Reimagining Penn Ave SE

In 2021, we began a project to share stories by and for Penn Ave SOUTH, supported by the Humanities Truck of American University, in collaboration with the DC Office of Planning’s Small-Area Plan for Penn Ave SE and organized by the AU Playful City Lab. We seek to amplify and contribute to a coalition of organizations and individuals connected to Penn Ave, east of the river.

Recent activities

  • October 30, 2021: More play of our game Hard Choices for neighborhood futures at the Baptist Church on Penn Ave for their community health fair
  • September 24, 2021: Two launches at Art All Night (5-7pm). (1) The launch of our game Hard Choices for neighborhood futures of Penn Ave East, and (2) the launch of our “way-finding system” with physical signs and digital storytelling infrastructure.
  • July 17, 2021: Join us for ice cream & stories, a listening tour with the Humanities Truck, 10am-1:15pm. Stops include Anacostia Skate Park (near the river), Thai Orchid’s Kitchen (near the mural), and the Francis A. Gregory library.
  • June 19, 2021: Join us for Juneteenth, we are recording resident voices at the Shops at Penn Branch, 10am-12pm.

Which neighborhoods?

Involved places include: Anacostia Park, Fairlawn, Randle Highlands, Twining, Dupont Park, Good Hope, Fairfax Village, Hillcrest, Fort Davis. Where are you coming from?

Which organizations?

We will share videos and stories with: ANC 7B, 7E, and 8A; Dupont Park Civic Association; Fairfax Village Community Association; Fort Davis Circle Association; Ward 7 Leadership Committee; Hillcrest Community Civic Association; Marshall Heights Community Development Corporation; Penn Branch Citizens Association; Pennsylvania Avenue East Community Coalition; Randle Highlands Citizens Civic Association; Ward 7 Business Partnership; Fairlawn Citizen’s Association; Who else should we tell?

Materials and designs

Our poster for the Humanities Truck, designed by Meagan Couture, based in part on the design and engagement work of Creative Junkfood

Our team

For this project, our team is led by Prof. Benjamin Stokes, PhD student and community health expert Tambra Stephenson, graphic designer and MFA student Meagan Couture, game designer Hazel Arroyo, and software developers Chris Karr, Joseph Minnich, and David Olsen.