By Charise Wallace, Special to the AFRO

Forget hitting the town in Atlanta, Los Angeles, or New York where music, entertainment, film and more are widely known as the places to find creatives. Now, Washington, D.C.’s “202Creates” offers an opportunity for unique talent to dominate the industry.

With a passion for the arts, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser launched “202Creates” in September 2016 offering opportunities for diverse, local talent and change makers to thrive in a middle-class economy. These opportunities are offered through digital media, content creation, original programming through DCTV, with Spanish-speaking programming, Sports and Saturday morning programming, youth programming and more.

Angie Gates (Courtesy Photo

It’s now bigger and better. With “202 Creates Month” in September underway, a kickoff event on Wednesday, August 29 at City Winery DC, and a one-year anniversary launch of the newly founded historic radio station 96.3HD4, that is just a glimpse on what the District has to offer.

“202 Creates Month” is a celebration during the month of September for musicians, tastemakers, cosmetologists, fashionistas, filmmakers and more come together to engage through events hosted in the city.

History making and Emmy Award winning Angie Gates, Director of Office of Cable Television, Film and Entertainment (OCTFME), and Interim Director of Commission of Arts and Humanities (CAH) plans to transform the politically-focused area into a “one-stop-shop” for entrepreneurs in the creative field.

“I have a vision that continues to expand. I believe that D.C. has an opportunity to be the best and be a catalyst for things in the area for a creative economy… You don’t have to go to Atlanta, you don’t have to go to New York, you don’t have to go to LA… It all starts here,” said Gates during a media conference call.

Working up to and beyond September, Gates works within the community to maintain representation of the city’s diversity through highlighting newly discovered talent and business owners throughout the year. Gates pulls from all 8 Wards, through expansion on community events like their monthly “202 Creates Co-Working Day,” which is a monthly event for residents and the DMV community to engage and network with like-minded individuals.

“The only way we can keep this diverse, as well as keep it inclusive is not focus on us, but focus on the creatives of the District of Columbia…We’ve utilized our radio station, tv-station (DCN; DKN), it’s really the people’s station,” Gates told the AFRO.

Gates, who founded 96.3HD4 and won an Emmy Award for “The 202” Bel Biv Devoe Episode, is continuing to open doors for the community. By doing so, it fosters more events and discussions surrounding fashion and event films representing D.C.; one such film, a Go-Go documentary, is expected to air this year.

“This is long overdue…The Go-Go community deserves a launch that goes beyond DCN, so what my intentions are at this time is to do a community screening of that documentary,” Gates said. “It’s a way for us to really do a deep dive on what has been a national contribution from our musicians here in the District of Columbia.”

To learn more about “202 Creates” and upcoming events visit 202creates.com.