July 2020 Update


Dear Arts Patrons, Aficionados and Supporters,

As our region begins to enter Phase 3, arts organizations and their staffs and Boards are evaluating how to move forward. Embracing Arlington Arts continues our efforts to help non-profit arts organizations overcome this pandemic and stay strong on the other side. Here are the latest initiatives and updates on the arts and culture front.

Calendar of Arlington Arts Organization Online Productions/Events

7/10-7/31 – “The Decameron”, Synetic Theater, Buy tickets

7/2 – “Why Is Eartha Kitt Trying to Kill Me?”, Urban Arias, Watch here. (6:00 pm)

Continuously streaming

Visual Arts:

The Arlington Arts Center has several classes, workshops and activities to do at home online.

Online Gallery of Art, Arlington Artists Alliance, View

“Artists and Poets Response to the Pandemic”, Arlington artists, View


BalletNova has several dance classes available online, Watch here.

Bowen McCauley Dance Co., Live Virtual Classes for Parkinson’s Disease, Watch here.

Dance Classes, Jane Franklin Dance, Find schedule here.

“Best of 30 Years,” Festival Argentino, Watch here.

Children’s Theater:

Encore Stage & Studio is offering classes and camps online. Details.

Educational Theatre Company offering online camps and classes. Details.


Opera Nova streaming “Celebrating African-American Opera Singers: Past and Present” Concert”. Listen.

“Blue Viola”, Urban Arias, Watch here.

Performing Arts/Theater:

Synetic Streaming Various Productions and Events, Buy tickets

Tuesdays at 8:00 pm – Signature Strong Live, Signature Theatre, Watch here.


“Written in Arlington,” Arlington Poets, Read the poems here.

Arlington County Board Candidate Responses to Arts Questionnaire:

Arlington County voters will go to the polls on July 7 to determine who will fill the County Board seat of the late Erik Gutshall. In order to help voters understand each candidate’s stand on the importance of arts and culture in the County, Embracing Arlington Arts sent out a questionnaire for the three candidates to complete covering several issues pertaining to the arts in Arlington. The three candidates – Bob Cambridge (R), Susan Cunningham (I) and Takis Karantonis (D) – answered five questions about the arts and initiatives they would pursue as a County Board member to enhance the health and vibrancy of this industry in the county. To read the responses in full, follow this link.

Summary/Recording of ZOOM Call with Michael Kaiser, Founder, DeVos Institute of Arts and Management:

We hosted a very insightful and informative call with Michael Kaiser last week about the future of arts organizations, how to survive the shutdown, pointers on fundraising and so much more. Here is a quick summary of some of his points.

Phases of Pandemic: Kaiser cited four phases of the pandemic. The first, which we have just finished, was the “shelter-in-place” phase with the nation under a complete shutdown. He remarked that he thought the response of the arts organizations during this phase was fantastic and he was so pleased at how quickly they transitioned to offering content online and staying in contact with their donors and supporters virtually.

Skipping over Phase II for now, he advised that Phase 3 will happen after we have a vaccine and when people start feeling safe returning to the theater and live performances. He foresees this time as one of much excitement and joy in the arts, but warned that because so much will be going on and being presented, getting patrons’ attention will be very competitive.

He views Phase 4, when we are not being impacted by the pandemic on a day-to-day basis, as a self-evaluation period. Organizations need to sit back and reflect on what they learned during the shutdown and pandemic (especially with respect to financial practices and decisions) and adjust how they do things in the future so as to be much better prepared for another catastrophe if it arises.

Going back to Phase II, which we are now entering, Kaiser stated that this is the phase with which he is most concerned for arts organizations. Arts staffs will be returning to work, and yet will not be putting on live performances. Therefore, there is not much opportunity for earned income during this phase and PPP loans will no longer be available. He is worried that organizations will be so anxious to keep offering programming online that they will spend far too many scarce resources over these 4-5 months, and then when we enter Phase 3 there will be no resources left. He also warned that with folks returning to their offices and workplaces, it will not be as easy to reach donors who previously were stuck at home.

Kaiser concluded on a relatively high note by saying that he firmly believes that when we have a vaccine, people will come back to the theaters, art galleries and other arts in-person gatherings. He just warned that organizations need to have some really interesting to which these patrons would be returning.

The recording of the entire ZOOM call is now available on our website – https://embracing-arlington-arts.org/pro-bono-in-kind-expertise-available/. Just scroll after the description.

Corporate Sponsor of the Month:

Our corporate sponsor of the month is the Ballston BID. From the newly renovated Ballston Quarter to public art projects to a weekly farmers market to outdoor movie nights, and so much more, the Ballston BID is providing so much to Arlington residents in the form of arts and culture. They also organize two fantastic events during the year – the Ballston Quarterfest and the Best of Ballston awards. To keep abreast of all the happenings in Ballston, sign up for their newsletter and check out their website.

“Embracing Arlington Arts Talks“ Podcast:

Keeping up with our weekly podcast airings in order to help arts organizations remain visible during the shutdown, we welcomed to the show several well-known arts leaders in the DMV. First, we caught up with the Executive Director of the Arlington Arts Center Holly Koons and learned about their transition to online summer camps, plans for some fall exhibits and their tentative plans for reopening. We featured Elena Velasco, the Co-Founder of Convergence Theater and passionate advocate for cultural equity and diversity in the performing arts arena. She explained how today’s dual challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown, coupled with national protests in support of Black Lives Matter are impacting theaters, and why she considers this a moment of reckoning.

The next two shows featured two of Arlington’s children’s theater. Sara Duke, Executive Director of Encore Stage and Studio explained how their summer camps would be run during these pandemic times as well as told us how the shutdown has impacted her students. Finally, Stan Kang, the Executive Director of Educational Theatre Company, updated us on their summer camp situation, how the theater industry might be permanently changed in his view after the shutdown, and whether the thinks the protests will lead to major diversity changes in performing arts.

To listen to any of our interviews, follow this link.

Media Hits:

InsideNova published a story on the questionnaire and responses from the three Arlington County Board candidates on the arts and culture industry in Arlington. ArlNow also linked to our Press Release about the survey responses. Here is a link to the Press Release.

Embracing Arlington Arts also published a Community Post column on our work on behalf of all northern Virginia arts organizations by serving as the voice to the Governor’s office on the reopening of Virginia.

Our arts organizations continued to take advantage of our subscription with ArlNow to offer a free column to any non-profit arts organization during the year, allowing them to reach over 400,000 online readers. The Arlington Arts Center published a column with details about their online summer camp programs. The Educational Theatre Company also took advantage of the subscription and wrote a piece on their camps and classes being offered this summer.

Again, thanks to the Fred Schnider Investment Firm and Embracing Arlington Arts supporter Annie Sweeney for underwriting our 2019-2020 subscription. Our current subscription will be ending in the fall and we are hoping to continue providing this FREE service to all Arlington non-profit arts organization. If anyone is interested is underwriting and sponsoring our 2020-2021 subscription, please contact us. It is also a wonderful opportunity for companies to achieve their own marketing goals because EVERY column begins with an acknowledgement of your sponsorship and a link to your website. Especially due to this prolonged shutdown, economic downturn and increased anxiety about the future, continuing this free service to our County’s important non-profit arts sector would be very much appreciated.


If you would like to support the work 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 sent to Embracing Arlington Arts, 754 North Vermont Street, Arlington, VA 22203

Every dollar helps us help the arts organizations in so many ways. Thank you in advance!



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