It’s a warm day in May. You pick up a coffee to go, head outside to enjoy the spring, and see…a belly dancer in Broadway Plaza? Or hear the strains of acoustic guitar drifting across Uncle Sam Plaza? Or enjoy folk tales told by exquisite puppets in a miniature theater outside a local café?
It’s all part of a new initiative called Live Arts Arlington. Performances will be popping up in public places in the Town Center this May and June thanks to the volunteer arts activists who work together as the Programs & Festivals Committee, a new group formed by the Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture. Live Arts is the Committee’s first project, a pilot effort in partnership with artists designed to encourage public performance and creation in the Town. The group has invited diverse artists to step out and share their expertise on sidewalks, parks and plazas where people will encounter and enjoy their work.
Happy 2019! I’m looking forward to an energetic and productive year and hope you all experience the same. I took a 10-week business development course last fall via the Center for Women and Enterprise and came away with some great ideas and initiatives, many of which we’ll be implementing this year. I’ll also be incorporating the information gleaned from the survey we sent out late last year. Thanks to all of those who took the time to respond. It really helped give us an idea of what was on your minds.
Working Together in 2019
We have three events coming up, two of which are completely new. Our usual Coffee at Kickstand will be taking place this Thursday at our usual time of 1:00 pm. It’s a very popular event at a very popular time. As a result, we’re getting seriously squeezed out and I’ve started looking around for a larger venue.
As luck would have it, a colleague of mine (Debra Woog, of Polka Dot Powerhouse and a former AE Advisory Board member) recommended a new restaurant in East Arlington, Town Tavern. She described the place as very welcoming and open to groups who wanted to get together. They also have dedicated event space and internet access (attention, event planners!). I gave the owner a call and was treated to a delicious lunch (on the house) and given the grand tour. I was hooked! Town Tavern has the room and the food to satisfy the most or least hungry among us, with plenty of room to sit and mingle.
Arlington Entrepreneurs is hosting a new networking series at Town Tavern in February, “Let’s Do Lunch!” This is an experiment, to see how people who are currently crowded around our table at Kickstand like Town Tavern. It will also get us out of Arlington Center and into other parts of the town. Interested? Feel free to RSVP for first lunch together in February.
Want Some Training with Your Coffee?
Some survey respondents indicated that they wanted more evening events. I’ve also been thinking about incorporating more substantive material into our coffee get-togethers. The end result is another new networking series called “Nights at Nero – Network and Learn.” We’ll be getting together at Caffe Nero in Arlington Center on the last Thursday evening of each month, starting at 6:30 pm on January 31. The cafe is open until 9 pm so food and drink will be on-hand. We’re also going to be incorporating a new feature: individual consultations on a number of topics of interest to our self-employed entrepreneurs.
Our first consultants will be offering a Website Checkup, conducted by Mike Grossman and Lauren Stakutis of Strategic Adrenaline. Lauren will be reviewing your website’s overall design and content. Mike will be looking at things from the standpoint of SEO (search engine optimization) and will suggest ways of organizing your site so that it attracts the attention of search engines like Google. You’ll go home with new tactics and skills that you can immediately apply to your business. We have seven slots of 10-15 minutes each open for anyone who’d like to have their website looked over for purposes of marketing, content and search engine optimization. There will be a fee of $25.00 per person for the consultation, plus the cost of admission to the event ($5.00). Remember: if you’re an AE Premium member, your $5.00 admission fee is waived!
Interested? Visit our Eventbrite page for more information and to RSVP. Space is limited so don’t wait! As soon as we’ve reached an optimum number of people for the Checkup, we’ll contact you individually to get things going before the event begins.
That’s all for now. Thanks for taking the time to read through this letter. Things will be hopping in 2019. We’ll keep you posted!
Sincerely, Margy Rydzynski, Founder and Community Manager, Arlington Entrepreneurs