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Halcyon Days

BY Michael McCarthy | May 31, 2017 | Feature Features

Kate Goodall aims to lead DC into the promised land of always thinking creatively.

As mission statements go, Kate Goodall espouses a fairly bold one for her DC-based organization. “[We are] devoted to the power of human creativity,” says the CEO and co-founder of Halcyon. Goodall’s nonprofit has turned lots of heads recently for its unabashed desire to assist artists and innovators in solving the world’s biggest challenges. “We provide them a haven to catalyze their progress,” says Goodall, who, last year, also helped Dr. Sachiko Kuno and Sheila Johnson establish WE Capital to invest in and support women-led companies in the Washington region.

Since its launch two years ago, Halcyon Incubator—which assists early stage social entrepreneurs—has raised more than $16 million in funding and created 220 jobs, half of which are in DC. Goodall explains that its new Arts Lab is an outgrowth of the Incubator. It’s a nine-month residential fellowship with the notion to forge a “gravity well of creativity in DC,” she says.

But the most public and splashy endeavors this summer will come from Halcyon Stage. The public-performance program boasts help from a who’s who of Washington talent, including the legendary choreographer Septime Webre, who’s the new artistic director. On June 17, look for the staging of Philip Glass’ The Fall of the House of Usher with the Wolf Trap Opera and CityDance performers in a most unusual space: Dock5 at Union Market.

When it comes to superstardom of the arts world in DC, Goodall suggests looking at the city’s culinary community. “DC wasn’t really on the map [for food] a decade ago, but a few dedicated visionary chefs and entrepreneurs earned us important recognition from Bon App├ętit and Michelin,” she says. “The same thing can happen here for the arts, and DC can put its own unique stamp on it, which we would argue is all about the civic space and social impact.”

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