Prince William Living Understands the Value of the Arts

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By Katherine Gotthardt / Photo by Mike Beaty

Formed in 2010, Prince William Living magazine had the goal of being a supporter, promoter, and advocate for the community. Our mission statement is that we will build a better community by supporting quality-of-life issues, including education and economic development, supporting the arts community, and encouraging volunteerism through our local nonprofits. Since our launch, Prince William Living has been honored with a Seefeldt Award for Arts Excellence in the Outstanding Business Supporter of the Arts category for the second time. This award is given to a business that provides significant support to the arts in Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park.

Prince William Living magazine features artists and arts groups in our print column, On a High Note, at no cost to the artists or organizations. Our magazine is distributed to homes and businesses in Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park. These articles are also published online at princewilliamliving.com and shared through multiple social media profiles and our newsletter subscribers. In addition, Prince William Living publishes, at no cost to local artists and arts organizations, press releases and calendar events. In 2021, Prince William Living featured more than 65 artists and 18 arts organizations. Last year alone, the magazine provided more than $43,000 in free visibility and giveaways for creatives, galleries,
clubs, venues, schools, and more, all local.

Publisher of Prince William Living, Rebecca Barnes, is passionate about the arts and has been promoting them since the business began. “The arts are near and dear to my heart and always have been. They are not just tools for self-expression and personal transformation, though those are important facets of the arts,” Barnes said. “The arts inspire creativity, express emotions, and assist in growth and communications. In addition, the arts are an asset to the community I love and call my own.”

Barnes’ hope with the monthly On a High Note column and online features is that the stories will inspire readers to support the arts, as well. Sponsor programs, volunteer at events around town, and enjoy the numerous opportunities throughout Prince William.

While she does not get paid for her work as publisher, Barnes gives hundreds of thousands of dollars in no-cost support through the magazine, all while encouraging whole communities to celebrate the arts. And in addition to publishing articles on the arts and artists, she offers writers and graphic designers opportunities to develop through mentorships and internships.

Last year, Barnes took five interns under her wing, working more than 40 hours with them and offering a variety of resources for learning new and strengthening existing skills. Aspiring authors write several of Prince William Living’s online columns. Barnes gives these writers a forum and an audience and inspires them to keep writing. Then, when they do publish, she features their books. In addition, she helps grow new writers and keeps the literary arts alive by offering tools, education, and encouragement. “Working with literary and visual artists is one way I can give back to the community that has given me so much. I’m always pleased when I can help get someone to the next level, and I’ll do what I can to make that happen,” she said.

The Kathleen K. Seefeldt Award for Arts Excellence was established more than 15 years ago by the Prince William County Arts Council to recognize and celebrate the artists, arts organizations, volunteers, educators, and businesses that build upon and sustain Seefeldt’s legacy of public service and support
for the cultural arts. This year, the formal awards ceremony was held on Thursday, May 12, 2022, at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas. The judging panel consisted of previous award winners and local community leaders. Other awards categories included Outstanding Arts Educator, Outstanding
Individual Artist, Outstanding Arts Organization, Outstanding Patron, and Outstanding Volunteer. The complete program was live-streamed and recorded.

“I’m just so excited that Prince William Living and our team who make it possible were recognized in this important way,” said Barnes. “Congratulations to everyone at our magazine and those nominated for awards. Our whole community wins when we support the arts.”

Katherine Gotthardt is a published author and social media manager for Prince William Living. She can be reached at kgotthardt@princewilliamliving.com.

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