In a common and devastating tale involving budget cuts and local arts programs, the Artisphere, a cultural center in Rosslyn, Virginia, is in serious danger of closing its doors in June 2015. Since mid-December of last year when the County manager recommended the closure, community members have rallied to keep the Artisphere open. In addition to letters sent by residents to Arlington county board members, a petition that has accumulated more than 3,200 signatures is challenging the Arlington county board’s proposed budget cuts.
Support for the Artisphere is no surprise; it is a local establishment that positively impacts its community economically and culturally. Though the Artisphere’s budget has been cut systematically since its opening in 2010, it has continually endorsed programming that supports local artists and establishments, often giving-back to local non-profits in Arlington. Residents argue that closing the Artisphere will see a noticeable drop in local revenue from audience members who patronize other local establishments especially during nights with performances and events. As a space ideally located at the Rosslyn metro stop, the Artisphere should prove to be an ideal location to promote local programming that involves all members of the community, be it through proposed art therapy classes for Veterans or after school workshops for children. Ultimately, residents will look outside of the community to find cultural and artistic events, patronizing programs that would otherwise benefit their own community.
(Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)