Alexandria Commission for the Arts

Information on the Alexandria Commission for the Arts.

Page updated on Nov 14, 2017 at 5:56 PM


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 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.  

Archived Meeting Minutes Fiscal Year 2016 - 2017


Fiscal Year 2018 Meeting Information

September 19, 2017: Regular Monthly Meeting - Lee Center, Activity Room, 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria, VA 


Approved Meeting Minutes for 09-19-17 with Attachments

September 14, 2017: Public Hearing - Arts Grant Program - Lee Center, Activity Room, 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria, VA


• No Minutes taken.

  August 24, 2017: Arts Commission Retreat - Lee Center, Activity Room, 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria, VA

 No Regular Monthly Meeting was held.

July 25, 2017: Special Meeting - Lee Center, Activity Room, 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria, VA


• Approved Meeting Minutes for 07-25-17 with Attachments


Number of Arts Commission Members: 16

  • 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 and information on how to apply, please click here 

 List of Members:

  • Catherine Ahern, Public at Large/Arts Consumers
  • Vacant, 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
  • Vacant, Student Member
  • Susan Amber Gordon, Secretary, Professional in Arts/Cultural Development 
  • Allison Heck, Professional in Cityscape/Architecture
  • Tamsin Green, Public at Large, Arts Consumers 
  • Sara Lavan, Professional in Field, Arts Disciplines
  • Karen Thomas, Expertise in the Visual Arts
  • Allison Nance, Vice Chair Expertise in Visual Arts
  • Matthew Stensrud, Chair, Professional in Field, Arts Disciplines 

City Staff Contact:

Matthew Harwood, Public Art Manager
Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities Department


 Arts Commission Logo