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County Board to Consider Purchase of Arts Truck

2016 Arlington County BoardA mobile art and performance venue may be coming to Arlington.

The Arlington County Board on Saturday is set to consider the purchase of an “arts truck.” In a staff report, officials said the truck could bring the arts to various locations across the country, partially filling the void left by the closure of the Artisphere in Rosslyn.

“When closing the Artisphere, the County Manager and County Board made a commitment to continue programming for artistic and cultural events, specifically through the use of mobile and periodic programming along major commercial corridors,” says the staff report. “Cultural Affairs staff believes that an Arts Truck that delivers innovative, professionally-curated pop-up style arts events is an excellent mechanism for expanding the reach of arts, entertainment and culture throughout the Arlington community.”

Potential arts truck programming could include:

  • “Pop-up visual arts exhibits”
  • “Lunchtime mini-concerts”
  • “Lounge and learn educational and civic programming”
  • “Temporary public art activities”

The truck is expected to cost about $55,000. Another $14,000 is being allocated for one-time costs and “pilot programming.”

Nearly $30,000 of the costs is being provided by donations that were made to Artisphere but never spent. Close to $40,000 is being provided by existing Arlington County arts funds.

“While the Artisphere was in operation, the [Arlington Community Foundation], on behalf of the County, managed a fund dedicated to Artisphere donations,” says the staff report. “Now that the Artisphere has closed, the remaining balance in the fund must be used in a manner consistent with the intent of the fund – to support innovative cultural programming throughout the County. After consulting with both ACF and public stakeholders, Cultural Affairs staff have determined that an Arts Truck providing such cultural programming in the major commercial corridors would broaden the reach of arts in the community and complement existing arts outreach.”

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