Stronger Together Through Team Spirit: Weekly Message from Maggie Campbell, President and CEO of DAMC

“Play ball!”

This is music to our ears. Right, Arlington?

This past Monday, Governor Greg Abbott issued a new executive order to launch Phase II of the Open Texas plan. Coupled with the City of Arlington COVID-19 coronavirus response plan, Phase II of Open Texas covers nearly every kind of enterprise in Downtown Arlington. It expands the partial reopening of restaurants immediately to a maximum 50% occupancy. Bars may open up to 25% occupancy starting Friday, May 22. 

Other entities covered by this new executive order include a myriad of professional services, day care, office buildings, educational institutions, camps, and a wide range of sporting activities including the cautious return of Major League Baseball on Independence Day. 

Gov. Abbott emphasized that this move to Phase II would not be possible without the state’s progress in understanding, tracking and reducing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. We in Arlington know what it takes to keep our team on this winning streak. We’ll remain informed. We’ll remain vigilant in our social distancing, hand-washing and mask-wearing practices. We’ll remain kind to one another and support one another however we can.

Here’s one great way to do just that. 


RALLY AROUND YOUR DOWNTOWN: JUNE 4-7

For over a decade, the energy and excitement in Downtown Arlington has been building. As our city’s historical and cultural center, Downtown is also earning high marks regionally for our eclectic, homegrown restaurant and bar scene, locally-brewed craft beer, start-up communities, and emerging college town vibe. 

Then in March, everything changed. UT Arlington went online and most students moved back home. Downtown residents stayed inside. Downtown employees switched gears: they became essential frontline employees, telecommuters, overnight homeschoolers, and/or stopped working altogether. We did our part to save lives, and we gave our leaders time to create a viable recovery plan. 

Now with the start of Open Texas Phase II, Downtown entrepreneurs are eager to once again provide you the products, programming and services you need, and to once again cook, brew and mix your favorite flavors. 

If you rally for them, they will rally for you.

In honor of our local businesses, please make plans to shop, dine, and spend some time in Downtown Thursday, June 4 through Sunday, June 7, 2020 for the Downtown Arlington Drive-In Restaurant Rally

Participation is simple: we’re asking you to come to Downtown every day of the rally and patronize one or more businesses.

Visit your longtime favorites like J. Gilligan’s or J.R. Bentley’s. Discover newly-opened restaurants in 101 Center like Hershey's Palace, Rita's Italian Ice & Frozen Custard or Kintaro Ramen. Check out Hurtado Barbecue’s expanded patio or any one of Urban Union’s delicious destinations. Find the perfect gift for Dad or your favorite grad at The Man’s Shop, Collected Treasures or Wildfire and Lace. Coffee shop hop from Urban Alchemy Coffee + Wine Bar to Salter Bros. Coffee Roasters to Inclusion Coffee. All of our businesses are working hard to offer you dine-in, carry out and curbside options, and many are providing expanded seating on their patios and Restaurant Rally specials. 

For more details and a list of participants and specials, visit our Downtown Arlington Drive-In Restaurant Rally event page at downtownarlington.org/events/rally and follow Downtown Arlington’s social media channels. Partial proceeds generated throughout the weekend will benefit Mission Arlington.  


THE HE(ART) OF OUR CITY

With our designation as an official cultural district in the State of Texas, Downtown has for years been recognized as the heart of the arts for Arlington. Just as now is the time for us to rally around our local businesses, we must also rally around our 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 comprehensive arts strategy for our district and our city. Led by the DAMC Cultural Arts Committee, which is comprised of representatives from local arts organizations, artists, and community stakeholders, we have contracted with Webb Mgmt., a nationally recognized arts research and consultant firm, to guide us through the planning process.

How extraordinarily fortunate we are to have obtained project funding shortly before the coronavirus outbreak. Last week, the Cultural Arts Committee launched the project with a revised scope. Now the study will factor 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:

  • We’ll begin with in-depth surveys and interviews of our cultural partners in Downtown. This will enhance our collective understanding of the scope of our arts talent, programming, physical assets, and resources in relation to the regional arts community. 
  • Meanwhile, we’ll provide immediate support to artists and arts organizations by providing free financial resiliency workshops.
  • Next, we’ll 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, we’ll 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, we’ll take a close look at how to energize all of the incredible assets and creative activity that exist in Downtown Arlington by leveraging facilities, programming, marketing and fundraising.
  • Finally, as we finalize our long-term comprehensive arts strategy, we’ll offer one-to-one consultation to our arts community as they navigate through the short-term challenges of the coronavirus pandemic on the way to regaining financial stability. 

To kick-off Phase One, Webb Mgmt. and DAMC are pleased to offer two free financial literacy workshops designed specifically for the arts community.

Financial Literacy for Artists
June 2, 2020 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..

Strategic Planning in the Pandemic for Non-Profit Cultural Organizations
June 4, 2020 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.

Registration information will be distributed to our Cultural Arts Partners early next week. If you are a local individual artist or arts group interested in participating, please email Katie Gosa, BID Services and Communications Manager, at Katie@downtownarlington.org.

As we move forward, we’d like to ask for your immediate support. If there’s a particular arts organization that interests you, now is the time to reach out to them and get involved as a patron, member, volunteer, board member or donor. If you have any questions about the comprehensive arts strategy development process, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me


DOWNTOWN HISTORY PODCAST EXPLORES ROOTS OF INNOVATION AND SERVICE

Our popular Downtown Arlington Roots podcast series will be wrapping up with two final episodes: Spreading Our Roots: The History of Innovation and Reinvention and Rootin’ For Each Other: Arlington’s Heart with special guests, 16-Grammy Award winning recording artist Kirk Franklin and his best bud Tillie Burgin, founder of Mission Arlington. 

  • On Thursday, May 21 at 4:00 p.m., we’ll celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation, two concepts central to Arlington’s identity that are fueled in large part by the University of Texas at Arlington. Joining me will be Cadmus Dental CEO Scott Parsinen, Salter Bros. Coffee Roasters Managing Partner Cindy Salter, and Michael Jacobson, President & CEO of the Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce for Spreading Our Roots: The History of Innovation and Reinvention.
  • On Thursday, May 28 at 4:00 p.m., Rootin’ For Each Other: Arlington’s Heart dives into the important roles Downtown’s nonprofit, volunteer leadership, and community organizations play in responding to needs within our community. Joining me are special guests Arlington Tomorrow Foundation Executive Director Carolyn Mentesana, Jim and Tillie Burgin of Mission Arlington, and recording artist Kirk Franklin of Camp Lotus and Franklin Imagine Group.

Previous Downtown Arlington Roots episodes include:

  • Episode One: Uprooted: The History of the Texas Rangers 
  • Episode Two: Puttin’ Down Roots
  • Episode Three: Rooted in Creativity 
  • Episode Four: Roots of Revitalization  

You can listen to the entire Downtown Arlington Roots series anywhere you listen to podcasts, including iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, and Downtown Arlington Facebook Live


MORE DATES ANNOUNCED! LEVITT LIVING ROOM SERIES EVENT CONTINUES 

We’ve all become Masters of Plan B, C and D, including our great friends at the Levitt Pavilion. Today the Levitt announced that live music under the stars will return to Downtown Arlington for an extended fall performance season from August 28 through October 18. In the meantime, their popular virtual Levitt Living Room Series will continue through the end of June. We love how this series is keeping the spirit of the Levitt going strong in spite of social distancing! 

The next concert in the Levitt’s live-streaming series is Tuesday, May 26 with a performance by Radney Foster. Be sure to consult Downtown Delivers for all kinds of dinner-at-home options, then tune in to the concert at 7:00 p.m. on the Levitt’s Facebook Live or Instagram Live.

With gratitude,

Maggie Campbell
President and CEO
Downtown Arlington Management Corporation  

P.S. If you see acts of kindness taking place in Downtown, please share the good news by posting and tagging on social media with #ArlingtonKindness and @cityofarlington.