April 2022

Dear Arts Patrons, Aficionados and Supporters,

There are some new reports out about the devastating impact the pandemic has had on the arts sector. Read on for more details, as well as other updates about the work Embracing Arlington Arts is working on.  


2022 Arlington Arts Groups Performances and Events

Calendar of Live Events (Subject to Change)

April – June

3/1-4/24 – “She Loves Me,” Signature Theatre, Info and tickets here.

3/5-4/24 – “Creature Comforts,” by artist Mary Anella Frank, Fred Schnider Gallery of Art, Info here.

3/12-5/14 – Spring Exhibition, AVAST & Dominion Lighting, 5053 Langston Blvd., Info here.

3/25-4/10 – “The Tarot Reading,” The Arcanists, Theatre on the Run, Info here.

3/26-4/10 – “Night of One Acts,” The Arlington Players, Tickets and info here.

4/1-4/29 – “Art Unmasked,” Gallery Underground, Info here.

4/6-4/24 – “The Servant of Two Masters,” Synetic Theater, Tickets here.

4/24 – “Earth Day Every Day Street Festival,” Langston Boulevard Alliance, Info here.

4/26-6/12 – “The Upstairs Department,” Signature Theatre, Info and tickets here.

4/28-5/22 – “The Revolutionists,” Prologue Theatre, Info and tickets here.

4/30-5/8 – “Why I Live at the P.O.,” UrbanArias, Keegan Theatre, Info and tickets here.

5/6-5/21 – “[title of show],” Dominion Stage, Gunston Arts Center, Info here.

5/21 – “35th Argentine Festival,” Festival Argentino, Thomas Jefferson School, Info here.

5/22 – “Marvelous Mozart and Mendelssohn,” National Chamber Ensemble, Gunston Arts Center, Info and Tickets here.

5/26-6/27 – “Suddenly Last Summer,” Avant Bard Theatre Company, Gunston Arts Center, Info here.

6/11 – “Blue True Dream of Sky Concert,” Arlington Chorale, Unitarian Universalist Church, Info here.

8/16-10/9 – “The Color Purple,” Signature Theatre, Info and tickets here.

To view the entire calendar, click here.

COVID Impact on Arts Sector

Several new reports have been released detailing the devastating impact COVID has had on the arts and culture sector. According to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), between 2019 and 2020, the arts economy shrank at nearly twice the rate of the U.S. economy as a whole. The NEA reports that arts and cultural industry’s economies fell by 6.4% when adjusted for inflation, compared to a 3.4% decline in the economy overall. The value added by self-employed artists, writers and performers fell by 20.6% and the unemployment rate across arts and culture industries rose from 3.7% in 2019 to 10.3 % in 2020.

Despite reduced production, the arts and culture sector still managed to add $876.7 billion to the national GDP in 2020, albeit that was down from $919.7 billion in 2019. The findings also highlight that third quarter performing arts revenue doubled from $834 million in 2020 to $1.7 billion in 2021. Yet that amount lags behind the $12.7 billion earned in 2019.

More information and the complete report can be found here.

Another report issued by SMU DataArts found that unemployment in the arts was double that of overall national unemployment, and BIPOC and disabled individuals were disproportionately affected. Unemployment in the arts industry spiked to nearly 30% early in the pandemic, while national unemployment hit 15%. This report can be found here.

Meanwhile the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) recently released their report outlining state appropriations levels to arts agencies. While most states did increase the percentage of funds going to these entities (and some by double digits), Virginia’s levels only increased by 0.3% compared to a 12.4% increase in Maryland and 12.9% increase in DC. Virginia currently is ranked 40th out of the 50 states for per capita spending on the arts. Maryland is ranked 9th.

So how can we best help Virginia’s theater organizations return to pre-COVID times?

Go see a show and urge others to do the same! Theaters throughout the DMV are extremely cognizant and respectful of their responsibility to keep us all safe and healthy. Patrons must present proof of vaccination or a recent negative test, as well as their IDs before entering any venue. They also must keep their masks on during the entire show. Patrons, staffs and actors can feel safe inside these theater walls.

Donate if you can! No donation is too small OR too large to keep these critical entities open, vibrant and successful. Unlike in 2020 and 2021, arts entities are no longer able to take advantage of several grants and federal funding to help pay their actors, staffs and expenses that were available during the shutdown. These funding sources are now expired and yet theaters are still being adversely impacted to a huge extent with every new variant or spike in positive cases.

Volunteer! Front end staff members have also been hit hard by the virus. Check with your favorite theaters and see if they need ushers, ticket takers, or other volunteers to help with a show.

Reconsider Refunds! If you bought a ticket for a show that unfortunately has to be cancelled, consider either donating the refund back to the theater or taking a credit for a future show in lieu of receiving a refund directly. This action will greatly help theaters with their cash flows during times of cancelled show weeks.

Corporate Sponsor of the Month
Our corporate sponsor of the month is the Fred Schnider Investment Group – a real estate investment and development firm specializing in urban and suburban mixed-use and residential properties. Since 1940, the company has been building beautiful and thriving communities in the Washington, DC area and have always been committed to creating places that attract new opportunity and limitless possibility. The Fred Schnider Gallery of Art, located in Ballston’s Liberty Center, showcases the work of local artists to the community. Driven by the important cultural role that the art community contributes to the quality of our lives, the Gallery is a creative space where artists and those who love art can come together.

“Embracing Arlington Arts Talks” Podcast:
We covered some new arts genres during our March podcasts. First, we caught up with the Executive Director of the DC History Center Laura Hagood who updated our listeners on the reopening of the Center, what visitors can see, the current exhibit entitled “”The Big Picture” featuring panoramic photographs blown up life-sized, and what they are doing on the EDI front.

Next we turned to the film sector with our interview with Prof. Lucy Gebre-Egziabher, Founder of the Cinema Academy and the NOVA Student Film Festival who enlightened us on the many benefits of film making for students of all ages. Then we traveled to the visual arts genre with a chat with artist Marsha Lederman who educated us about the unique ceramics artmaking process. The following week we remained in the visual arts world and a discussion with artist Mary Annella Frank about another unique art form – using steel – and her current exhibition at the Fred Schnider Gallery of Art.

To listen to any of our interviews, follow this link. And if you have not already done so, please follow us on Apple Podcast, Spotify, GooglePodcast, or Amazon Music so you don’t miss any episodes.

Media Hits:
Arlington arts organizations continued to benefit from our subscription to ArlNow’s Community Posts and published columns about their upcoming events. The Arlington Players (TAP) used the opportunity to provide details about their “Night of One Acts” being presented through April 10. Also, Festival Argentino was able to promote their 35th Festival coming up on May 21st.

If you would like to support the work of Embracing Arlington Arts by making a donation, here’s how:
*  Make tax-deductible contributions online.
*  Tax-deductible contributions by check: check made out to Embracing Arlington Arts and send it to Embracing Arlington Arts, 754 North Vermont Street, Arlington, VA 22203
*  Make Embracing Arlington Arts your AmazonSmile charity and shop with this link.

Every dollar helps us help artists and arts organizations in so many ways.

Thank you in advance!

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