Embracing Arlington Arts had a packed house for the “Meet and Greet” event with County Board member Katie Cristol during which she answered numerous questions about the arts in Arlington. In her opening remarks, Katie asserted that she believed the arts should have a presence in every department in our government. She added that arts supporters’ views should be a component of planning processes for all the sector plans considered by the County.
Several questions were asked about how the County Board can help the arts and culture industry. With respect to establishing zoning incentive for arts facilities, Katie responded that she was interested in this idea, but it would require more research. She added that as a County Board member, she wanted to look into exactly how the resources are being allocated for the arts and to weigh whether improvements could be made to have a bigger and more positive impact on the arts. With respect to the government, Katie admitted that the County is not “good with arts management.” Rather that role should be left to the experts. Where the government can help, she stated, was to help “raise the visibility of the arts” and to help create “partnerships” that could uniquely help arts organizations and artists in Arlington.
In conclusion, Katie stated that our cultural groups set us apart from other jurisdictions in the DC region and that this should be celebrated. She remains ready to work with the arts community to keep the arts at the forefront of discussions in all sectors moving forward.