Arlington Independent Media Launches Green Valley Studio
AIM South offers a suite of podcasting and film studios and opens with a screening of 'The R Word.'
Been meaning to finally launch that podcast or YouTube series? There’s a new space in town that’s designed to help.
Meet AIM South-Green Valley, a satellite arm of Arlington Independent Media that offers affordable film and audio production space and services in south Arlington. The facility launches with a soft opening on May 13 from 6 to 9 p.m., featuring a film screening and Q+A, studio tours and networking with light bites.
For staff, the opening is the culmination of a project that has been in the works for some time. In November, the Arlington County Board approved a partnership between Arlington Cultural Affairs and the media nonprofit to establish a satellite AIM location along Four Mile Run. The venture aligns with the county vision for an arts and industry district outlined in its Four Mile Run Valley Area Plan.
“Having a presence along Four Mile Run will make us much more accessible, and allow us to reach more deeply into south Arlington’s wonderfully diverse community, including Green Valley and the rich history provided by Arlington’s Black residents there,” says AIM CEO Whytni Kernodle.
The facility launch will include a screening of The R Word, a 2019 SXSW EDU film selection that explores the usage and impact of the word “retarded” through the lens of personal stories.
“Our goal is to amplify the voices of the most marginalized in our community,” says AIM communications and marketing director Adwoa BW Jones. “People who have intellectual disabilities, being able to have those kinds of conversations is what we want to normalize.”
Arlington Independent Media, based in Clarendon and founded in 1982, provides broadcast and digital production facilities, equipment rentals and training to members of the community and local organizations. The nonprofit operates two public access TV stations (Comcast Channel 69 and Verizon Channel 38) and a radio station, WERA 96.7.
Kernodle—an attorney, co-founder and president of Black Parents of Arlington, and co-founder of Arlington for Justice—stepped into the role of CEO at AIM in late 2021.
“Arlington is a site of incredibly vibrant community activism and creative expression,” she says. “We plan to leverage all of that richness to solidify AIM as an anchor organization for media arts, culture and social justice.”
Since Kernodle took the reins at AIM, the nonprofit has become more of an “outward-facing” organization, BW Jones says.
“Whytni’s been really intentional about creating partnerships, about doing real things. And that’s why Green Valley was also important because it’s a historically Black neighborhood,” BW Jones says. “And if we’re saying that we … want to encourage diversity and inclusivity, we have to increase our availability of our services and access to said services.”
AIM South will be housed in an existing county art space at 3700 Four Mile Run whose assets include a black-box theater (Theatre on the Run), art incubator space, dance studios and office space. The media organization’s satellite location will feature three studios for the community: a standard podcasting studio, a podcasting studio with video capabilities, and a stand-alone studio for filming short videos.
“It allows for the things we’ve had here at AIM for 40 years, that have maybe just only been available in Clarendon, [to now be] available in south Arlington,” BW Jones says.
For the time being, AIM South will not offer on-site classes due to space constraints. Community members can continue to take courses and rent equipment from the Clarendon studio and use the satellite location to produce content. Both locations are open to commercial rentals and to AIM members (membership rates are $25 annually for residents and $35 annually for non-residents), who may rent studio space at discounted hourly rates. For more information on studio rentals, contact email@example.com.
AIM South-Green Valley will hold an open house from 6-9 p.m. on Saturday, May 13. The facility is located at 3700 S. Four Mile Run in Arlington.