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Kenneth McClenton (center) and Francine Milton present Kymone Freeman with two of Charnice Milton’s favorite books for the Charnice Milton Community Bookstore housed in the We Act Radio building in southeast D.C. on May 17

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Charnice Milton was a bookworm, her father said.

She read incessantly, educating herself not only to become an outstanding journalist, but a civic-minded individual who enjoyed life, he said.

Now, thanks to her father, Kenneth McClenton, officials at We Act Radio and others, the new Charnice A. Milton Community Bookstore has started accepting book donations. On Saturday, May 27, a kickoff event is planned in honor of the slain journalist who died after being shot two years ago as she waited for a bus in Southeast.

“My daughter would be absolutely astonished, thankful and gratified to know that there’s a bookstore named in her honor,” McClenton said as he prepared to attend a news conference to announce the new bookstore. “She spent much of her life reading in book stores and libraries. She had great passion for reading so she would love for individuals to be able to share her great love and great gift.”

Read more @  The Washington Informer

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Anacostia News

Food Hall Benning Market Is Slated to Open East of the Anacostia River

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D.C.’s food hall boom is still going, and Northeast’s River Terrace neighborhood off of Benning Road is the next to get a Union Market lookalike.

The Washington Business Journal reports that developer Neighborhood Development Co. is hoping to open the 11,200-square-foot Benning Market at 3451 Benning Road NE this fall.

The idea is to outfit Benning Market with a wide range of food stalls, and a brewery or co-working space could also be in the mix. The project’s currently raised $191,000 on crowdfunding site Small Change, meeting its minimum goal, and Neighborhood Development Company’s CEO and founder Adrian Washington’s got big plans for the area.

Read more Eatery DC

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Anacostia News

Chase Bank To Open In Historic Anacostia As Neighborhood Experiences Retail Transformation

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JPMorgan Chase will replace a local restaurant in Historic Anacostia with a bank branch as part of its D.C. expansion. The deal is the latest in a series of major regional and national companies planning moves to the Southeast D.C. neighborhood that is poised for a major transformation in the coming years.

Landlord Curtis Investment Group signed the nation’s largest bank at 2200 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE, the storefront where Uniontown Bar & Grill closed its business in recent months. Within three blocks of that space, national coffee giant Starbucks and regional restaurant chain Busboys and Poets are preparing to open their first east-of-the-river locations, and multiple developments are planned that will bring new housing and office space to the historic neighborhood.  Charles Wilson, a former ANC commissioner and head of multiple Anacostia neighborhood groups, first reported on his blog that Chase would replace Uniontown, and Curtis Investment Group confirmed it to Bisnow. Wilson said Uniontown was having problems and became less popular among neighbors in recent years, so people were not too disappointed to see it close, but he said many wish it had been replaced by another restaurant.  “It’s mixed feelings, because we’re losing a restaurant in a neighborhood that desperately needs more sit-down restaurants,” Wilson said.

“There are three or four banks within less than a square mile — Bank of America, PNC Bank and Industrial Bank — so you begin to ask what’s the value of another banking facility … another restaurant or café or some type of eating facility would have been great.” JPMorgan Chase announced in September it would invest $10M in driving economic growth in Wards 7 and 8, D.C.’s most historically underserved communities. Wilson said the new branch could be a positive if it helps spur more investment.  “Any time you have another banking partner who wants to make sincere investments in projects like the 11th Street Bridge, there’s definitely good things to come out of that,” Wilson said.

Busboys and Poets, a restaurant chain known for opening in parts of the city undergoing dramatic change, began constructing its Anacostia location in October 2016. The opening date has been pushed back multiple times, but neighborhood business leader Duane Gautier said he sees people working on it every day and expects it to be open by the spring. Busboys owner Andy Shallal did not immediately return a request for comment.  Gautier is CEO of Arch Development, an Anacostia-based nonprofit that runs multiple business incubators and art galleries in the neighborhood. He said Busboys will be a big step up from Uniontown and could create momentum for additional openings.  “I think it’s a positive, but it’s not going to be the savior of Anacostia, which it has been touted to be,” Gautier said of Busboys. “It will draw in people. A couple local restaurants are happy it’s moving in because people will come down and go to Busboys but not always, so we think it’s going to spur other small cafés and restaurants.”

Read more at: https://www.bisnow.com/washington-dc/news/neighborhood/chase-bank-to-open-in-historic-anacostia-as-corridor-experiences-retail-transformation-91855?utm_source=CopyShare&utm_medium=Browser

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Anacostia Events

Review: ‘Happy Ending’ at Anacostia Playhouse

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Happy Ending is a one-act satirical comedy written in the 1960s by Douglas Turner Ward, co-founder of the Negro Ensemble Company. He had written an op-ed for the New York Times called “American Theatre: for Whites Only?” that prompted funding and other support for the new company. The NEC’s mission was to create theater by black playwrights from the black point of view primarily (not exclusively) for black audiences. It’s easy to forget what a radical notion about representation that was back then. For that memorial reason alone, the revival of Happy Ending just opened at Anacostia Playhouse is well worthy of attention.

But do not come expecting a museum piece—because this Happy Ending is fresh, funny, and bursting with song-and-dance pizzazz. Yes, song and dance! Director Ella Davis has juiced up this modern classic with a riot of musical numbers. Some of the tunes that embellish the zany storyline are familiar (“What a difference a day makes”); more are brand-new. As composed by Marion Johnson and performed by a spirited cast with big voices, they get the joint jumping. And by the time of the show’s happy ending (no spoiler: the title gives it away), Ward’s comic gem has jumped out of history into the hysterical present.

Read more at DC Metro Theatre Arts

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