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Arts Focus: Peek Behind The Curtain on The Arlington Visual Art Studio Tour

This column is written and sponsored by Arlington Arts / Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

By guest blogger, Arlington artist Melanie Kehoss

Everyone can appreciate a beautiful work of art, but the wider public is not always aware of the hard work, dedication and fascinating processes that lay behind its creation.

That’s why over 50 of Arlington’s visual artists are opening workspaces to the public for the first annual Arlington Visual Art Studio Tour, on Saturday and Sunday, September 29 and 30 (11:00 a.m.-5 p.m.). The online and print directory indicate if artists are open on Saturday, Sunday or both.

This free event allows local artists to feature their work, processes and studio spaces, while showcasing the richness and diversity of visual arts to be found in Arlington County. Visitors will find paintings, ceramics, jewelry, paper art, photography, and more.

The Arlington Visual Art Studio Tour is a joint effort by the Arlington Arts Center, Arlington Artists Alliance, Columbia Pike Artist Studios, Westover Artists and independent artists throughout Arlington County, with support from Arlington Cultural Affairs and the Arlington Commission for the Arts.

“Arlington has many accomplished artists creating significant bodies of work in their homes, garages or rented studio space,” says Katherine Freshley, former Executive Director of Arlington Arts Center. “This open studio tour provides a rare opportunity to see and understand the artistic process that often seems quite mysterious… You’ll walk away with new insights and appreciation for Arlington’s hidden treasures — visual artists.”

“This tour addresses a central goal of Arlington County’s Arts and Culture strategy, Enriching Lives — to promote local artists and assist them in developing new audiences,” says Michelle Isabelle-Stark, Director of the Cultural Affairs Division of Arlington Economic Development, which is a sponsor of this event highlighting the County’s diverse range of visual artists. “Moreover, the fact that this initiative emerged organically — by and of the artists — is itself a testament to the continued growth and vitality of Arlington’s creative community.”

Information about the tour, including a directory of artists, is available at arlingtonartstudiotour.org.  You may also pick-up physical copies of the maps with studio addresses at Arlington Arts Center, Gallery Underground, Lee Arts Center and other locations.

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Arts Focus: The Science, Data and Inspiration of Creative Genius

Supporting entrepreneurs, small businesses and creatives is all part of Arlington’s Creative Economy initiative. With public/private partnerships, growth of these endeavors is an important part of business sector diversity and economic sustainability.

Check here for ongoing Creative Economy listings and opportunities. More Creative economy stories on the blog.

Creativity drives business innovation and growth. But is it reserved for the lucky few?

In the latest of the Return on Creativity series on October 2, hear Allen Gannett, author of The Creative Curve and Ben Rubin, Director of the Center For Data Arts talk about maximizing the discovery and application of creativity.

Big data entrepreneur Allen Gannett, author of The Creative Curve, overturns the mythology around creative genius, and reveals the science and secrets behind achieving breakout commercial success in any field.
 
We have been spoon-fed the notion that creativity is the province of genius — of those favored, brilliant few whose moments of insight arrive in unpredictable flashes of divine inspiration. And if we are not a genius, we might as well pack it in and give up. Either we have that gift, or we don’t.

But Allen shows that simply isn’t true. Recent research has shown that there is a predictable science behind achieving commercial success in any creative endeavor, from writing a popular novel to starting up a successful company to creating an effective marketing campaign.

Artist and designer Ben Rubin is the Director of the Center for Data Arts at the New School in New York and knows a lot about applying data to creative output. Rubin engages with social, cultural and environmental data to create large scale media installations and performance designs.

His work has been presented at the Whitney, MoMA, the Science Museum, London and he has been commissioned to create permanent installations for the Public Theater, The New York Times Building, Brookfield Place, Calgary among others.

Rubin’s groundbreaking projection design for Arguendo, a play by Elevator Repair Service that played at Woolly Mammoth theater and earned him an Obie Award in 2014.

October 2, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Marymount University, Ballston campus
Free event, registration is required

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Arts Focus: The Partnership Behind The Rosslyn Jazz Festival

This column is written and sponsored by Arlington Arts / Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Now in its 28th year, the Rosslyn Jazz Festival is one of Arlington County’s signature events, annually drawing thousands to hear internationally-renowned musical artists.

Presented by the Rosslyn Business Improvement District (BID) and co-sponsored with Arlington’s Cultural Affairs Division/Arlington Arts, the partnership harnesses the respective strengths of the locally-focused non-profit and Arlington County Government to maximum effect.

“Having a thriving arts and culture scene is key to attracting a residential base and workforce that are vital to the business community today,” said Mary-Claire Burick, president of the Rosslyn BID. “We’re in a competitive region, and collaborating with local organizations like Arlington Arts to host one of the region’s largest festivals gives us an edge when we’re talking to businesses that are looking to relocate or expand in Rosslyn.”

Most of the on-the-ground logistics, such as permitting, promotion and vendor area coordination, are led by the BID. Using their formidable network of staff, volunteers and community connections, the BID transforms the three-acre Gateway Park and the surrounding thoroughfares into a safe, smooth-running festival-site, stocked with some of the area’s top food trucks with options to engage the entire family.

While the County had always provided production and marketing support, since 2001 the programming team at Arlington Arts expanded their role to oversee all elements of the on-stage production and curating the musical line-up. Re-envisioning the festival to highlight more national and international touring artists, attendance quickly rose from 1,200 to an average 7,000 annually.

“Like jazz itself the festival has evolved,” says Josh Stoltzfus, who programs the Festival, as Director of Cultural Development for Arlington Arts. “During the past several years, we’ve been incorporating a more diverse array of music to feature critically acclaimed global music, soul, funk and all manner of jazz-related expression.”

Last year, the festival enjoyed one of its best years to-date, drawing more than 10,000 attendees. It’s not unusual to see audience members who travel from as far away as Philadelphia, Raleigh or Chicago for the event, all of which benefits Arlington’s restaurant and hotel industry as well.

Free and open to the public, this year’s Rosslyn Jazz Festival takes place on Saturday, September 8 from 1-7 p.m. at Gateway Park, 1300 Lee Highway (2 blocks from Rosslyn Metro, at the foot of Key Bridge). For information, visit www.rosslynva.org/jazzfest or arlingtonarts.org.

For 2018, the Rosslyn Jazz Festival continues to pack a serious artistic wallop:

Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles (5:30 p.m.) — Uniquely blending blues, soul, R&B, Afrobeat, gospel and jazz, NPR calls two-time Grammy award winner and former Snarky Puppy keyboardist Cory Henry “a master” and says his “musical charisma is a match for a nearly 400 pound [Hammond B-3] organ.”

Orquesta Akokán (3:45 p.m.)  Listening to Orquesta Akokán’s debut on Daptone Records, you feel the spirits of Cuba’s musical giants. Making their DC/Baltimore area debut, you’ll marvel at how this 14-piece big band conveys the power and playfulness of the renowned Latin dance orchestras of the 1940’s and 1950’s yet still manage to sound fresh and new.

True Loves (2:20 p.m.) — Seattle’s eight-piece instrumental soul group makes their East Coast debut. John Rickards of KEXP calls them one of the city’s best bands. “It’s the soundtrack to that car chase you’ve always wanted to be in,” he says.

Aztec Sun (1:00 p.m.) — Known for their infectious songwriting and rhythmic versatility, Aztec Sun has twice landed a top spot on Washington City Paper’s coveted “best of” list. Modeled in the funk and soul traditions, they’re a go-to band for live events and house parties in the D.C. area.

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Arts Focus: Vintage Arlington Signs Point the Way to New Interactive Art Installation

This column is written and sponsored by Arlington Arts / Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

The aroma of popcorn wafting from Sears…

Mom buying you your first pair of heels at Kann’s…

Hanging-out at the Hot Shoppes restaurant…

The Arlington Art Truck’s newest interactive art installation explores how, beyond fostering commerce, businesses become part of our daily lives.

ARLINGTON ABSTRACTED debuts on Saturday, September 8 at the Rosslyn Jazz Festival in Gateway Park (free admission), followed by numerous activations around Arlington through October. Learn about the County’s social and retail history via this quick, fun project by artist Marc Pekala.

Eight typographically interesting signs were simplified, mounted onto small magnetic sheets and broken into multiple 2″x 2″ squares. Then, visitors let loose and rearrange them into original abstract!

Hash tag your creation when sharing via social media along with #ArtTruckArlington #ArlingtonAbstracted, and have your design considered to become the new ground mural in the pop-up park at 2100 Clarendon Blvd. next spring!

The backstories of some of Arlington’s businesses may surprise you:

  • Weenie Beenie — 2680 Shirlington Road, Nauck, 1960-Present

Arlington’s iconic hot dog stand was originally part of a small chain formed in 1960 by world renowned pool hustler William “Weenie Beenie” Staton, using a $27,000 gambling win as seed money.

He performed trick shots in several movies, including the 1986 Martin Scorsese film The Color of Money. The only remaining location, Arlington’s Weenie Beenie is the title of a song by the Foo Fighters, fronted by Northern Virginia native Dave Grohl.

  • Moore’s Barber Shop — 4807 Lee Highway, Hall’s Hill/High View Park, 1960-Present

Established by Mr. James Moore, Sr. in 1960, adjacent to Arlington’s historically African-American Hall’s Hill/High View Park neighborhood. With limited access to public venues during segregation, Moore’s Barber Shop, fire station and churches were gathering places for Hall’s Hill/High View Park residents.

Continuing to offer not only grooming but important community space, Moore’s is now operated by James Moore, Jr., but the elder Mr. Moore still drops by (look for his 1955 Chevrolet outside).

Mr. Moore, Jr. remembers going to the fire station to watch movies as a child. Today, he is a firefighter working for that same fire station.

Arlington Art Truck activities also integrate a ride-along service to provide information on other County resources. In this case, the Inspection Services Division (ISD) will provide information about residential building permits and newly implemented tools to ease the process.

Visit our website to find out more about the project and the businesses that inspired the artwork!

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Arts Focus: Walking Tour Celebrates Dark Star Park Day and the Alignment of Public & Private Interests

This column is written and sponsored by Arlington Arts / Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

A free Dark Star Park Day Walking Tour led by Arlington County’s public artist in residence, Graham Coreil-Allen, takes place on the annual Dark Star Park Day, Wednesday, August 1 from 8-9:45 a.m..

Public art helps give a community a sense of place and few works illustrate that better than Dark Star Park (Nancy Holt, 1984). Each year at 9:32 a.m. on August 1, the day that William Henry Ross acquired the land that became Rosslyn in 1860, shadows created by the sculpture align perfectly with patterns outlined on the ground.

The 90-minute tour will explore Rosslyn’s collection of public art, including Liquid Pixels, Cupid’s Garden, the new LED installation Gravity and Grace / Corridor of Light phase 1 at Central Place Plaza, and will conclude with the dramatic shadow alignment of Dark Star Park.

Co-sponsored by Arlington Arts, the Rosslyn BID and WalkArlington, the event itself speaks to the pioneering combination of public and private resources which created this specific work and shaped Arlington’s internationally-acclaimed permanent collection of contemporary public art.

From the outset, when the County, a citizen activist, the late artist Nancy Holt (profiled in this New York Times article), a developer and the National Endowment for the Arts collaborated to create this seminal landscape artwork in Rosslyn, the Arlington Public Art program has been characterized by its unique approach to combining public and private resources and its focus on enhancements to the public realm.

Graham Coreil-Allen is a Baltimore-based public artist who explores the constructs and engages the contradictions of the everyday built environment through videos, maps, public installations, writing and walking tours.

Coreil-Allen received his MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art and has staged projects for numerous spaces, places and events, including the Washington Project for the Arts, Arlington Arts Center and the US Pavilion at the 13th International Venice Architecture Biennale.

Update: While all the slots are full for the Public Art Walking Tour, we  encourage you to come hear the guide tell the history of the work by joining us at the conclusion of the tour at Dark Star Park at 9:15 a.m..

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Arts Focus: Arlington’s CostumeLab Helps Superheroes Keep It Together

This column is written and sponsored by Arlington Arts / Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Wonder Woman’s bullet-proof bracelets are falling off… Black Panther’s impenetrable vibranium suit is torn… Superman spilled soy sauce all over his cape… What’s a superhero to do?

Well, CosPlay enthusiasts in the DC Metro area are getting used to stopping by the Arlington CostumeLab Cosplay Repair Booth at local conventions.

CosPlay, a contraction of the words costume play, involves participants wearing costumes to represent a character from anime, cartoons, films or comic books. The conventions, or comi-cons that welcome this growing community of hobbyists are big business, and Crystal City is a major stop on the nationwide convention circuit.

The initial collaboration was sparked a couple of years ago when Arlington’s Convention and Visitors Services (ACVS) called on Arlington Cultural Affairs (which is also a Division of Arlington Economic Development) to see how we might partner with a new cosplay event: Blerdcon.

Derived from the term “Blerd” which is short for ‘black nerd’, Blerdcon welcomes all while celebrating the connection with the differently-abled, and people of color, international and LGBTQ communities.

An immediate hit with CosPlayers, the Booth offers micro-classes, cosplay material/technique demonstrations and a full repair booth with talented costume crafts artisans to mend your cosplay right on site!

Word continues to spread, and now the Arlington CostumeLab Cosplay Repair Booth is a presence at several regional events, including Escape Velocity 2017 and 2018. Blerdcon returns to Crystal City on July 27-29.

The Arlington CostumeLab has been serving the theater and film community in the Washington DC, metropolitan area and nationwide for over 50 years. Offering high quality, theatrical grade costume rentals to nonprofit performing arts organizations and companies in the for-profit theater, television and film industries.

You have seen pieces CostumeLab’s collection in productions as varied as HBO’s The Wire and The History Channel’s Lincoln, to Signature Theatre’s watershed production of Passion.

Managed by Jennifer Biehl, who has a B.F.A. in Fashion Design and Marketing and an M.F.A. in Costume Design and Technology, the costume rental stock includes over 22,000 pieces including period garments for men and women, modern dress, hats, shoes, military service uniforms, capes, corsets, armor and more.

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Arts Focus: Two Workshops Help You Master the Art of Managing Your Finances

This column is written and sponsored by Arlington Arts / Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

For the past couple of years you may have noticed exhibits of fine art enlivening the lobby of Arlington Community Federal Credit Union (ACFCU) curated via connections made through Arlington Arts.

Now, the credit union is bringing their financial expertise to share with artists — and anyone else in the community — through a pair of free financial workshops at Arlington Cultural Affairs!

  • Staying On Track: Money Management 101 — June 14 (6:30-8:30 p.m.)
    Who knew you were spending $50 a week on lattes? Identify your spending triggers and create a plan to curb spending, create healthy savings habits, and use automated tools to help you stay on budget.
  • Credit Basics You Need To Know — June 20 (2-4 p.m.)
    Whether you are buying a home or renting a car, access to credit has become increasingly important. Knowing what your credit report contains and understanding of how credit scores are calculated will put you in the best financing position.

The workshops are presented by the Arts Enterprise Institute, a program of Arlington Arts, in partnership with the Arlington Community Federal Credit Union (ACFCU).

Please use the Cultural Affairs entrance on the south side of the building. Parking is limited at Arlington Cultural Affairs, 3700 S. Four Mile Run Drive. Additional parking may be found in Shirlington Village, a 10 minute walk from Cultural Affairs. For more information, visit http://villageatshirlington.com/parking.

While the workshops are Free, space is limited and registration is strongly suggested. Registration closes at 5:00 p.m. on the evening prior to each respective workshop.

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Arts Focus: Synetic Theater & Gallery Underground Take The Reception on the Road

This column is written and sponsored by Arlington Arts / Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

In a typical office building, two companies can be located just down the hall from one another for years and barely have an inkling about what the other does. But collaborating with partners is a great way for organizations to network and increase visibility.

Synetic Theater and Gallery Underground, two notable cultural organizations based in Arlington’s Crystal City neighborhood, are partnering for a special one-night only performance and reception!

Paata and Irina Tsikurishvili return to the stage together in a one-night only presentation of Pygmalion & Galatea for the First Annual Synetic Theater Celebration.

The performance honors the theater’s Founding Company Member Philip Fletcher and Founding Board Member Ina Milton. The cast includes Tori Bertocci, Irina Kavsadze, Alex Mills and Dallas Tolentino, well-known names to devotees of this Arlington-based company, the winner of 27 Helen Hayes Awards.

The party then literally moves across the street to Gallery Underground, where the post-performance reception will take place amid their current national juried all-media show, Hot/Cool.

The terms “hot” and “cool” can describe color, temperature, popular culture, appearance, personality… or a theater performance. The works on display will explore and interpret these qualities. Also featured, along with new works by Gallery members, are works by painter Anna Schalk.

Taking the reception on the road is a great way to way to introduce loyal theatre goers to another cultural amenity just steps away from Synetic. The event takes place on Tuesday, May 15 with cocktails starting at 6 p.m. and a 7 p.m. curtain.

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Arts Focus: Is an MFA the New MBA?

This is a column written and sponsored by Arlington Arts / Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

We all know that you have to go to medical school to become a licensed physician and to law school to be a Bar certified attorney. However, companies providing innovative solutions and developing new products are starting to notice that the background of their workforce may need to be more creative and less linear.

Smart, educated workers who demonstrate more than subject matter expertise are more and more in demand.

While you probably won’t find ‘can you draw?’ on a job application, human resource professionals are digging deeper to find a workforce that will make their company stand out.

This month, Arlington Economic Development launches the next series of seminars: “Return on Creativity: An Arlington County Asset.”

The series will feature professionals and educators who are leading business and workforce growth through the application of creativity. This creativity is driven through talent availability, process improvements and innovative solutions.

Additionally, the series offers networking opportunities, first-hand insights and compelling evidence that Arlington County is an accelerator to personal and organizational growth and prosperity.

Arlington’s culture of creativity drives startup, non-profit, association and corporate success. Over the past 10 years, Arlington County has earned a reputation of nurturing a creatively-driven commerce and community through policy, technology, education and development. Arlington County is home to businesses and people who contribute to the county’s fiscal and social prosperity through a focus on creativity.

Join the next conversation and register here for Return on Creativity: An Arlington County Asset, Thursday, April 26 at Virginia Tech Research Center.

Check here for ongoing creative economy listings and opportunities.

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Arts Focus: Full Dome Projections at Arlington Planetarium

This is a column written and sponsored by Arlington Arts / Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

“Space… The final frontier.”

It can certainly feel that way to arts presenters in the Washington metropolitan area, where space is such a precious commodity. That’s why it pays to think outside the box and cultivate partnerships with organizations that might not immediately seem a natural fit “…to boldly go where no man has gone before.”

Take, for example, the series of Full Dome Projections by visual artists at the David M. Brown Planetarium.

Co-presented by Arlington Arts with the Friends of Arlington’s Planetarium, the latest immersive screening is In The Midst of the Inferno by artist Jonathan Monaghan, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 20, 21 and 22 with multiple screenings occurring on the half-hour throughout the weekend (see Eventbrite for screening times).

Called “one of the best and most innovative projects in the region” in Washington City Paper’s “The Year In Galleries, 2017,” the Free series has drawn enthusiastic new audiences to this hidden gem, while providing a new venue option for regional artists.

Eliciting subconscious fears surrounding authority and wealth, Monaghan’s critical reflection on power in the digital age is a journey through surreal environments evoking science fiction and high-security luxury apartments: a world both absurd and dystopian, yet eerily familiar.

Note that an Artist Talk by Jonathan Monaghan will accompany the Opening Night screenings, at 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. only. The David M. Brown Planetarium is located at 1426 N. Quincy Street in Arlington. The event is free but space is limited and patrons are encouraged to RSVP in advance.

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Arts Focus: The Work Of Art — A Workshop Series Helps Artists Get Down To Business

Photo Via Kori Johnson

This is a column written and sponsored by Arlington Arts / Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Anyone in the workforce knows that it is essential to keep your resume in top form, showcase your skills expertly and to position yourself to be compensated fairly.

An upcoming series of workshops is designed to build capacity in this regard for artists and creatives! Join arts consultant Kori Johnson for a series of three workshops taking place from 1:00 until 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 7, 21 and 28.

Presented by the Arts Enterprise Institute, a program of Arlington Arts, this workshop series is part of the Springboard for the Arts “The Work of Art Toolkit: Business Skills for Artists” curriculum.

  • Showing Off Your Best: Creating An Artist Portfolio — Apr. 07

Learn the essential elements of creating a professional artist portfolio. You will learn how to craft an artist statement and curate work samples that make your art shine! Register.

  • It’s All About the Message: Arts Promotion Basics — Apr. 21

Create an effective promotional strategy to promote your work, and learn basic marketing and promotion techniques – defining your audience, crafting your message, writing a press release and more! Register

  • Getting Your Fair Share: How to Price Your Art — Apr. 28

Learn how to set the right prices for your art and create a custom pricing strategy that honors your time and skill while remaining competitive! Register

Kori Johnson is an arts consultant based in Columbia, Maryland, with over a decade of arts education and arts administration experience in New York City, D.C. Metro and the Bay Area. Kori began her career as a middle school English teacher before transitioning into arts management in the nonprofit and local government sectors.

At DreamYard, a nationally recognized arts organization, she managed arts residency partnerships with over fifteen Bronx public schools. She then went on to manage partnerships with D.C. public schools through Turning the Page, a family engagement nonprofit. Before returning to Maryland, Kori spearheaded community outreach programs for a Bay Area art center and contemporary art gallery.

Springboard for the Arts is a nationally recognized economic and community development organization for artists by artists. Its mission is to cultivate vibrant communities by connecting artists with the skills, information and services they need to make a living and a life. As a participant in the initiative, Arlington Arts’ Arts Enterprise Institute is bringing this recourse to Arlington’s creative community.

The cost of the workshops is $25 per session and registration is required through Eventbrite. The workshops take place at Arlington Cultural Affairs, 3700 S. Four Mile Run Drive in Arlington. For more information, visit our website!

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Arts Focus: Arlington — Home for Art and Artists

This is a column written and sponsored by Arlington Arts / Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

From the sidewalk to a coffee shop art happens everywhere, as evidenced by the photo above. Called “…one of the best and most innovative projects in the region,” (Washington City Paper, “The Year In Galleries”, 2017), Arlington Arts’ Full Dome Projection Series of artist installations takes place in the David M. Brown Planetarium.

Two upcoming activities invite public input about where art lives, as well as where artists themselves reside.

The Arlington Cultural Facilities Task Force invites you to Visioning Arlington’s Cultural Spaces, a platform for you to explore and envision future cultural spaces in Arlington, from 1-2:30 p.m., this Saturday, March 3 at Kenmore Middle School.

The task force was created to develop a vision and priorities to inform County decision making about cultural facilities, and the public is invited to provide input to guide their work.

The conversation starts by hearing your thoughts on how you express your personal creativity, the events you attend and participate in (whether in Arlington or not), and what resonates with you. You’ll also brainstorm with your neighbors about the future of arts and culture in Arlington, and your vision for Arlington’s cultural facilities and spaces.

But what about space for artists themselves?

Arlington Arts and Artspace invite artists and creatives from throughout Maryland, The District and Virginia to an Arts Market Survey Launch Event and Reception on Thursday, March 22 from 6-8 p.m. Artists within a 50 mile radius of the County are asked to participate in the survey where they’ll identify their current and future needs.

Arlington Arts is collaborating with Artspace, the highly respected national arts-based non-profit based in Minneapolis, MN, to create affordable live and/or work spaces for artists in Arlington. Artspace has consulted with hundreds of cities across the country and completed successful projects in the region, including Washington D.C. and Mt. Rainier, MD, but this will be their first project in Virginia.

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Arts Focus: Explore Arlington’s Public Art Together On Valentine’s Day

This is a column written and sponsored by Arlington Arts / Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

While candy and flowers are a safe bet for Valentine’s Day, you may find that art is where the heart is.

Dating Advice.com recently explored a variety of romantic things to do in Arlington, ranging from restaurants and spas to live music and theater. They also gave special attention to the romantic possibilities of Arlington’s internationally acclaimed public art collection.

Some public art can even help you say “I Love You.” Echo, the interactive sculpture by Richard Deutsch at Penrose Square on Columbia Pike contains concave elliptical parabolas carved into each of the two granite monoliths that reflect and project sound.

This allows sweet nothings spoken softly into one stone to be heard by a listener at the other. When it comes down to it, quality time together is the best gift. Touring Arlington’s public art collection is a great way to explore your community and connect with each other.

Curated by the County agency Arlington Public Art, the County’s collection of contemporary works has won seven Public Art Network Year in Review Awards, the only national program recognizing excellence in public art.

From Flame in Ballston and Arlington Boulevard at Rt. 50 and 10th Street in Courthouse, to Rosslyn’s Cupid’s Garden, Dark Star Park and the recent DesignArlington award-winner, Quill, there are more than 60 intriguing works of permanent public art to explore throughout the County.

As mentioned in the Dating Advice.com column, “The idea of creating your own tour, exploring on your own in tandem with some of the great restaurants that people come to Arlington for, would be a really fun thing to do on a date,” said Angela Anderson Adams, Director of Arlington Public Art.

The County agency which oversees the Public Art program, has created a series of self-guided tour maps (on foot, via bike or car) that you can download. While it may be a bit chilly in February, that gives you the perfect excuse to cuddle as you stroll.

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Arts Focus: Arlington Arts Offers Professional Development Workshops

This is a column written and sponsored by Arlington Arts / Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Building capacity is central to any discipline. It’s important to remain up to speed on best practices whether you’re a chiropractor or a calligrapher. As such, Arlington Cultural Affairs has launched two new levels of learning: one free and one for a small fee, offering a deeper level of professional development.

Arts Lab, a series of free workshops linking professional visual, film, literary and media artists and tech professionals in the arts with the Arlington community to experiment and learn new skills. The next workshop, designed primarily for those working in the field, will be Audio for Theatre, on Saturday, February 10 at 11 a.m., at Theatre on the Run in Shirlington.

It will examine the components of a typical theatre sound system: wired and wireless microphones, mixing consoles, speakers and their placement, intercom and stage announcement systems, playback systems for sound effects and power sources. A portion of the program will examine the variety and differences in microphones and will help in the understanding on how to use the “right tool for the right job.”

The workshop will focus on the practical aspects of what an audio engineer needs to know to survive in today´s live entertainment environment and particularly in live theatre. This session will be taught by Luis Chavesta who brings a wealth of experience in entertainment sound including theater, music and video production. He has toured extensively both internationally and in the US.

Our new Arts Enterprise Institute is in the process of launching with the workshop Creatives and Conflict Transformations, on Saturday, March 24 and Sunday March 25, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The program will help creatives overcome patterns of intense or negative interactions by identifying communications skills that can better help you accomplish your goals.

Via Bia is an alumna of Sundance’s Latino Screenwriting Project (a script lab for Latino screenwriters), and a winner of the Virginia Screenwriting Competition for her script The Radish Baby. Before becoming a filmmaker, Via worked in the restorative justice field and taught in Mexico City. This intensive workshop costs $40 and includes breakfast and lunch each day.

We are currently planning workshops for next season and want to know what you would like to experience at the Arts Lab. Please complete this short survey to help us help you!

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Arts Focus: Rated ‘R’ for Resources

This is a column written and sponsored by Arlington Arts / Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

It’s hard to say January without resolutions. The lure of the gym, more greens on our plates, open space on our closet shelves, increased profit. Everyone’s beckoned to start anew, called to something better, just as easily as the calendar page is turned.

For creatives and businesses in Arlington, the reboot can be as simple as accessing the many resources offered all year long by Arlington County Economic Development. Without adding overhead for consultants, organizers or coaches, there’s plenty available for free. Think you’re only getting what you pay for? Think again. The support built by Arlington County for entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses is an investment in keeping and attracting a diverse business base. And that helps the economy.

From business planning to design thinking, marketing, networking and growth, these resources will last long past the February fade. Check these out to get the resolve going.

Creative Economy. Plug into Arlington’s newest sector initiative that fosters a growing creative community through programs like Made in Arlington. Spotlighting makers and entrepreneurs who are testing and building their businesses in Arlington, the program has gone from one day pop-ups to a two month holiday market in partnership with Arlington Public Library. Looking to see the impact of the creative process in business? Return on Creativity: ROC will be back with seminars this spring and fall. Sign up to stay informed. Check out the blog!

BizLaunch will steer your business through all the rigors of planning, leading and growing your business. Not sure about zoning? Need a consultation with a SCORE counselor? Never heard of SCORE? This may be your best discovery of 2018. There’s plenty to learn from the experts in startups.

Directory, a free resource to any small business to get listed by industry and Urban Village.

Re-engage by applying to serve on a County Advisory commission, become a Chamber member or attend a meeting, join a board, attend a civic association meeting, connect with your area BID or Partnership. Resources are closer at hand than you may think.

Resolutions? They’re not crystal balls or silver bullets, but they are promises you’ll want to keep.

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