Reston, VA

Greater Reston Arts Center is the latest local entity to be hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

With one of its flagship events canceled this year, the organization has launched a special fundraising appeal for this month. The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, which was initially rescheduled to September, was canceled late last month due to the difficulty of implementing social distancing guidelines at the popular event.

“The festival historically provides more than one-third of our annual net income. And, consequently, the financial I impact of the cancellation is severe fort he organization,” wrote Jaynelle Hazard, GRACE’s executive director and curator in a written appeal sent earlier this morning. A board member has offered to match the first $5,000 raised.

Here’s more from Hazard on the plea:

We understand that charitable donations may not be an option for many in this moment, and that some have already given to Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) – thank you. If you are, in any way, able to help meet this inspirational year-end challenge, we would be grateful. Donations will contribute toward essential funds necessary in powering our ability to continue offering opportunities that explore and engage with contemporary art and artists. Whether you are able to donate $5, $50, $500, or more, your tax-deductible gift will make a substantial impact. Help us meet, if not exceed, Lezley’s gracious challenge. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration and for supporting GRACE.

GRACE is projecting a loss of about $100,000 of its $500,000 budget, GRACE’s gallery and communication manager, Sofia Blom, told Reston Now. Donations are being accepted online.

Photo by Don Renner

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Organizers had hoped the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival would take place at a rescheduled date this year.

But today, the Greater Reston Arts Center announced that the festival will be canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic this year. Organizers hope that the next festival will take place on its typical weekend — the third weekend in May. This year’s festival was rescheduled to September 11-13.

“This was a hard decision, knowing how deeply this impacts our artists (who we know value this opportunity, especially now), our audience (who may have appreciated the sense of normalcy the festival could provide), and ourselves (as a small arts non-profit with the festival accounting for over a third of our annual net income),” said Jaynelle Hazard, GRACE’s Executive Director and Curator.

GRACE noted that implementing phase three requirements — including 10 feet of distancing, a 1,000-person cap, and one-way flow of pedestrian traffic — seemed “impossible challenging for an open-air street festival of our magnitude.”

Volunteer numbers are likely to decline (and our volunteers are essential to a well-run festival in the best of times), and artists who remained committed to the event had dropped in recent weeks. We carefully surveyed all options and held on as long as we could; however, we have reached the point where we cannot, confidently, safely or practically proceed. The safety of everyone involved is our top priority,” wrote Erica Harrison, Associate Curator and Festival Director.

Gov. Ralph Northam is expected to make an announcement on the status of phase three in Virginia during a press conference tomorrow.

Photo by Charlotte Geary

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Along with a myriad of other events, the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival in Reston has been rescheduled for later this year.

Event organizers made the call yesterday (March 24) to postpone the festival, which brings together a variety of handcrafted art pieces, until September due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release.

Now, the festival is set to take place from September 11-13, according to the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE).

“Our first priority is the health and well-being of our artists, volunteers, sponsors, and patrons,” GRACE’s Associate Curator and Festival Director, Erica Harrison said in the press release.

This annual event draws more than 30,000 guests from around the D.C. area, according to a press release.

As originally planned, the festival will still take place at the Reston Town Center.

Photo via Northern Virginia Arts Festival/Facebook

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The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, which is now in its 28th year, continues this weekend at Reston Town Center. Artists from around the country will take part in this outdoor festival, which has attracted roughly 30,000 patrons annually.

Donations collected from the festival will go to the Greater Reston Arts Center. The festival is on for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on tomorrow and Sunday.

A festival party set tomorrow, which includes the 2019 Awards of Excellence, refreshments, entertainment, and more, is for members only. Attendees must be contributing supporters to receive a complimentary invitation to the event.

Tomorrow (May 18)

  • Baby Expo (9 a.m. to noon) — Learn about products, childcare resources and fund things to do with the family in this event at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods. The expo is free and open to all.
  • Bookworms Club (11 a.m.) — Dive into reading “Pig the Stinky” and “Book hog” at Scrawl Books. Each week, readers explore a new theme and can participate at any time.
  • Relay for life of Reston-Herndon (2 p.m.) — Help race money to help the American Cancer Society fight cancer in this annual event, which takes place at South Lakes High School.
  • Habitat Heroes (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) — Volunteers can help remove invasive garlic mustard from the woods and stream banks at Old Trail Drive Natural Area. Spring is the best time to tackle this invasive plant that attacks native trees, ferns and wildflowers.
  • On That Note: Brand New Day (7-9 p.m.) — Sterling Playmakers will perform popular songs from musicals at this ticketed event at ArtSpace Herndon.

May 19

  • Luau on the Lake (1-4 p.m.) — Lake Anne Brew House is hosting what organizers are calling a “fun-filled, luau-themed afternoon” to benefit South Lakes High School’s food pantry. Attendees should bring non-perishable donations. A percentage of proceeds will go directly to the pantry.
  • Bringing Art to a New Town (7-9 p.m.) — Artist Pat Macintyre shares her story about her 1970s TV show and how Reston inspired her artwork. The event takes place at the Reston Museum. 

Photo by Don Renner

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Hunter Mill District Supervisor Candidates Discuss Plans — Candidates running for the seat of Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins answered questions posed by Greater Greater Washington. Topics explored include transportation, diversifying housing stock and affordable housing. [Greater Greater Washington]

Volunteers Needed for Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival — The Greater Reston Arts Center is looking for around 500 volunteers to help organize the festival, which takes place next weekend on May 17 through May 19. [Greater Reston Arts Center]

Les Miserables Performances Continue This Weekend — South Lakes High School’s theatre group continues performances through Saturday at the school’s auditorium. Shows today and tomorrow start at 7 p.m. [South Lakes High School]

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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More than 200 fine artists from across the country will come for Greater Reston Arts Center’s 28th annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival.

The outdoor festival will take place at Reston Town Center (11900 Market Street) on May 17 through May 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

On Friday (May 17), town center merchants will offer “Festival Friday” deals. A “Festival Party” on Saturday (May 18)  from 7-10 p.m. will feature this year’s awards of excellence. Food is catered in-kind by Not Your Average Joe’s and the event is sponsored by M Group Architects. The party is free for GRACE’s sponsors, supporters, and all festival artists, according to event organizers.

A movement installation by Heidi Latsky will celebrate the beauty of differences. The performance is sponsored by Reston Community Center and will take place on Saturday (May 18) at 7 p.m. during the party and at Reston Town Square Park on Sunday (May 19) at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Artists featured in the festival were selected by an independent panel of professional jurors, with some help from GRACE’s curatorial staff. Sofia Blom, GRACE’s gallery and communications manager, said the following about the selection process:

The three highly qualified jurors for the 2019 Festival are Nehemiah Dixon III, a widely exhibited native Washingtonian artist; Lauren Hilyard, a Washington-based art advisor with 20 years of experience working for the Guggenheim Museum and Christie’s Auction House among others; and Laura Roulet, an independent curator and writer and frequent contributor to Sculpture Magazine. These three jurors will also judge each artist booth on Friday and Saturday to select the ten Awards of Excellence. Each winner will receive a $500 cash prize, a blue ribbon for booth display, and automatic acceptance into the 2020 Northern Virginia FineArts Festival.

Over 500 volunteers are needed for the event. Signup is available online.

Photo by Charlotte Geary

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Adults are needed to participate in a movement installation for the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival.

Artist Heidi Latsky plans to “celebrate the beauty of differences” with a movement installation titled “ON DISPLAY/RESTON.” The installation is a sculpture court where the performers are the sculptures, according to the Reston Community Center.

The Reston installation is a local platform for a worldwide initiative called “ON DISPLAY,” which was created by a partnership between Heidi Latsky Dance, a New York City dance company, and the United Nations to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Men and women age 18 and older are able to participate — no formal dance experience is required. “Diversity and the most inclusive range of ability are welcome. The movement installations will involve focus, stillness and structured improvisation,” according to the press release.

“ON DISPLAY/RESTON” will take place on Saturday, May 18, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 19, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. People interested in participating should contact Kevin Danaher at [email protected]

The three-day festival at Reston Town Center is set to start on Friday, May 17, and last until Sunday, May 19. More than 200 artists are anticipated at the festival.

Photo by Charlotte Jones

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Holiday movie time at the library — Christmas and Hanukkah might be over, but locals can still enjoy the Disney holiday movie “Frozen” starting at 10:30 a.m. today at the Herndon Fortnightly Library. [Herndon Fortnightly Library]

Dulles Toll Road hikes start next week — Starting Jan. 1, prices are scheduled to increase from $2.50 to $3.25 at the main toll plaza and from $1 to $1.50 on ramps, according to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. [Tysons Reporter]

Beware of burglaries — Fairfax County Police are reminding residents to lock their doors after a wave of burglaries hit the McLean, Reston and Fair Oaks Districts. [Tysons Reporter]

Vote for Reston, Herndon theatre — The Reston Community Players and NextStop Theatre Company have several nominations for the BroadwayWorld Washington, D.C. Awards, including “Best Actor ina Community Theatre Production.” Voters have until Dec. 31 to pick the winners. [BroadwayWorld]

Last day to apply for the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival 2019 — Applicants can submit up to two applications by midnight tonight consisting of “original, well-conceived and expertly executed” works made within the last five years for the festival, which will be held in Reston. Art categories include ceramics, digital & multimedia art, furniture and more. The late fee is $60. [Zapplication]

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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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The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival is returning to Reston Town Center for its 27th annual event, and this year the festival is a day longer.

The festival established by the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) will run from May 18-20 at 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. each day and will bring more than 200 artists from across the country to show original works in 16 different categories of fine art and fine craft.

“The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival is an event unlike any other. The quality of the fine art is exceptional, and the variety ensures that there is something for everyone, from woodwork to jewelry, ceramics, and painting,” said GRACE Executive Director and Curator Lily Siegel in a press release.

Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market will also be joining the festival as a title sponsor in time for its move to the Reston Town Center this spring. The market will be providing attendees food at multiple locations throughout the festival.

On top of the showings there will be a festival party for artists, sponsors and their guests from 7:30-9 p.m. There will also be an announcement of the 10 winners of the Awards of Excellence who will receive $500 in cash prize, a blue ribbon for their artist booth and admission into next year’s festival.

Donation tickets cost $5 per adult to benefit GRACE. There will also be free parking in all Reston Town Center garages throughout the entire festival.

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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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This past weekend’s Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival was a major success for Greater Reston Arts Center, its executive director says.

“I can tell you that not only is the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival a marquee cultural event for the area, it is GRACE’s largest fundraiser,” said Lily Siegel, GRACE’s executive director and curator. “We, again, successfully raised half of our operating budget for the year.”

Siegel said the annual operating budget for GRACE is about $550,000.

She said that while attendance for the event cannot be accurately measured because of the numerous entrance points to Reston Town Center, casual counts have organizers estimating between 20,000 and 30,000 visitors over the course of the weekend.

Those thousands of visitors gave a lot of positive reaction to the cultural event, Siegel said.

“Response from the public and the artists was overwhelmingly positive,” she said. “We repeatedly heard that this year’s festival had the highest quality of work on display yet [and] it continues to get stronger every year.”

Siegel also said the festival’s jurors were “consistently impressed” by the excellence of the work at the show.

“This is one of the most competitive fine arts festivals in the country to gain acceptance to and it shows,” she said. “This all goes hand-in-hand with the mission of making the festival an extension of the gallery experience available to the public throughout the year at the Greater Reston Arts Center.”

Photos by Megan Myers and Carol Nahorniak

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The big event this weekend is the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, which will bring tens of thousands to Reston Town Center  beginning tonight. The kickoff party is from 6-9 p.m. tonight; tickets are $50. The event itself is the next two days, with admission a $5 suggested donation for adults. It will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

But there is plenty else going on in the area this weekend too. Here is just a sampling of what’s available to you, your family and friends in the coming days:

  • Reston’s Relay for Life event will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday at South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive). The luminaria ceremony is set for 9 p.m. Saturday, with the event to continue through the night and wrap up at 7 a.m. Sunday.
  • The Reston Farmers Market will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lake Anne Village Center. The Pink Armoire Fashion Truck will be in attendance this week.
  • Lake Anne is also hosting Sunday Yoga on the Plaza each week, at 9:30 a.m.
  • Radcliffe Bailey: The Great Dismal Swamp” remains on display at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) through August.
  • The Habitat Heroes program seeks volunteers to cut back the large invasive bush honeysuckle that has taken over the field edge at Sunrise Valley Rec Area (10805 Oldfield Drive), Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.
  • There will be a bird walk Sunday from 7:30-10:30 a.m. at Stratton Woods Park. Meet at the Polo Fields Recreation Area.
  • Reston Association will host an open house at The Lake House on Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon.
  • The 18th annual Teachers and Students Exhibit remains on display at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center-Lake Anne (1609 Washington Plaza N.) through June 5.
  • Live music at Reston Town Center this weekend will include a performance from 6-10 p.m. tonight at Tavern64 (1800 Presidents St.) and both tonight and Saturday from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. at Crafthouse (1888 Explorer St.).
  • Lucky Dog Animal Rescue will have an adoption event at PetSmart (11860 Spectrum Center) from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday.
  • This week at Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive), Frying Pan Farm Park will visit Saturday from 11 a.m. to noon; and “First Ladies and Scandals in the City” will be presented Saturday from 1-3 p.m.
  • The My Health Matters 5K/1-mile Walk and Free Health Fair is slated for Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon at the 505 Building at Herndon Square (505 Huntmar Park Drive).
  • Kalypso’s (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will have live music tonight, 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., from Medicated Sunfish. DJ Kram will play Top 40 hits Saturday night.
  • Vinafera Wine Bar and Bistro (11750 Sunrise Valley Drive) has live music from 7-10 p.m. every Friday and Saturday night.
  • Matt Waller will play at The Tasting Room Wine Bar (1816 Library St.) from 8-11 p.m. Saturday.
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Organizers of the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, slated for this weekend at Reston Town Center, are expecting a big crowd.

According to information provided by Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE):

“The festival is the largest annual fundraiser for GRACE and attracts over 30,000 visitors from across the region. Participating artists uniformly view the event as one of the ‘top five’ outdoor art festivals in the country, extending high praise to the level of hospitality they receive from volunteers and involvement from a community that appreciates the high quality of the art presented.”

The festival is an honoree in the America’s Best Art Fair Awards competition, which recognized it as one of the top juried art fairs in the country.

Around 200 exhibiting artists will be filling the streets to show off their wares during the 26th annual event. All interior streets of the Town Center will be reserved for pedestrians only, leaving an 11-block art walk.

The event will begin with a kickoff party Friday from 6-9 p.m., featuring complimentary food and wine along with the opportunity to mingle with artists and other dignitaries. Tickets are $50. The festival itself will follow the next two days, with admission a $5 suggested donation for adults. It will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Boston Properties’ parking fees will be waived during the event, including during the kickoff party Friday. The festival is one of three special events throughout the year during which this will happen. The others are the Taste of Reston (June 16-17) and the Reston Holiday Parade (Nov. 24).

The weather will be decidedly cooler this weekend than it has been in recent days, with forecast highs in the low 70s.

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