How the Arts Live in Arlington -- Artspace Public Meeting

Members of the public are invited to attend this meeting to learn more about Artspace and their feasibility study for Arlington.

Date: February 8, 2017
Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Location: Arlington Economic Development
1100 N. Glebe Rd., Suite 1500
Arlington, VA 22201
Fee: Free
Registration: No Registration Required
For more information, please contact:
Name: AED Events Team
Phone: 703-228-0808
Email: [email protected]


About Artspace and the Arlington Feasibility Study

On February 8-9, a team from Artspace will lead a two-day, Arlington-wide exploration of artist housing needs, financing, & facilities. The conversation with arts, community, and business leaders will focus on the potential for artist housing in a variety of neighborhoods in Arlington.

What is Artspace?

Artspace is a highly respected national arts-based non-profit based in Minneapolis, MN. They work to harness the economic power of artists and the arts to revitalize transitioning or underused sites and create affordable, accessible art spaces. They have consulted with hundreds of cities across the country and developed dozens of innovative projects around the country. See for more background.

How will their visit work?

The visit will assess the viability of arts-related programming for selected sites and/or neighborhoods around Arlington. A series of focus groups will explore 1) gaps and opportunities within the arts community, 2) potential funding sources, 3) support of the local community and 4) the viability for arts-related affordable housing on the study sites.

What sites will be studied?

Four neighborhoods and one specific site were selected to provide a broad context for the conversation. They are: 1) Virginia Square; 2) Columbia Pike; 3) The Pappas Trust site, 23rd Street in Crystal City; and 4)Shirlington/Four Mile Run. Each neighborhood, as well as the specific site located in Crystal City were selected based on a variety of initial criteria. During the site visit, other sites and neighborhoods may be identified.

Does this mean we will begin developing arts facilities?

No. This is simply a conversation to explore the range and feasibility of arts-related uses broadly in and within a handful of specific neighborhoods and/or sites. The intent is to explore a range of ideas and concepts for arts-related projects.

Is this study being conducted by Arlington County? How does it relate to Arlington’s existing affordable housing initiatives?

The feasibility study is being conducted by Artspace and is being funded via a partnership with an independent non-profit, the Arlington Foundation for Arts and Innovation (AFAI). County Commissions, leadership and staff are lending expertise to help facilitate the conversation and site visit by Artspace. By convening a broad-based conversation among community leaders, Artspace hopes to stimulate serious, forward looking dialog on the needs of Arlington’s creative community, including affordable housing for art teachers, music instructors and working artists.

Who is being invited to participate?

There are two parts of the conversation. On Wednesday night February 8th at 7:00 pm, Artspace will convene a public presentation and dialog at Arlington Economic Development, 1100 N Glebe, 15th floor. All are welcome to attend. Smaller focus groups will feature voices from a cross-section of artists, arts organizations, Commissions, neighborhood groups and civic leaders. The intent is to include both emerging and established voices.

How is this work being paid for?

The Artspace conversation is a model of public-private partnership. The $20,000 cost of the feasibility study is being provided by AFAI, as part of its mission to support infrastructure for arts and artists in Arlington. Arlington County staff from Arlington Economic Development, Arlington Cultural Affairs, Arlington’s Planning Department and its Housing Department are providing information on Arlington policy and processes, as well as to identify participants and potential neighborhoods and sites.

What is the product of the conversation?

An executive summary of the findings and recommended next steps will be delivered within six weeks following the visit. The full report will include information on potential concepts, site analysis, financial analysis, local leadership and arts community impact. We hope the most important product will be ideas to inspire and advance the arts as a vibrant anchor of Arlington’s creative economy.

What are the next steps?

If the results of the initial feasibility study are positive, Artspace may be engaged to conduct a Phase II study which offers a deeper dive into the needs of the community. This second study helps quantify the overall demand for arts and creative spaces; helps identify the types of spaces, amenities and features that artists need; helps informs site selection, design and programmatic decisions; and helps to build and secure funding. AFAI has indicated that it will fund the Phase II study if the results of the original feasibility study warrant it.

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