The Arlington County Manager submitted his recommended 2020 budget to the County Board, and if implemented it will prove devastating to the Arlington arts community.
He is proposing, among many other cuts, to close the scene and costume shops, as well as eliminate the Facility Manager and Technology Services positions — basically ending the award-winning Space and Services grant program. Yet in study after study, we are reminded of the value of the arts to civic engagement, volunteerism, lifelong learning, health and well-being, and cross-cultural understanding.
Economically, Arlington County arts entities employ 6,124 people in 658 arts-related businesses, and spending by Arlington arts audiences totals $18.5 million annually.
The proposed cuts will do the most damage to the work of our longstanding community-minded arts organizations which span different generations and cultures. These groups engage our diverse populations and partner extensively with Arlington Public Schools, and nonprofit organizations such as the Arlington Food Assistance Center, Street Sense Media, Culpepper Gardens and other senior living facilities, Building Bridges, Girl Scouts, libraries, Boys and Girls Clubs, Dancing for PD (seniors with Parkinson’s disease), the Deaf community, Veterans’ groups and many others.
Our heritage groups are hubs for whole regional networks and they bring residents from neighboring jurisdictions into Arlington County for festivals and celebrations.
You can help fight these cuts by sending a letter to the County Board urging them NOT to approve these draconian cuts.
For more information, visit https://embracing-arlington-arts.org/.
And sign the petition: https://www.change.org/p/arlington-county-board-support-the-arts-in-arlington.