Patrons enjoy a show at CenterStage before the pandemic (via The CenterStage at Reston/Facebook)

Reston Community Center has announced the lineup its 2021-22 Professional Touring Artist Series.

After a truncated season with limited audiences last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the series will bring a variety of musicians, theatrical performances, and speakers to a full-capacity CenterStage starting in September.

“It is our great pleasure to welcome our audiences back to the CenterStage,” RCC Arts and Events Director Paul Douglas Michnewicz said in a press release. “Whether you are seeking an escape from your troubles with sublime dance or want to be inspired by thought leaders or you just need to laugh, the Professional Touring Artist Series has something for everyone to enjoy.”

With seating limited by Virginia’s restrictions on indoor entertainment venues, RCC Executive Director Leila Gordon says the community center was still able to host some artists and speakers last season, including the folk/rock band Trout Fishing in America, jazz violinist Regina Carter, and actor BD Wong, whose talk coincided with the 2021 Reston Pride Festival in June.

Many artists who were unable to come to Reston still sent video messages that RCC posted to its YouTube channel, and some were rescheduled for this upcoming season.

Gordon says RCC has seen attendance at its shows pick up since late spring, but even in June, a good day would be one with an audience of 100 people for a show that normally might’ve filled up the 260-seat CenterStage auditorium.

“We are keeping our hopes high that widespread vaccination will continue to offer protection that will help artists and audiences return safely to the CenterStage this season,” Gordon said.

Unless otherwise noted, all shows are held at CenterStage, which is located at RCC Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road). Tickets go on sale for Reston residents and employees on August 1 at 1 p.m. Sales open to the general public on August 8 at 1 p.m.

The full schedule for this season is below:

Mutts Gone Nuts, A Comedy Dog Act

  • Sept. 19, 3-7 p.m.
  • $10 Reston/$15 Non-Reston
  • Expect the unexpected, as canines and comedy collide in a smash hit performance that’s leaving audiences everywhere howling for more.

National Heritage Award Fellows at the Reston Multicultural Festival

  • Sept. 25, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Lake Anne Plaza; free, all ages
  • National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) National Heritage Fellowships are the nation’s highest honor in folk and traditional arts. This year’s fellows, who will be recognized at the annual Reston Multicultural Festival, are Rev. Paschall & Company and The Chuck Brown Band.

The Seldom Scene

  • Oct. 2, 8 p.m.
  • $25 Reston/$35 Non-Reston
  • What does it take for a bluegrass band to remain popular for more than four decades? For The Seldom Scene, it has taken talented musicians, a signature sound and a solid repertoire, as well as a delightful sense of fun.

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The Reston Community Players are back on the stage after a year of no on-stage performances.

Dark since March 2020, the Reston Community Players have drawn back the curtain for a virtual-only performance of the Cold War-era drama “A Walk in the Woods.”

The show was pre-recorded at CenterStage at the Reston Community Center. It was available on-demand starting last week and will be available through March 25.

The theater’s artistic director Kate Keifer said the theater has been working “tirelessly” to develop new ways of creating and delivering their art to the community.

“It’s a hard time to know when is the ‘right’ time to come back to the stage,” writes Keifer in an email to Reston Now. “We have all missed producing live theater so much during the past year. Filming this production at the CenterStage at RCC… and then streaming it online seemed to be a good compromise to the continued concerns for the health and safety of our volunteers and our patrons.”

Keifer says that while it’s been the pause “equal parts frustrating and fascinating,” it’s given the theater a chance to innovate and learn new skills.

This past summer, the theater organized a two-day virtual telethon with partnership with more than a dozen other community theaters across the region to raise money for the arts.

In the fall, they held a month-long concert series to help with their own operating costs as well make donations to other local non-profits.

This performance of A Walk in the Woods, however, is the first time that they are getting back to doing something similar as they had done in the past.

A Walk in the Woods follows two Cold War nuclear arms negotiations, one Russian and the other American, as they hold a series of informal discussions in the woods about the current state of affairs. The seasons change, as do their understanding of one another.

Keifer admits that it was a challenge for the two-person cast to perform in front of an empty theater, but gave them the opportunity to get creative.

“[It was] definitely not as much fun as performing to a theater full of appreciative patrons,” she says. “But the actors in this production are extremely talented professionals who deliver carefully crafted, emotional performances despite the lack of a live audience. We were also able to explore techniques we don’t typically get to use, such as close up camera angles.”

As for when audiences will be able to see the Reston Community Players again in person, Keifer says the hope is soon.

“We are hopeful to be able to return to the stage before the end of 2021,” she says. ” We are working feverishly on some very exciting plans to make it happen.”

The Reston Community Players is a non-profit 501c and have been performing since 1966. It has called CenterStage their home since 1979.

Photo courtesy of Reston Community Players

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Monday, Jan. 4

  • Equity Matters — Reston Community Center’s CenterStage will screen Harriet, a movie about Harriet Tubman. The show, which is free, begins at 10 a.m. Registration is required.

Tuesday, Jan. 5

  • Housing Discussion — The Herndon Town Council is hosting a discussion on housing policy tomorrow. The panel discussion, which begins at 10 a.m. online, will feature comments by a panel of three experts, including state Sen. Barbara Favola, state Sen. Jennifer Boysko, and Jeff Gore, a consultant who represents clients involved in housing issues. Anyone who wishes to participate can register online

Wednesday, Jan. 6

  • Reston Farmers Market — Enjoy fresh produce and farm favorites at the Reston Farmers Market, which is located at 11900 Lawyers Road.

Thursday, Jan. 7

  • Mathnasium Open House — The center’s directors will take part in an hour-long discussion on the program from 6-7 p.m. via Zoom.

Saturday, Jan. 9

  • Make a Bird Feeder — Learn how to make a bird feeder while learning about different kinds of birds at Lake Fairfax Park. The workshop takes place from 1-2 p.m.
  • Planning for a New Baby — Reston Hospital Center is hosting a virtual session from 10 a.m. to noon on how to prepare for your baby.

Sunday, Jan 10

  • Raptors Up Close — In this activity for all ages, residents will explore nature with naturalists at the Walker Nature Center from 2-3 p.m. Registration is required online.
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Reston Community Center’s CenterStage will come to life once again with three performances in the fall.

A limited number of tickets will go on sale on September 1 for Reston residents and employees and the general public on September 8.

CenterStage has adopted new safety protocols in order to maximize safety for the Professional Touring Artist series. Audience members are requested to wear masks and no intermissions will take place.

In order to facilitate social distancing, audience capacity will be limited to 43 pairs of tickets.

Shows may be live-streamed in the community room if a show sells out of CenterStage seating.

The following shows are planned for the fall:

Trout Fishing in America

Sunday, November 22, 3:00 p.m.
$10 Reston/$20 Non-Reston

This Grammy-nominated music act returns to Reston to entertain audiences of all ages.

Mark Brutsché is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Saturday, December 5, 3:00 p.m.
$5 Reston/$10 Non-Reston

Mark Brutsché brings his unique spin on this childhood favorite that will be fun for the whole family. 

Lúnasa, a Celtic Holiday

Special Guest Daoirí Farrell. Opening with MALINDA

Thursday, December 17, 8:00 p.m.
$25 Reston/$50 Non-Reston

Irish band Lúnasa brings its holiday show to the CenterStage, along with Dublin-born bouzouki player Daoirí Farrell and rising star MALINDA.

RCC also plans to continue its winter and spring line-up as well, which will include shows from Regina Carter, Reduced Shakespeare Company, and mutts Gone Nuts. Tickets for the 2021 portion of the schedule go on sale on December for Reston residents and December 8 for all others. The center noted that all decisions are “pending public health status and performer traveler restrictions.”

Unless otherwise noted, all performances take place at CenterStage, which is located at RCC Hunters Woods.

More information on how to purchase tickets is available online.

Photo via RCC

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Beware of Downed Power Lines — “The National Weather Service has indicated sustained winds of 10 to 20 mph with wind gusts up to 30 mph are likely for our area today. These winds, along with the saturated ground, may cause trees, tree limbs, and power lines to fall. Scattered power outages are possible.” [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

New Leadership at CertiPath — “CertiPath — a high-assurance identity management leader — has appointed industry veteran Jack L. Johnson as Advisor to its Board of Directors. In his new role, Jack will provide expertise and guidance on growth opportunities to the CertiPath leadership team and much more.” [CertiPath]

Reston’s EverWatch Buys Firm — “Reston’s EverWatch, a defense and national security contractor under the Enlightenment Capital umbrella, has made its largest acquisition to date, an Anne Arundel County IT and cloud services firm.” [Washington Business Journal]

Touring Artists to Take CenterStage — “Even as it faces the challenges of COVID-19, the Reston Community Center CenterStage has programmed a Professional Touring Artists Series that aims ‘to help our community reflect on how structural racism impacts us all and to celebrate diversity,’ said Paul Douglas Michnewicz, RCC’s Director of Arts and Events.” [DC Metro Theatre Arts]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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The Reduced Shakespeare Company is returning to Reston — at a distance. On July 12 at 3 p.m., the company will be holding a remote live-streamed event called “An Afternoon with the Remote Shakespeare Company.” 

The show will consist of the directors, Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor, who plan to tell stories about Reduced Shakespeare Company, take audience questions, and give behind the scenes footage from the company. The experience will be interactive and is geared towards anyone interested in the company or theater. 

They will also include a scene from Hamlet’s Big Adventure (a prequel), which was supposed to perform on July 12, and has been rescheduled for March 23 and 24, 2021, according to a statement by the company

The RSC has performed at the CenterStage every single year since 1987,” said the Reston Community Center Arts and Events Director Paul Douglas Michnewicz. Tichenor also stated that the community center and RSC have a long relationship, one of the “best relationships in showbiz history.”

One of their performances, The Complete Works of the Reduced Shakespeare Company (abridged), included seven of their nine shows and lasted for two whole weeks. 

“The show must go on… line,” quipped Tichenor in a Youtube video promoting the event. 

The two directors said that “a good, socially distanced time will be had by all.”

Photo via Reduced Shakespeare Company

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Reston Community Players will continue their 53rd season with “The Diary of Anne Frank,” which is based on the harrowing story of eight people hiding from Nazis in a concealed attic.

The show will run from Feb. 28 through March 14 at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road).

The Diary of Anne Frank holds themes of family, fear, and love – all seen through the eyes of a young girl,” said Jolene Vettese, President of Reston Community Players. “They are themes that resonate particularly in today’s world and ones we believe are very important for today’s audiences.”

The performance is based on the book, “Anne Frank: the Diary of a Young Girl.” It tells the story of Anne, 13, and seven others Jews who hide in an attic as the Nazis deport the Jews of Holland to their death. The book captures the diary entries of the young girl.

Here’s more from RCP about the upcoming show:

Leading the cast of The Diary of Anne Frank are Sophia Manicone in the title role and Michael Kharfen as her father, Otto Frank. They are joined by Laura Russell (Edith Frank), Madison Chase (Margot), Michael Sherman (Mr. Van Daan), Lorraine Magee (Mrs. Van Daan), Logan Matthew Baker (Peter), Steven Palkovitz (Mr. Dussel), Earle Greene (Mr. Kraler), Jessi Shull (Miep), Francis Kosciesza (Dutch Nazi), Kevin Carrington (Dutch Collaborator) and Ian Brown (Gestapo).

Anne Frank is directed by notable regional director Gloria DuGan. The production team includes Diane P. Mullins (Producer), Jessica Carrington (Stage Manager), Kevin Carrington (Assistant Stage Manager), Maggie Modig (Set Designer, Lead Set Painter), Tom Geutig (Master Carpenter, Sandy Dotson (Set Decoration), Franklin Coleman (Lighting Designer), Sara Birkhead (Lead Electrician) and Stan Harris (Sound Designer).

The curtain time is 8 p.m. for all shows except a 2 p.m. matinee on March 8. Tickets can be purchased online and by calling the box office at 703-476-4500, extension 3.

RCP is a nonprofit organization that has been producing theatrical productions since 1966.

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This Sunday (Jan. 18), the Liner Notes will perform “Music of the Movement.”

In this performance, the group will explore musical themes and the history of the Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s and 1960s.

The performance is set to take place at CenterStage at the Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road) from 2 to 3:30 p.m. and tickets cost $15 for Reston residents.

“Always striving to care for its audience, Liner Notes revisits this turbulent time in our history with authenticity, thoughtfulness and integrity, drawing connections and examining the intersections with the adversity still prevalent today,” according to the event page.

Tomorrow (Jan. 18)

  • Book Launch Celebration for Laura Renauld (11 a.m. to noon) — Children’s book author Laura Renauld will be at Scrawl Books (11911 Freedom Drive) for a meet and greet along with a book signing to debut her new book “Fred’s Big Feelings: The Life and Legacy of Mr. Rogers.” This event is free and open to the public.
  • Wine Tasting (2 to 5 p.m.) — Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market (1871 Fountain Drive) will host a wine tasting with various wines and food. There will be experts on-site to help answer questions and suggest pairings.

Sunday (Jan. 19)

  • Adoption Fair at Just Cats in Reston (1 to 3 p.m.) — Anyone looking for a new furry friend can stop by the Just Cats Clinic (1601 Washington Plaza) to play with adoptable cats and see if they find a good match.
  • Self Guided Painting (3 to 7 p.m.) — Guests will have the chance to work off temples to paint various items during this opportunity for independent creation at Pinot’s Palette (12976 Highland Crossing Drive). The cost for this event is $25.

Photo via Reston Community Center/Facebook

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Author Jeffrey Stewart will discuss his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke” at Reston Community Center next month.

Stewart will sit down with Jane Censer, professor emeritus of history at George Mason University, to discuss the life of Locke, who is considered the father of the Harlem Renaissance.

The event, which is being held in partnership for the Fall for the Book Festival, is set for Sunday, September 15 at 7 p.m. at RCC Hunters Woods.

Based in George Mason University, the Fall for the Book Festival is a non-profit literary arts organization that aims to promote reading. Its flagship Fall for the Book Festival is held annually in October.

Stewart is a Fulbright Professor of American Studies at the University of Rome, a W.E.B. Du Bois, a Charles Warren Fellow at Harvard University. He is also a professor at George Mason University and has written other books like “1001 Things Everyone Should Know About African American History” and “Paul Robeson: Artist and Citizen.”

Tickets are $15 for Reston residents and $20 for all others.

Photo via Oxford University Press

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Friday Morning Notes

Tickets Open for 2019-2010 Professional Touring Artist Series — Members of the public can now purchase tickets for Reston Community Center’s professional touring artist series, which features best-selling authors, musicians, and other notable figures. [Reston Community Center]

A Recap of Totally Trucks — Reston Association crew members encouraged children and adults to climb their smaller and mostly off-road units at the 20th annual Totally Trucks event on August 1. [The Connection]

Public Interest Registry Has a New Chief Financial Officer — The Reston-based firm hired Laurie Tarpey as its CFO. She will expand the expertise of the company’s executive team and ensure the “the measured growth of the .org domain.” [Cision]

Photo by Dario Piparo/Flickr

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Author Peter Kageyama dives into his love of Reston during a special event at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage in September.

Kageyama, the author of “For the Love of Cities: The Love Affair Between People and Their Place,” will discuss how Reston exemplifies his ideal.

The event is set for Saturday, September 7 at 8 p.m.

Kayegama’s book explores the “mutual love affair between people and their places,” according to the book’s descriptions.

Here’s more about the book:

The mutual love affair between people and their place is one of the most powerful influences in our lives, yet rarely thought of in terms of a relationship. As cities begin thinking of themselves as engaged in a relationship with their citizens, and citizens begin to consider their emotional connections with their places, we open up new possibilities in community, social and economic development by including the most powerful of motivators–the human heart–in our toolkit of city-making. The book explores what makes cities lovable, what motivates ordinary citizens to do extraordinary things for their places and how some cities, such as New Orleans, Detroit, and Cleveland are using that energy to fill in the gaps that “official” city makers have left as resources have disappeared. Meet those amazing people who are truly “in love” with their cities and learn how they are key to the future development of our communities.”

Tickets are $15 for Reston residents and $20 for all others. The box office is open from 4-9 p.m. on Thursday, August 1 for residents and employees of business in Small District 5 to purchase tickets. Sales will open up to the public and online on Thursday, August 8 at 4 p.m.

Photo via Reston Community Center

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Bakari Sellers, a political commentator and attorney who is the youngest African American elected official in the nation, will headline Reston Community Center’s Martin Luther King Jr. event next year. Seller’s keynote address is set for Monday, January 20 as part of RCC’s newly announced professional touring artist series for 2019-2020.

The season includes a mix of new and familiar artists to CenterStage. Reston residents and employees can purchase tickets beginning on August 1. Tickets will open up to the public on August 8.

“The Reston Community Center thrives at 40 because the arts have been at the center of building this special community,” said Paul Douglas Michnewicz, RCC’s Director of Arts and Events. “We know the season ahead will only deepen Reston’s love of the arts and the power they have to bring us together.”

RCC highlighted the following events:

  • Peter Kageyama (Saturday, Sept. 7 at 8 p.m.): “Peter Kageyama, author of For the Love of Cities: The Love Affair Between People and Their Places and Love Where You Live: Creating Emotionally Engaging Places, will bring his expertise to an exploration of how Reston exemplifies his ideals.
  • Jeffrey Stewart (Sunday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m.): “Author Jeffrey C. Stewart sits down with Dr. Jane Censer, Professor Emeritus of History at George Mason University, to discuss his Pulitzer Prize-winning book The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke, a panoramic view of the personal trials and artistic triumphs of the father of the Harlem Renaissance.
  • Fran Lebowitz (Saturday, Sept. 21): “In a cultural landscape filled with endless pundits and talking heads, Fran Lebowitz stands out as one of our funniest and most insightful social commentators. 
  • Dr. Azar Nafisi (Wednesday, Nov. 6): “The Iranian American best-selling author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi has electrified readers with a compassionate and often harrowing portrait of the Islamic revolution in Iran and how it affected one university professor and her students.”
  • Boys Don’t Cry (Tuesday, March 3): “Boys Don’t Cry is inspired by text from Chantal Thomas and is a funny and tender reflection on what it means to dance when you are a boy from North Africa and the Arab world.”
  • Lulu Fall (Saturday, April 4 at 8 p.m.): “A product of Senegalese and Cameroonian parentage, Fall creates music that reflects her global perspective by way of her American sensibilities.”
  • The Phantom of the Vaudeville House (Sunday, May 17 at 2 p.m.): “It’s magic, mayhem and laughter when Buddy “Mr. Vaudeville” Silver is faced with yet another hilarious dilemma. Is the CenterStage Motion Picture and Vaudeville House haunted?  Come cheer the good guys, boo the bad guys and keep the phantom from stealing the show!”

Box office business hours are from 4-9 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and from 1-5 p.m. on Saturday. The office is also open two hours before the curtain time of each performance.

Photo by Frédérique Calloch, Red Molly, Kia LaBeija

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The 11th annual Love Your Body Yoga Festival is set for Sunday, June 9 at Reston Town Center.

The festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. — rain or shine. This year, organizers will celebrate all area non-profit organizations that use yoga as a tool to transform society.

Organizations will be featured on the main stage and will lead a group class. Attendees can enjoy talks, enjoy music, and take part in a mix of yoga classes.

The event launches the start of Virginia Yoga Week, during which studios and teachers will offer free classes throughout the state.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Southgate Community Center. The event is presented by Beloved Yoga.

More information is available online.

Tomorrow (June 8)

  • Gardening Classes (9-10 a.m.) — Get your hands dirty and learn how to grow your own fruits and vegetables in this class. Students will meet with a Fairfax County Master Gardener to learn how to maintain a compost pile, plant seeds, and tend your garden to make it thrive. The class is $40 for Reston Association members and meets at the organization’s headquarters.
  • Worldwide Knit in Public Day (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) — Bring your favorite yarn and needles or use materials provided by Reston Regional Library to knit in public. The event is sponsored by Fairfax Library Foundation.
  • Bookworms Club (11 a.m.) — Young readers will explore a new theme in this weekly session at Scrawl Books. Readers are welcome to join the club at any time.
  • Summerbration Fun Brunch: Mark Jaster (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) — The stilt walker and face painter performs at Reston Station Plaza in this free event.
  • Young Actors Theatre (3 p.m.) — Young actors between ages 7 and 15 take to the stage at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage to present original musicals that are the result of 10 weeks of classes and rehearsals. The event is free and open to all, but attendees must request tickets by emailing [email protected]. Tickets are distributed on a first come, first serve basis.

Sunday (June 9)

  • Digital Photography Essentials Workshop (1-6 p.m.) — Dive into an introductory class with Mary Louise Ravese on how to use a digital SLR or mirror-less camera. The class, which takes place at ArtsSpace Herndon, costs $125.

File photo

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After a successful turnout at its inaugural event in a local church last year, the second annual Reston Pride Festival returns tomorrow (June 1) with a new location at Lake Anne Plaza.

The event, which aims to celebrate and support Reston’s LGBTQ community, is co-chaired by the Unitarian Universalist Church, St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, and United Christian Parish.

Building on last year’s event, the festival will feature entertainment, music, food, education and celebration, according to event organizers.

“The Lake Anne Plaza venue offers not only more space but greater visibility and access — and brings the festival into the heart of Reston, which is fitting as Reston since its founding in the 1960s has been committed to the principles of equality and inclusion.”

The schedule for the event is below:

  • 2 p.m.: Welcome note by Reston Pride co-chairs
  • 2:05 p.m.: Remarks by Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, Del. Ken Plum, and Sen. Janet Howell
  • 2:30 p.m.: Performance by choir from sponsoring churches
  • 2:40 p.m.: Vocal performance by Reston Community Players
  • 3:15 p.m.: Remarks by faith leader speakers
  • 3:35 p.m.: Drag show performance by Delta B. Knyght
  • 4:05 p.m.: Vocal performance by Rev. Michelle Nickens
  • 4:25 p.m.: Remarks by official speaker Danica Roem
  • 4:40 p.m.: Vocal performance by Jeff Young
  • 5:05 p.m.: Indian Bollywood dance performance
  • 5:20 p.m.: United Christian Parish Total Praise ensemble
  • 5:40 p.m.: Voices of Howard University
  • 6:10: Vocal performance by Laura Tsaggaris
  • 6:55 p.m.: Closing remarks

Tomorrow (June 1)

  • Gardens of Note Tour (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)  — Take a self-guided tour of Reston’s gardens and pop-up musical entertainment. Registration is open online. A garden party at Hidden Lane Residential Landscapes will follow the tour.
  • Wildlife Counts and Classes (6:45 a.m. to 12 p.m.) — Adult volunteers will explore Reston’s natural areas in this class, which meets at the Walker Nature Center.
  • Summerbration Fun Brunch (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) — A stilt walker, juggler and face painter performs onstage at Reston Station Plaza atop Wiehle-Reston East Metro. The event is free and open to all. Parking is free in the Metro Parking garage.
  • Summer Reading Kickoff (11 a.m.) — Young readers are invited to join authors Erica Perl and Laura Gehl to read some of their favorite titles at Scrawl Books.
  • ArtSplash for Adults (2-4 p.m.) — Adults are invited to create their own masterpieces in this workshop led by artists from Abrakadoodle Northern Virginia.
  • Lake House Open House (1-3 p.m.) — Enjoy light refreshments and mingle with neighbors during community-drop in time.

Sunday (June 2)

  • Nova Tour de Cure (6 a.m. to 4 p.m.) — The event, which is the American Diabetes Association’s signature fundraiser, raises funds for research, advocacy, programs, and education. It will take place at Reston Town Center.
  • Sunday Art in the Park (7-8 p.m.) — Hear the voice of the cello in favorites with assistant profess or cello Julian Schwarz and pianist Marika Bournaki at Reston Town Square Park. The event is free and open to all.

Photo by Debra Haffner

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Ben Volta, the artist and educator selected by Public Art Reston to transform the Colts Neck Road Underpass into public art, will discuss the project on Monday (June 3) at CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road).

Filmmaker Rebekah Wingert and Hunters Woods Elementary School art teacher Norma Morris will join Volta in the discussion, which begins at 7:30 p.m.

The underpass is identified in the Public Art Master Plan for Reston as a location for new artwork. Volta’s work will address the spirit of the Hunters Woods neighborhood, respond to the cultural diversity, and ensures the underpass is a civic facility in the fabric of the surrounding community.

Public Art Reston wrote the following about Volta:

A 2015 recipient of a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, Volta is known for his public artwork, (including intricate murals and sculptures), working within the fields of education, restorative justice and urban planning. He has a participatory approach to making art and has worked with numerous organizations and schools.

Volta is working directly with Reston community members on this project, which will beautify the underpass and promote its use. He has already done workshops with students at Dogwood Elementary School. In addition, he will give workshops at

Hunters Woods Fellowship House, Southgate Community Center and Hunters Woods Elementary School. He also will hold a community workshop, open to the public, in late June.

According to Volta, his practice “stands on the belief that art can be a catalyst for change, within individuals as well as the institutional structures that surround them.”

Volta–who as a young artist was a member of the groundbreaking art collective “Tim Rollins and K.O.S.” (Kids of Survival), in the south Bronx section of New York City–earned his certificate in sculpture from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 2002 and his BFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 2005.

After finishing his academic studies, Volta began working with teachers and students in Philadelphia public schools to create participatory art “rooted in an exploratory and educational process.” Over the past decade, and through hundreds of projects, he has developed his collaborative process in partnership with public schools, art organizations and communities. The

National Academy of Sciences also has recognized his work, which integrates art with math, science and reading.

Ann Delaney, Public Art Reston’s executive director, said Volta unanimously selected by the artist selection committee and Public Art Reston’s Public Art Committee.

“The project is an opportunity for infrastructure beautification, engagement, education, and inspiration,” Delaney wrote in a statement. “It will promote the active use of an underpass that helps link residential areas, Hunters Woods Village Center, two schools, two senior facilities and two community centers.”

The event is free and open o all.

The project is supported by Atlantic Realty Companies, ARTSFAIRFAX, Reston Community Center, JBG Smith, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Pat and Steve Macintyre, Lake Thoreau Entertainment Association and other individuals.

Photo by Ryan Collerd, Courtesy of the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage

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