A proposal to transform an historic school building in Washington, DC into a “contemporary arts, performance and educational destination” gained traction in recent weeks, with support coming from crucial figures in the ongoing discussion of how to handle the renovation.

A prominent Washington art collector, Dani Levinas, first proposed the idea for the Institute for Contemporary Expression, otherwise known as ICE, for the 144-year-old Franklin School in Washington D.C.’s Northwest neighborhood. The proposed museum would be for temporary, new, large-scale, and unorthodox contemporary exhibitions in the kunsthalle model. This would be similar to New York’s P.S. 1, itself situated in an old schoolhouse.

At a recent meeting of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission that encompasses the Franklin School, neighborhood residents threw support behind the idea of a mixed-used contemporary arts facility in the building. The commission resolved to write to the city in favor of the plan, though support for a total of four proposals was given (including transforming the building into a boutique hotel, the other frontrunner).

Not only has the neighborhood association there backed the development idea, but so has a prominent Washington-based musical ensemble and the chairman of the Washington Project for the Arts. Leaders of the Post-Classical Ensemble vowed to help with fundraising for the project, in addition to committing to performances there.

According to the Washington Post, Frederick Ognibene, the chairman of the WPA board, wrote in a favor of the project in a recent letter to the city:

Speaking on behalf of the Washington Project for the Arts and myself, I can state with 100% confidence that ICE, based on its location at 13th and K Streets and its proposed programming and educational offerings, will be a major lynchpin in the cultural development of Washington, D.C.

Peep the above video of a few prominent museum directors and curators explaining why ICE-DC is important to see through. 

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[via The Washington Post]