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About Us + Visiting ACA

About Us

Arlington Center for the Arts (ACA) is a community arts center devoted to the mission of inspiring joy, nurturing growth, and building community through a dynamic mix of classes, camps, exhibits, and special events. ACA provides opportunities for people to discover and express their own creativity and to appreciate the expression of others.

ACA was established in 1988 by a visionary group of artists, writers, musicians and educators as a place where artists could share their work with the community through educational and outreach programs.

 

Today, ACA is a vibrant community arts center and a cornerstone for the creative community in Arlington.  ACA offers opportunities for people of all ages to discover and express their own creativity and to appreciate the creativity of others through a dynamic mix of classes, workshops, exhibits, performances and special events.

 

If you're new to ACA, we hope you'll visit sometime soon - you'll find a vibrant community of artists, arts lovers, and arts advocates dedicated to keeping the arts alive and accessible in our community.​

Strengthening Equity

ACA acknowledges that historical, systemic, and institutional barriers have significantly limited access to opportunities for marginalized communities. We resolve to continue educating ourselves and strategizing ways to uphold more just practices that inspire belonging and engagement by individuals from a full-range of diverse backgrounds and experiences.

ACA's Vision + Values

Vision: ACA envisions itself as the heart of a welcoming and inclusive community where everyone has access to the arts and opportunities to create, connect, and celebrate in a safe and respectful space.

Values:

  • The arts are essential to quality of life in Arlington and its surrounding towns, providing social, educational, economic, and aesthetic benefits that make our community a great place to live, work, and visit.

  • The arts must be diverse, equitable, inclusive and accessible.

  • ACA plays an important role in developing and sustaining meaningful partnerships that are essential to the well-being of our community.

  • The arts create connections that foster joy and facilitate the exchange of perspectives, ideas and resources.

  • The arts are a powerful means of expression that encourage learning, compassion, and self-awareness, and can provoke change.

  • ACA has a responsibility to be a creative and dynamic leader, serving constituent needs with the training, resources, and support necessary to grow and evolve.

An Arlington Center for the Arts banner positioned outside of the ACA building.
Two campers smile while painting a cardboard box

Visiting ACA

For information or assistance, please call 781-648-6220 during our regular office hours (Monday - Friday, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM). Our staff can also be reached via email at info@acarts.org. If you would like to speak directly with a particular staff member, you can consult the ACA Staff Directory for contact information. For questions about our COVID-19 policies and procedures, please visit our COVID-19 Updates page on our website. 

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Directions:

Arlington Center for the Arts |  20 Academy Street, Arlington, MA 02476

 

From Cambridge/Somerville: Take Mass. Ave. toward Arlington and past the Robbins Library (on your left). Academy Street is the first left as you pass the Robbins Library.

 

From Lexington: Take Mass. Ave. through Arlington Center. Take a right just before reaching Arlington Town Hall. 20 Academy St is on your left.

 

From Rt. 2: Take Rt. 60 exit toward Arlington/Medford (away from Belmont). Follow Rt. 60 until it intersects with Mass. Ave. Take a left on Mass Ave, past the Robbins Library and take the first left onto Academy St. 

Parking:

ACA will have a number of designated parking spots in the adjacent lot, and you can also park on surrounding streets unless otherwise marked. There is usually parking on Academy Street and Jason Street, as well as Mass Ave. There is plenty of on-street parking on Academy and Maple Street as well. The Town of Arlington has an interactive map for those looking for municipal parking in the area. 

Fiber artwork displayed in ACA's Shaira Ali Gallery

Entering the Building:

Arlington Center for the Arts is located on the 3rd and 4th floors at the Arlington Community Center, 20 Academy Street, Arlington, MA 02476. 

 

Please note that 20 Academy and 27 Maple are both addresses for our home at the Arlington Community Center. If you enter the building via the Academy Street entrance, you can reach the 3rd floor either by taking the elevator on your left or the stairs on your right.  If you are entering from our Maple Street entrance, once you enter, turn left and go down the hallway to reach the elevator.  Take the elevator to the 3rd floor.

 

If your class is on the weekends or in the evening, the Academy Street door may be locked. Please use the Maple St Entrance.

 

Once you reach the 3rd floor, additional signage will guide you to our classrooms.  Our main classroom is on the 3rd floor.  If you are exiting the elevator, you will turn left and then right into our office hallway.  The main classroom is at the end of the hall on the left.

 

Our 4th floor classrooms can be reached through several stairwells and via a lift. Please reference directional signage on the 3rd floor or seek out an ACA staff member in our administrative offices for assistance. 

Accessibility:

Accessing Our Facility

The Maple Street entrance is wheelchair accessible and has a round driveway for easy drop offs.  There are two ADA accessible parking spaces along Maple Street if you need to park. When you enter the building, turn left and go down the hallway for the elevator to the 3rd floor. Our bathrooms on the 3rd floor have wheelchair accessible stalls. The elevator to our 4th floor is located inside our 3rd floor office suites.

Accessing Our Classrooms

All of our classrooms and restrooms are ADA accessible. Enter our building along Maple Street and turn left down the hall for our elevator. Registered students will receive a Student Participation Form that we encourage you to complete before the start of the program in which you will be participating to communicate any specific needs and/or to share any relevant information that will help our staff to best serve you while attending one of our programs. A member of our team will get back in touch with you.

Deaf/Hearing Impaired Resources

If you are considering taking an online class with us, we can provide captioning as needed. Please email our Education and Programs Director at cat@acarts.org if you have questions or concerns.

 

If you have any questions regarding accessibility of any of our programming and events, please feel free to contact us at info@acarts.org or by phone at 781-684-6220

Animator and artist Allison Power showcasing their film in ACA's Shaira Ali Gallery
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