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Arlington Has Taken In Fewer Refugees Than Some Other Northern Virginia Communities

Arlington has taken in fewer refugees than other Northern Virginia communities, according to data from the U.S. State Department-run Refugee Processing Center.

Between 2002-2017, approximately 409 refugees were resettled in Arlington — about .17 percent of Arlington’s population, going by the latest census figures.

In that same time period, a higher percentage of refugees were resettled in Alexandria or Annandale. Alexandria received 1,032 refugees and Annandale received 248. That’s approximately .74 percent and .6 percent of their overall populations, respectively.

In nearby Woodbridge, 271 refugees were resettled between 2002-2017. That’s approximately 6.12 percent of the overall Woodbridge population.

Falls Church, per the data, took in 1,618 refugees from 2002-2017. Per recent estimates, that’s about 13.17 percent of its population.

The Arlington County government has “no official role… in resettlement decisions” and has “expressed interest in serving as a receiving community for refugees,” according to the county’s website.

Alex Mattera, a Virginia Dept. of Social Services (DSS) planning researcher, confirmed to ARLnow that Arlington doesn’t resettle as many refugees as other Northern Virginia localities. This, he added, is likely due to a number of factors, including that only refugees with current local ties are settled in the region.

DSS’ statistics vary slightly from those of the U.S. State Department, in part because of different methods of categorizing the visa status of arrivals. Iraqis and Afghanis who are resettled in America through a S.I.V., the special immigrant visa program for those who assisted the U.S. Armed Forces in their countries during operations.

The 105 Iraqi refugees accounted for a large portion of those resettled in Arlington between 2002-2017, per the Refugee Processing Center data.

Mattera noted that the report from the Refugee Processing Center doesn’t cite SIV entrants in the same category as other refugees, and that Virginia has higher-than-average SIV-related arrivals numbers than most states.

An informal poll conducted by ARLnow in 2015 showed that opinions were mixed among readers whether or not to resettle Syrian refugees specifically in Arlington. According to the State Department data, no Syrian refugees were settled in Arlington between 2002-2017, despite the county stating its willingness to help resettle refugees displaced by the Syrian civil war.

Anna Merod contributed to this report

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(This Community Post was written by Signature Theatre and underwritten by Embracing Arlington Arts.)

Signature Theatre just released single tickets for all 33rd season productions, which highlights the organization’s long-time relationship with legendary composer Stephen Sondheim. Beginning with the musical adaptation of The Color Purple and irreverent No Place to Go, the season continues with three Sondheim musicals, the DC premieres of Off-Broadway hit Which Way to the Stage and Pulitzer Prize finalist Selling Kabul, the Tony Award®-winning rock musical Passing Strange, and return of Signature’s cabaret series honoring legendary artists.

“Last November, the world lost an icon. The death of Stephen Sondheim was a blow to everyone in the theater community. Signature Theatre would not be the same without Sondheim — he IS Signature’s ‘signature.’ This season, we are honoring the legend with productions of Into the Woods, Pacific Overtures and Sweeney Todd dedicated to his memory. These shows represent the diversity and range of Sondheim,” said Signature’s Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner about the new season.

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“Probing the highly imaginative, inspired mind of Teresa Oaxaca is not altogether unlike having a present-day conversation with an Old Master,” says Nashville Arts Magazine.

Here is an unusual opportunity to learn from this incredibly talented and accessible artist, at Art House 7’s two-day oil painting workshop in October. Teresa will give 2 portrait painting demonstrations for 3 hours each morning. Students will then be painting from a clothed live model. Teresa will offer individual critiques that focus on materials, techniques, process and artistic vision. You’ll get jazzed up about painting and become more confident about your abilities.

Art House 7, Two-Day Oil Painting Workshop with Teresa Oaxaca. Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. EDT $250.

See more about Teresa Oaxaca here. Art House 7 5537 Langston Blvd., Arlington, Va. 22207

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