The Friends Group “First” Fundraiser Event for Reopening of the Carter Barron Amphitheatre

Amphitheatre in action

After the 2011 devastating Earthquake that hit Washington DC, The Carter Barron Amphitheatre (“CBA”), our national and historic scenic beauty of a gift that seats 4200 patrons, also suffered severely.

CBA is the only summer venue in the Metropolitan area ever to be sanctioned by a President of the United States of America. Yes, President Harry S. Truman authorized the birth of the Amphitheatre to stand in the heart of Ward 4, in celebration of the nation’s capital 150th anniversary, after it moved from Philadelphia onto to Washington in 1800 via the Residence Act that Congress approved July 16, 1790 by our Founding Fathers.

The doors of The Sesquicentennial Amphitheatre opened on August 4, 1950, after late construction stopped its premiere showcase scheduled for July 4th. Regretfully, the sudden death of President Truman’s close military friend, Carter Barron Tate, a highly respected Impresario, and resident of 16th Street N.W., served to have this national landmark to The Carter Barron Amphitheatre, in honor of his memory.

On March 1st, the National Park Service (“NPS”) declared CBA unsafe, and mandated its immediate closure. The NPS initially stated to Congress in May 2017 the need of $1 million for reopening, which changed months later to an estimated $10 million in repairs from the earthquake damage. Note, that the Friends Group secured two independent pro-bono architectural walk-throughs from the renowned Arthur C. Moore in FY’1998 and Shalom Baranes’ in FY’2016.

Did you know that the best of A and B list Performing Artists have performed at the Amphitheatre for the lowest ticket cost, among any summer theater, such as “Louis Armstrong (believed to be the first Black Performing Artist), Diana Ross, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Stevie Wonder, National Symphony Orchestra, Miriam Makeba, Miles Davis, Santana, The Staple Singers, James Brown, George Duke”—just too name a few, and some events were provided Free-of-Charge via “The Shakespeare Free For All, Washington Post Weekends Weekend and Friends of Carter Barron Foundation of the Performing Arts (“Friends”) Off-Broadway-styled Family Youth Musicals.”

The Friends organization in partnership with Amy Jacques Garvey Institute (“AJG”) are unable to let this iconic performance and treasured GIFT go another year without opening, which now requires our IMMEDIATE efforts to call upon “YOU,” Mr. Stanley Jackson for financial support to ensure that structural upgrades become achieved.

Therefore, citizens in the DMV and USA who values Arts preservation, education and quality entertainment, as yourself SUPPORT will protect this landmark of nature that celebrates the nation’s capital move remaining in the heart of Washington, DC to remain under the governance of Rock Creek Park in partnership with Friends of Carter Barron.

That’s why this late fall or early spring the Friends has teamed up with TVONE to raise funds for a major benefit concert in negotiation with Anthony Hamilton to reopen our treasured Amphitheatre. All donations are tax-deductible via our lead fiduciary partner, Amy Jacques Garvey as follows:

– 25% of the ticket gross sales will go toward the rebuilding efforts underway by the NPS
– 30% will enable the Friends Group to continue transforming the lives of low-income DC inspiring Performing – Arts high school youth with real workforce employment and training outcomes
– 15% Administrative Overhead
– 30% Staffing for Event

One reply on “The Friends Group “First” Fundraiser Event for Reopening of the Carter Barron Amphitheatre”

A message was recently posted to the NextDoor app by Mr. Andrew Polich of Mt. Pleasant in Washington, D.C., which shared his comments (below, inside quotation marks) and providing a link to his May 2022 YouTube “urban explorer” adventure tour of the Carter Barron Amphitheatre at 4850 Colorado Avenue, N.W. (Washington, D.C. 20011 – Ward 4)

The National Park Service should be utterly ashamed that they have allowed this National Park Service property and Washington, D.C. landmark to be so insecurely maintained that multiple areas have been entered at will, vandalized, graffitied, and destroyed. Lighting booths have been broken into, vandalized and used for partying, including likely alcohol and drug use.

The Green Room, bathrooms, and other supposedly locked backstage areas, have been broken into; mirrors, sinks, and other items have been wantonly destroyed.

A golf cart was driven off the stage and lies derelict inside the front orchestra pit. (Where did it come from? Was it, too carelessly left behind by National Park Service personnel?)

Broken glass and trash are strewn everywhere. Vulgar graffiti abounds.

If the Park Service had to close the Carter Barron property could someone not have had the foresight to remove items and at least donate them to the Community Forklift? To securely lock all doors in an effort to protect property? To install motion-activated cameras (cheap by today’s standards) that could provide a feed to the manned U.S Park Police D3 at Rock Creek Station? (5701 Beach Drive NW / intersection of Beach and Joyce Drive / Washington, DC 20011 / 202-426-7716) and alert National Park Service personnel when the property was being entered / vandalized / used for illegal purposes?

The Park Service should be ashamed by their own previous lack of foresight and their current level of nonchalant disregard and inactivity for a job the taxpayers generously pay them to do.

Do the Friends of Carter Barron have legislative contacts with the offices of Janeese Lewis George, the D.C. City Councilmember for Ward 4 and the offices of Kym Hall, the National Capital Area director for the National Park Service with whom they can discuss the current shocking conditions seen at the Carter Barron Amphitheatre property?

Sincerely ,

Janet Taylor
Native Washingtonian

See: Andrew Polich —>

Andrew Polich —> “The Carter Barron Amphitheater (sic) was in use from the 1950s until recently–a combination of a degrading stage foundation and the pandemic are why this is now an abandoned place. Highlights of my visit included a golf cart crashed into the orchestra pit, a trashed green room, spectacular views from the lighting tower and some very creative graffiti. To be clear, I don’t participate in any graffiti or vandalism, I merely pass through and report what I’m seeing.”

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