County Board Approves Arlington Arts Grants, Mobile Art Truck

Published on July 19, 2016

Updated 07-20-2016, 12:59pm, to include voting details.

  • County Board approves 39 grant requests

  • Supporting non-profit arts organization, Arlington artists

  • Bowen McCauley Dance, Encore Stage & Studio top recipients

The Arlington County Board on Saturday, July 16 approved 18 grants to arts organizations and two grants to individual artists under its Arlington Arts Grants Program. An additional 19 organizations were granted the use of County facilities and access to technical services.

The Board awarded a total of $215,810 in grants. The largest grant of $27,237 went to critically acclaimed Bowen McCauley Dance.

"An active, diverse arts community is integral to our vision of a well-rounded, vibrant community," County Board Chair Libby Garvey said. "These grants help ensure that Arlingtonians have access to varied arts experiences throughout the year. While many of the grants are modest in size, this local financial and in-kind support make a real difference to the organizations in their operational capacity and, for both organizations and individuals, their ability to convince other funders to support their work."

The Board voted 5-0 to approve funding for the Arts grants, as part of the Consent Agenda. To read the staff report for this item, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item #35 on the Agenda for the Saturday, July 16 County Board Meeting.

47 grant applications

The Arts Commission received 47 grant applications requesting County support. Of the 25 applications requesting financial assistance, 19 were from non-profit arts groups and six were from individual artists; 22 organizations requested performance/rehearsal space and technical services only.

The Excellence and Access Grants, which range from a low of $2,702 to a high of $2,707, are awarded to help with expenses involved with administration and program offerings, for specific projects, or to fund a proposed work.

The County operates theaters and has space available for performance rehearsals, dance studios, and a recording studio. Technical services provided by the County include professional assistance, access to the scene shop and discounted rental from the costume collection.

Arlington and the Arts

The Arlington Commission for the Arts, appointed by the County Board, makes annual funding recommendations to the Board, in keeping with the County's "Policy for the Support of Arts Organizations and Artists." The policy, adopted by the County Board in 1990, authorizes the Commission to decide on grants of facilities and technical services and make recommendations to the Board on direct financial support to Arlington arts organizations and artists.

All potential recipients must submit applications to the Commission. Advisory panels of art experts and County staff review the applications. The Commission then reviews each application and makes recommendations to the County Board.

Funding for Art Truck

The Board voted today, 4-1 (with John Vihstadt voting no), to allocate a total of $69,492 for the development and deployment of a mobile Art Truck.  The funding will cover the cost of buying the truck, plus about $14,000 for other one-time costs and pilot programming related to the truck's launch. The County leveraged funding balances from prior Arts donations and revenue generated from past arts programs to fund the Art Truck.  The  project allows the County to  bring art to the community without the need for taxpayer supported funding.  Funding balances available from Artisphere donations and the Rosslyn Ellipse Gallery allowed for the purchase of the vehicle and the opportunity to spread art throughout the County in this innovative way.

The Arlington Art Truck is a mobile artist-in-residence studio designed to provide a new and unique opportunity for artists to create new work in a rich and varied context, interacting with the many communities of Arlington.

Artists will explore the notion of collaborative making, drawing on the connections between art, design, craft, and civic engagement. The truck will be outfitted as a mini-maker space with portable recording, projection, pottery wheel, sewing, photography and printmaking equipment.

To encourage civic engagement, a County staff person will accompany each artist on the truck to answer questions and receive input on a topic of interest to the community.  The Art Truck is expected to launch in Spring 2017. To read the staff report for this item, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item #34 on the Agenda for the Tuesday, July 19 Recessed Meeting.

(NOTE: This release was updated July 22, 2016 to detail the funding sources for the Art Truck.