Reston, VA

September seems like a lifetime away now, but the Reston Community Center has its fingers crossed that the world will be in the mood for a celebration.

RCC announced last week that it is now accepting applications for performing arts groups interested in participating in the 21st annual Reston Multicultural Festival, which is being planned for Sept. 25 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Reston’s Lake Anne Plaza.

“Multicultural Festival applications are being accepted with the sincere hope that we will be able to return to normal operations and come together as a community on September 25 to celebrate the diverse cultures found in and around Reston,” RCC said in a press release.

RCC Community Events Director Kevin Danaher says organizers are taking a “two prong approach” to this year’s festival, essentially planning for two scenarios: one where the event can be held as usual and one where masks, social distancing, and other public health guidelines are still required.

Last year’s festival was canceled due to concerns about the health and safety of vendors, performers, staff, volunteers, and the community in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Reston Multicultural Festival may be socially distanced this year,” Danaher said. “It will depend on the status of Virginia’s mandates.”

Free and open to all ages, the Reston Multicultural Festival features music, dress, food, and entertainment from different cultures.

Performers can be groups or individuals of all ages and cultures. Performance styles have a religious orientation but “should not be used to proselytize or overtly promote any faith or religion,” RCC says.

Interested individuals and groups can apply through RCC’s website. All applications should include recent video or audio examples of the group’s work.

The festival’s entertainment committee will evaluate the submissions based on artistic merit, production values, evidence of authentic traditions and forms of specific cultures, and general merit, according to the RCC press release.

RCC is also accepting applications for arts and crafts vendors, community organizations and food vendors.

The deadline for all applications is June 18, and selected applicants will be notified by July 16.

Photo courtesy Reston Community Center

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Morning Notes

Herndon Budget Vote Today — The Herndon Town Council will vote a fiscal year 2022 budget and real estate tax rate after holding a second public hearing when it meets at 7 p.m. tonight (Tuesday). The town has proposed maintaining the current tax rate and several spending cuts, but a $20,000 increase in funding for Friday Night Live! is on the table, giving hope to the summer concert series. [Town of Herndon]

2020 Census Results Revealed — Virginia recorded a total population of 8.6 million for 2020, a 7.9% increase since the 2010 census. However, that is not enough of a change to affect the state’s representation in Congress, which will stay at 11 House seats. [Patch]

Metro Extends Service for Sporting Events — “Beginning Tuesday, April 27, through the end of the year, Metro will “flex” service for an additional 30 minutes after the game ends, (until midnight), and will waive the fees normally charged to the team for extra late-night service.” [WMATA]

Virginia Launches COVID-19 Variant Dashboard — “The Virginia Department of Health has launched a dashboard to track the number and location of coronavirus variants that have been detected in the state. The Variants of Concern dashboard, which will be updated weekly, on Monday reported 965 coronavirus cases involving variants.” [The Washington Post]

Green Reston Scavenger Hunt Winners Announced — “Congratulations to Emma & Nora Ivanov, the winners from our Green Reston Scavenger Hunt! A huge “thank you” goes to everyone who took part and made our photo contest such a great success. #greenreston” [Reston Community Center/Twitter]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Monday, April 26

  • Life’s Decisions Using Beatle Songs (6:45 p.m.) — Have you ever made a big life decision using a Beatle song as a guide? Economist Brian O’Roark has. Join O’Roark and Smithsonian Associates for this one-of-kind presentation about how the Fab Five can help you plan for retirement.

Tuesday, April 27 

  • Life of Chuck Robb (6 p.m) — While most Virginians know Robb as a former governor and senator, he’s also the son-in-law of former President Lyndon B. Johnson. In this virtual event with the bookstore Politics & Prose, Robb will discuss his career and his new memior.

Wednesday, April 28

  • Lunch Bunch (11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.) — Lunch bunch is back at North Hills Recreation Area. Take your lunch outside, grab a seat at a picnic table, and be prepared to meet new friends (at a socially acceptable distance, of course).

Thursday, April 29

  • The Removed (7-8 p.m.) — Meet author Brandon Hobson as he discusses his book “The Removed.” The book interweaves Cherokee folklore and was a National Book Award finalist in 2018. The event is being put on by Arlington’s One More Page, where you can purchase a signed copy, and Fairfax County Public Library.
  • Herndon Farmers Market (8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) — It’s finally farmers market season again. A slew of local farmers markets are opening up in April and May. Herndon’s opened last week and is located at the 700 block of Lynn Street on Thursdays.

Friday, April 30

  • Emergency Equine Care Seminar (7 p.m.) — Learn how to take care of your horse when emergencies happen. Head to Frying Pan Park and hear from Dr. Laurel Marley of Burdick Equine Veterinary Services about procedures, medicines, and care one can provide their horse when there’s an emergency.

Saturday, May 1

  • 2021 Healthy Strides 5k/10k (8 a.m.) — Pick your route, your race time, and your favorite Fairfax County park for this virtual 5k, 10k, or kids stride. Everyone who signs up will receive a commemorative race t-shirt.
  • Birds of Prey Kayaking (12-2:30 p.m.) — Paddle out at Pohick Bay in Lorton with Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority naturalists to catch birds of prey in action. This is a perfect time of the year to see bald eagles and osprey catching fish, nesting, and flying around local waterways.

Sunday, May 2

  • Joy of Creating (12 p.m.) — Take a gander at work from students and teachers at Reston Community Center at this newly-opened and annual exhibit in the Jo Ann Rose Gallery at the Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Rd.).

Photo via Town of Herndon

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Morning Notes

Metro Board Debates Lowering Fares — “During the transit authority’s bi-monthly board meeting Thursday, four board members voiced support for a flurry of proposals that would simplify or reduce rail fees, including lower fares and eliminating rush hour peak pricing.” [DCist]

Paycheck Protection Program Deadline Extended — The deadline for small businesses to apply for forgivable loans from the federal COVID-19 relief program has been extended to May 31. The new PPP application period includes a 14-day window exclusively open to businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees. [Fairfax County Economic Development Authority]

Virginia to Overhaul Police Shooting Investigations — “Virginia’s attorney general and the state’s NAACP announced Wednesday that they are launching a collaborative effort to bring more transparency, impartiality and public confidence to the way police shootings are investigated across the commonwealth.” [The Washington Post]

Hunter Mill Supervisor to Assist with Potomac River Cleanup — “Help clean up our beautiful communities! This Saturday, April 10 is the Potomac River Watershed Cleanup. I’ll be participating in events in Reston and the weather looks good, so please consider joining us!” [Supervisor Walter Alcorn/Twitter]

Federal Assistance Available to Shuttered Venues — The Small Business Association’s Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program is now accepting applicants seeking assistance with payroll, rent, and other expenses. Supported by $16 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act, the program is open to live venue operators, promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organizations, museums, zoos, aquariums and theaters. [Fairfax County Government]

RCC Unveils Plans to Celebrate Earth Day — Reston Community Center’s 2021 Earth Day activities will include a photo scavenger hunt, play-dough making, storytelling, and supplies for a home herb garden. Advance registration and face masks are required for the Green Reston program on April 24. [Patch]

Photo via Mary Dominiak/Twitter

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As the seasons shift to spring, the start of the National Cherry Blossom Festival is fast approaching.

Among the events kicking off this year’s festival will be Art in Bloom, a community-wide public art exhibition. The exhibition includes sculptures of oversized blossoms decorated and finished by 25 area artists, including Reston resident, and painter and ceramic artist, Tracie Griffith Tso.

The 4.5-foot-tall fiberglass sculptures will be installed in all eight D.C. wards, as well as National Harbor in Maryland and the Aurora Hills and National Landing neighborhoods in northern Virginia. The 25 artists were selected from 129 local and national submissions.

Griffith Tso’s sculpture, entitled ‘Sakura+Seasons,’ will be installed today at the Southwest Waterfront at 4th Street and M. The sculptures will debut March 20, the opening day of the festival, and remain on display through May 31.

“Many small strokes of my brush created a larger-than-life grand spectacle of the cherry blossom,” Griffith Tso said in a release. “The idea of modest contributions to a greater whole is enduring in many ways today and for the future.”

According to Griffith Tso, her sculpture is a tribute to age-old Japanese sumi-e or black ink brushwork as a nod to the gift of the cherry blossom trees from Japan in 1912. The flowers on the sculpture – which is sponsored by Mars, Inc. – are interactive, doubly functioning as colorful seating.

Her design was completed in eight days and painted freehand. Bamboo rings the edges of the blossom while orchids bloom in the center and chrysanthemums make up the base. The blossoms represent winter, orchids for spring, bamboo for summer and mums for autumn, according to Griffith Tso.

Additionally, the bamboo represents longevity and resilience on the flower edges, chrysanthemum represents prosperity in the base and orchid indicates bravery as the center to form the sakura, or cherry blossom, a symbol of optimism.

Griffith Tso is the brush painting teacher at The Reston Community Center Lake Anne and also sells her pottery and prints at the Torpedo Factory Art Center’s Scope Gallery in Alexandria and on Etsy. A California native, she began working out of the Reston Community Center at Lake Anne after moving to Reston in 2007 from Kentucky with her husband.

She teaches and lectures about Chinese brush painting nationwide and specializes in spontaneous flower-bird painting. She has specialized in Chinese artwork since she began art classes as a 12-year-old.

“The Art in Bloom exhibition will radiate springtime across the District and beyond,” Diana Mayhew, president and CEO of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, said in a press release.

“We can’t wait for everyone to see the artists’ designs on these larger-than-life blossoms.”

Anyone interested in viewing the exhibition pieces can visit the Art in Bloom map online to go on a Blossom Hunt in order to find the sculptures. Visitors to the sculptures are also eligible to win festival prize packages, including a $25 Amazon gift card, by posting photos of the pieces to social media, tagging the festival (@CherryBlossFest) in posts and adding #ArtInBloom in the caption. Winners will be chosen each week during the display period.

Art in Bloom will culminate with a Blossom Auction in late spring 2021. Proceeds from the sale of the sculptures will support National Cherry Blossom Festival programs and community initiatives.

Art in Bloom is presented by Amazon and supported by Clark Construction Group. Additional supporters include Arena Social Arts Club, Chase, Clark Concrete, DowntownDC Business Improvement District, Embassy of Japan, JBG Smith, Mars, Incorporated, Miller & Long Concrete Construction, National Harbor and National Landing.

Photos courtesy Tracie Griffith Tso

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Friday Morning Notes

Reston Community Center to Open Late — The center’s facilities will open at 9 a.m. today. Water aerobics classics that start before then in the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center are canceled. [RCC]

Detectives Issue Warning about Texas License Plate Scam — ”Detectives with our Organized Crime and Intelligence Bureau are warning unsuspecting motorists of vehicle registrations being illegally sold involving the issuance of temporary Texas state license plates. Late last year detectives learned that Latinos Solutions Inc., formerly located at 7202 Poplar Street, Suite F, in Annandale, was fraudulently distributing temporary Texas license plates. After a lengthy and complex investigation, detectives arrested Karla Lopez, 25, of Woodbridge. ” [FCPD]

Fairfax Connector Returns to Regular Service with Detours — ”As wintry weather is expected to continue to impact Fairfax County and the National Capital Region, Fairfax Connector will operate full service with established detours tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 19, 2021.  As road conditions improve, detours will be lifted on a route-by-route basis, or system-wide.” [Fairfax County Government]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Eight Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Service infrastructure projects have received awards from the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the American Public Works Association.

Five of those projects were named “project of the year” in their respective categories, including the renovations done at the Reston Community Center Aquatics Facility and the Innovation Center Metro Station parking garage in Herndon.

Three other projects were named as “honorable mentions.”

DPWES received more accolades from APWA than any other municipality in the Mid-Atlantic Chapter.

“Having Mid-Atlantic APWA recognize the work of DPWES and our partners with these awards acknowledges the excellence in the building and enhancement of the county’s infrastructure,” said DPWES Assistant Director Juan Reyes.

Renovations at RCC’s Aquatic Facility (Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center) were completed early last year. They included the installation of a new lap pool, warm water pool, zero entry pool with water features, mosaic artwork, updating ADA accessibility, and a new roof.

In total, the project cost about $5 million.

The work earned the department an award for “project of the year” for structures costing between $5 million and $25 million.

The parking garage at the Innovation Center Metro Station was also completed in the first quarter of 2020 and was a more expensive project.

Costing $52 million, the eight-level, 2,100 space parking garage was built with the intention of serving the Innovation Center Metro Station in Herndon. That station is part of Silver Line Phase 2 which is not yet operating due to delays.

The project actually came about 10% under budget despite the garage having problems with it “sinking” back in 2018.

It won “project of the year” for structures costing between $25 to $75 million.

Other Fairfax County projects to win awards include Scott’s Run Trail in McLean, a sewer emergency construction project at Backlick Run in Springfield, and Tertiary filter rehabilitation project at the pollution control plant in Lorton.

Photo courtesy of Fairfax County

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Reston Community Center is moving forward with the 36th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration with a mix of online and in-person events with the theme “Are We Keeping the Promise?”

However, several pre-announced events are being canceled or rescheduled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

This includes the keynote address from Ibram X. Kendi, author of the book How to Be an Antiracist (which was very popular this summer at local bookstores). The event is being rescheduled for early 2022.

“We have planned meaningful events that will ask important questions and look toward the future as we as a community and nation reckon with this year’s revelations of the inequitable impact of the pandemic and the continuing systemic racism that is our national reality,” said RCC Board Chair Beverly Cosham in a press release. “At the same time, we are dealing with a rise in COVID-19 cases, so it is important to keep public health and safety in mind as we structure the opportunities for our community to tackle these critical issues.”

The celebration weekend is presented by the RCC along with a number of religious and civic organizations including the Martin Luther King Jr. Christian Church on North Shore Drive, Reston Community Orchestra and Reston Association.

The celebration commences this week with a toiletry drive to support local families with items being provided to the non-profit Cornerstones for distribution.

On Saturday, Jan. 16 and Monday, Jan. 18, there will be a small, socially distant community projects where volunteers can sort items from Herndon’s non-profit thrift shop The Closet, and make bag lunches for those at the Embry Rucker Community Shelter.

On Sunday, D.C.-native jazz vocalist Akua Allrich is paying tribute to musicians Nina Simone and Miriam Makeba with a performance at the CenterStage at Reston Community Center. Folks can attend, though capacity will be capped at 30% and masks are required.

For those who do not wish to attend events in person, the Reston Community Orchestra is debuting their performance of Lift Every Voice and Sing on RCC’s Youtube page  at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 16.

Also on the RCC’s YouTube page, there will be Akua Allrich presenting a performance specifically for Reston schools as well as a number of community leaders offering their reflections on Dr. King and his legacy.

Here’s the calendar of events, after the jump:

Read More

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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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Tuesday Morning Notes

Apartment Fire on Castle Rock Square Under Control — A fire broke out in the bathroom of an apartment building on the 2200 block of Castle Rock Square late yesterday. No injuries were reported. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Hands-free Cell Phone Laws Go Into Effect — Beginning Jan. 1, it is against the law to hold a phone or mobile device while driving. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Local Reston Heroes Who Went Above and Beyond — Three Restonians were honored for being local heroes by Patch readers. They include a member of the Reston Community Center Board, a childcare worker, and the owners of ArtInsights Gallery of Film and Contemporary Art. [Reston Patch]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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An exhibit featuring Chinese brush painting on silk and paper is on display at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods through Jan. 4.

The exhibit, titled “Naturescape Narrations,” features the 6,000-year-old Chinese art form with an animal-centric display.

Here’s more from artist Tracie Griffith Tso, who began painting her first brushstrokes at the age of 12 at a studio in California:

“Compositions strive to be interactive, and success is when they prompt a reaction, an emotion. Whether it be the adoration of slumbering rabbits, disgust of pesky squirrels, tranquility from a gliding fish, heartbeat of the cantering horse. Interactions are central, either between the rendered subjects or with the artwork and the viewer. Connecting with consciousness and tapping into the experience of a viewer is what drives deeper art. A story is told by ink: The flight of an insect, the posture of a bear, the glance of a bird. These tales are yours to decipher, let them flow like a brush trailing on paper,” she added.

Griffith Tso, who lives with her husband in Reston, specializes in Chinese flower-bird painting. She lectures and teaches about Chinese brush painting across the country.

The exhibit is on display through Jan. 4. Paintings are on display in the main area and masks are required in the county-run facility. The hours are 9 a.m. to 9. p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.

Photo via Tracie Griffith Tso

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Friday Morning Notes

New COVID-19 Measures Go Into Effect on Monday — Gov. Ralph Northam’s latest executive orders calls on all residents to stay home from midnight to 5 a.m., imposes a universal mask requirement, and lowers the limit on social gatherings to 10 people. [Fairfax County Government]

Leidos to Buy Company for $215 Million — “Leidos Holdings Inc. (NYSE: LDOS) jumped back into the mergers and acquisition market late Thursday, acquiring 1901 Group in a $215 million cash on hand deal. The deal would shift the Reston-based managed information technology services and cloud solutions provider into Leidos’ defense business segment.” [Washington Business Journal]

Performance Comes to Reston Community Center with No Audience — “The Ravel Dance Studio will take the stage at the Reston Community CenterStage December 12th without an audience. They will be filming their Nutcracker Ballet and although the production will not be open to the public the school and their students are thrilled to be able to keep this holiday tradition alive.” [Reston Patch]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Reston area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Reston, Herndon and Great Falls. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Monday ( Dec. 7)

  • Free Ballet Classes — (December 7-30) at Conservatory Ballet Foundation (11495 Sunset Hills Road) — Participants of ages two and above and enjoy two weeks of free live and virtual ballet classes. To register, use this link.

Tuesday (Dec. 8)

 

Saturday (Dec. 12)

  • Martial Arts Class — 11 a.m. at Life Champ Martial Arts of Reston (11160 South Lakes Drive) — Kids can enjoy a free martial arts class and receive a free t-shirt. To register, use this link.

Photo via Life Champ Martial Arts of Reston/Facebook

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A South Lakes High School junior has found a unique way to give back to her local community amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The student, Christina, learned how to make face masks and donated around 1,000 masks to her school’s food pantry. The effort began after. When she first began the project, she placed the masks in little free libraries and donated other masks to her neighbors.

In a recent release, Fairfax County Public Schools stated that she is now known as the “mask lady” in her own neighborhood. Her last name was not released due to privacy reasons.

South Lakes is proud of how these siblings exemplify the best of the FCPS Portrait of a Graduate as Ethical and Global Citizens. Their daily actions show how they contribute to solutions that benefit the broader community and demonstrate empathy, compassion and respect for others,” the statement reads.

Here’s more from FCPS on the venture:

A teen who loves crafts and art, Christina is inspired by her teachers at South Lakes, local artists, and summer classes she has taken at Reston Community Center.

Christina and her family stayed at a Ronald McDonald House Charity when a sibling was being treated for cancer. She spent her time there helping the other families by offering to babysit and host spa days. She also spent hours every day painting mugs and glasses that the charity sold to donors. Christina creates paintings that are sold to benefit Saint Jude’s Research Hospital.

She also enjoys working with people with special needs. Four years ago, her youth group volunteered as fishing coaches, pairing with people with special needs to compete in the Cape Charles Queen of the Bay Fishing Tournament. She enjoyed it so much that she returns to volunteer each year.

Photo via FCPS

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This holiday season will look different with social-distancing, face coverings and other safety measures and recommendations from the Fairfax County Health Department.

For the first three weeks of this month, Reston Community Center will be hosting virtual events every Tuesday and Thursday that will get you active, creative and in the holiday spirit, according to its press release.

The following events will take place on the Reston Community Center’s Facebook page and registration is not required:

For more information about RCC’s virtual holiday events, visit the center’s website.

Other holiday festivities will take place in Reston this month, including the Christmas Festival in Herndon. This free event will take place at Emily Rose Lewis Ministries (503 Carlisle Drive). Guests will be able to enjoy free food, drinks, festive decorations and a free Christmas photo, according to the website.

This Sunday only, families of five or less can receive a free holiday photo from Worldgate Centre (13007 Worldgate Drive). All guests will have their temperature taken and are required to wear a face covering until their photo is taken, the website said.

For the first three weekends of this month, families can receive another free family photo from Santa’s Workshop at Woodland Park Crossing (12960 Highland Crossing Drive).

Guests are also encouraged to donate new and unwrapped toys during this time as the company raises donations for Toys for Tots. Toys will be accepted at Woodland Park Crossing until Sunday (Dec. 13).

Train rides will be available every Saturday and Sunday of this month in Reston Town Center (11900 Market St.). The cost is $20 and each ride will run for approximately 15 minutes. Guests are also required to wear a face covering throughout the duration of their ride.

Photo via Reston Town Center/Facebook

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