Upcoming events…Increased scrutiny on youth detention programs…The impact of arts cuts [News, 4.22.11]

In honor of Earth Day, we wanted to share a couple of upcoming environment-related events of interest:

– DC Appleseed will present recommendations from their new report, “A New Day for the Anacostia: A National Model for Urban River Revitalization,” at the Yards Park on May 2, along with Mayor Vince Gray, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, and others. The report lays out a strategy to clean up the Anacostia River and “turn it into a centerpiece for recreation and economic development throughout DC and Maryland.” More information about the event is available here.

– WRAG Board member Anna Powell passed along this upcoming Wells Fargo-sponsored workshop on May 11 that will be of interest to corporate grantmakers. The tactical workshop, put on by the Association of Corporate Contributions Professionals, will explore the landscape of organizations focused on environmental grantmaking, current trends in sustainability, and promising practices in corporate grantmaking. More information and registration is here.

ENVIRONMENT | Eric Kessler of Arabella Philanthropic Investment Advisors writes about the Potomac Conservancy, which, with the support of several WRAG members, “contributes to a united region by working to safeguard the lands and waters of the Potomac.” (WRAG Daily, 4/20)

JUVENILE JUSTICE| After four DC teens escaped from a youth detention facility in South Carolina earlier this week, Councilmember Jim Graham, who oversees the Committee on Human Services which has oversight of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, is calling for review of the city’s use of detention facilities in other states. The city sends about 225 teens to these facilities, which costs the city $20 million per year. (Examiner, 4/21)

ARTS | The deep cuts to the National Capital Arts and Cultural Affairs’ grants program that came out of the recent federal budget agreement already got some attention on the Daily this week, but I thought that this quote from Morey Epstein, the director of institutional development at Studio Theatre, was worth sharing, as it serves as a reminder of the economic impact that a diminished arts and culture scene in DC will have on the city (City Paper 4/20):

“This is just a terrible time for the city to be losing $7 million that goes to arts organizations and from there into the city’s economy,” Epstein says. “They’re the economic engines that revitalize neighborhoods. They pay vendors and salaries. The nation’s capital should be a shining light where the country showcases its arts and cultural life. This cut is going to diminish that.”

During better economic times, the arts sector has had a significant impact on local neighborhoods. WRAG’s 2009 report Beyond Dollars explained how the revitalized Atlas Theater anchored the new development along the H Street NE corridor, which is now a thriving business district.

Happy Earth Day! Apparently if everyone lived like me, it would take 5.1 Earths to provide enough resources. And that’s without owning a car, not eating much meat, living with a few too many roommates, and recycling religiously.  Hopefully some of you live greener than me.