S1 | 4: Arts + business for the benefit of the community with Alissa Maru, George Mason University

Today we’re going to talk about the role of the arts in a community that serves businesses, employees, residents, and visitors.

To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Alissa Maru, Associate Curator at Mason Exhibitions Arlington at George Mason University.

About Alissa Maru

Alissa Maru is a seasoned art administrator, event producer, and curator. Through her years of professional experience, she’s provided logistic management overseeing event site layout, artistic curation, government permitting, and onsite execution of live events; working with government, non-profit, event companies, and festivals.

Examples of her major projects include 2011-2014, Director of Operations  Art All Night DC: Nuit Blanche, a one-night art pop-up festival in Washington, D.C.  For five years she served as the Special Events Manager for the National Cherry Blossom Festival and DowntownDC BID, where she provided coordinated production for the Festivals’ famed Parade and community stages.  

From 2018-2019, Maru served as Director at the Dupont Underground, an abandoned street car station turned arts event space and gallery. There she grew the performance art programs, and curated the digital projection exhibitions. 

Maru currently is the Exhibitions and Program Manager at Mason Exhibitions Arlington, a contemporary art gallery of George Mason University. Additionally, she is an adjunct professor at George Mason University developing experiential learning in the gallery through the Arts Management graduate course. 

She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Howard University (Washington, DC) and a Master of Arts dual degree in Marketing and Communications from the London Metropolitan University (London, England) and École supérieure de commerce et management (Poitiers, France).

What’s Happening on the Art Walk

ARC 3409 Art Studios

The ARC 3409 condominium building at 3409 Wilson Blvd. includes 4 art gallery studio units on the north side of the building. Adding to the neighborhood charm, the studios, along the public right of way, enable pedestrians to view the galleries and engage with the artists.

Arlington Art Truck | Interactive Art Project

From 3:00 – 7:00 p.m., meet the Arlington Art Truck at the Ballston Mega Market in Welburn Square (901 N. Taylor St.) and participate in the Good Neighbors: Fences into Benches project by artist Michael Verdon. Participants will be able to write their thoughts on what makes a good neighbor on wooden fences. These fences will eventually be converted into weather-sealed picnic benches, with these writings forever on display.

Arlington Public Art

Entering its 40th year of award-winning public art installations, check the map to find notable pieces along the walk. Stop by the hidden gem of a plaza next to Mason Exhibitions and see the digital display screens showing more from the stellar collection.

Arlington Public Library | Maker Studio “The Shop” Tour and Interactive Art Project

From 5:00 – 6:30 p.m., take a tour of “The Shop,” the makerspace at Central Library (1015 N. Quincy St.). Shop staff and experienced Maker volunteers will talk about recent projects, show the equipment and capabilities of the space and invite visitors to create their own “Art Walk buttons.”

Cody Gallery, Marymount University

Located on the second floor of Marymount’s Ballston Center, the intimate gallery connects students, businesses and the community with are artists.

Fred Schnider Gallery of Art

In the heart of the Ballston, the Fred Schnider Gallery of Art puts placemaking at the core of its exhibitions. “Suspended Animation” featuring artists Stephanie Land and Joseph Cortina will be on view during Art Walk.

Mason Exhibitions Arlington | Art Exhibition

From 5:00 –8:00 p.m., Mason Exhibitions Arlington (3601 Fairfax Dr.) will be featuring Disrupt and Resist,an exhibition of seven contemporary disabled designers and artists engaging in disability advocacy through creative resistance and anti-ableist disruption. This exhibit amplifies the mission of exploring accessibility, disability justice, radical joy, belonging and inclusivity.

MoCA Arlington

Made in Arlington pop-up Market joins MoCA on the lawn — with a perfect view of newly installed Reclining Liberty. Enriching community life by connecting the public with contemporary art and artists, MoCA features exhibitions, educational programs and artist residencies.

Northside Social Arlington | Art Exhibition and Live Music

Stop by Northside Social Arlington (211 Wilson Blvd.), a bustling neighborhood café, gallery and gathering place on Oct. 5 and enjoy a local artist exhibition while listening to live music by J. Candeed.

WHINO: Reception

At 7:00 p.m., attend the closing reception at WHINO (4238 Wilson Blvd.) a 6,200 square foot modern industrial art centric event space unlike anything in the DMV. Come share your Art Walk experience with others.


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