2018 Annual Report

The Downtown Columbia Arts and Culture Commission today released a report detailing its activities during 2018. Some of the highlights include completing a roof reconstruction following a catastrophic collapse last January; hosting another successful series of outdoor movie nights; and signing a collaboration agreement with the Columbia Festival of the Arts. There was also a considerable amount of behind-the-scenes work that we can’t talk about yet.

However, the year ahead promises many more exciting developments. Stay tuned! But for now, catch up on everything that went down, and up, in 2018.

New Collaboration Effort to Expand Arts Programming

New Collaboration Effort to Expand Arts Programming

The Downtown Columbia Arts and Culture Commission (DCACC) and the Columbia Festival of the Arts (CFA) yesterday announced a new collaboration effort to expand artistic, cultural, and community programming at Merriweather Post Pavilion and other venues throughout Columbia. 

“Collaboration is critical to realizing our ambitious vision of making Downtown Columbia the premier destination for arts and culture in Maryland,” said Deborah Ellinghaus, chair of the board of directors for the Downtown Columbia Arts and Culture Commission. “We are excited to be formally working with the Festival and its staff to bring this shared vision to life.”

Raise the Roof Campaign 2018

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The last time Merriweather faced such a perilous predicament, a group of young rabble-rousers from Columbia made t-shirts and started a movement to save our cherished amphitheater.

Much has changed in the nearly fifteen years since those green “Save Merriweather” t-shirts debuted: Merriweather’s cultural significance and importance to the region is widely known and appreciated; its viability as a world-class concert venue is proven; its long-overdue renovations are underway; and it now belongs to a community-based non-profit organization, the Downtown Columbia Arts and Culture Commission, an organization connected by a common thread to that original movement.

Merriweather is also—for the time being—without its iconic roof.

The good news is that the roof is being rebuilt and will be ready for concerts this season, but for Merriweather’s fans, seeing the crumpled roof lying on the ground was a reminder of the days when its future was uncertain.

The Downtown Columbia Arts and Culture Commission is an organization comprised of people with different backgrounds and areas of expertise, but we all share one thing: a love of Merriweather Post Pavilion.

And it is our mission to continue to help this beloved amphitheater thrive—whether by helping oversee renovations and reconstruction, working with the venue’s operator to ensure every guest has a wonderful experience here, or developing programs and partnerships to realize our ambitious vision for Merriweather to be the premier destination for arts, culture, and community events in the Mid-Atlantic.

While workers build the replacement roof, we are working toward this vision by bringing new events, performers, and guests to this acclaimed amphitheater. We started small with a series of movie nights last year, and our plans for 2018 and beyond are even bigger.

But we need your help. And since t-shirts helped launch a movement 15 years ago that eventually led to the creation of our organization, we’re using t-shirts to commemorate the launch of this new movement.

We are running a “Raise the Roof” fundraising campaign for the next several weeks. If you donate at least $30 to the Downtown Columbia Arts and Culture Commission by March 14th, we’ll send you a free “Save Merriweather 2018” t-shirt (valued at approximately $10; adult and youth sizes available) inspired by those original shirts from many years ago.

You can order through this form on our website. If you would like multiple shirts, please contact us directly at info@dcacc.info. This campaign only runs until March 14th, so don’t miss your chance to help us “raise the roof” and so much more!

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Statement on Merriweather Roof Collapse

Early in the morning of Saturday, January 13, 2018 the Merriweather Post Pavilion roof collapsed. The roof was in the midst of a weeks-long process of being raised as part of the renovation project at the amphitheater. There were no injuries. 

Until a complete investigation has been completed, the precise cause of this accident cannot be known. That investigation is commencing as soon as possible, and in the meantime, the team at Merriweather will begin assessing next steps for the project. 

While this development is unexpected and distressing, the board of directors and staff of the Downtown Columbia Arts and Culture Commission are grateful that no one was injured in this incident and are committed to doing everything in our power to ensure Merriweather Post Pavilion can be safely and successfully rebuilt as soon as possible. We wish to assure everyone that we are as committed as ever to Merriweather and its future.