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Each Tuesday afternoon, Janet Kopenhaver airs a new “Embracing Arlington Arts Talks” podcast. Each show features an Arts organization representative, visual artist, arts expert, dancer, musician, actor and everyone in between to talk about their profession, productions, events, economic and health benefits of the arts, and many other topics. We also have, and will continue to feature several dignitaries on the show, including northern Virginia’s “First Lady” Megan Beyer, former NEA Chair Jane Chu, and Arlington County Board Members Katie Cristol, Christian Dorsey, and Matt de Ferranti.

To follow the Podcast so that you don’t miss any episodes, follow the link to your preferred platform: Apple PodcastSpotifyGooglePodcast, and now Amazon Music AND check out our education series – see details below.

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Svetlana Nikolof, Adagio Institute for Arts and Education


The Director of the Adagio Institute for Arts and Education Svetlana Nikolof caught us up with the new developments and programs being offered by the organization, including the shift to a focus on more than dance. The mission is to offer more inclusive programs that covers all kinds of arts genres including visual arts, creative writing, songwriting and much more. Also find out the details about the unique “Nutcracker” immersive experience she will be offering students and the opportunity to interpret the renowned ballet in their own approach.

Leon Scioscia, Lorton Workhouse Arts Foundation


The President and CEO of the Lorton Workhouse Arts Foundation Leon Scioscia educated us on the history of the Lorton campus and how it became an arts center after years as a federal prison, as well as exciting development plans for the future. Also hear about the may diverse arts genres offered including 65 visual artist studios, several galleries, and performing arts department that produces and presents several productions each year (including the upcoming “Women Playing Hamlet” and “Urinetown” coming this spring. Plus they offer numerous arts classes from painting to photography to ceramics to even yoga and belly dancing.

Arts Dignitaries
Margaret Hancock, Virginia Commission for the Arts


The new Executive Director of the Virginia Commission for the Arts (VCA) Margaret Hancock talked to us about the VCA, the services it provides, different grant programs for artists, arts organizations and educators, revised grants rolling out in December, and her goals for the VCA including providing a grant in every county in the state. Also hear about other programs they are involved in including Poetry Out Loud, capacity building workshops, and an Impact Celebration coming in January to celebrate the impact of the arts.

Arts Dignitaries
Matthew Powell, Ballet Nova


The Artistic Director of Ballet Nova Matthew Powell returned to the show to talk about the upcoming production of “The Nutcracker,” including some new tweaks to the ballet, a guest performer, petite productions for younger audiences (who get to do some dancing after the show) and a unique backstage behind-the-scenes opportunity for patrons. Also get all the details about their spring show, camps, recently approved Strategic Plan and an exciting collaborative event with the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra.

Sara Barker, Avant Bard Theatre


One of the Producing Partners of Avant Bard Theatre Sara Barker returned to the “Embracing Arlington Arts Talks” podcast to update our listeners on their upcoming Scripts in Play Festival. Find out about the three plays chosen and their playwrights, how the scripts to be presented are chosen, and how this event is so helpful to the playwrights. Also learn about their unique venues for the festival this year. And get a sneak peek at the rest of the Avant Bard season.

Performing Arts
Danielle Glosser, Client Raiser


The Founder and President of the consulting firm Client Raiser Danielle Glosser joined us on the show to talk about the critical and effective services she provides visual artists from marketing to sales to outreach to branding (i.e., drafting artist statements), as well as her process for determining how to help them determine their goals. She also helps clients sell their art and conducts workshops on important topics for artists to improve their businesses. And hear some of her anecdotal success stories!

Arts Dignitaries
Scott Cryer and Linda Sullivan, ArtsFairfax


The new Chair of ArtsFairfax Scott Cryer and the Executive Director Linda Sullivan joined us on the “Embracing Arlington Arts Talks” podcast to share with us the mission, services, and initiatives the organization provides arts organizations and artists throughout Fairfax. Scott also shared his goals as Chair, as well as why the arts are so important for us all. ArtsFairfax has available a “Creative Spaces Toolkit” that helps arts organizations find and utilize temporary empty spaces and an alliance has been started among the Fairfax, Arlington and Alexandria arts agencies to host collaborative capacity building workshops and more.

Arts Dignitaries
Rikki Howie, Director and Mack Leamon, Actor, Dominion Stage


Director Rikki Howie and Actor Mack Leamon appeared on the “Embracing Arlington Arts Talks” podcast to give us all the details about the upcoming production of “King Hedley II” being presented by Dominion Stage. Find out what the show is about, how it fits into August Wilson’s Pittsburgh cycle of plays, how did Mack prepare for this role as King Hedley and get some insight behind why the set is done in a certain way. Although hear how both ended up in the theater industry.

Performing Arts
Reginald Douglas, Mosaic Theater Company


The Artistic Director of Mosaic Theater Reginald Douglas joined us to talk about the premiere of the repertory production of the “Emmett Till Trilogy,” as well as offered his insight and views on racial justice in our nation today as a component of our podcast educational series. Find out what he thinks the role of the theater industry is in spurring discussions about important issues in our nation, what he learned about Emmett Till and his family through these works, what he hopes the Till family will say after seeing the shows and much more.

Performing Arts
Catie Anchin, Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington


The Executive Director of the formerly-named Arlington Arts Center Catie Anchin returned to the show to update our listeners on the very exciting changes happening at the gallery. From a rebranding to new initiatives for corporations to teaching patrons how to build a collection to yoga, the gallery is introducing scores of new ways to bring patrons through their doors. Also hear about the latest exhibitions, including a “Made in Arlington” pop-up, and its launch of a National Biennial show featuring artists nationwide.

Visual Arts
Talvin Wilks, Director, “Emmett Till Trilogy”


Director Talvin Wilks expounds in this podcast on the critical importance of the Emmett Till Trilogy of plays and why audience members should see the shows. Also learn how he got into the theater industry and his views on how and why this industry helps spur and continue critical discussions about issues such as racial justice. Rounding out the chat is how the media has been integral to bringing visibility to the vast problem of racism and injustice throughout these many decades. As part of an Embracing Arlington Arts Theater Educational Podcast Series being released next month, what are his views on the issue today and how do we keep the conversation going.

Performing Arts
Ifa Bayeza, Playwright, “Emmett Till Trilogy”


Renowned Playwright Ifa Bayeza offers us such insight and interesting background on her “Till Trilogy” of plays (“The Ballad of Emmett Till,” “That Summer in Sumner” (world premiere), and “Benevolence.” Summaries of each play, the unique link to another play she was writing that served as the impetus to write this series, what she learned about Emmett Till through her research, and her hope for audience member actions after seeing the shows are some of the topics covered. Also, as part of an Embracing Arlington Arts Theater Educational Podcast Series being released next month, what are her views on the issue today and how do we keep the conversation going.

Performing Arts
Nan Morrison and Beth Rhyne, Visual Artists


Visual Artists Nan Morrison and Beth Rhyne were guests on the show to promote the fifth “Arlington Visual Art Studio Tour”, also known as AVAST. This is the weekend when artists open up their studios to visitors who can meet artists, see their art up close and watch them create art. This year there is an incredible diversity of artists and art mediums. Also hear from Nan about her artwork and why she has participated in AVAST for all five years.

Visual Arts
Reginald Douglas, Mosaic Theater Company


The new Artistic Director for Mosaic Theater Company Reginald Douglas appeared on the “Embracing Arlington Arts Talks” podcast to give us all the details about his vision for the theater, how he ended up in the theater industry, his views on diversity in the industry and why presenting new work is so important to him. Also we discuss his very exciting upcoming season including the premiere of a repertory run of the entire “Emmett Till Trilogy” of plays and the world premiere of one of those shows “That Summer in Sumner,” as well as a formidable 25 collaborative partnerships with numerous theaters, organizations and thought leaders to promote the dialogue of racial justice.

Performing Arts
Don Zientara, Inner Ear Studio


The Founder of the recording studio Inner Ear Studio Don Zientara updated us on the status of the venue which has reopened in his basement where it originated. Hear all the history of the studio, some of the many bands who have been there, an exhibit of the Inner Ear Art being held at the Lost Origins Art Gallery, and how he actually got into the recording industry. Also find out about the free outdoor concert being offered by the “South Ivy Street Consortium” band.

Greg Geffrard, Signature Theatre


Intimacy choreographer Greg Geffrard provided a very interesting chat with us about what exactly his job entails during a theater production. Find out how all about this relatively new theatrical field, how he educates theater performers and crew about navigating the space onstage, when a theater is required to hire an intimacy choreographer and what was the impetus behind this new field being established. Also get all the details about the upcoming production of “The Color Purple” at Signature Theatre.

Performing Arts
Beatriz Paz, Viva Cultura!


Beatriz Paz, founder of VIP Impressions, came on the show to offer us some insight into the meeting planning arena. She also shared all the details about the upcoming festival “Viva Cultura!” that she is organizing to help Latino Community artisans run their businesses. Find out what you will see during the day (including music, dance, food and games), how the idea came about for this event, and what types of artwork can be seen and bought (including quilts, jewelry, visual arts, leather and clothing).

Arts Dignitaries
Steena Fullmer, Gallery Underground


The Gallery Director of the Gallery Underground Steena Fullmer gave us a primer on the different types of glass artwork process (stained glass, fusing and glass blowing), as well as her own process for creating beautiful art pieces. Also find out about some exciting events coming up at the Gallery, future shows, how themes are chosen each month for exhibitions, and some signature annual events organized by the Arlington Artists Alliance. And why did she name her company “BuddhaKittyGlass?

Visual Arts
Director Michael Page and Actor Lindsey Capuno, Dominion Stage


Director Michael Page and Actor Lindsey Capuno give us all the details about Dominion Stage’s upcoming production of “Firebringer.” Postponed due to COVID, the show now is being presented and they tell us what the show is about, its background, insight into StarKid Productions which wrote the play and how the show has undertones of feminism. Also learn about how each got into the theater business.

Performing Arts
Sofia Parfomak and Kate Stewart, Opera Nova


High school seniors Sofia Parfomak and Kate Stewart appeared on “Embracing Arlington Arts Talks” to promote their upcoming July 22 charity concert to benefit the children of Ukraine. Find out what spurred Sofia to organize the event, some of the songs that will be performed, their plans for the future and how singing helped them during the shutdown and pandemic. Truly commendable teenagers!

Rex Daugherty, Solas Nua


The Artistic Director for Solas Nua Rex Daugherty engaged us in a very interesting discussion about contemporary Irish arts and how his theater company aims to display how Irish culture matters. Also get all the details about the upcoming workshop production of his autobiographical play entitled “The Well,” his unique presentation of the one-person show “The Smuggler” before COVID hit, and a sampling of upcoming productions and events at Solas Nua.

Performing Arts
Tyler Dobies, Monumental Theatre Company


Actor and playwright Tyler Dobies chatted with us about how he became interested in a career in the theater, how he has changed his process for preparing for roles, what is on his “bucket list,” and all the details about the upcoming production of “tick, tick, BOOM” presented by Monumental Theatre Company. Also find out about his process for writing plays, what kind of shows he writes and learn about the current show he is writing.

Performing Arts
Peggy McKowen, Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF)


The Producing Artistic Director for the Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF) Peggy McKowen joined us in the studio to talk about their return to live theater and the exciting line up for summer 2022. Also learn how they choose which plays to produce, the history and mission of CATF, and an interesting insight she shared about the plays she has received for next year written in a post-COVID world. Also get tips on her process when designing costumes.

Performing Arts
Stacey Mickelson, ArtSpace


The Vice President for Government Relations for ArtSpace Stacey Mickelson joined us on the “Embracing Arlington Arts Talks” podcast to talk about his organization’s mission and its goal of developing affordable live/work space for artists, as well as performing arts venues for all types of arts genres. Find out how they decide which communities to go into, how artists are chosen to live in each project and more. Also get more details about their potential arts project in Arlington to include artists studios and a performing arts venue. Then put on your schedules their June 19th event at the Ambassador Theater in Baltimore that focuses on artists of color.

Arts Dignitaries
Emily Shepardson, Visual Artist/Teacher


Visual artist Emily Shepardson joined us on the “Embracing Arlington Arts Talks” podcast to talk about two unique forms of artwork – printmaking and collages. Learn about both processes, some techniques she uses, which unexpected material she has used and her project with miniature houses. Also hear her views, as a middle school art teacher, how art helps students, and especially how it helped them cope during the COVID shutdown.

Visual Arts
Josephine Reed, National Endowment for the Arts


The Media Producer for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Josephine Reed chatted with us about her podcast “Art Works” – featuring interviews with creative thinkers about their work which they are passionate about. Who were some of her previous guests (including one very well-known theater personality), who is coming on the show soon, how does she choose guests and more. Also find out about the NEA, its mission and goals, how it got started, etc.

Arts Dignitaries
Alissa Maru, Mason Exhibitions Arlington


Alissa Maru, Exhibition and Program Manager at the new Mason Exhibitions Arlington gallery gives us all the details about this exciting new venue and flexible space that will feature not only visual art, but also dance, music, film, etc. Also learn about the current exhibition “Mother” – a photography show about motherhood, a June 2 artist talk with MasPaz, an upcoming exhibition showing calligraphy work from a Syrian artist and a very exciting Arlington Collective Art Walk on June 17th.

Visual Arts
Victoria Truhn, Visual Artist


Visual Artist Victoria Truhn gives us a very interesting “tutorial” on ceramics making using a wheel. Learn all the tricks, what’s involved, how mugs are made, how you can be a ceramics artist and much more. Also find out which retail establishments carry these art pieces, upcoming arts festivals, and how COVID positively impacted her and her artwork.

Visual Arts
Matthew Powell, Ballet Nova


Ballet Nova’s Artistic Director Matthew Powell returned to the “Embracing Arlington Arts Talks” podcast to give us all the details about the upcoming production of “The Sleeping Beauty” – a show that has been on the docket for 2.5 years. Hear the history behind the ballet, the story lie, and an interesting factoid about “Swan Lake.” Also learn about a unique petite production they will be offering for younger audiences, as well as other events coming this spring and summer, including festivals, a June performance, a collaborative production with the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, and their diverse summer camp offerings.

Nicole Hertvik, DC Metro Theater Arts


The Publisher at DC Metro Theater Arts (DCMTA) Nicole Hertvik joined us to talk about some BIG changes happening at the organization. Get all the scoop about these developments, along with her work with the CUNY Newmark Journalism School, the state of the theater industry in the DMV, her widely received article on the drastic impact the omicron variant had on theaters, changes to services provided by DCMTA and much more.

Performing Arts
Kevin Sockwell and Matthew Dohm, Dominion Stage


Dominion Stage’s Director Kevin Sockwell and Music Director Matthew Dohm give us all the details about the theater’s upcoming production of “title of show” – a show within a show within a show. Find out how this show is so unique – both in terms of content and music, as well as their take on why they enjoy the show so much. Also learn what exactly a music director’s role is and how each of them ended up in the theater industry.

Performing Arts
Carol Cadby, Actor/Educator/Director


Actor, Director and Educator Carol Cadby met with us to chat about her return to the film and TV world after 30 years of teaching. Find out how the audition process has changed, what new skills she had to learn, and her appearing in Netflix’s “Radium Girls,” a commercial for the American Association of Physician Assistants, and 2 student films – “Finding Pedro” and “Gateway.” Also get her insight into the differing preparation needed for film acting vs. on stage acting.

Performing Arts
Susan Galbraith and Ronald “Trey” Walton, Alliance for New Music Theatre


The Alliance for New Music Theatre is presenting a truly unique production entitled “Voices of Zion” which starts the dialogue about the history of African American Georgetown. Get all the details from the organization’s Artistic Director Susan Galbraith and Composer of the music in the show Ronald “Trey” Walton. This “stories from the grave” is a collaborative effort with the Mt. Zion Female Union Band, Dumbarton United Methodist Church and Mount Zion Methodist Church and also includes an immersive component for patrons in May.

Mary Annella Frank, Visual Artist


Visual Artist Mary Annella Frank came on the show and enlightened us about her unique artwork style – using steel. Find out the process of working with this medium, how pieces of steel can look vastly different even without paint, and how she gets her ideas for new pieces. Also get all the details about her current exhibition at the Fred Schnider Gallery of Art and what pieces of art visitors can see. Very interesting chat!

Visual Arts
Marsha Lederman, Visual Artist


Visual artist Marsha Lederman appeared on the “Embracing Arlington Arts Talks” podcast to educate our listeners about the unique art genre of ceramics. Find out the process behind this art form, all the conditions that impact the art piece, two different ceramic-making methods, and more. Also hear the latest about the communal ceramics and printmaking studios formerly known as the Lee Arts Center (LAC).

Visual Arts
Professor Lucy Gebre-Egziabher, Cinema Academy


Prof. Lucy Gebre-Egziabher, Founder of the Cinema Academy and the NOVA Student Film Festival enlightened us on the many benefits of film making for students of all ages. In this podcast, we discuss how she spearheaded the creation of the AFA program in cinema at NOVA, why she founded the Cinema Academy for middle schoolers, her holistic approach to teaching film making, and how she matches Virginia students with international students on collaborative film projects.

Performing Arts, Arts Dignitaries
Laura Hagood, DC History Center


Laura Hagood, the Executive Director of the DC History Center appeared on the “Embracing Arlington Arts Talks” podcast to update our listeners on the reopening of the Center, what visitors can see, the current exhibit entitled “”The Big Picture” featuring panoramic photographs blown up life-sized, and what they are doing on the EDI front. Also get all the details about the upcoming DC History Conference and her priorities for the Center over the next several years.

Visual Arts, Arts Dignitaries
Ray Ficca, The Bedrocks Band


Ray Ficca, the co-founder and leader singer of the Bedrocks Band returned to the podcast to give us all the details about their new EP, including how the single “Lonely Dreamer” came about. Also find out how it felt for the band members to record at the legendary Sun Studios in Memphis, the other two songs on the EP (impromptu blues session and a surprise other single), and plans for their next recording sessions at the infamous Muscle Shoals and Abbey Road studios.

Karen Lange, Pinky Swear Productions


The Artistic Director of Pinky Swear Productions Karen Lange appeared on the “Embracing Arlington Arts Talks” podcast to talk about the theater company Pinky Swear Productions she co-founded. Find out how it came into being, its mission to help women, its production to be presented at the DC Fringe Festival this summer and an exciting venture with Crazy Aunt Helen’s restaurant. Also find out how improv helped her professional and some of her memorable roles on stage.

Performing Arts
Liz O’Hara Stahr and Matt Richardson, 9th Street Chamber Music


The co-founders of 9th Street Chamber Music Liz O’Hara Stahr and Matt Richardson joined us on the show today to talk about the many exciting events coming in February, including a Feb. 18th 9th Street Quartet concert, a Feb. 19th master class for their students with the Miro Quartet and the Youth Quartet free public concert on Feb. 23rd. Also find out how they had to adapt their teaching methods for virtual learning, how to audition to be a youth musician and how they figure out the pairing of the quartet members.

Iyona Blake, Actor/Playwright/Podcasters


Excited to present our podcast interview with Playwright/Actor/Podcaster Iyona Blake who told us about her world premiere of the play she wrote entitled “Girls of Madison Street” that focuses on family dynamics, dysfunction and healing. Also learn about experience playing Billie Holiday, top three acting roles on her bucket list, and how she highlights women and their stories on her podcast “Sister Conversations.”

Performing Arts
Joshua Vickery, Encore Creativity for Older Adults


The new CEO of Encore Creativity for Older Adults Joshua Vickery updated our listeners about the organization’s exciting new program “Encore University” that offers online classes and workshops on all arts genres, including visual arts, singing, dance, master classes, recitals and much more. Also find out his goals for the organization, details about their upcoming live concert on May 14th at the Strathmore, his experience working for Disney World and how singing helps seniors both mentally and physically.

Music, Visual Arts
Ashley Hammond and Katie McCreary, Educational Theatre Company


Educational Theatre Company’s Managing Director Ashley Hammond and Development Director Katie McCreary updated our listeners on several new and exciting programs for ETC in 2022. From a Partnership with Challenge Racism to help change live and disrupt racism to the reestablishment of the Creative Age program for seniors, elementary school theater programs and the Devising Hope partnership with Street Sense, ETC has been pivoting constantly during the pandemic.

Performing Arts
Olivia Hairfield and Nick Friedlander, The Arlington Players


Co-producers Olivia Hairfield and Nick Friedlander of “A Night of One Acts” – a collaborative effort between The Arlington Players (TAP) and the Little Theater of Alexandria (LTA) gave us all the details about this wonderful 40+ year event featuring never-before produced short plays. Learn about this unique opportunity for playwrights around the world, where and when to see the show, what the three shows are about, and how volunteers can get mentored in any theater craft in preparation for the run. Also find out what exactly a stage manager does in the theater.

Performing Arts
Sholeh Shirazi Talks About Artist Rafat Mossadeghi


Sholeh Shirazi appeared as a guest on “Embracing Arlington Arts Talks” to tell us the story about her mother-in-law – Iranian artist Rafat Mossadeghi whose work is being shown at the Fred Schnider Gallery of Art. Find out about her life in Iran and how her experiences there influenced her artwork, as well as other major themes like women helping other women women’s rights and nature. Also hear a truly wonderful story about a person who bought a piece of art done by Rafat in 1978 and what she told Sholeh more than thirty years later.

Visual Arts
Evan Hoffmann, NextStop Theatre Company


The Producing Artistic Director of NextStop Theatre Company Evan Hoffmann gives us all the details about their upcoming season in this “Embracing Arlington Arts Talks” podcast. Learn about his return to the stage after a 10-year acting hiatus in the first show of the season “Every Brilliant Thing,” upcoming shows rounding out the season, safety protocols being followed by the theater, and how the chosen productions are perfect for this year. Also get the scoop on why the theater transitioned from the Elden Street Players to NextStop Theatre and what is behind that name.

Performing Arts
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