This site was designed to help you learn about exciting SW DC. Today we’re in a new normal and encourage you for follow safety recommendations. On this site we report activities that are available now and activities to enjoy when the All-Clear Message comes. In the meantime:
STAY HOME. SAVE LIVES
STAY home as much as you can
KEEP a safe distance
WASH hands often
COVER your cough
SICK? Call ahead
Whether you’re new to the neighborhood or have lived here for decades, we’re glad you’re here! There is always something going on in Southwest, but it can often be hard to know where to start or what to do next. We hope you’ll use this guide as a jumping off point to all the amazing things SW has to offer or to discover something new, whether you’re hoping to have fun, get involved, or just get to know your community better.
Sponsored by The Southwest Neighborhood Assembly (SWNA)
Check Venue Website for updated information
Our little quadrant has a big heart – and lots of art. While popular venues like the Anthem and Arena Stage are likely on your radar, here are a few places you might not know about but are worth a visit when they reopen.
Culture House DC Presents Tiny Pricks Project by Diana Weymar | East City Art :https://www.eastcityart.com/openings-and-events/culture-house-dc-presents-tiny-pricks-project-by-diana-weymar/
One of the few surviving buildings following the urban renewal efforts that raised most of SW in the 1950s, this former church is finding new life as a vibrant community arts space – follow them @culturehousedc to keep up to date on events.
This immersive and innovative space hosts rotating exhibitions that take advantage of advances in art and technology to create truly unique experiences.
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
While we’re lucky to have easy access to many world-class Smithsonian museums in SW, the Hirshhorn is particularly worth a visit for families looking to find their inner artists. They host a children’s storytime twice a week from September through July, and in addition to an extensive collection have a beautiful sculpture garden open year round.
Politics and Prose
This treasured DC bookstore chain recently put down roots at the Waterfront, and they offer both regular author events and a fiction book club.
Westminster Presbyterian Music Nights
Twice a week, this church opens its doors for three hours of blues (Mondays) and jazz (Friday), in what has become a local staple of SW entertainment and community.
Places to Hang Out
Check Places to Hang Out Websites for updated information
With the National Mall and all its parks, museums, and memorials on the northern end of Southwest, there are a ton of famous attractions right in our backyard. If you’re looking for a place a little more off the beaten path, though, Southwest has some great spots to relax and hang out.
Farmers MarketSW extends to all-year round. Featuring many of your favorite vendors. the market will continue throughout the winter months except under extreme weather conditions.
Open Saturdays 9am-1pm. Situated on the Lot at 4th and M Streets SW, MarketSW in the commercial center of the Southwest neighborhood across from the Waterfront Metro Station (green line), There is plenty of public parking among major office buildings, apartments and the thriving Southwest neighborhood.
The farmers market attracts hundreds of weekly shoppers including families, young professionals and home-owning seniors from the surrounding community.
The Women’s Titanic Memorial
This historic gem made its way to its current home more than 50 years ago and is a cherished place to seek some solitude and take in the beauty of the Potomac River. The Friends of Titanic Memorial Park host an annual Day of Service, so contact [email protected] or follow them @FOTMPDC to learn more.
The Southwest Duck Pond
The Southwest Duck Pond is Open! And the Ducks are back! The fountains are flowing. Visit the Duck Pond soon at 6th & I Streets SW and bring a book. Great place to hang out and read: https://dgs.dc.gov/page/dpr-park-and-recreation-center-projects.
Southwest Waterfront Park
A stone’s throw from The Women’s Titanic Memorial, this small, secluded park offers bocce courts, shaded seating areas, and views of the Washington Channel.
Hains Point and East Potomac Park
If you’re looking for a place with some outdoor activities, take a bike ride, walk, or jitney ride across the Washington Channel to East Potomac Park, where you can enjoy picnics, golf or tennis, or a beautiful view at Hains Point.
While this has been a local park for decades, in recent years community groups have worked to make this open space a destination for community gardeners and dog-owners alike.
Events to Check Out NOW
No matter the season, there is always an event in SW! We’ve highlighted a few of our longtime favorites below – but we know there are so many more! Drop us a note with your favorites!
Due to the Corona Virus, many public events are canceled. But here are some fun ways to stay connected. Check the websites for updated schedules.
SWNA RESUMES COMMUNITY MEETINGS IN 2023
We are pleased to share the schedule of 2023 events
February 6th – Black History Month Celebration – Virtual Register here and zoom link will be provided with confirmation
March 6th – Housing in Southwest DC – Arena Stage at the Mead Center
April 3rd – Mayor Muriel Bowser – Arena Stage
SWNA Events are posted on the Home Page Calendar and on the Events Tab https://swna.org/events/ for more information
BOOK CLUB FOR KIDS PODCAST – FREE!
This is a free, 20-minute podcast devoted to middle grade books and readers. Each show features a trio of students discussing a favorite book, an interview with the author, and a celebrity reading. Kitty Felde is the host.
Ways to be in-the-know
There’s hardly ever a dull moment in Southwest, so it’s helpful to know where to go to be in the know. Check out these useful sources of information to keep up with events and local issues.
MPD 1D Listserv
Southwest is in the Metropolitan Police Department’s First District, which has an active listserv for residents to stay on top of neighborhood safety issues.
A website and app that lets neighbors stay connected about things going on in their community – whether it’s events, things for sale, PSAs, or recommendations, it’s a great way to stay in the loop and connect with other Southwesters.
SWNA hosts monthly community meetings on the 4th Monday except July, August and December. Event dates are posted on the website calendar, Nextdoor Neighbor and SWNA social media sites.
Since 1963, The Southwester has covered our neighborhood! Run by all volunteers, this free newspaper is published monthly with a circulation in print of 13,000 and is also released online!
You can also find them on social media by following them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen
He has his own Twitter handle, or you can follow his office’s tweets or stay updated with a newsletter.
Stories about SW History
Southwest has a rich history that features a vibrant local culture as well as controversial urban development projects. The following small sampling of articles will give you a peek into our community’s dynamic past.
Recent and New Developments
Southwest’s built environment is diversifying to accommodate the growing population and dynamic community. Plans for both public and private development include new buildings and new uses, while also incorporating existing uses into new structures.
Southwest Neighborhood Library
Visit the new Southwest Library at 900 Wesley Place, SW. The new library (approximately 25,000 SF) is LEED Gold certified for environmental design, integrating energy and water conservation strategies and environmentally responsive materials, sourced regionally.
The new library puts emphasis on connection to the surrounding community. The library’s design highlights the new park adjacent to the project, provides a sense of arrival, features a flexible pedestrian plaza,. It’s a sustainable site that maximize the connection to the outdoors, and allows ample natural light.
The new Southwest Library is a welcome addition to the neighborhood.
M Street (375 + 425)
Waterfront Station East (425 M Street SW) is a mixed-use office building, with ground floor retail and office space, designed by Shalom Baranes Associates.
Waterfront Station West (375 M Street SW) was designed by Perkins Eastman and will include 310 apartment units atop 21,100 square feet of retail and below-grade parking.
Wharf Phase 2
Phase 2 of the Wharf development broke ground in March of 2019 and will include multiple mixed-use buildings. Phase 2 is currently constructing an 82-unit condo building, a 325-unit apartment building, a 117-room hotel, and three office buildings. All buildings will be above retail and have below-grade parking.
Westminster Presbyterian Church
The existing church at 400 I Street SW will be relocated in the first floor of a new apartment building, below 160 units of both affordable and senior housing on the current site of the church. The KGD design will also include ground-floor spaces for artists and below-grade parking. In addition, the site will also include a separate 84-unit condo building facing the Southwest Duck Pond.
Waterfront Station II
This PN Hoffman development will add 456 apartment units to the Waterfront Station area. 1000 4th Street SW is scheduled to break ground early in 2020. This $157 million dollar mixed-use development includes 32,500 square feet of retail and will include a black box theater and an educational tenant.
Ways to get involved with local organizations
Southwest is a community with a long tradition of community activism and civic engagement so if you’re looking to contribute to your neighborhood, you’ve picked the right place! Here are five (of the many) ways you can get involved.
Friends of the SW Library
While SW has long been home to a quaint library at the corner of 3rd and I Streets SW, Southwest has a new library with state-of-the-art technology, flexible working spaces, and a more efficient and modern layout while keeping with its tradition of being an important civic space where the community goes to meet, learn, and reflect. To get involved in this new chapter of the library’s history, email Georgine Wallace, the President of the Friends of the SW Library.
The Southwest Neighborhood Assembly
SWNA is a local non-profit that has been actively working to improve the quality of life for Southwesters since the 1960s – in addition to events and community meetings throughout the year, they support several Task Forces focused on specific community issues that are always looking for members, and can put you in touch with local organizations they partner with if you’re interested in volunteering your time to a good cause!
PAWS of Southwest
This community organization was founded to build community through neighbors’ shared love of dogs – and they are always looking for volunteers! We have them to thank for our very own dog park located in Lansburgh Park, so be sure to check it out with your pooch!
SW Community Gardens
Lansburgh Park also boasts the SW Community Gardens, which hosts communal garden beds, community events, and plenty of opportunities to put your green thumb to good use.
We are lucky to live in a neighborhood that has a rich history and attracts residents young and old. What better way to give back to those who have called this area home for years and learn about the city’s past than to volunteer at our neighborhood senior village!
Ways to get involved with local and District government
Beyond our community groups and organizations, there are also plenty of ways to engage in local government, both at the hyper-local level and at the greater District-wide level. All offer opportunities ranging from just learning more about local developments to making your voice heard. If you want to learn more before diving in, the Greater Greater Washington blog (for example, this article about how ANCs work and this primer on DC’s budget) is a great place to start!
ANC 6D Meetings
Next Meeting: January 9, 2023
For 2023 Meeting Schedule https://www.anc6d.org/anc-6d-meeting-schedule/
Virtual Meeting logon info https://www.anc6d.org/virtualmeeting/
The ANC will hold virtual meetings until further notice and will also offer a call-in option for those who prefer to listen via phone.
The hyperlink to connect to the meeting and call-in information will be provided below on the day of the meeting. You will be able to enter the meeting no earlier than 15 minutes prior to its scheduled start time. http://www.anc6d.org/virtualmeeting/
Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs) are DCs form of local government, and all of SW fits within ANC 6D (which also includes some of our Navy Yard neighbors to the east) – everyone in SW lives within one of 7 total Single Member Districts (SMD) in our ANC, which elects a Commissioner to guide zoning and land use decisions within our neighborhood. Their monthly business meetings are a great way to learn about development proposals, hear about upcoming events, and get a sense of what issues matter to your neighbors. To request time on the agenda or to present a concern or problem to ANC 6D during Community Concerns period, call 202- 554-1795 at least 48 hours prior to the meeting & request time to speak. For more information, please refer to the ANC’s website .
Charles Allen’s SW Office Hours
Our Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen hosts office hours at a local coffee shop about once a month to hear about constituent concerns. Check out upcoming office hours (as well as other events) at his calendar here.
DC Council Hearings
If you’re a policy wonk or a passionate advocate, consider watching DC Council hearings – you can also attend and testify by getting in touch with the point of contact included on each hearing’s event page.
Meet with your Congresswoman
While DC doesn’t have a Senator, we do have a non-voting delegate to the House of Representatives. Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton has served DC and its residents for nearly 30 years – visit her website to sign up for her newsletter or find more information about constituent services.
District Boards and Commissions
If you have specialized experience or expertise in a particular subject, consider applying for a role on one of the District’s dozens of boards or commissions.