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  • Places on the Move: Gentrification in D.C.

    Photo by Fernando C. Sandoval, Oak Street Studio
    Photo by Fernando C. Sandoval, Oak Street Studio

    Editor’s note: Gentrification has long been a hotly debated issue in our nation’s capital. You can get a taste from the Washington Post and NPR stories lined below. Today at 2 p.m., we will be addressing many of these issues in the On the Move tent at the Folklife Festival.

    Gentrification: the process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents. (Merriam-Webster)

    Does gentrification have to force people to move out of their communities, or can it be a “boon to longtime residents”?

    Do bike lanes in Washington, D.C., mean the onslaught of the more affluent, or are bike lines symbolic of more inclusive infrastructure?

    Can legislation be designed to protect lower income residents by providing them with opportunities to purchase their units, or does it actually pave the way for developers to push poorer people out of neighborhoods?

    Washington is now home to some of the most rapidly gentrifying ZIP codes in the country and a population growing by one thousand new residents every month. What does this mean to the people of D.C.?

    Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum curator Dr. Samir Meghelli and Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage curator Mark Puryear will discuss why this profound change has swept the city and the extent to which gentrification encourages people to move or, conversely, convinces them to stay. Join us in the On the Move tent on July 8 at 2 p.m.

    We invite you to send in your photos that capture how you feel about gentrification and the movement of people and whole communities. To get you started, here is how D.C. native Fernando Sandoval sees change in the capital.

    Fourteenth Street NW, Washington, D.C. Photo by Fernando C. Sandoval, Oak Street Studio
    Fourteenth Street NW, Washington, D.C. Photo by Fernando C. Sandoval, Oak Street Studio
    Mt. Pleasant: new condo construction above local businesses. Photo by Fernando C. Sandoval, Oak Street Studio
    Mt. Pleasant: new condo construction above local businesses. Photo by Fernando C. Sandoval, Oak Street Studio
    Rehabilitation: sample of decrepit housing in Columbia Heights that is slated for remodeling. Photo by Fernando C. Sandoval, Oak Street Studio
    Rehabilitation: sample of decrepit housing in Columbia Heights that is slated for remodeling. Photo by Fernando C. Sandoval, Oak Street Studio

    On the Move: Immigration and Migration Today invites visitors to consider how immigration and migration both challenges and energizes culture. Through discussion and performance, we encourage you to join us as we explore how the movement of individuals, families, and even entire communities impacts our identities, culture, and everyday lives.

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