A once-abandoned movie theater complex in Northeast DC reopened in 2006 as the Atlas Performing Arts Center: a visionary, community-based venue where artists and audiences would connect through dance, theater, music, and more. As the H Street corridor’s cultural anchor, the Atlas now brings 80 diverse, thought-provoking, and affordable performances to its four stages each year. That’s in addition to the 125 collaborative shows, workshops, and classes that take place at its annual INTERSECTIONS Festival. Meanwhile, “arts partners” (nonprofit performing groups) utilize the Atlas throughout the year, receiving discounted or free performance and rehearsal space, office space, and event promotion – allowing them to decrease expenses and channel resources toward programming. A summer training and apprenticeship opportunity gives unemployed and underemployed young adults the skills and tools to become professional stage hands, while the City at Peace program helps youth explore social justice and conflict resolution – and inspires a new generation of performing artists to boot. A mecca for arts lovers, the Atlas draws 100,000+ patrons each year. Applause, please.

Headquarters: DC-Ward 6

Where They Operate: DC-Ward 6; Near Northeast in Washington, DC; Capitol Hill in Washington, DC

Age Groups Served: All

Population(s) Served: All

Schools They Work In: Maury Elementary School; Miner Elementary School; Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School; Two Rivers Public Charter School; J.O. Wilson Elementary School

Awards & Recognition

Mayor’s Arts Award for Excellence in Service to the Arts - September 2012

Award of Merit from the Mid-Atlantic Construction magazine – 2007

Best rehab/renovation/reuse project award from the Washington Business Journal – 2006

Historic landmark designation by DC HPRB/SHPO – October 24, 2002


Budget (FY2014)

  • $3 million or higher
  • The current budget for Atlas Performing Arts Center is: $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

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