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Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development

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FY23 Event Support Programs

(OCTOBER 1, 2022-SEPTEMBER 30, 2023)


While we continue to take all precautions to protect public health during the ongoing pandemic, DC is open! Events play an important role of making DC a wonderful place to live, visit and provide economic impact to local businesses and entrepreneurs. As such, they are a critical part of our economic recovery. In FY23, Mayor Bowser will continue to provide resources to support events that benefit DC communities. See below for an overview of programs and initiatives. Information about forthcoming programs will be posted here as it becomes available.

Special Event Fee Relief Fund
Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development

Mayor Bowser and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) launched the Special Event Fee Relief Fund, a $1.5 million investment to support events that celebrate the culture of the District of Columbia and support local communities. The Special Event Relief Fund allows organizers of festivals and outdoor special events to apply for financial assistance to cover up to 100% of services incurred by the event from the following agencies (paid through direct payment from DMPED to the agency):

  • Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA)
  • Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA)
  • Department of Health (DOH)
  • Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR)
  • Department of Public Works (DPW)
  • Department of Transportation (DDOT)
  • Fire and EMS Department (FEMS)
  • Metropolitan Police Department (MPD)


Encore Project (OCTFME)
The Encore Program engages and supports DC’s creative community by funding creative events in all 4 quadrants of the District of Columbia. The purpose of the Encore program is to employ and invest in local talent, event producers, entrepreneurs, creatives, content makers, and District businesses that help sustain the creative economy in Washington, DC and contribute to the vibrancy of our great city.


To learn more and for a complete listing of details for the Encore Program, please visit

Outdoor Venue Activation Grant (DMPED)
The Outdoor Venue Activation Grant Program will address the negative economic impact due to COVID-19 on the entertainment/event businesses, and the loss of jobs and income for those event producers and independent contractors. The Program will mitigate the revenue losses by creating new business opportunities and subsidizing the cost of event production at outdoor venue locations in the District.


Streets for People (OP)
Streets for People will provide grants to Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) to activate public spaces in the Central Washington area. The program aims to catalyze economic recovery and support local businesses by attracting workers, residents, and visitors to a vibrant area of activated blocks, sidewalks, streets, and parks.


To receive more updates on event support sign up here.