Leadership Loudoun’s Arts and Cultural Team – March Program Day

On Thursday, March 16, 2017, the Arts and Cultural Team presented their Issue Day to the Leadership Loudoun Class, local leaders, and the arts community. Team members included: Daniel Bureau, Carolyn Dobson, Kindra Harvey, Rebecca Ray, and Vanessa Wagner.

Problem Statement:


Loudoun County struggles with developing an arts and cultural identity because our creative class struggles to access consumers and the greater community. Today, participants will hear challenges artists face including, the costs of real estate, breaking into a growing community, and the East/West divide of the region. The Leadership Loudoun Class of 2017 is challenged with presenting solutions to help artists in Loudoun access their key markets and inspire Loudoun to embrace the local arts community.

At Ida Lee Park Recreation Center, the Leadership Loudoun Class participated in a hands-on art activity and discussed the Problem Statement and Think Tank topic.  Afterwards, the group toured Tryst Gallery to view the current exhibit and learn more about local artists and the art community from Jim Sisley.

At Palio Steak and Seafood Restaurant, the group heard from featured speakers and guests as follows:

Mayor Kelly Burk of Leesburg said, “The Commission on Public Art is a collaborative effort among artists and community that educated the public on the importance of art within the community.”

Moderator Jim Sisley launched Tryst Gallery in Leesburg, Virginia, to showcase regional artists on rotation. Jim serves on Leesburg’s Economic Development Commission, Friends of Leesburg Public Arts, and the Artisan Trail of Loudoun County. Jim is a visual artist who specializes in painting representational and figurative works in acrylic.

Elizabeth Bracey, Manager, Franklin Park Arts Center, stated that the art scene in Loudoun County has changed and is much more diversified. Economic development is understanding that if you improve the arts, you improve your community overall. Establishing partnerships is the best way to overcome barriers. People may not want to talk about religion or politics, but everyone can talk about art – and their opinions are valued.

Shawn Hatfield, Owner and Operator Groove: Music Lessons and Recording, said that success is the ability to express yourself through music and enjoying what you do. Hatfield would like to see radio, newspapers, and magazines cover more news about artists and musicians and believes the press would help get people outside of Loudoun County to learn more about the artistic community and provide greater opportunities for the artists.

Constance Ivana, teacher and artist said, “Art is a way to start conversations. You can make connections and heal through art… There is a welcoming art community in Loudoun County for those just starting out; Leesburg is onto something.”

Tom O’Neil, Chair of the Town of Leesburg Commission on Public Art stated, “Getting the word out to the public is the biggest barrier.  Pop-up shows are helping promote art.  We need to get better at letting the artists know about the space we have available, which helps everyone.”

After hearing from panelists, class members gathered in their Think Tank groups and presented their ideas to the judging panel. Some of the ideas for promoting arts in the Loudoun County community included:

  • Working with developers to create art in areas that are continuing to be developed such as near Loudoun’s metro station
  • Continuing to raise interest with pop-up art and social media campaigns. Partnership with existing programs such as Loudoun County Restaurant Week
  • Getting art into places its not generally seen: Wineries, Distilleries, Senior Center, and Detention Centers
  • Adopting an artist program where artists describe their needs and develop partnerships for funding by developing partnerships

Judges for the Think Tank Competition included:

Chris Hunter, Business Retention Manager for the Loudoun County Department of Economic Development

Jill Perla, artist and art exhibitor

Jaimee Reinertsen, founder, SparkFire Branding

Lisa Strout, artist and sculpturer


Leadership Loudoun’s Mental Health Awareness – April Program Day

On Thursday, April 20, 2017, the CRISIS Team, Collaborative Resource Initiative Seeking Innovative Solution presented their Issue Day to the Leadership Loudoun Class, local leaders, and professionals specializing in mental health. Team members included: Kasia Bochenek, Mark Hauer, Andrea Lucas, Michelle McKnight, Rebecca Ray, Teresa Brunetti Stine, and Emily Watkins.

Problem Statement:

We have observed that there is a lack of awareness, coordination and capacity to deal with mental health and substance abuse issues in our growing community. We need innovative ideas to help address these issues for the health, safety, and welfare of everyone.

For more information regarding the Mental Health Awareness Program Day, please visit:
Leadership Loudoun’s Mental Health Awareness Team’s CRISIS Brochure


Leadership Loudoun’s Crime, Justice, and Public Safety – May Program Day

On Thursday, May 18, 2017, the Crime, Justice, and Public Safety Team, presented their Issue Day to the Leadership Loudoun Class, local leaders, and professionals specializing in public safety.

Problem Statement:

Human trafficking, and particularly child sex trafficking, has surfaced as a real threat to the youth in our area over the last several years. Making people in Loudoun County aware of this, and how to prevent it, is one of the keys to tackling it in our community.

Afternoon Panelists Included:
Delegate Randy Minchew, Virginia’s 10th House of Delegates District
Senator Jennifer Wexton, Virginia’s 33rd Senate District
Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall, Loudoun County Board of Supervisors
Captain Eric J. Prugh, Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) Assistant Division Commander, Criminal Investigations Division
Lieutenant Jaime S. Sanford, Leesburg Police Department Criminal Investigations Section

For more information regarding the Public Safety Program Day, please visit:
https://twitter.com/ldshploudoun and https://www.facebook.com/leadershiploudoun/