Embracing Arlington Arts is an independent organization whose mission is to inform others about the importance and diversity of the arts, artists and arts organizations in our community; celebrate the critical contributions the arts make to all sectors of our County; spearhead initiatives that maintain and grow the County’s cultural identity; and spread the word about the diverse performance and cultural events held in Arlington.We achieve our mission in several ways.
Informing Others About Importance of the Arts:
In an effort to inform others about the importance of the arts in Arlington, Janet Kopenhaver, Founder and President of Embracing Arlington Arts, launched a weekly 30-minute radio show on the community station WERA 96.7FM. The show airs each Tuesday at 3:00 pm and features an Arlington Arts organization representative, visual artist, arts expert, reviewer, and others to talk about productions, events, benefits of the arts, economic impact of the arts, and many other topics. Local non-profit arts organizations appearing as guests also receive a link to the show afterwards which they can use in their marketing activities.
She also has had and will continue to feature several dignitaries on the show, including Second Lady Karen Pence (talking about art therapy), NEA Chair Jane Chu, DC FOX News Reporter Anjali Hemphill, and Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol. These shows will continue in the future, and consideration is underway to also do podcasts which have more flexibility.
Janet Kopenhaver issues Press Releases and outreach to media outlets when important news about the importance of the arts is released. Several releases have been picked up by the local media.
Finally, Janet and other Board members attend numerous functions and networking events throughout the year to talk about the arts with County leaders, residents and arts patrons. They also serve as expert speakers on the arts throughout the region at numerous events.
Celebrating Contributions of the Arts:
In 2017, Embracing Arlington Arts organized and hosted the first ever “Celebration of the Arts in Arlington” to not only bring attention and visibility to the diverse and quality arts organizations in Arlington, but also to raise funds to help pay for other initiatives throughout the year. In addition, the importance of the arts was conveyed to Arlington’s corporate world through sponsorships of the event.
This year, Embracing Arlington Arts spearheaded the 2nd Celebration, which included the inviting of several dignitaries to bring more visibility to the event and the arts, including an NBC News Anchor Doreen Gentzler, Arlington Congressional Representative Don Beyer, Arlington County Board Vice Chair Christian Dorsey and other local leaders.
The goal is to continue this Celebration as an annual event – which is the only one to celebrate the importance of the arts to the County.
During this past year, Embracing Arlington Arts organized 4 workshops for non-profit organizations to help them be more successful and therefore grow the County’s cultural identity. They focused on social media, fundraising and meeting local concierges.
Currently plans are underway to host another workshop in January on strategic planning. In the future, the goal is to organize a regional workshop with different breakout groups on all aspects of running a successful non-profit arts organization. No such workshop has ever been held in the region.
Embracing Arlington Arts also raised funds to purchase a media package on behalf of the non-profit arts organizations in Arlington that allows each of them to publish a column once a year (with an estimated readership of 250,000) to help them spread the word about upcoming events and performances. It is anticipated that funds will again be raised next year to purchase another year subscription as feedback from the arts organizations indicates that they have been very successful.
Spread the Word About Arts Events:
Since its inception in February 2017, Embracing Arlington Arts has developed and cultivated its email listserv from a little over 100 to now almost 600. This list continues to grow each day. Each month, Embracing Arlington Arts sends out an Update to these arts supporters and patrons about arts developments, new studies or reports on the arts, and much more. At the end of each Update, there is a comprehensive three-month calendar of all the events and productions being held in Arlington by arts organizations and artists. The organization also is very active on social media and is constantly promoting events each day.
In the future, the hope is to have one central location where Arlington non-profit arts organizations can leave their promotional materials. The organization also is aiming to double the number of email addresses in the listserv.