Yesterday, We Love DC posted news that the organizers of the summer concert series in Fort Reno Park canceled the concerts this year due to a new requirement that they pay to post an officer of the US Park Police at every show.
The series could not bear the costs of this unannounced new requirement, prompting organizer Amanda Mackaye to announce the cancellation of the popular concerts Thursday.
We asked Mackaye what could folks do if they wanted to help. She suggested reaching out to protest the decision by the National Park Service (NPS) in hopes of reversing the requirement to bear the costs of an officer at the concerts.
Suggested contacts below
Jon Jarvis, NPS director
No readily available contact info as of yet
Lisa Mendelson-Ielmini, acting regional NPS director for National Capital Region
1100 Ohio Dr. SW
Washington, DC 20242
These DC officials have been sympathetic to the situation, and Mackaye suggested contacting them to inquire about how to help:
Sen. Paul Strauss
One Judiciary Square, Suite 1000-S
Washington, DC 20001
Councilmember Mary Cheh
John A. Wilson Building
1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 108
Washington, DC 20004
In addition, Change.org has posted a petition protesting the Park Service requirement. You can sign the petition online.
What can happen at this point? I don’t know, but Mackaye wrote to me, “I believe in the power of the people. I look forward to those who hold this concert series dear to their hearts being the reason we can move forward with the schedule we created for this summer.”
Also, contact Amanda Mackaye and ask her why SHE cancelled Fort Reno without asking for help/community thoughts beforehand.
It is certainly frustrating that an unannounced cost was associated with the permit process, but it doesn’t seem like an unreasonable one.
If it’s just one officer, perhaps the costs can be disclosed and a sponsorship could be found?
Perhaps if the USPS had not waited until the last minute to inform Ms. MacKaye of the additional cost, there might have been time for her and other organizers to try to raise the money. One has to wonder why the USPS did not inform her months earlier – it certainly looks as if they wanted to shut things down, but did not want to do so overtly. This way, ignorant “Fort Reno Fans” can blather about how it is all the fault of Ms. MacKaye.
It looks like “Fort Reno Fan” (a.k.a. “drr1971” on DCIST) holds personal animosity towards Ms. MacKaye.