December 2017 Update

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Update from Embracing Arlington Arts

Dear Arts Patrons, Aficionados and Supporters,

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving with family and friends. We have two important announcements/requests with this monthly Embracing Arlington Arts Update, along with the calendar of Arlington Arts organization events (Dec.-Feb.).

Second Lady Karen Pence on Embracing Arlington Arts Radio Show on WERA (96.7FM):

We hope that folks can tune in on Tuesday, Dec. 5 at 3:00 pm for my live interview with Second Lady Karen Pence who is raising awareness and recognition of the mental health profession of art therapy ( as the sole policy issue that she is championing. I met with the American Art Therapy Association yesterday and was told that already they are seeing a big uptick in national recognition of the profession as an effective mental health option and they attribute much of this to Mrs. Pence’s efforts to bring the profession more visibility on the national (and even international) level. We will be talking about her initiative, who can benefit from art therapy, and art therapy in general so please tune in either at 96.7 FM or online.

According to the American Art Therapy Association, art therapy is an “integrative mental health and human services profession that enriches the lives of individual, families and communities through active art-making, creative process, applied psychological theory and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship.” The therapy itself is facilitated by a professional art therapist and is used in many areas including to “improve cognitive functions, foster self-esteem and self-awareness, cultivate resilience, enhance social skills, and reduce/resolve conflicts and distress.”

Action Alert: We Still Need Letters Sent to the County Board:

As previously reported to you, we are in the midst of a letter-writing campaign to the County Board about the need and benefits of building a stand-alone, flexible performing arts venue in the County. Furthermore, we are asking that any monies collected from the developer who was supposed to build a black box theater in Virginia Square (and is now not being required to do so based on a decision made by the County Manager) be set aside for a venue at a separate site and not spent on programming whose community benefits expire after one year instead of decades of benefits that a theater would provide the County. The Board is being advised that the existing performing art venues and facilities are totally sufficient (both in terms of quality and quantity) for the County’s and Arlington arts organizations’ needs which is not completely accurate.

So far, we have received many thoughtful and persuasive letters from Arlingtonians, but now we are in the home stretch to get Board support and cement the need for a performing arts venue. To do that, we need hundreds of letters so please if you have not done so, send in a letter today (see below for one that is “ready to go”). Also, it would be great if you could forward this email widely.

Below is a letter you can just send as is or tweak it as you see fit. (NOTE: If you are not an Arlington resident, you should still send a letter. You could say Arlington Arts patron or just leave those references out of your letter.) Personal anecdotes always make letters more effective, but I know folks are busy so volume is also important as well. Let me know if you need any further information and please copy me on any letters sent.


Janet Kopenhaver, Chair, Embracing Arlington Arts

Dear Arlington County Board members


As an Arlington resident, I am very upset that the County will now not be obtaining a black box theater in Virginia Square. This performing arts venue was a pledge made to the County and many patrons and arts organizations were eagerly awaiting and planning for its opening. At the very least, the monies recovered from this plan should be set aside for another performing arts facility at another site. Capital funds derived from a community benefit provision should not be spent on programming or other expenses that only offer a one-year benefit. Rather, these funds should be spent on expenditures that offer benefits for decades to come, like a performing arts/live music venue. In addition, the County has already closed several scarce performance venues (Artisphere, Rosslyn Spectrum, and Iota) over the last several years, and still lacks a quality stand-alone flexible performing arts theater near restaurants (to help boost the local economy) and accessible to metro. Arlington should be keeping up with neighboring jurisdictions – specifically Fairfax County – which is planning to build a state-of-the-art 250-seat black box theater in Tysons set to open at the end of 2019.

As a resident, I am proud of the professional Arlington arts organizations who perform throughout the year. However, several are not in venues whose quality is up to par with the professional performances they are presenting. I am very concerned that these arts organizations will join others which have already moved out of Arlington because there is not a quality venue for them in which to perform, leaving Arlington with a noticeable void in some cultural offerings.

I am asking you – the County Board – to work with stakeholders, citizens, arts organizations and community leaders to consider all viable management and financial options which are being presented to you for a flexible quality performing arts/live music venue and to do everything you can to keep Arlington at the forefront of professional cultural and artistic offerings in the region by helping to build a quality venue. We should not be sending residents to DC, Maryland and other Virginia counties to spend their valuable entertainment dollars.

Thank you.


2017/2018 Arlington Arts Groups Performances and Events

November/December 2017

11/7-1/14       –       Crazy for You, Signature Theater MAX

11-10-12/3     –       Madeline’s Christmas, Encore Stage and Studio, Gunston I

11/27-12/17   –       Artistic Trial Balloons, WSC Avant Bard, Gunston II (Play Readings)

11/30-12/3     –       The Nutcracker, BalletNova, Kenmore Middle School

12/1                –       Opening Reception, Arlington Artists’ Alliance, Gallery Underground

12/1-12/23     –       Hansel & Gretel, Synetic Theater

12/5                –       Handmade Holidays Workshop for Adults, Arlington Arts Center

12/5-12/16     –       Holiday Follies (Cabaret Series) Signature Theatre

12/9                –       Gift Mania Holiday Workshop for Kids, Arlington Arts Center

12/16              –       Sing-a-Long, Potomac Harmony Chorus, Wakefield High School

12/16              –       Holiday Cheer, National Chamber Ensemble, UU Church of Arlington

12/16              –       Closing reception/Gallery Talk for Fall Solos 2017, Arlington Arts Center

January 2018

1/5                  –       Opening Reception, Arlington Artists’ Alliance, Gallery Underground

1/5-1/14         –       Sherlock Holmes, Encore Stage & Studio, Gunston I

1/12-1/27       –       Forty +, Jane Franklin Dance, Theatre on the Run

1/16-2/18       –       4,380 Nights, Signature Theatre

1/17-2/18       –       The Trial, Synetic Theater

1/20                –       Opening Reception for You, If No One Else, Arlington Arts Center

1/26-2/10       –       A Streetcar Named Desire, The Arlington Players, Thomas Jefferson

February 2018

2/2                  –       Opening Reception, Arlington Artists’ Alliance, Gallery Underground

2/5                  –       Play Reading, SigWorks, Signature Theatre

2/6-3/4           –       Light Years, Signature Theatre

2/7                  –       First Draft, Theatre on the Run

2/9                  –       Music with a View, Arlington Philharmonic, Waterview Tower

2/10                –       The Romantic Violin for Two, National Chamber Ensemble, UU Church

2/16-2/25       –       The Lion King, Encore Stage & Studio, Gunston I

2/22-3/25       –       The Gospel at Colonus, WSC Avant Bard, Gunston II

2/24                –       Intl. Mother Language Day, Prio Bangla, Gunston I

2/25                –       Crescendo Youth Orchestra, The Jefferson, 900 North Taylor Street


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