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Stronger Together through Play: Weekly Message from Maggie Campbell, President and CEO of DAMC

When I was a kid, Mom’s answer to nearly everything was to go outside and play.

“Mom, there’s nothing to do.”
“Go outside and play.”

“Mom, I’m done with my homework.”
“Go outside and play.”

“Mom, I’m sick of TV.”
“Go outside and play.”

“Mom, I’m lonely.”
“Go outside and play.”

“Mom, I’m hungry.”
“I’ll make you a sandwich and bring it out to you on the patio when it’s ready. In the meantime, go outside and play.”

As scientific understanding of the coronavirus continues to advance, we’ve learned that social distancing in outdoor spaces is much more effective in curbing the spread of COVID-19 as compared to indoors. Additionally, the general health benefits of spending time outside are well understood. According to Harvard Medical School, physical activity helps reduce stress, anxiety, and can provide some relief for depression. Breathing fresh air and spending time outside help many people relax, reduce stress and anxiety, increase motivation, and sleep better. Being outdoors, particularly in an urban environment, also keeps us connected with our community.

Once again, Mom knows best.

With fall temperatures just around the corner, we’re readying Downtown Arlington to become one of your favorite options for spending quality time outside in your city. As you know, the revitalization of Abram Street is substantially complete, which means brand new sidewalks and pretty seating areas offer a comfortable east-to-west stroll. Downtown Delivers offers a comprehensive listing of restaurants in our district that offer patio and dog-friendly dining.

But that’s just the beginning. We’re also looking to create more public places to gather and enjoy a to-go meal from your favorite restaurants. While you do, you might be surprised to hear live music in the form of a pop-up performance by one of our many talented local artists. When you’re ready to stretch your legs, we’ll help you find the perfect routes to explore Downtown’s history and many public art installations.

Within the next week or two, we’ll be bundling up these and other resources and launching a new initiative we’re calling Downtown Outdoors. Downtown Outdoors will not only help us see Arlington’s historical and cultural district differently but will drive activation of our many outdoor spaces through creative new programming that’s open to all. 

So, put on your best walking shoes or pump up the tires on your bike, and get ready to go outside and play.

What other ideas do you have for enjoying the great outdoors in the heart of your city? We’d love to hear from you.

Save Our Stages  

Small performance venues like Levitt Pavilion, Theatre Arlington and Arlington Music Hall in Downtown are among the many industry categories struggling to stay alive during the coronavirus pandemic. Dark stages impact an entire live performance ecosystem including artists, production crews, concessions, managers, tour bus industry, promotion, recording companies, and many others. 

The Save Our Stages Act, co-introduced in the Senate by Texas Senator John Cornyn, and the RESTART Act in the House and Senate would help ensure the survival of independent venues across the nation. Show your love of live music by contacting your legislators in support of these acts. It will only take a few minutes and may be the difference between life and death for this important part of our country’s performing arts economy.

News Briefs  

On the Road Again: Please save the date for the Downtown Arlington 2020 Annual Meeting on Thursday, September 10 at 5:00 p.m. on Downtown Facebook Live. Inspired by our theme of On the Road Again, we’re reimagining the event as a free virtual celebration of our community’s resiliency in the face of COVID-19, a salute to the great outdoors, and the completion of Abram Street’s revitalization.

The Show Does Go On: You can still enjoy many of your favorite Theatre Arlington performers in a relaxed evening of music and fun. Join them throughout August for Theatre Arlington’s Summer Sunset Cabaret Series featuring the likes of John Dosher and Chris Menger, Ken’Ja L. Brown, Micah Green, Persis Ann Forster, and more. Click here for tickets.

Tune In: The Levitt Pavilion is keeping the live music coming through August as its popular streaming Levitt Living Room Series continues. Coming up: Kylie Frey on Aug. 11; American Sons on Aug. 18; and Jo James on Aug. 25. Tune in 8:00 p.m. every Tuesday on Levitt Facebook Live.

Free COVID-19 Testing: Setting an appointment in advance is no longer required for the City of Arlington’s free, drive-thru COVID-19 testing, which is now available six days a week for Tarrant County residents. The Arlington testing location is the parking lot of the East Arlington Branch Library at Park Plaza, 1624 New York Ave., Arlington. 

Downtown Delivers delicious: In the midst of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, our natural summertime lull could turn into the last straw for some of our businesses. We urgently need you to share your love of authentic, homegrown small business by patronizing your favorite restaurants, bars, shops, cultural and entertainment destinations RIGHT NOW.

Don’t forget to consult the Downtown Delivers platform! There you’ll find our comprehensive guide to Downtown bar and restaurant partners offering takeout, curbside pick-up and delivery options plus outdoor dining, dog friendly patios, gift cards, and other great services. Your love and support this summer will help them make it to fall.