Golden Triangle BID and the Embassy of the Republic of Poland Welcome Polish Design to Washington’s Central Business District

Thursday, September 19, 2019

New Public Art Installation Kicks Off Golden Triangle’s International Art Programming on Penn West, Pennsylvania Avenue West of the White House

Washington, DC (September 19, 2019) — Today the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID) and the Embassy of the Republic of Poland celebrated the arrival of Hurrah!, a new public art installation in Murrow Park on Pennsylvania Avenue, with a launch event attended by international, federal, and city officials.  The installation was created by a team of Polish and American designers led by Pratt Institute professor Karol Murlak.

The installation kicks off the Golden Triangle Arts’ international art programming on Penn West — Pennsylvania Avenue west of the White House — bringing together international partners, artists, and designers. The program is part of a bigger vision for Penn West created by a collaboration of federal, local, and private stakeholders brought together by the Golden Triangle. The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is currently developing construction plans for the total redesign of Pennsylvania Avenue NW from 17th Street to Washington Circle.

Hurrah! is an urban musical instrument designed in celebration of the hundredth anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Poland and the United States. When tapped with a mallet, the tubes of the large-scale xylophone play the Polish birthday and anniversary song Sto Lat. The installation captures and commemorates feelings of friendship and joy shared between Poles and Americans.

“We are thrilled to engage the people of Washington, DC in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Poland-U.S. diplomatic relations by presenting Hurrah!,” said Piotr Wilczek, the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to the United States. “This year, the Polish Embassy has been organizing a wide range of events aimed at drawing attention to various aspects of the relationship between our countries. This project emphasizes that international relations are, perhaps most importantly, relations between people. The installation, located in the heart of Washington, DC among the most important U.S. and international institutions, is a fun way to engage the public in the celebrations of this anniversary and in cross-cultural dialogue intended to bring people closer together.”

“We are excited to partner with the Embassy of the Republic of Poland to launch our international arts program for the iconic corridor that is Pennsylvania Avenue,” said Leona Agouridis, Executive Director of the Golden Triangle BID. “While Pennsylvania Avenue east of the White House embodies the national role of Washington, D.C., Penn West has the potential to become a global destination highlighting the international status of the nation’s capital. Penn West should be the city’s hub of global activity and cultural celebration, and the model for urban sustainability and innovation. Karol’s elegant installation embodies our goals for Penn West: it sparks conversations, activates public space, and creates joy among friends and strangers alike.”

“I believe that people need more joy in public spaces and in their everyday lives,” said designer Karol Murlak. “It’s easier to bring people together when they are happy. An interactive and exciting work of art such as this can break cultural barriers and encourage dialogue.”

The launch event was attended by Piotr Wilczek, Ambassador of Poland; Michael Curtis, Minister, Deputy Ambassador, Delegation of the European Union to the U.S.; Matthew Lussenhop, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State and designer Karol Murlak. The program featured music by the Kuba Cichocki Duo with Kuba Cichocki on piano and Sam Weber on bass. Guests enjoyed a delicious Polish treat, Szarlotka, served by the Embassy of the Republic of Poland.

The Word Bank Group, the Embassy of Republic of Poland and the Golden Triangle will co-present an artist talk with Hurrah! designer Karol Murlak in conversation with curators from the World Bank on his work and the relationship between art, design, and public diplomacy. The event will take place on September 20th from 12 – 1 p.m. at the World Bank. Visit the Golden Triangle’s website for more information.

Hurrah! was first exhibited in New York City’s Times Square as part of NYCxDesign 2019. It will be on display in Murrow Park on Pennsylvanie Avenue September 19, 2019 – August 2020.

Photography of the art installation and the launch event are available for download here.

The project was made possible through a partnership between the Embassy of the Republic of Poland and the Golden Triangle BID with support from the Polish Cultural Institute New York.

About the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District

Formed in 1998, the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID) enhances Washington, DC’s central business district, the 43-square-block neighborhood stretching from The White House to Dupont Circle. Home to roughly 6,000 businesses, the BID provides a clean, safe, and vibrant environment for hundreds of thousands of workers, residents, and visitors, and encourages economic development through capital projects, public art, sustainability and events. For more information, visit: goldentriangledc.com and connect on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Media Contacts:
Mareike Finck, mfinck@goldentriangledc.com
Samantha Schmieder, sschmieder@goldentriangledc.com

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