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'Gratitude Powers DC' Art Installation Series Ignites Community Spirit

Wednesday, June 12, 2024
DC Residents and visitors are encouraged to visit and engage with the art by sharing the people, places, and things they are grateful for

(Washington, DC) – The Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) Innovation Team invites the public to "Gratitude Powers DC," a public art installation touring DC Public Libraries from June 12 to September 5. Made possible by Mayor Muriel Bowser and the District’s Innovation Team, supported by the Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation at Johns Hopkins University, the project captures the collective spirit of gratitude among DC residents. It showcases stories of appreciation and community resilience with a series of events along with an installation to honor select District government agencies for their public service.

The months-long installation was first installed at the MLK Memorial Library, moving through four locations to foster Districtwide engagement. The installation features a "Gratitude Wall," digital storytelling, and opportunities for visitors to add their gratitude notes, creating a tapestry of shared community values.

"We are thrilled to launch 'Gratitude Powers DC' as a medium for residents to connect and reflect on the District’s people, places, and services they are most grateful for," said Interim Chief Technology Officer Stephen Miller. "Through this interactive experience, we hope to inspire a culture of gratitude and a stronger sense of community."

The exhibit stems from the Gratitude Powers DC survey, which has collected 642 stories of appreciation from District residents, featuring 267 people and 375 places or things. Residents are encouraged to visit the installations at the Southwest Neighborhood Library, West End Neighborhood Library, and Lamond Riggs Neighborhood Library, on the respective dates to explore the gratitude wall, view digital stories of appreciation, and leave their own messages of thanks. They may also share their gratitude stories online at and on social media by using the hashtag #GratitudePowersDC.

"Gratitude to me means a feeling indescribable, of receiving things that you thought you never deserved," shares Rachelle Ellison, a former resident of DC's streets, now an advocate for the homeless.   

Gratitude Event Schedule:



 Wednesday, June 12, 2024

 Southwest Library

 Tuesday, July 2, 2024

 West End Library

 Wednesday, August 7, 2024

 Lamond-Riggs Library

 Tuesday, September 10, 2024

 Deanwood Rec Center

For more information, including installation dates and locations, visit

Acknowledgments: This initiative is made possible by the Executive Office of Mayor Muriel Bowser, the District’s Public Library, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation at Johns Hopkins University, Innovation Team @ OCTO supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ i-team program, and the Innovation Team’s Artist in Residence Robert “JustRo” Stephenson.

About the Innovation Team (i-team): At the heart of DC's push towards evidence-based policies and innovative public services, the Innovation Team (i-team) @ OCTO, supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Innovation Team (i-team) program,  works alongside District agencies to foster a culture of improvement. The i-team drives efforts to enhance service delivery and the digital experience for residents, prioritizing research, data, technology, and the well-being of all DC residents.


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