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Tuesday Morning Notes

For Dulles Toll Road users — The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is seeking public comments about proposed rate increases on the road. The online commenting period is now open and ends on August 3. [MWAA]

Local teen wraps up Nickelodeon show — Sissy Sheridan, a 14-year-old Restonian, wrapped up the first season of the “DIY With Me” web series for Nickelodeon. In the show, Sheridan teaches viewers how to make crafts. Next year, she’ll be attending a performing arts school in Virginia to work on her acting career. [The Washington Post]

Plotting a garden — Want to grow your own veggies, flowers and fruit? Reston Association’s community garden plots have spaces available in two of their five locations. [RA]

A quiet ascent — LeaseAccelerator, a Reston-based accounting software firm, is deepening its own pocketbook. The company expects to quadruple its revenue this year. [DC Inno]

Photo via Twitter user @MrErrett

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Here’s a Breakdown for This Weekend’s Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival

The 27th annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival is returning this weekend, and this year the festival is a day longer.

The festival will run Friday (May 18) through Sunday (May 20) at the Reston Town Center. The event encourages attendees to make a $5 donation, which comes with $200 worth of restaurant coupons.

The festival hosted by the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) brings in 30,000 to 50,000 attendees each year, the festival said in a press release.

For the first time, this year’s festival also includes a participatory performance “The Illuminated Fountain of Extinction” by Laure Drogoul both Saturday night during the Festival Party and on Sunday afternoon. Another festival first, is that GRACE members are given a free ticket to the Festival Party. Cost for membership for artists is $40 and $50 for other members.

Rain or shine the festival will go on, so long as a major storm does not hit, one of the organizers told RestonNow.

Below is a breakdown of the three-day event:

Friday (May 18) 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.:

  • All day — More than 200 artist booths from across the U.S.on display
  • Festival Friday — There will be specials all day among retailers and restaurants in Reston Town Center

Saturday (May 19) 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.:

  • All day — More than 200 artist booths from across the U.S.on display
  • Family Art Park — Free art making activities for all ages in the Pavillion
  • Festival Party (7-9 p.m.) — A celebration for sponsors, Adopt-an-Artist donors, GRACE members and artists. The party includes an award ceremony and first look into “The Illuminated Fountain of
    Extinction” by Laure Drogoul.

Sunday (May 20) 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.:

  • All day — More than 200 artist booths from across the U.S.on display
  • Family Art Park — Free art making activities for all ages in the Pavillion
  • “The Illuminated Fountain of Extinction” by Laure Drogoul (1-3 p.m.) — an immersive, interactive artwork in the Pavillion that is a tableau of natural and post-natural creatures inspired by manuscripts. Viewers are encouraged to participate in the performance that shows off a pageant of creatures from the past, present and future.

Garage parking is free during the festival. No registration is required.

Photo Courtesy of Carol Nahorniak

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Thursday Morning Notes

NII Holdings hangs on — The Reston-based company is trading above the minimum share price to retain its place on the NASDAQ. But it hasn’t fully steered clear of financial trouble yet. [Washington Business Journal]

Hunting down traffic — For years, county officials have mulled plans to tackle backups on Hunter Mill Road near the Dulles Toll Road. A county commission is set to vote on a new solution tonight. [Fairfax County Government]

A shoutout to Ms. Anne — In honor of Crossing Guard Appreciation Day, the employee at Lake Anne Elementary School was selected as one of the top six crossing guards in the state. [Lake Anne Elementary School]

Honoring young artists — The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers selected 14 students from South Lakes High School for the annual Scholastic Art Awards, one of the most prestigious scholarships for creative teens. [The Connection]

Photo by Fatimah Waseem

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Marvin Gaye Inspired Dance Performance to Come to Reston

The award-winning dance performance titled “What’s Going On – The Marvin Gaye Project” will be coming to the Reston Community Center tomorrow.

Choreographed by Vincent Thomas, Ralph Glenmore and Sylvia Soumah, the show will feature modern, jazz and West African dance looking to incite “thoughtful engagement with audience members,” according to Reston Community Center’s website.

“What’s Going On” also won Best Dance Performance in Baltimore magazine last year. For the award Baltimore magazine said, “Thomas found the perfect muse in Marvin Gaye, bringing this legendary soul singer to life in a breathtaking production.”

Tickets for Reston residents will cost $20 and $30 for all others.

Photo Courtesy Dance Place

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Greater Reston Arts Center Seeks Entries for 2018 Exhibition

Greater Reston Arts Center is inviting artists to submit artwork in response to the theme, “If you could do anything, what would that be?”

Guests Curator Don Russel and GRACE’s associate curator Erica Harrison will select five artists from submission for the 2018 annual Mary B. Howard Invitational.

The exhibition is in honor of Mary B. Howard, an artist and supporter of GRACE who died in February 2015. Howard also a founding member of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston. After retiring from her work as the head of a real estate brokerage, Howard graduated from the Corcoran College of Art in 1996 and held solo shows at the Arlington Arts Center and GRACE.

Russel, the curator judging submissions, explores new social contexts for art and currently serves as George Mason University’s curator. He also directs Provisions Research Center for Art & Social Change

Artists that are selected will receive $250 in honorarium and $1,000 for materials. In order to qualify, artists must live or work in Washington, D.C., Maryland or Virginia, be a member of GRACE, provide a written proposal, artist statement, resume and images of past work.

Submissions are due by Feb. 16. Selected artists will be announced on March 15. The exhibition will take place between December 15, 2018 and February 9, 2019.

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Local Instructor Brings ‘Far East Echoes’ to Reston Community Center

The work of Tracie Griffith Tso, a Chinese brush painting instructor at the Reston Community Center, is on display at RCC Hunters Woods through Jan. 4.

Griffith Tso began painting her first bamboo brushstrokes in a California studio and honed her skills under the training of a Hong Kong master. She created functional clay art at the age of 12 and now specializes in traditional flower bird painting.

In a release, Griffith Tso said enjoys painting without sketching, a form of spontaneous expression that she said reflects emotions and movement in body language, especially in freestyle drawings of animals. She uses traditional ink made of rice stalks and other organic materials on rice paper using wolf hair brushes.

The artist also sells her pottery and prints at the Torpedo Factory’s’ Scope Gallery in Alexandria. She lives in Reston with her husband and workshop rabbit and muse, Cleo. She has taught Chinese brush painting at art centers and museums nationwide. Griffith Tso also works with other media like tiles, apparel, accessories and professional graphics, according to her website.

The exhibit, titled “Far East Echoes: Broad Brushstrokes and Loving Details,” is on display through Jan. 4.

Image via Inksart.com

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Holiday Art and Shopping Event Planned at Reston Community Center at Lake Anne

Reston Community Center is holding its 19th annual Gifts from the HeART exhibit and holiday gift shopping event on Saturday, Dec. 2 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Reston Community Center Lake Anne (1609-A Washington Plaza).

Art will be on display through Jan. 2 at the center’s art galleries. 3D exhibit items will remain on display through Feb. 21. Entry fees from artists’ submissions and 10 percent of all sales will be donated to Cornerstones, a non profit organization that aims to help neighbors overcome tough economic times.

“The annual ‘Gifts from the HeART’ exhibit and sale has become a Reston tradition,” said Cheri Danaher, RCC’s arts education director. “It celebrates the arts and the holiday season with one-of-a-kind gifts while supporting those in need in our community.”

The exhibit includes original artwork made with various media, including sculpture, stained glass, collage and acrylic paint. Artwork will also be available for purchase at the event.

According to a press release, the event will help Cornerstones continue its operations at Embry Rucker Community Shelter, the Laurel Learning Center and community services outreach, which includes job counseling and youth programs. The event has raised more than $10,000 for the organization since the exhibit began in 1999.

File photo.

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Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival Expands for Next Year

The 27th annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival will be bigger than ever this year. The festival, which is the largest annual fundraiser for the Greater Reston Arts Center, will become a three-day event instead of a two-day event.

It is scheduled to take place on May 19 through 20 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. GRACE added Friday to the event in order to open up the festival to the 10,000-person workforce in Reston Town Center and make it “bigger and better than ever,” GRACE says.

“Making the very significant logistical investment in a Friday opening provides a new, built-in, affluent buying audience looking for world-class art for their offices, homes, for gifts, and more,” according to a statement by the center.

The competitive, juried event is consistently rated as one of the best outdoor art festivals in the country, both for the quality of the artwork presented and for its artist hospitality.

GRACE also plans to move its Festival Party, which is sponsored by M Group and The Counter, to Saturday night from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Artist awards, sponsored by Boston Properties, will be announced during the party.

Last year’s festival raised about $275,000 for GRACE’s operating budget, executive director and curator Lily Siegel told Reston Now. It attracts an estimated 30,000 visitors a year, GRACE says.

Anyone interested in applying to submit art for the festival can do so online. Applications can be submitted in 16 different categories, including painting, photography, ceramics, jewelry, glass, sculpture and more. Artist applications for juror review must be submitted by Dec. 10.

Free garage parking is available each day.

Photo courtesy of GRACE

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Creative Response Set for Thursday at Greater Reston Arts Center

Philosopher Rachel Jones, choreographer Britta Joy Peterson and visual artists PLAKOOKEE will present a creative professional performance in response to work on view in the gallery of the Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) on Thursday from 6 – 7 p.m.

The event, called as a creative response, allows presenters to comment on work they have viewed through an innovative presentation. The performances are followed by an open discussion.

October’s creative response is held in conjunction with the Now Be Here project. The event is free and open to the public.

Jones, whose background is in philosophy, is interested in using art and literature to explore the intersection of feminist philosophy, queer theory and critical race theory.

Peterson is a dance artist who specializes in contemporary dance. She is also the director of dance at American University.

PLAKOOKEE is a creative collaboration between Justin Plakas and Rachel Debuque, designers and artists who combine sculpture, installation, constructed realities and new media to create art.

For detailed descriptions of the presenters and for more information, visit GRACE’s website.

Photo via GRACE

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What’s Going On This Weekend Around Reston?

The Reston Community Players’ 2017-18 season opens tonight as the curtain rises on their presentation of Elton John and Tim Rice’s musical “Aida.” The show, winner of four Tony Awards, will be performed through Nov. 11 at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road).

This weekend, the show is being performed at 8 p.m. both tonight and Saturday night. Tickets are $27, with student/senior tickets available for $23.

For more information about the show or about other upcoming events from the Reston Community Players, call 703-476-4500, ext. 3.

There is plenty else scheduled to take place this weekend in the area as well. Take a look at our list below.

(Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of all the events taking place in the Reston area this weekend. If you have an event you would like to ensure is listed on the website, be sure to submit it to our Events Calendar.)

  • A trail of illuminated hand-carved pumpkins is welcoming visitors to “THE GLOW: A Jack O’Lantern Experience,” now through Oct. 29 at Lake Fairfax Park (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive). Presented by Townsquare Live Events, the “enchanting Halloween wonderland” features a third-of-a-mile trail decorated with more than 5,000 pumpkins. Tickets, which are $16 for kids ages 3-12 and $22 for adults, are available online and must be purchased in advance.
  • The South Lakes High School football team, 6-1 on the season and ranked No. 13 in the region by the Washington Post, return home tonight for a 7 p.m. game against McLean.
  • Sue Wrbican: Well Past the Echo” will be on view at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) through Nov. 18.
  • The Woodland Park Crossing HarvestFest will take place from 1-4 p.m. Saturday in the plaza, located at 12960 Highland Crossing Drive in Herndon. The event will feature strolling performers, tenant giveaways, face painting and entertainment, and participating restaurants will offer specials and samples.
  • A digital scavenger hunt is planned in downtown Herndon from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Participants will explore various businesses and areas in downtown Herndon to find what they seek. Prizes will be given to winners who discover all the hidden treasures. The event is open to all ages, but parents must accompany any children who play.
  • The bluegrass series at Holy Cross Lutheran Church (1090 Sterling Road, Herndon) will present a performance by The Blue Moon Cowgirls at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $15, with children 12 and under admitted free.
  • At 11 a.m. Saturday, kids ages 6-12 are invited to take part in the “Halloween Science Spectacular” at the Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive). Kids will explore fun Halloween science experiments that are “gooey and foggy.”
  • During “Giraffe-toberfest,” celebrate fall with animals at Roer’s Zoofari (1228 Hunter Mill Road) on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors can meet the zoo’s giraffe, “Waffles.” Tickets are $20 and all proceeds will support giraffe conservation.
  • The Reston Farmers Market will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lake Anne Village Center.
  • Fashion illustrator Joanna Baker will be at Scout & Molly’s (11944 Market St.) from 2-6 p.m. Saturday. Her prints will be available for purchase and she will be on hand to answer questions.
  • Many restaurants and bars in Reston will have live music this weekend. These include Crafthouse (1888 Explorer St.) every Friday and Saturday night from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; and Tavern64 (1800 Presidents St.) every Friday from 6-10 p.m; and Kalypso’s Sports Tavern (1617 Washington Plaza N.) every Saturday from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
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Tuesday Morning Notes

Reston’s DRB Meets Tonight — Among items on the Design Review Board’s agenda are specific aspects of the upcoming redevelopment of Tall Oaks Village Center. [Reston Now]

Children’s Art on Display at RCC — The mixed media exhibit “The World in the Eyes of Children” is on display at Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road) until Nov. 5. [Reston Community Center/Instagram]

Body Camera Pilot Program Proposed by FCPD — If approved by the county Board of Supervisors next month, officers in the Mason and Mount Vernon districts may begin the 90-day program as early as February. [Fairfax Times]

New School in Herndon To Be Discussed — The Hunter Mill Land Use Committee will meet tonight at 7:30 p.m. at McNair Elementary School (2499 Thomas Jefferson Drive, Herndon). To be discussed is a proposal from the Fairfax County Board of Education to construct a new three-story school building on the site. McNair Elementary currently serves grades K-6. In the plan, the existing school would serve K-3 and the new building would take grades 4-6. [Hunter Mill Highlights]

Seahawks Up One in Post Poll — Following their 44-0 win over Washington-Lee last week, the South Lakes High School football team settles in at No. 13 in the area rankings. They had been ranked No. 14 the previous week. The 6-1 Seahawks return home Friday night to play McLean. [Washington Post]

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Applications Now Being Accepted for 2018 Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival

Artist applications are now being accepted for the 27th annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, scheduled for May 19-20, 2018 at Reston Town Center.

The festival is the largest annual fundraiser for the Greater Reston Arts Center. The competitive, juried event is consistently rated as one of the best outdoor art festivals in the country, both for the quality of the artwork presented and for its artist hospitality.

The 2017 festival raised about $275,000 for GRACE’s operating budget, executive director and curator Lily Siegel told Reston Now. It attracts an estimated 30,000 visitors a year, GRACE says.

Anyone interested in applying to submit art for the festival can do so online. Applications can be submitted in 16 different categories, including painting, photography, ceramics, jewelry, glass, sculpture and more.

File photo of 2017 festival courtesy Megan Myers

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What’s Going On This Weekend Around Reston?

Lake Anne Plaza is going to get colorful this weekend, and you can be a part of it.

Reston Art Gallery & Studios is hosting “Painting on the Plaza” from 4-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. According to an event information on Lake Anne Plaza’s website:

“Experience the beauty and vibrancy of the Lake Anne Community as the Plaza comes alive with artists painting en plein air. Join in the fun by painting or watching the artists as they work. Purchase an original artwork to take home. And while you’re at Lake Anne, don’t forget to vote for your favorite painting and enter the drawings for door prizes. Winners will be announced on Sunday at 5:30. The event will be held rain or shine.”

The event is being produced by the Lake Anne Merchants Association and the Friends of Lake Anne. It is sponsored by Pat and Steve Macintyre along with Reston Art Gallery & Studios. For a full schedule and information about how you can participate, check out the event details.

There is plenty else scheduled to take place this weekend in the area as well. Take a look at our list below.

(Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of all the events taking place in the Reston area this weekend. If you have an event you would like to ensure is listed on the website, be sure to submit it to our Events Calendar.)

  • Reston Association’s semi-annual yard sale (8:30 a.m. to noon) and the Reston Expo (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) are both scheduled for Saturday at 1900 Campus Commons Drive.
  • The JamBrew series wraps up this weekend in Herndon. Tonight, live music will be offered from Right On Records, Tommy Gann and Todd Wight, and Black Masala. The free event is slated for 6-10 p.m. at the Herndon Town Green (777 Lynn St.). On Saturday, from noon to 10 p.m., the OktoBrewFest will rock the town green. Music will be provided by Bach 2 Rock, Darlingtonia, Unsullied, Dr. Robinson’s Fiasco and Throwing Plates. There will also be cold beverages from Aslin Beer Co., wine, nitro brew coffee from Weird Brothers Coffee, pizza from Brama Italian Cuisine, Nordic Knot Pretzels and much more.
  • In celebration of 11 years of service to the community, the Southgate Community Center (12125 Pinecrest Road) will host its annual Family Festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. According to information provided by the center, the event will include giveaways, music, moon bounces, refreshments and games.
  • Chicano rock band Quetzal will perform Sunday at 3 p.m. at CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road) as part of Reston Community Center’s Professional Touring Artist Series. Tickets are $20 for Reston residents and $30 for non-residents.
  • Friends of the Reston Regional Library will be continuing their fall book sale through the weekend at the library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive). The fundraiser for the library will be open until 5 p.m. today; from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; and from noon to 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
  • Sue Wrbican: Well Past the Echo” will be on view at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) through Nov. 18.
  • The Reston Farmers Market will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lake Anne Village Center.
  • The 16th annual TFcon, a convention for fans of the “Transformers” franchise, is taking place this weekend at the Hyatt Regency Reston (1800 Presidents St.). Check out its website for the full schedule and admission prices.
  • Pulitzer Prize-winner display “Disgraced,” exploring Muslim assimilation and identity in America, will wrap up this weekend at NextStop Theatre Company (269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon). Performances are tonight at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 8 p.m.; and at a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee. Tickets range in price from $17.50 to $55.
  • The National Kidney Foundation’s Northern Virginia Kidney Walk is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Sunday at Reston Town Center. Proceeds benefit awareness of kidney disease, a top 10 public health problem.
  • Many restaurants and bars in Reston will have live music this weekend. These include Crafthouse (1888 Explorer St.) every Friday and Saturday night from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; and Tavern64 (1800 Presidents St.) every Friday from 6-10 p.m.
  • Kalypso’s Sports Tavern (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will have live music from The Vandalays tonight from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; and DJ Kram will play Top 40 hits during those hours Saturday night.
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Thursday Morning Notes

Reston Association Board Meets Tonight — Directors are scheduled to give their thoughts about Fairfax County’s proposed zoning ordinance amendment on Reston density, appoint a new member to the Board and make decisions on budget items, among other actions and discussions. [Reston Now]

Search Warrant Gives Details of Nabra Hassanen Killing — The newly unsealed document reports that the man accused of killing the Reston teenager in July led police to her body after officers found him in his blood-stained vehicle. [Washington Post]

Fall Book Sale Starts Today — The Friends of Reston Regional Library will be hosting their semi-annual fundraiser sale from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 3:30 p.m. Sunday. [Friends of Reston Regional Library]

Sound Artist at GRACE Gallery Tonight — Alex Braden will perform a new piece composed in direct response to “Sue Wrbican: Well Past the Echo,” now on display at the gallery (12001 Market St.). The event is scheduled for 6-7 p.m. [Greater Reston Arts Center]

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New Public Art Piece Unveiled Outside Aperture Apartments Near Wiehle-Reston East

Reston’s newest piece of public art was unveiled Thursday evening in front of one of its newest luxury-living facilities.

“Convergence,” a bronze and stainless steel work that shows a human figure emerging from the lens of a camera, was debuted in front of a cheering crowd at Aperture (11410 Reston Station Blvd.). The 11-foot-tall bronze sculpture, displayed at the intersection of Reston Station Boulevard and Metro Center Drive, was created by Reston-native artist Zachary Oxman. Oxman was also the sculptor of Lake Anne Plaza’s “Untold Stories” (aka “Bronze Bob”) and has had his work commissioned by DC officials and presented as diplomatic gifts.

“This opportunity is very unique and very special to me, because I do have such a strong connection to Reston,” Oxman said. “Public art has a unique way of not only adding visually to a community, but it also offers the opportunity to share stories about life and to inspire personal thought and reflection for those who experience the art.”

Oxman said “Convergence” tells a story about the “imperceptible and fragile point that exists between having an idea and actually pushing it forward and becoming a reality,” to which he drew parallels to Bob Simon’s vision for the community of Reston.

“Convergence” also keeps with the theme of photography that spawned Aperture’s name, said Chuck Veatch, president of the Charles A. Veatch Company.

“The pure scale and power of the work and its obvious — at least to me — depiction of the creative process and the art of photography … I was fascinated,” Veatch said of first seeing the piece at Oxman’s studio. “It needed a place of prominence.”

In addition to his commercial real-estate work, Veatch is chairman of the board and contributing editor for Nature’s Best Photography magazine.

Bozzuto’s new seven-story building a stone’s throw from the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station is slated for an official grand-opening in the spring, representatives said during Thursday’s art dedication. The apartments are now leasing.

For more photos from the event, visit Chip McCrea Photography.

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