Here’s What to Expect at This Year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

Reston’s 34th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration has full schedules for the three-day event.

The weekend celebration, presented by the Reston Community Center, honors the late American Baptist minister and civil rights activist.

An art exhibit by Reston elementary school students already kicked off last Friday (Jan. 11). The exhibit at RCC Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road) will run through Jan. 31.

Here’s a breakdown of what is on the schedule:

Saturday (Jan. 19)

Community service projects
9 a.m. at Southgate Community Center (12125 Pinecrest Road)
1 p.m. at North County Government Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive)

Community service projects at Southgate Community Center start at 9 a.m. Indoor projects include making bag lunches for the Embry Rucker Community Shelter, sorting and organizing items from The Closet and several other service projects. There will also be outdoor projects such as cleaning up the natural areas, pathways and hardscape surrounding the area — weather permitting.

Volunteers get a free lunch around noon. An additional project at the North County Government Center begins at 1 p.m. Volunteers are needed until 3 p.m. to sort and organize the donated items for the Hunter Mill Winter Coat Closet.

All ages are welcome for both events, and participants must register around of time through the Reston Association by contacting RA Volunteer & Community Outreach Coordinator Ha Brock at 703-435-7986 or habrock[email protected]

Reston Community Orchestra
4 p.m. at RCC Hunters Woods

The Reston Community Orchestra will perform a free concert. The tribute will combine traditions of African-American culture and Western classical music. Featured performers will include students from Al Fatih Academy and Beverly Cosham, a Reston song stylist.

Sunday (Jan. 20)

Performance by Crys Matthews 
2 p.m. at the CenterStage at RCC Hunters Woods

Matthews, a singer-songwriter from Herndon, is scheduled to perform her songs at CenterStage. Tickets cost $15 for Reston residents.

Voices of Inspiration Program
4 p.m. at the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation (1441 Wiehle Avenue)

The free event is sponsored by the Martin Luther King Jr. Christian Church and includes many Reston faith communities.

Monday (Jan. 21)

Keynote address by DeRay Mckesson
Noon at RCC Hunters Woods

Mckesson, an organizer, activist and author, will deliver the keynote address. Afterward, attendees can enjoy a family-style community lunch in RCC’s Community Room. Following the lunch, Mckesson will sign copies of his new book, “On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope,” which will be available for purchase.

Tickets for the lunch and keynote address cost $5 for Reston residents and employees.

Especially for Youth Program
11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at RCC Hunters Woods

Children ages six to 12 can participate in free activities based on the history of Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement. Children will rotate through a series of activities including a performance, an age-appropriate video and arts and crafts.

Parents are encouraged to register their children in advance, although there will be limited onsite registration on the day of the event.

Photo via Center for National and Community Service

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Friday Morning Notes

MLK art exhibit opens — An art exhibit by Reston elementary school students debuts today at RCC Hunters Woods ahead of Reston’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations planned for next week. The exhibit will run through Jan. 31. [Reston Community Center]

Gymboree music — Discover melody and rhythm in songs at the Reston Regional Library with two dance sessions cosponsored by the Friends of the Reston Regional Library. Gymboree Music I runs from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. for ages six months to 18 months with adults. Gymboree Music II from 11:15 a.m. to 11:40 a.m. is meant for kids ages 18 months to two-year-olds with an adult. [Reston Regional Library]

Deltek expands industry reach — The Herndon-based provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses recently announced it acquired Avitru, a content and software company. Deltek’s acquisition will expand its offerings to the architectural, engineering, construction and facility operations industry. [citybizlist]

Reston startup secures funding — Reston-based LifeFuels, which makes portable beverage makers, secured its Series-A funding. [Cision]

County expands drug disposal boxes at police stations — Fairfax County announced this week the expansion of the Prescription Drug Take Back Box Program Countywide, where locals can drop off prescription medications at boxes at district police stations. [Supervisor Pat Herrity]

Photo via Marjorie Copson

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RCC Adds Civil Rights Activist to Martin Luther King Jr. Event Lineup

Activist and author DeRay Mckesson will deliver the keynote address at the 34th annual Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday celebration.

The Reston Community Center recently added the civil rights activist to its lineup for the three-day event, which takes place from Jan. 19 to Jan. 21.

Mckesson is an organizer, activist and author of “On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope,” which debuted in September. He has focused on confronting the systems and structures behind mass incarceration and police killings of black and other minority populations, according to his bio.

He will deliver this year’s keynote address at noon on Jan. 21 at RCC Hunters Woods. Afterward, attendees can enjoy a family-style community lunch in RCC’s Community Room. Following the lunch, Mckesson will sign copies of his book, which will be available for purchase.

RCC’s Executive Director Leila Gordon said Mckesson’s own experiences will inspire his call for others to tackle issues “with integrity, commitment and awareness.”

“DeRay Mckesson speaks with urgency and the poignancy of his own lived experience,” Gordon said in a press release “He is among the new wave of leaders emerging to tackle the persistent issues of injustice, inequity and racial disharmony that infect and poison the American experience.”

Tickets for the lunch and keynote address cost $5 for Reston residents and employees.

Photo via Spitz

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Reston Community Center Adds Herndon Singer to Martin Luther King Jr. Show Line-up

Herndon resident Crys Matthews will perform her songs at the 34th annual Reston Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration.

The Reston Community Center recently added the singer-songwriter to its lineup of artists for the three-day event, which takes place from Jan. 19 to Jan. 21.

Matthews has gained national acclaim for her music, which blends Americana, folk, jazz, blues, bluegrass and funk. In 2017, she was the grand-prize winner in the NewSong Music Competition and won the People’s Music Network’s Social Justice Songs contest at the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance.

“Crys Matthews is an important voice of her generation and will be an excellent addition to our weekend lineup,” Paul Douglas Michnewicz, the arts and events director for Reston Community Center, said in a statement. “Her perspective reminds us that our similarities are far more important than our differences.”

Matthews is scheduled to perform at 2 p.m. on Jan. 20 at CenterStage. Tickets cost $15 for Reston residents.

She also plans to conduct a workshop for students at Langston Hughes Middle School and South Lakes High School as an artist-in-residence in Reston.

Photo via Fairfax County

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Coming Up: Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Weekend

Reston Community Center will hold a series of events this weekend to kick-off the 33rd annual Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration.

Tamika Mallory, co-chair of the 2017 Women’s March on Washington, will deliver a keynote address on Monday at noon at RCC Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road). Tickets are $5 for Reston residents and $10 for all others. A community lunch will follow the speech.

Mallory, a nationally recognized advocate for social justice, worked closely with the Obama administration to push for civil rights, health care, equal rights for women and ending gun violence.

Leila Gordon, RCC’s executive director, said Mallory is among the “new and urgent voices” pushing the country toward realizing Dr. King’s vision.

“Reston’s annual celebration of his birthday has always been designed to reinvigorate our commitments to the goals of the civil rights movement and the values of Reston’s founding. We look forward to Ms. Mallory’s visit and her call to action,” Gordon wrote in a statement.

Tickets are available for purchase at CenterStage box office or online.

A breakdown of events scheduled for the celebration weekend is below.

Saturday, Jan. 13

Sunday, Jan. 14

Monday, Jan. 15

  • Youth Program at RCC Hunters Woods: While the community lunch takes place, children in first grade through sixth grade can watch videos, complete arts and crafts and do other activities based on the history of the civil rights movement from 11;30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Limited on-site registration will be available on the day of the event.

The celebration weekend is made possible by Martin Luther King, Jr. Christian Church, Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, Reston Community Orchestra, Reston Association, Southgate Community Center and Cornerstones, with the support of other religious and civic organizations, business groups, and schools.

Several days after the celebration weekend, RCC Hunters Woods will feature a performance about friendship and multiculturalism on Sunday, Jan. 21 at 3 p.m. 

Mohammad Bilal and Josh “Boac” Goldstein will challenge stereotypes linked to black and white, Jew and Muslim, and urban and suburban during their hip-hop concert titled, “The Color Orange.” Tickets are available for purchase $15 for Reston residents and $20 for all others.

Photo via Women’s March

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Photos: Martin Luther King Day in Reston

There were people painting, repairing, singing, speaking and discussing at Reston Community Center’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day events in Reston over the holiday weekend.

Highlights included a large group of volunteers helping at Southgate Community Center Saturday; concerts by the Reston Community Orchestra and various groups at the annual “Voices of Inspiration” concert; and a keynote speech and performance on the progress of race in America by actor and playwright Anna Deveare Smith.

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Actress Deavere Smith Part of Reston’s MLK Day Weekend

Anna Deavere Smith/Credit: CBSActress and playwright Anne Deavere Smith will be the keynote speaker at Reston Community Center’s 30th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Day Jr. Birthday Celebration on Jan. 19.

The address, “Reclaiming Grace in the Face of Adversity,” is at noon on Jan. 19 and is part of  three days of events to mark life and legacy of King.

Here is the schedule of community events:

Saturday, Jan. 17

9:00 a.m. —  Community Service Projects at Southgate Community Center.

Take part in a variety of projects, including sorting donations at The Closet, making meals for Embry Rucker Community Shelter, and cleaning up outdoor areas. Reston Community Center is partnering with Reston Association, Southgate Community Center, Cornerstones, and The Closet on community service projects. Registration is required through Reston Association.

4:00 p.m. — Musical Salute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at RCC Hunters Woods

Maestro Dingwall Fleary will lead the Reston Community Orchestra in the ninth annual musical salute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Concert will feature the works of African-American composers, as well as works inspired by the civil rights movement for which Dr. King gave his life. New this year is an inspiring performance of Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech by students from Reston’s Al Fatih Academy. The performance is free for all ages, and donations are appreciated.

Sunday, Jan. 18

1:30 p.m. — Art Reception, RCC Hunters Woods

Reston children have created works with themes centered on the history of King and the civil rights movement,  art will be on display from early January through the end of the month.

3 p.m. — Community March — Lake Anne Plaza

Community members will assemble at Lake Anne Plaza, where Rev. David North will teach a brief history of songs used in the civil rights movement and then lead everyone marching and singing songs to Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation. A shuttle bus will run between the two sites from 2:30 p.m. until after the Voices of Inspiration program concludes.

4 p.m. — Voices of Inspiration Program at Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation, 1441 Wiehle Ave. 

All ages are welcome to the free program. This is the 25th Anniversary program honoring Dr. King, which is sponsored by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Christian Church.

8 p.m. —  “Snapshots: Portrait of a World In Transition,” at CenterStage

Anna Deavere Smith performs her one woman show, “Snapshots: Portrait of a World In Transition,” at CenterStage at the Reston Community Center Hunters Woods. Smith slips in and out of character recreating a diversity of emotions and points of view on controversial issues. Tickets are $25 for Reston residents and employees, and $50 for non Reston, and are available through the CenterStage box office.

Monday, Jan. 19

11:30 a.m. — Children’s Activities at RCC Hunters Woods

Children in first through sixth grades are invited to take part in a series of activities based on the history of King and the civil rights movement.

Noon — Anna Deavere Smith’s Keynote Address, “Reclaiming Grace in the Face of Adversity” at CenterStage

A Community Lunch immediately follows. Tickets are $5 for Reston residents and employees, and $10 for others.

For volunteer opportunities, visit RCC’s website.

Photo: Anna Deavere Smith/Credit: CBS

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MLK Day: Reston Community Center Site of Three Days of Celebration

Sweet Honey in the Rock/Credit: Sharon Farmer/sfphotoworks

Martin Luther King Day is Monday, Jan. 20, and the Reston Community Center has a full slate of events for the community to honor Dr. King. Special guests this year is Sweet Honey in the Rock, the award-winning women’s a cappella group. There will be several changes to catch the group during three days of events and service projects in Reston.

Here is the lineup and how you can get involved:

SATURDAY

Community service: RCC is partnering with Southgate Community Center, Reston Association, Cornerstones (formerly Reston Interfaith), and The Closet on projects including making bag lunches for the Embry Rucker Community Shelter;  sorting and organizing items from The Closet and several other projects at Southgate Community Center. There will also be several outdoor projects such as cleaning up the natural areas, pathways, and hardscape surrounding the area, weather permitting.

Volunteer hours conclude around noon, at which point volunteers will gather to share a lunch that will be provided. Sorting donations is for ages 13 and up. Children 12 and younger are welcome to participate in the other projects, but they must be accompanied by an adult age 18 or older. To volunteer, please contact Ha Brock, Reston Association Community Outreach Specialist, at 703-435-7986 or [email protected].

Reston Community Orchestra Concert: 8th Annual Memorial Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 4 p.m. RCC Hunters Woods.

Maestro Dingwall Fleary will lead the Reston Community Orchestra in musical salute to Dr. King. An integral part of Reston’s weekend of celebration and remembrance, the concert will feature the works of African-American composers, as well as works inspired by the civil rights movement for which Dr. King gave his life. Joining the RCO is vocalist Beverly Cosham. Free.

SUNDAY

Art by Reston Schools Reception: 1:30 p.m., RCC Hunters Woods, Free
The creativity of Reston students will be celebrated at this reception. Students have created works based on Dr. King and the civil rights movement. The works will be on display though the end of January.

Commemorative March: 3 p.m., Lake Anne Plaza, all ages
Community members will assemble at Lake Anne Plaza. Rev. David North will teach a brief history of songs used in the civil rights movement and then lead everyone marching and singing songs to the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation. A shuttle bus will run between the two sites from 2:30 p.m. until after the Voices of Inspiration program concludes.

Voices of Inspiration Concert: 4 p.m., Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation, 1441 Wiehle Avenue, Reston. Free.
Voices of Inspiration is the 24th Anniversary program honoring Dr. King. This event is sponsored by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Christian Church and includes many Reston faith communities.

Sweet Honey in the Rock Concert: 8 p.m., RCC Hunters Woods; SOLD OUT
As part of the 2013/2014 Professional Touring Artist Series, the musical group  will perform in the CenterStage.

MONDAY

Sweet Honey in the Rock Sing-a-long: 11 a.m.,  RCC Hunters Woods. Tickets:  $5 Reston/$10 Non-Reston. Visit RCC’s ticket site to purchase tickets.

Community Lunch & Sweet Honey in the Rock Keynote Address:  12:30 p.m., RCC Hunters Woods. $5 Reston/$10 Non-Reston. Visit RCC’s ticket site to purchase tickets. There will be a family-style community lunch followed by a specially prepared musical keynote address featuring the songs of the civil rights movement.

Especially for Youth: 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.; 6 – 12 Years Old • Free
Registration Required • 704750-4A
Register your school age child (Grades 1 to 6 to participate in activities at RCC. Children should be registered in advance. Limited on-site registration will be available on the day of the event. Children will rotate through a series of activities including a performance, an age-appropriate video, and arts and crafts. All activities will be based on the history of Dr. King and the civil rights movement.

Photo of Sweet Honey in the Rock by Sharon Farmer/sfphotoworks

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