Institute for Contemporary Expression - ICE

Institute for Contemporary Expression - ICE ICE-DC will transform the former Franklin School into a “kunstalle,” a world-class showcase for contemporary art, music, performance and new media.
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ICE-DC will transform the former Franklin School into a “kunstalle”, a world-class showcase for contemporary art, music, performance and new media—the first of its kind in the nation’s capital. Housed in a spectacular historic venue, ICE-DC will create a singular space for learning and expression at the cutting edge of contemporary art. The former Franklin School is a monumental, three-story 19th-century landmark built in 1869 and designed by renowned architect Adolf Cluss. It was named a National Historic Landmark in 1996. The building had been abandoned for decades until 2013, when the DC Office of Planning and Economic Development issued a Request for Proposals to re-purpose the building. In 2014, ICE-DC was awarded the right to re-develop the building. As an innovative cultural center, ICE-DC will build a promising future on the solid footing of a magnificent location and create a new destination area. ICE-DC leaders will restore the historic building and undertake a conversion that will preserve the structure’s unique character while enabling it to serve as a center for contemporary art. For more information about ICE-DC, visit www.ice-dc.org.

03/06/2015

17 leaders of DC cultural institutions speak out on behalf of ICE in a letter to Mayor Bowser:

Dear Mayor Bowser:

As leaders of 17 cultural institutions in Washington, DC, we strongly encourage you to explore what may be done to continue the city’s commitment to using the Franklin School for the Institute for Contemporary Expression (ICE). Last year’s inspired decision to award the School to ICE – made after a long and careful process - was met with unanimous praise across the city and by this arts community. ICE was chosen because it has a unique ability to honor the historic Adolf Cluss building and propel the neighborhood to new civic prominence.

ICE can be a cornerstone of a multi-faceted neighborhood revitalization, placing DC on the list of visionary cities that have given cultural institutions a prominent role in urban planning and neighborhood reclamation. When Forbes last year named Washington, DC, the “coolest city” in America, it gave our city a rating of 99 out of 100 for culture, behind only New York and Boston. Innovative projects like Franklin School’s ICE are a vibrant contemporary complement to the city’s traditional museums, a “leading edge” that will contribute to Washington’s image as an exciting arts destination.

We also appreciate your commitment as Mayor to a strong fiscal foundation for the city, and we recognize the need for new revenues to support the city’s expanding population. We understand that a new city administration must take a fresh look across all the fiscal priorities. We know that ICE’s leader, Dani Levinas, is flexible and open to discussing with you new ideas and plans that could accommodate your concerns, and he will be creative in exploring solutions that work for all.

Mayor Bowser, we applaud your campaign focus on investing in our city’s “creative economy” and we appreciate your confidence in our institutions. ICE is a well thought-out and vital project that fits well within your vision. Your recent Innovate DC DCCAH funding initiative describes perfectly the attributes of the Franklin School ICE project.

It’s important to note that Dani Levinas participated in good faith in the city’s process for selecting a plan for the Franklin School. He has worked tirelessly for two years to turn this winning proposal into a reality, with an ever-increasing circle of advocates, strong planning for the historic building renovation, and key fund-raising commitments. We believe he has earned an opportunity to talk with you and others about your issues and concerns, to seek solutions together. We urge you to meet with Dani Levinas and other advocates to explore how ICE can fulfill its vision while also meeting the city’s needs.

Sincerely,

Angel Gil-Ordóñez, President
Chris Denby, Chairman of the Board
PostClassical Ensemble

Jenny Bilfield, President and CEO,
Washington Performing Arts

David Muse, Artistic Director
Studio Theatre

Mike McCarthy, Music Director
Washington National Cathedral

Dorothy Kosinski, Director
The Phillips Collection

Dianne Peterson, Executive Director
The Washington Chorus

Lisa Gold, Executive Director
Washington Project for the Arts

Steve Antosca, Artistic Director
National Gallery of Art New Music Ensemble

Emily and Mitch Rales, Chairman
Glenstone Museum

Judy Greenberg, Director
Kreeger Museum

Susan Fisher Sterling, Director
National Museum of Women in the Arts

John Hauge, Board member
Shakespeare Theatre Company

Jack Rasmussen, Director
American University Art Museum at the Katzen Center

Peter Jablow, President
Levine Music

Elizabeth Broun, Director
Smithsonian American Art Museum

Reilly Lewis,
Conductor, Music Director

Andres Navia, Director
Art Museum of the Americas

THANK you to the hundreds of supporters who have already sent letters to Mayor Bowser. If you would still like to urge t...
02/24/2015
Open Letter to Mayor Bowser

THANK you to the hundreds of supporters who have already sent letters to Mayor Bowser. If you would still like to urge the Mayor to reconsider ICE's vision for contemporary art and arts education at the historic Franklin School, it's not too late! Please send a copy of this open letter A.S.A.P., info for delivery at www.ice-dc.org

Everyone at ICE is disheartened and disappointed by Mayor Bowser’s recent decision to cancel our agreement with the city of Washington D.C. to develop the Franklin School into a public, non-profit space dedicated to arts education and the exhibition of contemporary art in the heart of the city.

Washington Post Art + Architecture Critic Philip Kennicott and WAMU Reporter Patrick Madden went on The Kojo Nnamdi Show...
02/19/2015
The Franklin School Debate & D.C.'s Support for the Arts - The Kojo Nnamdi Show

Washington Post Art + Architecture Critic Philip Kennicott and WAMU Reporter Patrick Madden went on The Kojo Nnamdi Show today to discuss ICE-DC, listen to the segment now online:

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser recently shelved plans to redevelop a former school building in downtown Washington into a space for the arts. The cancellation has provoked questions about the influence of developers and whether the city adequately supports artistic endeavors. We examine the fallout over t…

The Washington Post's Philip Kennicott latest opinion piece in support of ICE-DC appears front page Style section today....
02/17/2015
A setback for D.C. arts and culture, years in the making

The Washington Post's Philip Kennicott latest opinion piece in support of ICE-DC appears front page Style section today.
"The mayor seemed to know that, or at least her campaign literature — in which she touted the importance of the creative economy and arts education — suggested that she did. But her first major arts decision, and perhaps the one that will most profoundly affect culture in the District for years to come — is bizarre and unaccountable."

The creative community’s desire to see Franklin School become a venue encounters another roadblock.

ICE supporters, thank you for your outpouring of support this week as we've worked to communicate with Mayor Bowser's ad...
02/13/2015
Open Letter to Mayor Bowser

ICE supporters, thank you for your outpouring of support this week as we've worked to communicate with Mayor Bowser's administrative team and determine the next steps for ICE. Several supporters have prepared an open letter to Mayor Bowser in response to an overwhelming interest from the community in calling for the Mayor to reconsider. The letter is below for those interested in expressing their support to sign and send directly to the Mayor, contact information included on the ICE website. Please share and THANK YOU for believing in the importance of ICE.

Everyone at ICE is disheartened and disappointed by Mayor Bowser’s recent decision to cancel our agreement with the city of Washington D.C. to develop the Franklin School into a public, non-profit space dedicated to arts education and the exhibition of contemporary art in the heart of the city.

Happy New Year from the team at ICE! 2015 is going to be an exciting year for contemporary art in DC.
01/01/2015

Happy New Year from the team at ICE! 2015 is going to be an exciting year for contemporary art in DC.

If you participated in the ICE Instagram Photo Contest during FotoWeekDC, REMINDER that tomorrow, December 12 is the dea...
12/11/2014

If you participated in the ICE Instagram Photo Contest during FotoWeekDC, REMINDER that tomorrow, December 12 is the deadline for submitting images from your visit. Please select up to (5) of your best images to be considered for a future exhibition at ICE (FTP info emailed to all registrants).

If you have not already, please also share your experiences on Instagram, Facebook and/or Twitter using hashtags #ICEDC, #emptyICE and tagging @ICEWashingtonDC.

DC Modern Luxury magazine and Editor Michael McCarthy include ICE + other arts leaders in this month's Arts & Power issu...
12/11/2014
WASH December 2014 Page 96

DC Modern Luxury magazine and Editor Michael McCarthy include ICE + other arts leaders in this month's Arts & Power issue--all eyes on 2015 for DC arts! #ICEDC #DCarts #powerofthearts #thefuture

DECEMBER | ARTS AND POWER ISSUE

THANK YOU to all of the 300+ enthusiastic photographers who came out on Saturday to explore and shoot the building as pa...
11/10/2014
Instagram

THANK YOU to all of the 300+ enthusiastic photographers who came out on Saturday to explore and shoot the building as part of our FotoWeekDC contest. The images shared so far are beautiful, imaginative, diverse and completely capture the spirit of the architecture and former lives of the future ICE space!

To take a peek, visit hashtags #ICEDC and #emptyICE on Instagram and Twitter. (photo below featured by Muriel Hasbun)

murielfoto's photo on Instagram

THE FINAL hour to shoot #emptyICE #ICEDC @fotoweekdc
11/08/2014

THE FINAL hour to shoot #emptyICE #ICEDC @fotoweekdc

ICE Instagram Contest for FotoWeekDC sold out at 350 photographers! #emptyICE #FotoWeekDC
11/08/2014

ICE Instagram Contest for FotoWeekDC sold out at 350 photographers! #emptyICE #FotoWeekDC

HOT coffee on the third floor thanks to Compass Coffee! #emptyICE #FotoWeek2014
11/08/2014

HOT coffee on the third floor thanks to Compass Coffee! #emptyICE #FotoWeek2014

"Even beyond the peeling walls and dangling ceiling tiles, there’s an iPhone’s worth of antique things, beautifully brok...
11/07/2014
Instagram, But For Dead Pigeons

"Even beyond the peeling walls and dangling ceiling tiles, there’s an iPhone’s worth of antique things, beautifully broken things, and even dead things waiting to be captured. Just don’t eat any paint chips."

In case you missed ICE's full page coverage of the Instagram photo contest in this weekend's Washington City Paper, the feature is now online #emptyICE #FotoWeek2014 FotoWeekDC

Photography by Darrow Montgomery, words by Christina Cauterucci

Registration closes at midnight! www.ice-dc.org

Photograph the crumbling Franklin School building, and you could get a show at the forthcoming Institute for Contemporary Expression.

#FBF to vintage Franklin School photos! Only a few spots remain for tomorrow's Instagram event, register soon @ www.ice-...
11/07/2014

#FBF to vintage Franklin School photos! Only a few spots remain for tomorrow's Instagram event, register soon @ www.ice-dc.org #emptyICE #ICEDC #thefuture

Calling all lovers of art + architecture! Register before tomorrow @ midnight for the #ICEDC #FotoWeek2014 photo contest...
11/06/2014
FotoWeekDC keeps things fresh with new events

Calling all lovers of art + architecture! Register before tomorrow @ midnight for the #ICEDC #FotoWeek2014 photo contest, an Instagrammers dream #emptyICE www.ice-dc.org

Now in its seventh year, FotoWeekDC is bigger than ever, working with more than 50 partners to present dozens of exhibitions, lectures, contests and workshops.

11/06/2014
EXPRESS_11062014

Thanks to Express from The Washington Post for featuring Saturday's #ICEDC Instagram photo contest in todday's #WeekendPass #emptyICE Register by tomorrow! www.ice-dc.org

Express

TWO MORE DAYS to register for our first Instagram photo contest on SATURDAY from 10am-2pm at the future home of ICE. You...
11/05/2014

TWO MORE DAYS to register for our first Instagram photo contest on SATURDAY from 10am-2pm at the future home of ICE. You don't want to miss this sneak peek at the raw details of our beautiful, historic building! #ICEDC #emptyICE #haveyouclosedthetrapdoor

FREE registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ice-dc-photo-contest-tickets-13682281071

The countdown to FotoWeekDC is on! Get a sneak peek of the beautiful, historic building that's soon-to-be ICE-DC by part...
10/31/2014

The countdown to FotoWeekDC is on! Get a sneak peek of the beautiful, historic building that's soon-to-be ICE-DC by participating in our Instagram photo contest one week from tomorrow! Nov 8, 10am-2pm at the former Franklin School, 925 13th St NW. Register @ www.ice-dc.org #ICEDC #emptyICE #FotoWeek2014

10/31/2014
Washington Post's Philip Kennicott DC's art, culture and architecture scene

Washington Post Chief Art and Architecture Critic Philip Kennicott talks about ICE and what our leadership in the contemporary art world will mean for Washington at The Aspen Institute's Washington #IdeasForum! #mustsee #ICEDC #thinkbig #thefuture

Interview with Philip Kennicott at The Aspen Institute on October 23, 2014. Philip Kennicott the Pulitzer Prize-winning Art and Architecture Critic of The Wa...

Thanks to East City Art for posting about ICE's FotoWeekDC Contest that gives photographers and Instagrammers a sneak pe...
10/22/2014
The Institute for Contemporary Expression – DC Announces Open Photography Contest : East City Art

Thanks to East City Art for posting about ICE's FotoWeekDC Contest that gives photographers and Instagrammers a sneak peek into the future ICE space! Sign-up for FREE @ http://ice-dc.org/photo-contest.html

The Institute for Contemporary Expression – DC (ICE-DC) announces an open photography contest, launching in partnership with FotoWeekDC. On Saturday, November 8—during the first weekend of FotoWeek—ICE-DC invites photographers and Instagrammers to tour the former Franklin School and future home of I…

Calling all photographers and Instagrammers! ICE is hosting a photo contest in partnership with FotoWeekDC. Mark your ca...
10/15/2014
ICE-DC to host PHOTO CONTEST during FotoWeekDC

Calling all photographers and Instagrammers! ICE is hosting a photo contest in partnership with FotoWeekDC. Mark your calendars and sign-up to shoot in the former Franklin School and future #ICEDC space on Saturday, November 8:

The Institute for Contemporary Expression — DC (ICE-DC) announces an open photography contest, launching in partnership with FotoWeekDC! On Saturday, November 8, ICE invites photographers and Instagrammers to tour the former Franklin School and future home of ICE-DC at 925 13th Street, at the corner…

#ICEDC is now on Instagram and Twitter, too! Follow us for the latest updates @ICEWashingtonDC
10/15/2014
ICE-DC (@ICEWashingtonDC) | Twitter

#ICEDC is now on Instagram and Twitter, too! Follow us for the latest updates @ICEWashingtonDC

The latest Tweets from ICE-DC (@ICEWashingtonDC). Institute for Contemporary Expression (ICE), future world-class showcase for contemporary art, music, performance and new media at the former Franklin School. 925 13th St NW, Washington, DC

FISHEYE #ICEDC #thefuture #FranklinSchool
10/15/2014

FISHEYE #ICEDC #thefuture #FranklinSchool

ARTnews Magazine on #thefuture of the American Kunsthalle #ICEDC #contemporaryart
10/15/2014
The Future of the American Kunsthalle | ARTnews

ARTnews Magazine on #thefuture of the American Kunsthalle #ICEDC #contemporaryart

Fairly early in the seven-year process of designing and building the new $45 million Aspen Art Museum, director Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson made a very particular request of her architect, Shigeru Ban: Please stop putting Calder sculptures in the museum renderings.

ICE Founder Dani Levinas gives a tour of the Franklin School #ICEDC
10/15/2014

ICE Founder Dani Levinas gives a tour of the Franklin School #ICEDC

"Museums dot Washington’s landscape, each with its own store of artifacts. But a kunsthalle — an art museum without a pe...
10/15/2014
Washington Group Sees a Cutting-Edge Museum in a Vacant School Building

"Museums dot Washington’s landscape, each with its own store of artifacts. But a kunsthalle — an art museum without a permanent collection — strives to be of the moment, ephemeral, and a 'local museum with a global meaning,' said Tate Osten, the founding director and curator at Kunsthalle Detroit, which opened in 2011." -- The New York Times #ICEDC #kunsthalle #contemporaryart

The Franklin School, built under Reconstruction, could soon make its mark as a kunsthalle, a noncollecting art museum.

"'Franklin School is a historic treasure, and we are excited to have a team that will preserve its character while also ...
10/15/2014
Franklin School to become contemporary art museum

"'Franklin School is a historic treasure, and we are excited to have a team that will preserve its character while also creating an innovative, cultural experience for the surrounding community and the District as a whole,' Gray said in the release. 'It will complement and enhance the District’s already vibrant cultural offerings.'"

"The vacant Franklin School on 13th Street NW will become an art museum after that proposal was selected by the city tod...
10/15/2014
Historic Franklin School Will Become an Art Museum

"The vacant Franklin School on 13th Street NW will become an art museum after that proposal was selected by the city today over three competing bids." -- Washington City Paper

The vacant Franklin School on 13th Street NW will become an art museum after that proposal was selected by the city today over three competing bids. The Institute for Contemporary Expression, led by art collector Dani Levinas, submitted one of four proposals for the ornate, crumbling 1869 building l…

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