Board Approves Grants for Artists, Cultural Groups

by Katie Pyzyk July 25, 2012 at 12:30 pm 5,325 67 Comments

(Updated at 1:00 p.m.) The County Board has voted unanimously to follow the recommendation of the Arlington Commission for the Arts, approving $249,100 in grants for local artists and art organizations.

Of the 33 direct financial support application the Commission received, it recommended the Board approve 25 of them. All 25 recommended grant recipients are Arlington arts organizations or individual artists.

The Commission recommends three types of support for the arts — general operating grants, project grants and spotlight grants. General operating grants help organizations with the cost of overall administration and program offerings. Project grants assist organizations or individual artists with completing a specific project. Spotlight grants go to individual artists for their development and presentation of innovative new arts projects or programs.

The largest allocations of funds will go to Signature Theatre and Synetic Theatre, both slated to receive $45,000. Arlington Arts Center receives the next largest sum, at more than $20,000.

WSC Avant Bard is set to receive $18,077.71, but county staff noted that funds for the theater company are contingent on a management transition that’s currently underway.

“Avant Bard is in a transition period that has caused them to restructure their board and reconfigure their season,” staff wrote. “While staff and the Arts Commission firmly believe that WSC Avant Bard will be successful in this process, and are providing them with assistance through our non-profit resource center, our intention is to withhold their financial grant until progress is ensured and their first performance has been scheduled.”

The funds were appropriated in the County Board’s FY 2013 adopted operating budget for Arlington Economic Development. See the full list of monetary grants, after the jump.

  • American Century Theater — $7,728.66 (plus $7,500 for “managing director salary support”)
  • Arlington Artists’ Alliance — $250.00
  • Arlington Arts Center — $20,718.16
  • Arlington Children’s Chorus — $250.00
  • Arlington Philharmonic — $1,322.10
  • Arlington Players — $4,581.38
  • Ballet Nova Center for Dance — $7,313.11
  • Bowen McCauley Dance — $18,285.78
  • Dominion Stage — $1,354.84
  • Educational Theatre Company — $6,073.02
  • Encore Stage & Studio — $12,670.57
  • IBIS: A Chamber Music Society — $2,928.91
  • Jane Franklin Dance — $2,732.64
  • Metropolitan Chorus — $3,721.44
  • National Chamber Ensemble — $3,706.75
  • Prelude: The Arlington Youth Orchestral Program — $520.23
  • Signature Theatre — $45,000.00
  • Synetic Theatre, Inc. — $45,000.00
  • Teatro de la Luna — $17,667.96
  • UrbanArias — $7,504.48
  • Washington Balalaika Society — $4,192.26
  • WSC Avant Bard — $18,077.71
  • Gankhuyag Natsang (individual artist) — $5,000
  • David Carlson (individual artist) — $5,000

  • UA

    Economic Development??? What a crock..

  • KalashniKEV


  • Bluemontsince1961

    I wish they’d send some of that money my way.

    • Thes

      What public arts programming are you offering?

      • T:GEOA

        Throwing rotten fruit at Zimmerman count?

  • Mick Way

    Request for ARLNOW: Could you go back to last year’s story about the 2011 grants and just cut and paste the responses? It would save us all a lot of time.

    • Arlanon

      LOL! So true. Same tired comments from the same tired posters. Blah, blah, blah!

  • KalashniKEV

    KalashniKEV (individual artist) – $0


    • Jeff

      Peeing your name in the snow doesn’t count.

    • drax

      You are certainly entertaining, Kev.

      • KalashniKEV

        Thanks, I’m accepting donations in my styrofoam coffee cup outside the Courthouse CVS.

        “Spaaaaaaare change fo’ a disabled vet’rin…”

  • Wilbur

    I have lived in Arlington for 25 years and in DC area all my life. I have not once patronized one of these organizations. Thrilled, just thrilled that my tax dollars are going to this. Thrilled, just thrilled that my tax rate INCREASED so that we could pay for this. #fail

    • drax

      You should get out more.

    • Mick Way

      Holy crap. I’d be hard pressed to find someone who’s never been to a Signature performance in 25 years. At least someone who knows how to read and write. They’re an institution. Even theater haters have been dragged to a Sig show by a wife, partner, mother, first date, school field trip … … …

      • VaGurl

        *waving hands* actually I can read and write and *gasp* haven’t been… we do other things, and the shows they have don’t really look all that interesting.

        not that I care about this grant money – its not that much, and being a violin, cello, piano and drama geek from days past, I like supporting the arts, just wanted to remind you that there are a LOT of folks out there that have never been to a Signature theater performance, and some don’t even know what they are.

        • Shameless plug

          You might like this:

          Mini-operas and Opera Improv at IOTA in Clarendon on August 5th at 7 p.m.

          It’s a 90-minute show of very short operas on the theme of Blind Dates, including a hilarious group of actual Craigslist ads set to music. Plus, between the “mini-operas”, we’ll do sets of audience-directed improv (like Whose Line is it Anyway, but sung.)

          Only $12.

          More info here: http://www.urbanarias.org/performances/blinddates/

          Two birds with one stone, really, you get to see Tracy Olivera who is a Signature regular, so it’s almost like going there . . .

          • VaGurl

            ^^^^ this actually looks really interesting… LOL thanks!!!

          • Shameless plug

            Any time – hope to see you there.

            Great opportunity for an ArlNow happy hour, lol.

      • wut

        I challenge you to find anyone who saw a Signature performance 25 years ago.

        • Mick Way

          HA. OK let’s be accurate. 22 years.

    • The voice inside your head

      You know what? Because you don’t like the arts, no one else probably does either.
      Oh, and by the way, no one’s taxes should ever go for anything they don’t 100% approve, damnit!! Let’s get fired up about this!!

      • sunflower

        ive had no kids in school since 1985; wheres the refund check for my school tax dollars since then??!!

        • nom de guerre

          It’s in the mail.

        • The voice inside your head

          I’m sorry, you’re confusing me. I’m not sure I can really have a conversation with anyone other than Wilbur…..

          • sunflower

            two old people with two different outcomes…..i need someone to carry the torch b/c the flame on my flaming liberalism is fading away

          • The voice inside your head



            sputter sputter


        • Arlanon

          Wilbur – I’ve never had kids in school, and never will. (No kids – YAY!!) I assume you’ll never use any of my tax money to send your kids to school?

    • SARLingtonian

      I live in Arlington and don’t have children, yet I’m expected to pay taxes that support schools with which I have no relationship. It’s called living in a civil society where we all have shared responsibilities. But I agree with drax, there’s only so much television you can watch. Get out and enjoy your community more.

  • UA

    If you want to support these actions, donate your money. Not my tax dollars.

    • Douglas Parker

      Sounds reasonable to me!

    • SARLingtonian

      Ok, fair enough. Your tax dollars can go to whatever you want, and mine can go to the arts. Problem solved!

  • Autoexec.bat

    Passed by the Arlington Arts Center’s new facility in Crystal City yesterday and it was again empty at Noon. Save for an employee of course. Just sayin’.

    • Arlanon

      Umm, does AAC have a facility in Crystal City??

      • Autoexec.bat

        Sorry – “Arlington Artists Alliance” – same old crap, different name.

  • SoArl

    Ballet Nova? I was planning to sign my kid up for lessons there this fall and they aren’t exactly cheap. What exactly are they getting a grant for?

  • Richard Cranium

    OK – the “Washington Balalaika Society”?? Seriously? The worst part about that is that I’ve now got “Back in the USSR” stuck in my head.

    • ACDC Hack

      Bet that you can get a grant to get it removed !!

  • Jerry


  • sunflower

    Phillistines~~~alla youse!

  • Rosslyner

    Notthing against the arts in general, but is there anything that Board won’t give someone elses money away for?

    Maybe we can get some of the arts groups to pitch in and paint the fence around the poop plant. That would kill two birds with one $300k.

    • Josh S

      Do they have someone else’s money? I thought they just had Arlingtonians’ money.


      By the way, do you know why those words showed up in the middle of my comment? I don’t know how they got there but they seem strangely familiar. I thought maybe you’d know.

  • novasteve

    Unfortunately, I could just glue some cigarette butts into an ashtray and it would be called “art” these days.

  • wut

    Put the arts spending money in bond issues on the ballot.

  • Marie Antoinette

    Until Arlingtonians vote those jokers out of office, we are doomed to watch them spend our money any way they choose. And choose they do!

    Of course, I cannot wait until Arlington approaches Richmond, hat in hand, asking for money for the Folly Trolley.

    • Josh S

      Marie, you seem like a smart person. Maybe you can help me with a question I was asking Rosslyner. See my comment above.

      But, just to give a you preview, it has to do with why “Agent” and “Principal” showed up in my comment about how the County Board allocates the tax revenue raised each year.

      • RWarren

        Hey Josh, you sound like a smart guy. Why not just say what’s on your mind and stop going for some big internet crescendo.

        • observer

          Please don’t feed the troll.

          • Josh S

            I am many things, but I am definitely not an internet troll.

        • Josh S

          Because it’s more entertaining this way?

          • FBG

            It’s actually a sign of a psychosis.

          • Josh S

            Do *you* know what an “internet crescendo” is?

    • Arlanon

      Actually Marie, its the jokers who hate all things Arlington who should move somewhere they actually like. Too bad they can’t be voted off the island…

  • Westover Leftover

    …grants for local artists and art organizations.

    Not a function of government.

    • Marie Antoinette


      • Arlanon

        – 2

  • Patrick

    •American Century Theater — $7,728.66 (plus $7,500 for “managing director salary support”)

    So does that mean the “managing director” is a county employee? This is beyond ridiculous.

    • KalashniKEV

      He is now!

  • KalashniKEV

    Bowen McCauley Dance — $18,285.78

    How much of that is on the bar at O’Sullivan’s tonight?

    • Seamus O’Flanagan

      Lucy is hot. If you can get her to O’Sullivan’s, I’ll buy you a round.

    • Patty McDougal

      Nice one Kev. You got in a anti-arts dig AND an alcoholic irish smear in one post.

      • Sobriety Check

        He is very clever.

        Do you think he actually served? Alot of people lie about it.

  • Chinny McChipstah

    Only $6,073.02 for Educational Theatre Company? They should’ve gotten it all…they ROCK!!!! (And no I don’t work for them) My children LOVE their after school programs and summer camps!

  • sunflower

    c’mon people. this is what got us a # 2 on the creative list

    • Josh S

      No. It’s not.

      • sunflower

        i thought you owned a sarcasm detector….

  • Kim Un Arl

    Not sure how picking supporting the “arts” or particular arts groups can be anything except arbitrary. It definitely is not a core government function. Why not use tax money to support poker groups, civil war buff clubs, gardening clubs, car racing, indoor soccer, competitive eating clubs, gun shooting clubs, UFO groups, or any other group?

    $250,000 — how many social workers could be hired to tend to the many mentally ill people that are lacking services?


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