Update from Embracing Arlington Arts
Dear Arts Patrons, Aficionados and Supporters,
We have lots to report this month as we head into the summer months. Read on for all the details and learn you can get involved in helping the vibrancy of the arts in Arlington.
Proposed Draconian Cuts to Arts Budget:
As we reported in the May Update, we were able to obtain a one-year reprieve on the draconian cuts to the arts budget proposed by the County Manager’s office. We are now moving on to Phase 2 of the work. Per the guidance from the County Board, a Working Group is set to convene next month to discuss at length the following:
- Catalogue public and private arts services in Arlington and the region to include audio-visual services, costumes and scenery construction;
- Develop and analyze alternative management and service delivery proposals and funding sources for Scenic Studio, CostumeLab and Mobile Stage operations including a proposed transition for future operations;
- Evaluate and propose public-private partnerships for audio-visual services, costumes and scenery construction;
- Develop a new scheduling process for joint-use theater space in partnership with Arlington Public Schools.
I am honored to have been asked to serve on this Working Group as a representative of citizens supporting the arts in Arlington. Also, several Arlington arts organization representatives will be serving alongside with me. As the President of Embracing Arlington Arts, I will keep all of our readers informed of the latest developments in each monthly Update.
In the meantime, we have asked the County Board to formally adopt the Strategic Plan for the arts that was drafted by the Arlington Commission for the Arts entitled Enriching Lives: Arlington Art and Cultural Strategy. While this report, which serves as the County’s “blueprint” for the arts in Arlington, was presented to the County Board in 2017, it was never formally approved – a necessary step as the County moves to reevaluate and develop arts priorities in Arlington. We are happy to report that the County Board members agreed and they will be voting on it during their recess meeting (3:00 pm) on Tuesday, June 18th. We welcome folks to attend the meeting to show their appreciation of the County Board’s support of the arts.
Once adopted, Arlington County arts organizations, County decisionmakers, community groups, developers, and others will have more concrete standards by which to judge and decide on future projects, initiatives, plans and actions with respect to keeping the arts in Arlington vibrant, strong and healthy for years and decades to come.
After what we hope is a positive vote by the Board, we at Embracing Arlington Arts, in conjunction with several arts organizations, will be hosting a second “Community Strategic Planning Meeting for the Arts” as a follow up to the one done in March during which we had over 100 supporters in attendance. Building on the momentum from that meeting, we want to provide a summary of the “Enriching Lives” document, as well as listen to you – the arts patrons, supporters and stakeholders – about ways to achieve the goals outlined in that plan. Stay tuned for more details.
Hope You Can Donate Something:
With the arts at the forefront here in the County, as well as so many other opportunities for us to help the many quality arts organizations in Arlington, we are definitely ramping up our activities on several fronts. In order to accomplish much of what we are hoping to do over the next several months, we are asking arts patrons, our readers, stakeholders and anyone who thinks that the arts are important in Arlington to donate what they can to Embracing Arlington Arts. Here is what your donations will cover:
- While we currently host a weekly radio show, we want to “up” our game and embark on a weekly podcast program. This not only offers our guests more flexibility in scheduling recording times for the shows (and our guests usually have pretty busy workloads especially during play or gallery openings), but it will also offer us the opportunity to record at different locations (i.e., theaters, concerts, galleries, etc.) What a great way to help our arts organizations market their events than by capturing audience reactions afterwards? But this initiative will necessitate the purchase of some modest equipment (which we would also make available to arts organizations for their own uses) to ensure we can obtain the best sound quality possible, as well as some guidance from a consultant on setting up the program.
- One very successful initiative we have been offering Arlington non-profit arts organizations is the opportunity to submit a Community Post column in ArlNow during the year. These columns reach over 250,000 online readers and I have heard from numerous arts organizations that they believed the columns helped their marketing efforts immensely. We would like to renew this subscription when it runs out at the end of August. (NOTE: For our corporate readers, we would welcome anyone interested in underwriting these columns. In exchange, your company is acknowledged in the first sentence, along with a hyperlink to your website. I also would acknowledge your sponsorship on the radio show and podcasts, as well as include several “shout outs” throughout the year in this Update and on social media. Email me if you are interested in learning more.)
- Preparations have begun for the 3rd Annual Celebration of the Arts in Arlington, so it is time to start preparing promotional materials, including graphic design, printing, media outreach, etc.
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
Thank you in advance for your donation!
Corporate Sponsor of the Month:
Continuing our newest feature of the Update, we would like to acknowledge the generous support of the Fred Schnider Investment Group/Fred Schnider Gallery of Art. The Fred Schnider Investment Group is 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. And stop by between 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm on June 14th when they will be hosting an opening reception to welcome the work of Chee-Keong Kung – a fabulous architect and abstract artist.
Radio Show on WERA 96.7FM:
We welcomed so many interesting guests on the radio show over the last couple of weeks. First, we caught up with Daniel Manzoni who gave us the latest developments with the Festival Argentino. This was followed by two weeks of BID talk – first CEO Tina Leone from the Ballston BID updated us on all the exciting art stuff happening in Ballston, including Quarterfest. Tracy Gabriel, the Executive Director of the Crystal City BID, followed the next week with lots of news from her section of town, including public art, live music and lots more.
We switched gears to the theater world and (after a year of trying to get her on the show!) we finally were able to interview Arlington’s own stage actress Sara Barker who talked about her career, as well as her role in WSC Avant Bard’s production of “A Misanthrope.” We rounded out the month by welcoming back the Executive Director of Encore Stage & Studio Sara Duke to talk about their world premiere of “The Talented Clementine,” as well as their upcoming production of “The Newsies.”
To listen to these interviews, or any others in the past, follow this link.
2019 Arlington Arts Groups Performances and Events
6/6 – Opening, Mary Orwen Exhibit, Cody Gallery, Marymount University
6/7 – Opening Reception, Arlington Artists’ Alliance, Gallery Underground
6/8 – Rated Art, VIP Reception, Arlington Arts Center
6/14 – Opening Reception, Arlington Artists’ Alliance, Gallery Clarendon
6/11-7/7 – Blackbeard, Signature Theatre
6/25-6/30 – Blowin’ In the Wind: Folk Rock in America, Cabaret Series, Signature Theatre
6/28 – Pops in the Park, Arlington Philharmonic, Lubber Run Amphitheater
7/5 – Opening Reception, Arlington Artists’ Alliance, Gallery Underground
7/8 – Mouse in House, Jane Franklin Dance, Cherrydale/Glencarlyn libraries
7/12 – Opening Reception, Arlington Artists’ Alliance, Gallery Clarendon
7/11-7/14 – The Juliet Letters, UrbanArias, Signature Theatre
7/17 – Complete Dogness, Jane Franklin Dance, Westover Library
7/17-8/18 – Treasure Island, Synetic
7/19-7/28 – Disney’s Newsies, Encore Stage & Studio, Kenmore Middle School
8/2 – Opening Reception, Arlington Artists’ Alliance, Gallery Underground
8/6 – Mouse in House, Jane Franklin Dance, Shirlington/Columbia Pike libraries
7/17 – Complete Dogness, Jane Franklin Dance, Central/Aurora Hills libraries
8/9 – Opening Reception, Arlington Artists’ Alliance, Gallery Clarendon