Arts and culture are celebrated and supported as a critical and necessary component of a livable and inclusive Arlington community.
Our mission is to advance the vibrancy and health of the arts and culture in Arlington through advocacy and awareness programs, outreach initiatives and projects that enhance equitable access to the arts and cultural environment.
Embracing Arlington Arts, a non-profit organization, achieves our mission through three primary strategies: inform others about the importance and diversity of the arts, artists and arts organizations in our community; 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.
Strategy 1 – 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 podcast which goes “live” 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), Arlington County’s “First Lady” Megan Beyer, former NEA Chair Jane Chu, DC FOX News Reporter Anjali Hemphill, and Arlington County Board members Katie Cristol and Christian Dorsey.
The organization issues Press Releases and outreach to media outlets when important news about the benefits of the arts is released. Several releases have been picked up by the local media.
Finally, 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.
Strategy 2 – Spearhead Initiatives:
Over the last several years Embracing Arlington Arts organized 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, meeting local concierges and strategic planning.
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 400,000) to help them spread the word about upcoming events and performances. Funds were again raised for this upcoming year to purchase another subscription. Feedback from the arts organizations indicates that they have been very successful thus far.
In 2019, Embracing Arlington launched a “Theater/Arts Management Educational Podcast Series.” Each podcast series will feature the experts in the industry who will impart wisdom, offer advice and offer best practices for this career. The first series featured advice from the five top Artistic Directors in the DC region. The second, to air in October 2020, will focus on Diversity and Cultural Equity and feature several leading voices of the BIPOC Theater community, as well as EDI professional and experts.
Strategy 3 – 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 over 1200. 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. Each Update includes 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.