Studio Theatre acknowledges that our buildings sit on the Ancestral homeland of the Anacostan (or Nacotchtank) People of the Piscataway Tribe. We recognize these original inhabitants of our land and the violence they endured. We acknowledge that the descendants of the Anacostans, along with diverse other Indigenous peoples, continue to possess an ongoing cultural and spiritual connection to the area.
Likewise, we acknowledge the unpaid labor of enslaved Africans who built many of the original buildings of Washington DC and celebrate the legacy of Black Americans who lived for generations in our Logan Circle neighborhood. Many of them were displaced, but their spirit, artistry, and influence live on.
We are committed to building reciprocal relationships with these communities, to serving as a neighborhood hub that welcomes all, and to using our facilities and art to help foster a more inclusive and deeply connected city.
The Anacostans (also known as the Nacotchtank) were an Indigenous Algonquian peoples, one of the many tribes who lived around the greater Chesapeake Bay. The Anacostans lived around the juncture of two major rivers, now known as the Potomac and the Anacostia. In the seventeenth century, settlers from the Maryland colony claimed this land and displaced the Anacostans. The small population that remained after displacement and disease coalesced with the Piscataway Peoples, which today includes the Piscataway Indian Nation and the Piscataway Conoy Tribe.
During the Civil War, present-day Logan Circle was the site of Camp Barker, a former barracks converted into a refugee camp for newly freed enslaved people from Virginia and Maryland. In the 1870s, newly installed streets and other amenities encouraged the development of Victorian row houses for the upper middle class. By the turn of the twentieth century, despite segregation and Jim Crow laws, the area became an epicenter of Black Washington. By the 1920s, 14th Street developed into a prominent shopping district, and the U Street corridor to the north became a vibrant hub of commercial, intellectual, and cultural life known as Black Broadway. In 1968, riots in the wake of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination devastated the area. In recent decades, redevelopment and rising housing costs have displaced many of the area’s Black residents and BIPOC-owned businesses and caused a dramatic change in neighborhood demographics.