in Washington, DC.
The artwork, Anacostia’s Sun Rise / Sun Set Portals, is “designed to fascinate and invite discovery of the site and its many gifts,” says DC-based artist Martha Jackson Jarvis. Her collaborator and daughter Njena Surae Jarvis says it will “function as a beacon, a symbol of hope and welcome to the 11th Street Bridge Park community celebrating the historic Anacostia River biome.”
The artwork will be sited at the park’s Anacostia Approach, budgeted at $400,000. Watch for the artist announcements for the remaining four artworks this spring.
Our team is honored to support transparent, equitable processes for public art reflective of its community. An important part of our work is building local capacity; the local curator we hired, Deirdre Darden, has been a key team member throughout the process. Learn about Darden below.
What is the 11th Street Bridge Park?
Constructed on an abandoned bridge spanning the Anacostia River, the 11th Street Bridge Park will link neighborhoods west of the River (Capitol Hill/Navy Yard) with historic Anacostia/Fairlawn—historically African-American neighborhoods east of the river. Building Bridges Across the River actively sought to create a first-class park that could serve existing residents and preserve the neighborhood heritage. They are working to protect affordable housing, create local jobs, and strengthen the bonds of culture that hold neighborhoods together. To date, over $75 million has been invested in the community, nearly matching the capital costs of building the Bridge Park. When it is completed in 2024, the park will offer playgrounds, gardens, performance spaces, an environmental education center, public art, and a boat launch.
Forecast’s mission to advocate for public art that advances justice aligns with the values of the Bridge Park, the project’s cultural strategies, and the community-centered approach we’ve had since the beginning. Their commitment to local capacity building was also critical to our collaboration, and we are so excited that Deirdre Darden, a D.C. native and curator, will join Forecast’s team to lend her tremendous expertise to this project.
—Irfana Jetha Noorani, Deputy Director of the 11th Street Bridge Park
Forecast’s Role & Work
Based in Saint Paul, MN, our team works nationally to connect and build the capacity of artists and public and private partners to effectively work together to imagine more equitable places through public art that advances justice, health and human dignity.
Our team will work with the non-profit Building Bridges Across the River and a resident-led Curatorial Committee to identify and select artists for the initial public art commissions. To build local capacity, Forecast hired emerging curator Deirdre Darden to be part of our team guiding work on the ground in Washington.
“Forecast’s mission to activate public art that advances justice, health and human dignity aligns beautifully with the Bridge Park’s people-first approach to infrastructure investments. We also believe in collaboration and shared power and approach every partnership through the lens of addressing systemic disparities by supporting local artists, building local creative capacity and amplifying the voices of local cultures and communities to ensure that the temporary and permanent public art in that place represents the people of that place and fosters a sense of deep belonging.” —Theresa Sweetland, Forecast Public Art Executive Director
Our new publication FORWARD brings attention to the role and value of artists as vital partners to public and private development to address the most vital issues of our time from systemic racism to the COVID-19 pandemic. Forecast’s work nationally includes a current partnership with Transportation for America’s Rapid Response initiative to identify and select artists in eight U.S. cities to date to address COVID-19 related transportation challenges.
“The 11th Street Bridge Park, and the larger nonprofit Building Bridges Across the River’s effort in southeast DC, represents a best in class example of equitable transportation, design, and community development that’s focused on making sure that new, world class amenities serve and benefit existing residents.The project is repairing the deep, persistent racial and economic inequities that separate DC communities, while helping residents remain in place to benefit from new investments. Congrats to the team for selecting Forecast. I can’t wait to see their imaginative, locally-informed approach to artist training and selection at work!” —Ben Stone, Director for Arts and Culture, Transportation for America/Smart Growth America.
Meet the emerging Washington D.C. curator who is part of our team, Deirdre Darden
Deirdre Darden is an emerging curator born and raised on art in Washington DC. She began her curatorial practice in 2014 with Black Artists of DC. Since then she has exhibited and collaborated with contemporary artists from DC, Baltimore and New York, organized panel discussions and artists talks touching themes of race, womanhood, societal pressures, and art’s ultimate power. Shows include Black Lives / White Light (2015), Pressure Points (2016) and Lest We Forget (2016). In 2018 Darden received a curatorial grant from The Commission on Arts and Humanities to curate “We Got Next: Young Contemporaries”. She has consulted for the art fair Art on the Vine, and as a curator at Eaton Workshop. Currently she is prioritizing rest during the pandemic(s) and working on projects from home.