After Surviving Shutdowns, Local Arts Groups Prepare for New Season

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Arlington arts organizations whitethorn person mislaid arsenic overmuch arsenic $10 cardinal successful 2020 owed to the pandemic, but they were capable to get by with assistance from friends of the arts.

Many arts groups successful the region reported losing 41-60% of their expected income, according to Embracing Arlington Arts, a radical of section residents who enactment toward bolstering the arts successful the county. But the arts organizations survived connected a operation of authorities and backstage grants, generous locals and virtual performances.

“Most arts groups had nary earned revenue,” said Janet Kopenhaver, the laminitis of Embracing Arlington Arts. “While they were offering these virtual things, you can’t complaint what you would usually complaint for a ticket. You had to beryllium connected your donors and the donors came through.”

The National Chamber Ensemble, which sold play tickets for virtual concerts, said Zoom and donations from patrons helped the radical enactment successful tune.

“We had vino and food receptions implicit Zoom with the audience,” said the ensemble’s creator manager and archetypal violinist Leo Sushansky. “Everything balanced each different retired due to the fact that virtually a full household could ticker with 1 ticket, but radical who didn’t unrecorded adjacent similar successful England oregon New York could be performances also.”

Arlington-based Synetic Theatre’s Managing Director Jason Najjoum said the theatre besides received generous donations.

“Our idiosyncratic donors continued oregon accrued their support, which says arsenic overmuch astir the enactment we bash arsenic the Northern Virginia/Greater Washington assemblage we telephone home,” Najjoum said. “We were capable to support our unit afloat employed, and adjacent added a mates of squad members.”

Groups accessed the county’s yearly arts assistance program, tiny concern grants from the county, and the more-competitive authorities and national arts grants funding, Kopenhaver said. Arts groups could besides currency successful connected national Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.

Najjoum said Synetic relied heavy connected PPP backing to make a customized streaming website and app.

“None of this would person been imaginable without important authorities support,” helium said. “It was hard won by countless lobbyists and advocates, but the local, authorities and national authorities truly stepped up and provided the enactment we needed.”

Amazon contributed too, donating to respective country arts organizations, including Synetic.

“We were capable to enactment the acutely affected freelance arts idiosyncratic people done an creator alleviation programme that provided $60,000 successful enactment to 32 arts workers,” noted Najjoum.

But artists are inactive uncertain astir what the aboriginal holds for them successful Arlington.

“The question remains: with authorities enactment ending, volition summons income travel backmost beardown capable to regenerate it, particularly fixed that our upfront accumulation expenses volition besides beryllium up? Producing theatre has ever been precise expensive,” helium said. “This volition lone enactment astatine the bottommost enactment if audiences and donors summation their enactment going forward.”

Challenges ahead 

Although galore arts organizations weathered the shutdowns, a perennial contented facing these groups has resurfaced: space.

“We request a taste halfway — a vibrant, engaged venue. It would beryllium a crippled changer,” said Kopenhaver. “We are losing arts groups due to the fact that of deficiency of venue. It’s a captious issue.”

A fewer person already near due to the fact that they cannot execute successful mediate schools, which she said is wherever astir execute — distant from transit, restaurants and different walkable amenities.

Embracing Arlington Arts is moving with developers to make a flexible abstraction successful an country with much amenities that tin accommodate arts audiences.

“We fear, if the venues support dwindling, determination volition beryllium obscurity to perform,” Kopenhaver said. “At a mediate schoolhouse you can’t person receptions, you can’t person alcohol, you can’t person speech backs, which are becoming popular, due to the fact that the janitors are kicking you out.”

On apical of that, the child-sized restrooms are uncomfortable for the patrons, galore of whom are retirees, she said.

Synetic’s venue successful Crystal City has been successful precocious request during the pandemic, and has been utilized for religion services, movie shoots and pageants, said Najjoum. But with much performances, Synetic needs its abstraction back.

Meanwhile, the National Chamber Ensemble has been retired of a performance hallway for 4 years, aft the county-run Rosslyn Spectrum (part of the now-defunct Artisphere) was closed to the public. The ensemble present performs astatine Gunston Arts Center oregon the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, on with different performing arts organizations.

When the pandemic hit, and those venues unopen down, Sushansky said patrons opened up their homes.

“We went to the backstage homes of our patrons and these radical had marvelous instruments,” helium said. Still, helium added, “it would surely beryllium bully to person our ain space. It has to beryllium a collaboration of the county.”

And COVID-19 remains a persistent threat.

Following the pb of Broadway theaters and different section D.C. arts venues, Synetic volition necessitate impervious of afloat vaccination, either physically oregon digitally, oregon a antagonistic PCR test, for the remainder of the year. Audiences volition person to deterioration masks astatine each times, but portion eating oregon drinking. It volition proceed streaming its performances.

The National Chamber Ensemble is waiting to spot the guidance person to the commencement of the play connected Nov. 6. Sushansky said helium delayed the opening successful hopes that coronavirus cases volition spell down. He says he’s anxious to resume successful idiosyncratic concerts again, but volition clasp the virtual enactment for those who are inactive not comfy coming out.

“I wanted to make thing for my community, truthful I can’t hold for connection in-person to resume,” helium said. “It’s truly peculiar performing for the Arlington audience.”

The pursuing is simply a round-up of upcoming shows from section arts organizations, organized by the benignant of performance.


Signature Theatre

The latest amusement from Signature is Detroit ’67, a play astir household tensions and contention dynamics successful Detroit astir the clip Motown euphony is emerging onto the scene. The amusement runs from Aug. 2 done Sept. 16 astatine the theater’s 4200 Campbell Ave determination and tin beryllium streamed online utilizing the Marquee TV app.

Signature and Wolf Trap are co-hosting Broadway successful the Park — a one-night-only lawsuit connected Sept. 3 astatine 8 p.m. featuring Broadway performers and Signature performers singing classical amusement tunes including “Don’t Rain connected My Parade,” “I Am What I Am” and “The Schuyler Sisters.” The lawsuit volition beryllium astatine Filene Center successful Vienna astatine 1551 Trap Road.

Later successful the fall, Signature volition premiere its mentation of classical stone philharmonic Rent, which follows a radical of friends experiencing poverty, vocation struggles and nonaccomplishment astatine the tallness of the AIDS crisis. The amusement runs from Nov. 2 done Jan. 2. Tickets spell connected merchantability successful September.

Synetic Theater

The latest amusement from Synetic Theater is The Miraculous Magical Balloon, which volition amusement astatine assorted outdoor locations passim Arlington. Through pantomime, illusions and choreography, this amusement tells the communicative of a traveling histrion and his magical trunk. The amusement opened connected Tuesday, Aug. 10 and runs done Oct. 8.

Next up, Synetic opens its Shhhhhakespeare Revue, a caller amusement featuring wordless Shakespeare performances with six actors taking connected 34 roles from 10 plays successful an hour. The amusement volition lone person 2 performances: Friday, Sept. 10 and Saturday, Sept. 11 astatine 7:30 p.m. astatine Lubber Run Amphitheater (200 N. Columbus Street).

In the fall, the theatre volition enactment connected The Madness of Poe, a play that brings a trilogy of Edgar Allan Poe thrillers to the signifier successful nether 90 minutes. The amusement runs from Oct. 11-31 astatine its Crystal City theatre (1800 S. Bell Street). Tickets went connected merchantability yesterday (Monday, Aug. 16).

The Arlington Players

Theater radical The Arlington Players‘ autumn amusement is slated to beryllium Together astatine Last: A Musical Revue, which volition person lone 3 performances: Sept. 24 astatine 7:30 p.m., Sept. 25 astatine 7:30 p.m. and Sept. 26 astatine 2 p.m. The revue volition diagnostic philharmonic performances from deed Broadway shows. The amusement volition beryllium astatine Lubber Run Amphitheater.

Avant Bard Theatre

The troupe’s next scheduled accumulation is How I Learned What I Learned — a communicative from Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson, successful which helium recounts his upbringing successful Pittsburgh. The amusement volition tally from Sept. 22 done Oct. 16.

Dominion Stage

The latest play from the theatre radical Dominion Stage volition beryllium The Bluest Eye, based connected the Toni Morrison caller of the aforesaid name. The communicative follows a young Black miss successful the 1940s who is tormented for her contention and prays for bluish eyes. The amusement volition beryllium performed astatine Gunston Arts Center (2700 S. Lang Street). It opened connected Friday, Aug. 6 and runs done Saturday, Aug. 21, connected Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Shows commencement astatine 8 p.m.


Arlington Philharmonic

The philharmonic has yet to denote their 2021-2022 play performances.

National Chamber Ensemble

National Chamber Ensemble volition big its adjacent show astatine Gunston Arts Center connected Nov. 6. Concert 1: Enchanting Elgar, the English Romantic, which features euphony from renowned British composer Sir Edward Elgar. The performance volition see unsocial drawstring statement from Enigma Variations. The amusement volition unfastened with Gilbert and Sullivan’s overture to the “Mikado.”

9th Street Quartet

This classical euphony group volition person its adjacent performance, a unreserved hr concert, connected Nov. 19 astatine 6:30 p.m. astatine St. George’s Episcopal Church (915 N. Oakland Street). The euphony selections for the show person not yet been released.


Bowen McCauley Dance Co.

This dance troupe celebrates its 25th day this year, arsenic good arsenic its last twelvemonth successful existence.

The dancers volition execute their last amusement to the euphony of composers Erberk Eryilmaz and Nikola Glassl. The amusement volition besides see the U.S. debut of impermanent creator Manish Chauhan. The show is scheduled to instrumentality spot astatine the Kennedy Center successful D.C. connected Sept. 14 astatine 7 p.m. The National Chamber Ensemble volition travel the dancers, playing Igor Stravinsky’s “Suite Italienne” from “Pulcinella.”

Jane Franklin Dance

This traveling creation institution volition kick disconnected the season astatine the Athenaeum successful Alexandria (201 Prince Street) with a amusement addressing the topics of family, destiny and isolation. The show is acceptable to instrumentality spot connected Friday, Aug. 27 astatine 7:30 p.m.

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