Support the Arts in Arlington

Please sign the petition to the County Board in support of the Arts in Arlington.

Dear Friends of the Arts,

As you all probably know, I serve as the Chair of the Arlington Commission for the Arts and part of our mission is to advocate for the arts in Arlington. There have been several developments in our County that have concerned me and that could have a serious and adverse impact on Arlington’s critical art community.

First consider the following: local government revenue from the arts is almost $4 million; nearly $7.5 million of economic activity in Arlington is derived from audience expenditures at arts events; our heritage groups educate residents about other cultures and traditions, as well as provide entertaining festivals and events; according to a study by Americans for the Arts, 39.8% of arts patrons in Arlington are aged 55 or older and studies are showing that arts can help prevent many mental afflictions plaguing our older populations; students whose education includes the arts have higher GPAs and standardized test scores; and local charitable organizations greatly benefit from contributions made by our arts groups.

And yet, the County Board is considering completely shutting the doors on our only Cultural Center and black box theater located on a metro line (Artisphere); offers only a very small grant funding program for our numerous talented and diverse arts groups; does not acknowledge the economic contributions, cultural benefit and positive impact on our schools the arts make to the County; and does not show the vision needed to develop, nurture and retain a vibrant arts community.

As residents and patrons of the Arlington Arts scene, we want and deserve a vibrant arts and cultural community. So please sign a petition to the County Board and let them know that you support the arts, understand its importance and don’t want to push patrons to other counties to be entertained and spend their valuable dollars. The online petition can be found at this link: 

Or if you prefer, send your name, city and state to me as the Commission Chair ( with the subject line: “I support the arts; please add my name to the petition to the County Board.” I will be presenting the petition to the County Board at the March budget hearing. Thank you so much for helping us advocate for the critical arts in Arlington County. AND PLEASE FORWARD THIS WIDELY!


Janet Kopenhaver Chair,
Arlington Commission for the Arts