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Lubber Run Performances Deemed a Success

by ARLnow.com — October 18, 2011 at 4:14 pm 1,411 16 Comments

Performances at the Lubber Run Amphitheater this summer attracted sizable crowds and some community donations, the Arlington County Board was told this afternoon.

Thanks to much-needed renovations, the amphitheater sprung back to life in July, following a two year hiatus. Two teen talent and movie nights, and nine musical performances, were scheduled at the amphitheater this summer.

The performances attracted 2,400 attendees, Lubber Run Amphitheater Foundation co-president Esther Bowring told the County Board. In addition, $2,400 was donated to a “wishing well” near the amphitheater parking lot.

Bowring said her group of amphitheater boosters will continue working with county staff to make the venue a success in 2012.

“We’re going to be continuing to work with the staff to figure out what we need to do to help with the performances for next year,” Bowring said.

The foundation will work to recruit more volunteers and more private donations for next year’s performances, Bowring added. She said the group would like to see upgrades made to dressing rooms at the amphitheater, to allow additional types of performances to be held. In addition, they’re pushing for more local groups to be added to the performance schedule; such performances could be staged at little or no cost.

“We have a very talented community,” Bowring said.

County Board members expressed support for the amphitheater.

“It’s one of the best things we have going in Arlington,” said board member Walter Tejada.

“We look forward to even better things in the summers to come,” board chairman Chris Zimmerman said.

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  • Thes

    I thought the experts said this couldn’t happen for less than $3.5 million.

    • Lou

      They didn’t do everything in the expert report that the county commissioned. The report had options, and explained in very good detail how different deficiencies could be addressed in phases, and how some of them involved extensive environmental review and would take multiple steps to even establish a scope of work to address them.

      They did what they could in order for the summer season to be a success. Remember, the report was just finished earlier this year. I’m glad they opened it back up. As Tejada noted, it is one of the best things going, although that was not the case when the county shut it down and pulled all the funding to support the Artisphere.

  • V Dizzle

    Amazing setting to see a show. Went for one performance, and it was standing room only.

  • Charlie

    Ohhh the experts are always wrong. Way to go Arlington.

  • Joe

    It’s amazing what the citizens of Arlington can do when they’re interested and come together for a cause. First, they save the local Planetarium now they’re saving the Lubber Run Amphiteater. I hear they’re starting a fund you can donate to at the Arlington Community Foundation, I think they were involved with the Save the Planetarium initiative too.

  • JimPB

    A choice to remember:
    Go the staff route with the expenditure of big bucks before performances could resume,
    or
    go with citizen initiative, energy and skills and a low cost budget for immediate repairs.

    Citizens score BIG! (Lesson: turn responsibility and decision-making back to where it belongs, the citizens.)

    Great idea for next year: tapping the local talent pool more.

    • Thes

      Exactly right. Sure, for small, technical decisions Arlington can rely on the government staff. But for big decisions, a large group of well-informed, civil, and dedicated Arlingtonians are nearly always going to figure out a better answer, and possibly get it done better, too.

      • charlie

        So should we just fire our entirely incompetent staff and rely solely on brilliant citizens?
        Now THAT would be a budget savings…

        • PJ

          Yeah, it would also help if they talked to these well-informed citizens before they go off and make these wrong decisions. That used to be the Arlington Way as they called it.

          • Thes

            Our staff are good at being the “doers” but they are not very good at being the “thinkers” — collectively Arlington citizens are better at that. The Arlington Way is based on this premise, and we should return to it more often.

        • 4Arl

          Start with the highly paid leadership and managers. That’s the place where you could make a difference.

      • TGEoA

        So explain the Artisphere debacle.

        • Thes

          Similar explanation, actually. Staff thought they knew how to do everything, including how to run an exhibition and performance venue with a full-service restaurant. To this day staff have been shunning input from the public. Turns out staff is not perfect and would have benefited from more public input.

          • Carl

            Is the county board not authorized to require that staff seek public input before such large expenditures of public money occur?

  • Chris Scheer

    Who do you want to see perform at the Lubber Run Amphitheater in 2012? Send your suggestions to lubberrunamphitheater@gmail.com

  • Pingback: Lubber Run Amphitheater Looks Toward the Future | Arlington Kids

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