With Downtown Arlington's designation as an official cultural district in the State of Texas, the district has for years been recognized as the heart of the arts for the city. Just as now is the time to rally around local businesses, it is imperative to also rally around arts and cultural partners.
Late last Fall, Downtown Arlington Management Corporation (DAMC) received a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and additional support from the City of Arlington and UT Arlington to develop a shared arts feasibility study. Led by the DAMC Cultural Arts Committee, which is comprised of representatives from local arts organizations, artists, and community stakeholders, DAMC has contracted with Webb Mgmt., a nationally recognized arts research and consultant firm, to guide us through the strategic planning process.
How extraordinarily fortunate Downtown is to have obtained project funding shortly before the coronavirus outbreak. After recognizing the immediate needs caused by the economic impact of the pandemic, the Cultural Arts Committee launched the project with a revised scope. Now the study factors in the short- and long-term implications of the pandemic on Arlington’s arts programming, funding, and facilities as we seek to position ourselves for new opportunities within North Texas.
The project will take approximately four months and will be divided into two phases, including:
- In-depth surveys and interviews of Downtown cultural partners. This will enhance the collective understanding of the scope of local arts talent, programming, physical assets, and resources in relation to the regional arts community.
- Immediate support to artists and arts organizations by providing free financial resiliency workshops. See below.
- Explore options for investing resources strategically with the goals of improving access to the arts in Arlington, building enhancements through technology, and enriching programming and outreach, particularly through collaboration.
- With the benefit of Webb Mgmt. expertise and research-based best practices, take a broad look at the arts in North Texas and identify how the Arlington arts community can fill gaps and build identity.
- In addition to economic development, take a close look at how to energize all of the assets and creative activity that exist in Downtown Arlington by leveraging facilities, programming, marketing and fundraising.
- As the long-term comprehensive arts strategy is finalized, offer one-to-one consultation to the Downtown Arlington arts community as they navigate through the short-term challenges of the coronavirus pandemic on the way to regaining financial stability.
Arts & Culture Webinars presented by Webb Mgmt.
In response to the immediate, short-term needs of local artists and arts organizations, Webb Mgmt. is pleased to offer four free Arts & Cultural Webinars.
- Financial Stablization 3-month Plan for Arts Organizations, June 16 at noon: This two-part webinar is designed for non-profit cultural organizations. The first part is an hour-long, interactive webinar focusing on how to plan for the next three months. The second part, to be scheduled separately, is an hour-long session on how to plan for the next three years. Both sessions involve thinking and planning around organizational mission, programming, audience-building and retention, budgeting, and communications.
- Financial Literacy for Performing and Visual Artists, June 18 at noon: This hour-long webinar is an introduction to finance for creative industry workers. The objective is to empower artists with the language and principles of finance so they can be masters of their own financial destiny.
- Leveraging Streaming for Performing and Visual Artists, July 7 at noon: This webinar will begin with a review of streaming practices in the performing and visual arts, using best practices and creative strategies to attract audiences and monetize the event. The session will also include a brief overview of some of the technical and legal requirements one has to consider when streaming events. Come prepared to share your own experiences and the challenges you've faced hosting streaming content.
- Financial Stabilization 3-year Plan for Artists and Arts Organizations, July 9 at noon: Building on the 3-month financial stabilization webinar (above), this session will address how organizations and individual artists can plan for the future while accounting for the uncertainties of programming, audience demand, and funding streams during the period of economic recovery from COVID-19.
Please RSVP to Elena Thaxton, DAMC Office and Marketing Coordinator at Elena@downtownarlington.org if you're an artist or represent a local arts organization with an interest in participating in one or more of these webinars.
If you have any questions about the comprehensive arts strategy development process, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
Excerpted from Weekly Letter from Maggie Campbell, May 22, 2020. Updated June 23, 2020.