Embracing Arlington Arts hosted its first-ever in-person networking event for visual artists and arts organization representatives. Over 30 attendees came to the networking event to meet their peers, discuss possible collaborative events, catch up with old friends and to hear about venue opportunities for pop-up events, including galleries and churches. A great time was had for all and everyone agreed these networking events should continue!
Embracing Arlington Arts Networking Event
1st Annual Celebration of the Arts in Arlington
Embracing Arlington Arts hosted the first ever Annual Celebration of the Arts in Arlington to celebrate the importance and contributions the arts make to our County. Attendees enjoyed beer, wine, food from over 15 local restaurants, and tableau presentations from eight Arlington arts organizations.
2nd Annual Celebration of the Arts in Arlington
Embracing Arlington Arts hosted the 2nd Annual Celebration of the Arts in Arlington. Scores of restaurants donated their delicious signature plates, the wine and beer was plentiful, music was provided by the Walkaways and the highlight of the evening was the “Come As Your Favorite Piece of Artwork” costume contest. Our dignitary judges were U.S. Congressman Rep. Don Beyer, Arlington County Board Vice Chair Christian Dorsey, NBC4 Anchor/News Reporter Doreen Gentzler, Fox 5 DC News Reporter Anjali Hemphill, and Freelance Writer/Reviewer Jane Horwitz.
Arlington County Board Candidate Forum on the Arts
Embracing Arlington Arts, in partnership with Arlington Independent Media, hosted a County Board Candidate Forum on the Arts in Arlington last month. It was a standing room only crowd of very energetic arts supporters. Thank you everyone who came out to listen to the candidates discuss the arts. It was uplifting to hear both for them stress the importance and positive impact the arts have in Arlington.
Meet and Greet with Concierges
Embracing Arlington Arts hosted a Meet-and-Greet between Arlington Hotel Concierges/Hospitality staff and representatives from our Arlington Arts organizations so that they could be aware of the many events, performances and festivals being conducted here in Arlington throughout the year. We had a great turnout and want to thank our co-hosts for this event: Encore Stage and Studio and the Arlington Arts Center.
Strategic Planning Workshop with CSR Communications
In our effort to continually assist Arlington Arts organizations manage and run their business as successfully as possible, we hosted another quarterly Clinic – this one focusing on Strategic Planning. Nancy Murphy, Founder of CSR Communications, imparted her wisdom on the importance of Strategic Planning, some hints on getting started and best practices. Attendees also participated in a check list exercise that all organizations and their Boards should utilize when starting, discussing or continuing any planning initiative. At the end of the clinic, one lucky winner got a free hour of consultation with Nancy. Congrats to the Arlington Philharmonic for winning that coveted prize. Many, many thanks to Nancy Murphy for giving her time to make this presentation and help the many non-profit arts groups that attended. Also thanks to the Gallery Clarendon for graciously hosting us!
Rally for the Arts
In response to the proposed budget cuts to the arts, Embracing Arlington Arts organized a rally of supporters before the County Board hearing on the budget issue. Despite the pouring rain, we had a big crowd, as well as several groups who performed. We want to thank the arts organizations who stepped up and became involved in the rally before the budget hearing, testifying at the budget hearing and getting their members and patrons involved. They include: Encore Stage and Studio, The Arlington Players, Dominion Stage, WSC Avant Bard, Arlington Philharmonic, Educational Theatre Company, Festival Argentino, Arlington Arts Center, UrbanArias, Jane Franklin Dance, Prio Bangla, Poet Laureate and numerous visual artists. We also want to thank the Potomac Harmony Chorus and the Arlingtones for performing at our rally.
Community Strategy Session on the Arts in Arlington
Embracing Arlington Arts organized a standing room only Strategy Session with County residents on the arts in Arlington. Channel 4 local news covered the event, and over a hundred people were in attendance. Break out groups developed several action items for moving forward, as well as discussed how to most effectively fight against the proposed draconian budget cuts to the arts.
County Board Member Katie Cristol Meet & Greet Event
Embracing Arlington Arts had a packed house for the “Meet and Greet” event with County Board member Katie Cristol during which she answered numerous questions about the arts in Arlington. require more research.
With respect to the government, Katie admitted that the County is not “good with arts management.” Rather that role should be left to the experts. Where the government can help, she stated, was to help “raise the visibility of the arts” and to help create “partnerships” that could uniquely help arts organizations and artists in Arlington.
In conclusion, Katie stated that our cultural groups set us apart from other jurisdictions in the DC region and that this should be celebrated. She remains ready to work with the arts community to keep the arts at the forefront of discussions in all sectors moving forward.
In her opening remarks, Katie asserted that she believed the arts should have a presence in every department in our government. She added that arts supporters’ views should be a component of planning processes for all the sector plans considered by the County. Several questions were asked about how the County Board can help the arts and culture industry. With respect to establishing zoning incentive for arts facilities, Katie responded that she was interested in this idea, but it would require more research. She added that as a County Board member, she wanted to look into exactly how the resources are being allocated for the arts and to weigh whether improvements could be made to have a bigger and more positive impact on the arts.