Live Arts

  • Gruvmeiners bring favorites 80s rock tunes to Broadway Plaza

Performances popped up in public places all over Town Center last May and June!

Our Summer 2019 season was great! Check out the list of past events on the right. New events will be posted as they arise.

Live Arts is the first project of the Programs & Festivals Committee, a new group formed by the Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture. This pilot effort was organized in partnership with artists, and it was designed to encourage public performance and creation in the Town. The group invited diverse artists to step out and share their expertise on sidewalks, parks, and plazas where people gather and enjoy outdoor entertainment.

Interested in performing in one of Arlington’s public places? Contact the Programs & Festivals Committee!

Busking in Arlington

Arlington has had a street performance – or busking – ordinance on the books for several years, but it has been tough going for performers who put out a hat. “We are trying to identify the spaces in town where artists will attract supportive audiences,” explained Cristin Canterbury Bagnall. In her day job, Bagnall is a freelance producer, collaborating with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, the MusiCorps Wounded Warrior Band, and the Silkroad Ensemble. As an ACAC commissioner, her focus returns to her local community, where she and her husband are raising a daughter. “The P&F committee was inspired by a vision of our neighborhoods becoming more vibrant; imagine if local artists played regularly in our busy spaces, making brunch, ice cream, even errands so much more interesting. So we launched Live Arts Arlington to experiment with activating key spaces to see what works and what doesn’t.”

Lidia Kenig-Scher, another member of the committee and the Co-Chair of the Arlington artists’ networking group ArtLinks, is excited about the diversity of Live Arts. “It was really important to us to include ALL artists” she said, “so you might find someone out painting a portrait or weaving a complicated basket. We want poets, dancers, theater people – we’re not restricting busking to musicians. That’s innovative and unusual!”

P&F Committee Chair Tom Davison, the founder of the Arlington Alive Arts Festival and active in Arlington’s arts community, added that the group envisions a future when artists take initiative in running Live Arts. “We want the program to become self-sustaining,” he explained. “Once we have identified the best times and locations, and given the program an identity, we plan to create a place on the website where artists can sign up for opportunities that work for them. We hope the public will embrace this initiative and show their support by leaving something in the artists’ hats”. Members of the public can also support art and performances in public spaces in Arlington by making a tax-deductible donation to the Public Art Fund on the town website – just note your contribution is for Live Arts on the form.

“It’s great that Live Arts will complement art installations I organize for Arlington Public Art,” said curator Cecily Miller. “I’ve loved getting to know the talented P&F Committee members, and they are helping me to expand the annual Fox Festival Parade this year. There is a lot of collaboration and synergy in the arts in Arlington now, it’s very exciting!”

On June 8, Live Arts Arlington featured Garage Band, a dance party hosted by the colorfully painted Arlington Service Station on Mass Avenue in Arlington Center. The committee looks forward to more Live Arts programs in the future!

Live Arts Arlington 2019


  •  May 11, Broadway Plaza, 2 to 4 pm
    Scott Samenfeld, bass and Erik Van Dam, saxophone
  • May 18, Uncle Sam Plaza, noon to 2 pm
    Ethan Kaczowka, guitar
  • May 18, Broadway Plaza, 1 to 3 pm
    Seyyide Sultan, Arabian/Egyptian dance (pictured above)
  • June 1, Uncle Sam’s Plaza, 11 am to 1 pm
    Margaret Moody, Puppetry (2 programs)
  • June 1, Broadway Plaza, 2 pm to 4 pm
    Morningside Music Studios, concert (4 bands)
  • June 8, Arlington Service Station, 6 to 8 pm
    Live Arts Arlington Presents: GARAGE BAND with School of HONK! and The Bittersweet Band
  • June 15, Fox Library at noon
    Fox Festival Parade, kicking off Capitol Square’s Feast of the East
  • June 15, Broadway Plaza, 10 am to 12 pm
    Quick Portraits and cello music by Miranda Henne
  • June 21, Broadway Plaza, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
    The Dixie Cookbook, New Orleans jazz, Dixieland, and the swing music
  • June 22, Broadway Plaza, 10 am to 12 pm
    Kimberley Harding, Hands-on Basketry Demo
  • June 22, Broadway Plaza, 12 pm to 2 pm
    Grüvmeiners, pop/rock music brass band
  • June 28, Broadway Plaza, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
    Alessio Miraglia, guitarist with trio playing eclectic blend of music

And keep an eye out for more Live Arts Arlington events to be announced!