Artisphere has named a new director of programming, the Rosslyn arts center announced today. Rosanna Ruscetti comes to the Wilson Boulevard venue after 19 years at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium, where she was director of the 1,500-seat venue. She’ll replace Artisphere’s acting director of programming, Chris Williams, who previously programmed for Arlington Cultural Affairs and is returning to that position.
Although this blog has praised Artisphere’s palatably weird programming, the venue has fallen well short of its initial revenue and attendance projections. But I’m not sure an experienced talent buyer like Ruscetti is the fix—-or at least, there’s a limit to what you can do with ticketed performances in Artisphere’s tiny performance spaces, which include the 125-seat Black Box Theatre, the 220-seat Dome Theatre, and a pretty tiny movie theater, in addition to the building’s various galleries.
So, how to fix Artisphere? Arlington released its “Arlington Arts 30” plan this week, and it lays out a plan for the county’s support for creative endeavors. Although a new business plan for Artisphere is pending—-Artisphere spokesperson Annalisa Meyer writes that it’ll be presented to the Arlington County Board in November—-the report makes some general recommendations for the center:
- Support broad and diverse programming
- Invest in marketing
- Support use by local artists
- Clarify vision and definition of success for Artisphere
I’ll add another. Find a populist, permanent attraction like Shear Madness that can pay for Artisphere’s niche programming.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery