It’s budget time and the Arlington County Board is grappling with where to cut funding to address budget shortfalls.
It’s surprising that as one of the richest, affluent and desirable places to live, Arlington seems to struggle with embracing the arts community that operates at its doorstep. I founded BMDC in 1996 in Arlington. Our mission is to entertain, educate and inspire by making contemporary dance accessible to all, through our performances and community outreach programs.
The Company employs three full-time employees, 10 part-time employees, interns and 15 contractors. We are an Arlington business that hires carpenters, electricians, caterers, printers, etc. Challenges we face as an Arlington-based company include little to NO access to theater venue space to produce full Company productions. Over these last 23 years we have produced less than 20% of our performances in Arlington. And County Arts funding has remained flat year after year despite continued increases in COLAs.
Sure, we can utilize a school auditorium and we do. At Kenmore Middle School our annual MOVE ME Festival (Free) is greatly hampered by a stage that has loose wood planking, exposed nails and deterioration of in-house equipment. The result is additional cash outlays for us to install flooring, plus room rental fees.
Please don’t hinder artists’ ability to bring arts to the K-12 classroom. We need the ‘A’ in STEM, and Arlington funding gives us the STEAM to fulfill our mission.