The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) is pleased to announce a new partnership with Amazon. To kick off this partnership, CPRO has received a generous $25,000 donation from Amazon this month to support three of its upcoming events: the recent Columbia Pike Blues Weekend, the upcoming Columbia Pike Drive-In Movie Nights, and CPRO’s 35th Anniversary Celebration in October.
“We are grateful to have Amazon’s support for our events,” says CPRO Executive Director Kim Klingler. “Their generosity, along with the support received from other event sponsors, allows us to allocate more of our existing funds to much needed community programs.”
The recent Columbia Pike Blues Weekend was a modified version of the festival that had been held annually on S. Walter Reed Dr. since 1995. In partnership with Arlington Arts, CPRO hosted three days of events. The weekend featured three performances streamed online “live from the rug shop” at Manoukian Brothers Oriental Rugs and three in-person performances at the Fillmore Shopping Center along with a downloadable playlist of past festival performers for listeners to enjoy at home.
“While we were hoping we could host the full festival this year, we just weren’t confident that we’d be able to six months ago when planning would have needed to start,” says CPRO Program Director Stephen Gregory Smith. “But we are grateful that we were able to support six talented local artists, local restaurants, and raise the funds we need to continue our work and bring the festival back next year.”
With the pandemic hitting nonprofit organizations particularly hard, this year was the first time admission was charged for the blues performances. The $5 ticket charge raised funds to continue CPRO’s Business Support initiatives that aim to help the local business community recover. The organization had also intended to charge a modest fee for the Columbia Pike Drive-In Movie Nights, but thanks to the funding from Amazon – and a grant from the Washington Forrest Foundation – the movies will remain free.
“Amazon is proud to support our neighbors as we grow and build in Northern Virginia. For more than 35 years, CPRO has been providing an incredible service, and this summer, we are more thankful than ever for CPRO’s commitment to hosting fun and safe events for families throughout the Columbia Pike community,” said Brian Kenner, head of HQ2 policy for Amazon.
The final portion of the funds from Amazon will support CPRO’s 35th Anniversary Celebration. This July, CPRO is launching its anniversary campaign, highlighting the organization’s accomplishments over the past 35 years and will host a celebration event in October. More details on that event are coming soon.