Introducing a Zine about Arlington's Northern Main Street

Published on October 01, 2021

Langston Blvd Zine_Cover.jpg

Arlington Arts and the Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development are pleased to announce the release of a zine that brings the history, stories, and character of Langston Boulevard to life through illustrations by artist Liz Nugent. Created as part of Plan Langston Boulevard, the zine also celebrates the corridor's new name after John M. Langston.

In 2019, Arlington County began Plan Langston Boulevard, a multi-year planning process for Langston Boulevard (formerly Lee Highway) to create a comprehensive plan for the corridor that provides guidance on how to direct future growth and investment toward community goals. As part of the planning process, the County and its planning consultant documented cultural and historical assets of the corridor and captured the character of the five neighborhood areas of the study. This work yielded two comprehensive documents, the Historic and Cultural Resources Report and the Neighborhood Inspiration Report. The zine brings to life aspects of these reports through artist Liz Nugent's engaging illustrations.

In 2020, the Langston Boulevard Alliance started a public process for renaming Lee Highway to realize the years-long grassroots community effort to create a welcoming Main Street by removing the word "Highway" and to begin to reconcile the painful racial history many in the community experienced by changing the name "Lee." The Zine celebrates the new name for the corridor after John Mercer Langston, beloved civil rights activist and the first Black Congressman from Virginia, by illustrating his history and connections to Arlington and the Langston Boulevard community.

For many decades, zines (short for magazine or fanzine) have been an accessible and powerful medium to narrate and circulate stories and information through images and text. The Langston Boulevard Zine will create a lasting digest of the rich history and character of Langston Boulevard, connecting the community with the past and the present, while generating dialogue about a future vision for the corridor.

Arlington Arts will release excerpts from the zine on its social media platforms, and copies will be available on Saturday, Oct. 2 at the Fall Festival organized by the Langston Boulevard Alliance and Waverly Hills Civic Association at Woodstock Park (2049 N. Woodstock St.). Request a mailed copy of the zine by filling out a request form on the Langston Boulevard Zine project page.

About Liz Nugent
Liz Nugent graduated from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design in 2011 and currently lives in Northern Virginia. She loves to experiment with different techniques and media. Since moving to Virginia, she has especially been inspired by nature and plants but also has a soft spot for humor and whimsy. Her clients include Panoply, Veritas Press, The Furrow, Stone Blade Entertainment, Path, imo, Pin the Map Publishing,, and Manpower Inc.

About Arlington Arts

Arlington Cultural Affairs is a division of Arlington Economic Development which delivers public activities and programs, such as Arlington Arts. Its mission is to create, support, and promote the arts, connecting artists and community to reflect the diversity of Arlington. It does this by providing material support to artists and arts organizations in the form of grants, facilities, and theater technology; integrating award-winning public art into our built environment; and presenting high quality performing, literary, visual, and new media programs across the County.

About the Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development

The Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development (CPHD) is comprised of six divisions — Planning, Housing, Neighborhood Services, Zoning, Inspection Services, and Business Operations. The dedicated staff in these divisions work hard to envision, plan, maintain, and ensure the safety of Arlington's built environment, while providing a world-class place to live, work, play, and learn for our residents, customers, and partners. CPHD staff have the experience, professionalism, and expertise to work with our customers and partners to support projects and programs that meet the needs and priorities of the community.