Dupont Underground opens exhibit highlighting D.C. BLM protests

Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo

Dupont Underground is bouncing back with a new photography exhibit depicting D.C. protests against racial inequality.

After facing possible closure last November, Dupont Underground is bouncing back with a new photography exhibit depicting protests throughout D.C. against racial inequality.

The exhibition “rise up.” will feature an on-site show and an interactive virtual gallery displaying photos of the Black Lives Matter movement. The exhibit aims to create a space for photographers of all backgrounds and “offers a glimpse into American history-in-the-making,” according to Dupont Underground.

Shedrick Pelt, who curated the exhibit along with Nora van Trotsenburg, Dupont Underground’s director of operations, photographed some of the protests that took place in the District earlier this year. He told DCist he was “amazed” by the role D.C. had in the movement.

“Being a part of that process, I realized how important D.C. was to the movement,” he told DCist. “We are holding a very important part of the conversation. When you turn on the nightly news, you see Seattle, you see Portland, you see New York, and you see D.C.”

The on-site exhibition will be open from Oct. 2 to Nov. 1 on Fridays from 3 to 7 p.m. and on the weekends from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and the virtual exhibition is available online from Oct. 2 to Jan. 12, 2021. The tickets are free, and a donation is suggested.

Dupont Underground CEO Robert Meins said last November that the community arts organization negotiated an extension to their lease, which was set to expire in April, but that District officials told him the lease would not be renewed. Since then, Meins reported he is still in “active discussion” with the deputy mayor’s office and signed a term sheet outlining the details of a potential lease extension.

“We’ve been just talking back and forth about getting into the nitty gritty of what each of those terms would look like for a lease extension,” he told DCist. “It’s not settled yet, but it’s headed in the right direction.”

Dupont Underground garnered support from local politicians D.C. Councilman Phil Mendelson and then-Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans, who both asked the deputy mayor’s office to sign a 10-year lease with Dupont Underground. Officials told DCist they are committed to “keeping this unique space activated” in D.C.’s “creative economy.”

Since the nonprofit organization first received their lease in 2014, Dupont Underground has transformed abandoned space below Dupont Circle into a multidisciplinary arts venue for “creative exchange.” Dupont Underground has hosted a list of artists and events including  an audio installation artist Eric Dickson and Afro-folk band VeVe & the Rebels.

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