The Northern Virginia Local Arts Agencies (NVLAA) has created a series of free professional development workshops that are available to arts agencies in Virginia, Maryland, and the District. Staff from the Alexandria Office of the Arts, Arlington Cultural Affairs Office, and ArtsFairfax have created sessions titled “Data + Storytelling = Impact,” “E-Commerce Principles for Artists, Makers, and Performing Artists,” and “Business Plan Essentials.” These three workshops are scheduled from September 28 – November 17.

In addition to allowing arts groups to build their understanding of how to review their organization and research and gather data, these trainings will also help an organization to improve its strategic business plans. The skills acquired through the NVLAA workshops are essential in fundraising and growing operations to deliver quality arts programs in local communities.

ArtsFairfax recently held grant panels for reviewing funding requests. There were several key takeaways for executives that will translate to the upcoming three workshops.  

“They wanted more specifics about demographics and data that is woven into applications to backup statements for grant funding,” said Lisa Mariam, senior director of Grants and Services at ArtsFairfax.

This is not the first time that northern Virginia arts organizations have combined their resources to support established and up-and-coming local groups.

“Two years ago, we collaborated with Arlington, Alexandria, and the Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts to present six creative entrepreneurship workshops,” said Mariam.

Ensuring the success of arts groups throughout the metropolitan DC, Maryland and Virginia area is the mission of the NVLAA partnership. Arts organizations are still going through pandemic recovery which means survival will rely on different business approaches. All workshops organized by NVLAA are free but require advance registration. To register for an NVLAA workshop, visit

Brenda C. Siler on Twitter and Instagram: @bcscomm

Brenda Siler is an award-winning journalist and public relations strategist. Her communications career began in college as an advertising copywriter, a news reporter, public affairs producer/host and a...

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