- Why is Arlington County taking so long to develop a new strategic plan for the arts?
- What are some of the critical issues such a plan ought to address?
Opinions expressed by opponents and supporters of the art truck were based on diametrically opposed assumptions about Arlington County’s proper role in supporting the arts. Just among supporters, there were fundamental differences about the proper scope of that role. The absence of an up-to-date strategic plan for the arts was painfully evident.
A sampling of comments on the initial ARLnow.com art truck story illustrates the point:
- “How many musical instruments for our schools could this $70k to $100k get us?”
- “When will all the speed bumps, gateway speed reducers, and painted-faux-brick crosswalks receive basic maintenance so that these traffic calming objects are functional again?”
- “The County is spending a small amount of arts money that it already has, albeit in a new and innovative way.”
- “How about they spend the money on one of the already established arts organizations the county bankrolls, perhaps you can name a few? I know I can.”
- “This is actually a common, and inexpensive, thing that many local governments have.”
- “It’s not necessarily a bad idea, but if they let the people who ran Artisphere be in charge of it (and most of them now work for Cultural Affairs), I don’t give it much of a chance of being either good or successful.”
Against this background of conflicting opinions, County Board member John Vihstadt asked County staff to answer the following questions prior to the Board vote on the art truck:
Summarize the “ongoing Cultural Affairs Strategic Planning Process” that informed this proposal and provide a window into the overall status and timing of such process more broadly across Cultural Affairs. Will this process result in a formal report to the County Board and, if so, when? Are there any tentative outcomes that staff is comfortable sharing at this time?
Regrettably, Deputy County Manager Carol Mitten was unable to answer Vihstadt’s questions. Mitten explained that she couldn’t provide any predictions on timing because of “difficulties in getting everyone together,” and warned the Board that “we are going to need guidance from you.”
To avoid more fiascos like the Artisphere and the Signature Theatre bailout, we need a new strategy for public support for the arts.
The County Board, Manager and staff all need to develop a greater sense of urgency regarding adoption of a 21st century arts strategy. There are models and other external resources available to help them. For example, Boulder, San Francisco and Boston have plans that our government should examine. Those plans provide strategies and ideas regarding many of the challenges that an Arlington strategic plan for the arts should address.
It’s time to speed up development of a strategic plan for public support for the arts in Arlington.
Good Friday evening, Arlington. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier today…
The Arlington County Board and the Human Rights Commission are at odds over whether commissioners had the right to request an investigation into possible human and civil rights violations at…
Expanded renovated 4 BR 3 bath with garage in Cardinal Swanson Yorktown pyramid
Rep. Don Beyer is taking a leading role in Congress to address what he says is one of the most pressing issues this century: the regulation of artificial intelligence. This…
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🎉 Tonight, we invite you to the French Riviera, one of the most exciting places on earth – without ever boarding a plane! And celebrate Mardi Gras and the Carnival of Nice on French soil as we welcome you to a special evening at the Embassy of France!
From the elegance of classical French culture to the most celebrated Rivera nightlife of the 21st Century, experience a special evening of fantastic French food, wine, music, and ambiance.
Enjoy the flavors of Nice, Monaco, and St. Tropez in the beautiful and festive Maison Francaise at the French Embassy.
🍽️ On the Menu: Delicious French food
Cody Chance and Dick Nathan of Long & Foster are hosting a free workshop on the topic of “down-sizing” at their office on Cherry Hill Rd. (formerly Lee Highway) in Arlington on Thursday, February 29 from 5:30PM-7:00PM.
Every great endeavor