Washington, D.C. (October 5, 2023) – Monumental Sports & Entertainment and its professional sports team franchises, the Washington Capitals, Wizards and Mystics, will receive the 2023 Transformer Award from the DC Public Library Foundation (DCPLF). The award recognizes the organization’s dedication to creating a real impact in the Washington, D.C. region through social impact initiatives and their support of the DC Library System.
“We are deeply honored to receive this award from the DC Public Library Foundation. It underscores the significance of our shared commitment to our local community and the importance of public libraries as safe and unfettered access to books, learning and personal enrichment,” said Kelly Skoloda – Chief People Officer at MSE and member of the DCPLF Board of Directors. “We are enthusiastic about continuing our partnership with the library and working together to enrich the lives of our community members.”
Monumental Sports and its teams have supported D.C. public libraries, and specifically the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in downtown D.C. – just a block from their flagship headquarters at Capital One Arena – in many ways. Direct financial donations have totaled over $60K from Monumental Sports and Ted Leonsis. The MSE Foundation partnered with the DCPLF this year to help support its mission to innovate, expand and enhance the library system’s resources and programs to promote literacy, workforce readiness and cultural engagement for all community members. Additionally, two members of the MSE Executive Team have held influential positions on the library Board of Directors. Whether in person at games, at community activations across the District and through social media platforms, the partnership has deep and far-reaching roots.
MSE will be presented with the award by DCPLF Executive Director Rob Hartman at the Battle of the Banned event on October 6, 2023. Washington Mystics guard, Ariel Atkins, will accept award on behalf of Monumental Sports, and in acknowledgment of the Mystics continued collaboration with the libraries on numerous programs and curated reading lists for fans. The Washington Wizards are also partnered with the DC Public Library and other local systems as part of the Wizards Reading Program to expand kids’ love for reading by encouraging reading outside of the classroom.
“We at the DC Public Library Foundation are delighted to honor Monumental with the DCPLF Power the Dream Transformer Award. No organization has transformed Downtown Washington, D.C. more than Monumental Sports & Entertainment. In so many ways, they make a difference to D.C. every single day. Ted Leonsis and Monumental’s philanthropic leadership is rooted in a deep, and authentic commitment to improving our community through strong and effective social impact. Whether it’s through literacy programs or supporting Getting Out the Vote programs, Monumental continues to build championship teams – both in the arena and out,” shared Rob Hartman, Executive Director DCPLF
The Battle of the Banned event will highlight 21 library groups competing for the best art display based on a banned or challenged book. As a part of National Banned Books Week, the event aims to draw attention to the attention to the harms of censorship. Book examples include “The Bluest Eye”, “The Hate You Give”, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”, “All Boys Aren’t Blue” and more that have sparked controversy over their subject matter in schools and libraries across the nation. Event guests will vote on their favorite display and a winner will be named that evening. All designs will be featured at the Pepco Edison Place Gallery for community members to visit and enjoy after the event. Proceeds from the event will benefit programs like the Institute for Racial Equity In Literacy which trains teachers and librarians in antiracist work in all disciplines to create transformative change in their classrooms, schools, and communities.
The Transformer Award not only honors MSE but also highlights the importance of collaboration between businesses and community institutions. Such partnerships clear the path to creating a more vibrant and educated community.
About Monumental Sports & Entertainment
Monumental Sports & Entertainment is America’s leading sports and entertainment family. Our people, players, teams, and events bring excitement and joy to millions. We invest and innovate to consistently raise the game so we can deliver extraordinary experiences that will inspire and unite our community, our fans, and our people. To learn more, please visit www.monumentalsports.com.
About DC Public Library Foundation
For almost forty years, the DC Public Library Foundation has provided support to the DC Public Library system – enhancing the quality of programs and services offered by the Library to DC residents of all ages. Today, the Foundation is at the forefront in expanding and enhancing the role of the modern public library in its community. The DC Public Library is committed to providing all DC residents with the vital resources they expect while focusing on new programs that specifically address the inequities in learning and access that currently face our community, and the Foundation is dedicated helping achieve these goals. With the tremendous support of our DC Library-loving community, we at the Foundation continue to meet challenges head-on everyday by providing effective programming that impacts community members of all ages and life stages district-wide.