Arts agencies from Fairfax County, Arlington and Alexandria are forming a supergroup.
Unveiled Monday (Aug. 8), the newly created Northern Virginia Local Arts Agencies (NVLAA) consists of ArtsFairfax, the Alexandria Office of the Arts, and the Arlington Cultural Affairs Office. Its initial ambitions are modest, centered mostly on professional development, but the pooled resources could be a boon for the local arts community.
“The more opportunities that are available and cross-promotion that we can provide, getting the word out and reaching artists and organizations that can use this type of support, it benefits everyone,” ArtsFairfax Senior Director of Grants & Services Lisa Mariam said, noting that many artists do work across the three jurisdictions.
The collective can trace its origins back to the pre-pandemic days of early 2020, when the Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts approached all three agencies to see if they were interested in collaborating on workshops for artists, Mariam told FFXnow.
Formed in 1983, WALA is a nonprofit of volunteering lawyers who provide education, advocacy, and legal services to artists and cultural organizations in the D.C. area, according to its website.
The groups started planning a series of workshops that Mariam says was always intended to be virtual, since it would serve participants from across the region. That decision proved fortuitous, though, after COVID-19 shut down in-person gatherings and events in the spring of 2020.
The desire to collaborate reemerged last year when ArtsFairfax invited its Arlington and Alexandria counterparts to an “Art of Mass Gatherings” symposium aimed at helping festivals prepare for emergencies. Though based in McLean, the event drew participants from all three localities over two days in October.
After that experience, staff at the different agencies started discussing other ways to collaborate, especially for professional development, as local arts groups were trying to find their footing during the pandemic.
“It’s been really great for us, because we each have limited resources for this type of programming,” Mariam said. “Sharing the costs as well as the logistical support involved in pulling off these programs and promoting them works really well with a collaborative like this.”
ArtsFairfax received nearly $1.4 million from Fairfax County for the current fiscal year, which started on July 1. That included a $250,000 increase over the previous year to bolster the agency’s grants program. The organization also gets funding from state, federal, nonprofit and private sources.
NVLAA will officially launch this fall with four online workshops:
09/14: DATA + STORYTELLING = IMPACT (PART 1)
Facilitated by Brighter Strategies
Nonprofits have countless stories to tell, and stories are better with data! This workshop teaches attendees how to begin to collect data to tell their story in a unique and compelling way every time.
09/28: DATA + STORYTELLING = IMPACT (PART 2)
Facilitated by Brighter Strategies
This is a follow-up workshop for a deeper dive into data collection and analysis, including personalized Q&A around techniques and methods for data collection, analysis, and use.
11/09: E-COMMERCE PRINCIPLES FOR ARTISTS, MAKERS, AND PERFORMING ARTISTS
Facilitated by Latela Curatorial
For artists looking to update their website or expand into ecommerce, this workshop will review the basic checklist of what’s needed for an artist website, what collectors and art experts look for as well as how to use metadata appropriately to work for you.
11/17: BUSINESS PLAN ESSENTIALS
Facilitated by Springboard for the Arts
Participants will learn how to prepare a simple business plan, in arts-friendly language, to organize all the various aspects of their artistic practice and make informed business decisions.
The workshops are all free, but advance registration is required.
While the collaborative is focused on professional development and networking right now, it could include “more programming-oriented collaborations” in the future, Mariam says.
“At this point, it’s not something that any of us have had the capacity to really focus on yet, but the potential for that definitely exists,” she said.
Good Friday evening, Fairfax County. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier…
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Do the holidays have you stressed and busy? Worry not about what to wear as Live Fairfax has the Style Survival Guide for this season!
The Georgetown Visitation Masqueraders proudly present
Descendants The Musical
Art House 7 warmly welcomes you to our upcoming Fall 2 session of classes starting on October 30th. We’re thrilled to offer a diverse range of mediums and flexible class lengths, catering to a wide age range, starting from as young as 2, and, of course, providing a multitude of engaging options for adults!
Our classes cover an exciting spectrum of creative mediums, including fiber arts such as knitting, modern embroidery, crochet, and sewing. We also offer classes in ceramics on the wheel, drawing, watercolor, gouache, oil, acrylic, still-life painting, and captivating Japanese Suminagashi and printmaking. One of the highlights of this session is the highly anticipated 5-week “Painting the Portrait and Figure” workshop, led by the renowned local artist, Danni Dawson.
For our younger artists, we have specially designed classes like “Art Exploration through Impressionism” for students in kindergarten through 5th grade, an engaging “Art Together” parent-child class designed for 2–4-year-olds, and a “Teen Taught Art Club” tailored for kindergarteners through 4th graders.
Proceeds benefit Fellowship Square, improving the lives of 800+ older adults with very limited income and resources by providing affordable housing and supportive services.
Experience a festive holiday fundraiser complete with savory wines & craft beers, scrumptious hors d’oeuvres, exciting