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Alexandria Commission for the Arts

Information on the Alexandria Commission for the Arts.


The role of the Commission for the Arts is to advise City Council with regard to policies that will strengthen the arts and further public access to the arts and cultural matters identified by the City Council; To establish and periodically review criteria and standards for arts grant applications for city funds and accountability for the use of such funds; the allocation from such funds to eligible organizations and activities as may be appropriated by the City Council for such purpose; To review the public art annual work plan as developed by the office of the arts and a work plan task force and make recommendations to the city council as part of the budget process; To review and approve public art project plans for specific public art projects, and to review and approve artist selection and concept development; To create committees and task forces, as necessary, to focus on public art project development and artist selection; To review proposals for donations of public art and commemorative art and make recommendations to the City Council; To collaborate with the office of the arts on public art project evaluations; and to support public communication and outreach as related to the arts and; to serve as citizen liaisons to city planning initiatives when public art is involved.

Commission members are required to become involved in various art projects/events throughout the City and serve on at least one committee or task force. Approximately twelve hours per month are required of Commission members. 

The Commission meets on the third Tuesday of the each month at 7:00 p.m, at the Lee Center (1108 Jefferson Street, Alexandria, VA 22314) unless otherwise posted on the City Calendar. All meetings are open to the public.  


Fiscal Year 2016 Meeting Information

January 19, 2016: Regular Monthly Meeting - The Art League, 105 N. Union St., Alexandria, VA

•  Agenda

December 15, 2015: Regular Monthly Meeting - Lee Center, 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria, VA

•  Agenda

 Approved Meeting Minutes for December 15, 2015 with Attachments

November 17, 2015: Regular Monthly Meeting - Lee Center, 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria, VA

•   Agenda

•   Materials for Meeting 

•   Approved Meeting Minutes for November 17, 2015 with Attachments

October 20, 2015: Regular Monthly Meeting - Lee Center, 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria, VA

•    Agenda

•    Materials for Meeting

September 23, 2015 (rescheduled): Regular Monthly Meeting - Lee Center, 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria, VA

•    Agenda

•    Materials for Meeting

•    Approved Meeting Minutes for September 23, 2015 with Attachments

August 18, 2015:  Regular Monthly Meeting - Durant Arts Center, 1605 Cameron St., Alexandria, VA

•    Agenda

•    Approved Meeting Minutes for August 18, 2015 with Attachments

•    Approved Meeting Minutes for June 16, 2015  

July 21, 2015:  Informal Work Session to discuss the Waterfront Plans - Durant Arts Center, 1605 Cameron St., Alexandria, VA

•     Agenda

•     Waterfront Implementation Presentation


Number of Arts Commission Members:


4 Members shall have expertise in the arts, including, but not limited to, arts educators, professional practitioners of various art disciplines and professional administrators, working in the arts.
3 Members shall have specific expertise in visual arts, either as professional practitioners of visual art, curators of visual art, or as professional arts administrators currently working in the field.
3 Members shall represent the public-at-large, as arts consumers and participants.
3 Members shall be professionals in fields relevant to arts and cultural development, including cultural planning, marketing, finance, funding, tourism, promotion, non profit organizational development, and real estate development.
2 Members shall be professionals in the field related to the visual appearance of the cityscape, such as architecture, environmental design, landscape architecture or urban design.
1 Member shall be a student who resides in the City and attends a high school located in the City of Alexandria.

Term of Service:

3-year term


For a list of vacancies, please click here 

 List of Members:

  • Catherine Ahern, Public at Large/Arts Consumers
  • Lisa Baranello, Professional in Arts/Cultural Development
  • Beth Coast, Professional in Field/Arts Disciplines
  • Susan Cohen, Expertise in Visual Arts
  • Gayle Converse, Public at Large/Arts Consumers
  • Michael Detomo, Professional in Cityscape/Architecture
  • Shirley Downs, Public at Large/Arts Consumers
  • Kate Elkins, Professional in Field/Arts Disciplines
  • Cara Frey, Student Member
  • Susan Amber Gordon, Secretary, Professional in Arts/Cultural Development 
  • Allison Heck, Professional in Cityscape/Architecture
  • Betsy Hennigan, Public at Large, Arts Consumers 
  • Michelle Kozlak, Professional in Field, Arts Disciplines
  • David Martin, Expertise in the Visual Arts
  • Allison Nance, Vice Chair Expertise in Visual Arts
  • Matthew Stensrud, Chair, Professional in Field, Arts Disciplines 

City Staff Contact:

Diane Ruggiero, Deputy Director
Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities


 Arts Commission Logo