Reston, VA

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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After a months-long shutdown, Reston Community Center is opening its doors to the public within limited programming next month. The center’s Hunters Woods and Lake Anne facilities will reopen on July 6, including the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center.

Summer camps are still canceled and on-site concerts are delayed until at least August. RCC will also resume room rental reservations in late August.

Registration for summer programming will kick off online at 9 a.m. on June 26. Printed registration forms will be accepted at the entrance of RCC Hunters Woods the same day from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. All participants must either register or reserve their pass use time.

“We are following all the relevant guidance to keep the number of people in our spaces at any given time within the limits that will promote good health. More than anything, we want to be sure that people can come and go from RCC and our programs with confidence that they are not putting themselves at risk of compromising their well-being,” said Leila Gordon, RCC’s Executive Director. “It will take the cooperation of everyone – patrons and staff – to keep our operation as safe as is humanly possible.”   

Here’s more from RCC:

Aquatics – Aquatics visits will be by reservation or registration only; there will be no drop-in visiting. This will allow for the required distance and capacity restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For more information, visit www.restoncommunitycenter.com/aquatics.

Other programming – Please visit myRCC to see other RCC summer program offerings. Smaller class maximums will be in place to assure the required social distancing. Registration is best accomplished online via myRCC. Paper registration forms will be accepted at the entrance area of RCC Hunters Woods beginning Friday, June 26 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The RCC Customer Service Desks at both locations will open at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, July 6, for normal operations. 

Enhanced hygiene and social distancing – Patrons and staff must wear masks and maintain six feet of social distance in the public areas within the building; patrons in programs without physical exertion requirements are expected to keep wearing their masks. Program space will be designed to maintain six feet of social distance during the program. For fitness and water classes, masks will not need to be worn, but the distances required between people will be greater – 10 feet between people swimming will be enforced, and a 10-foot radius for each person in a fitness class will be provided.

Touchless hand sanitizer stations will be available in both facilities and patrons will be requested to wash hands before and after activities. Signage and other measures will be used to avoid traffic bottlenecks at the entrances.

Virtual Programming – RCC is uploading a variety of virtual youth, fitness and arts videos for instruction at home and entertainment. These include popular RCC offerings like Qi Gong Restorative Yoga, Hatha Yoga I, Pilates Mat, Zumba Fitness, and Hi Lo Strength fitness classes. For young people, How to Make a Mask, Learn to Cross Stitch, and Making Breakfast; as well as arts and craft ideas from the Lake Anne Art Rave for Kids (LARK) inventory of fun will be filmed and presented on the RCC YouTube channel. The Reduced Shakespeare Company is presenting a special program just for Reston audiences virtually on July 12. Four more concerts are being filmed for the RCC YouTube channel. 

Offsite programming – All of RCC’s summer events and concerts at Reston Town Square Park are canceled. RCC’s summer events and concerts at Lake Anne Plaza and Reston Station are postponed. If possible, performances at Lake Anne Plaza and Reston Station may begin with Thursday evening, July 30 and run through August with audience social distancing protocols in place. Concerts will only be presented if audiences maintain safe distances for these presentations.

For Reston residents, fall registration will be pushed from the traditional August 1 deadline to September 1 in order to give county health officials more time for planning. The deadline for all others is August 8 and September 8 respectively.

Photo via RCC

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Friday Morning Notes

Car Rally in Herndon Yesterday Evening — Local residents gathered in the Town of Herndon for a car rally in support of the black community and justice. The event was titled, “Justice for Black Lives” and was organized by local community organizers. Close t0 200 cars took part. [Ibrahim Samirah]

What’s Next in the COVID-19 Response — The county’s epidemiology and population health director says residents needs to continue practicing “protective behaviors which includes social distancing, wearing face coverings and good hand hygiene.” [Fairfax County Government]

Herndon Girl Scouts Bake Friendship Bread — “While many Fairfax County students have been stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic trying to keep themselves from being bored, a troop of Herndon Girl Scouts have been busy doing something positive for the community. The eight girls of Cadette Troop 1105 are participating in what they call the “Cinnamon Bread Project,” baking loaves of cinnamon bread for LINK, which provides emergency food and financial assistance for people in need.” [Reston Patch]

Reston Community Center Issues Statement on Racism — “During these troubled and troubling times, Reston Community Center recommits our leadership, staff and resources to work that is antiracist, equity-driven, accessible and meaningful in the pursuit of our mission and vision. We pledge ourselves to learning from and listening to the voices of black people and all minorities experiencing racism.” [Reston Community Center]

Photo via Deborah Smith Reilly/Facebook

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Although Reston Community Center has canceled its summer camps and outdoor concerts and events in June and July, the center is turning to online options to serve the community.

Here’s more from RCC on the changes:

“This unprecedented public health crisis has upended everyone’s lives,” said RCC Board Chair Bev Cosham. “While we are disappointed not to have camps and the usual summer programming in 2020, we know it is in the best interest of our great community.” 

According to RCC Executive Director Leila Gordon, the agency will be using resources to come up with online options that will showcase popular instructors and counselors. “RCC’s staff is eager to see everyone in person when it is safe to do so,” Gordon notes. “We will be following public health guidance and figuring out how to offer programs with social distancing so we can open our doors to the public again as soon as officials allow it. In the meantime, we will see our community online.”

RCC will offer virtual options to keep children engaged with creative programming. More details on those plans are expected soon.

If publish health regulations allow, some registration-only fitness and aquatics programs may be offered in July and August. So far, the center’s summer events and concerts at Reston Town Center have been indefinitely postponed.

CenterStage’s performance will also film special performances on RCC’s YouTube channel. Some popular performers will also upload performances in June and July.

Photo via Reston Community Center

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The Reston Community Center officially canceled its traditional summer programming this year, but there might still be hope for kids looking forward to the yearly activities.

Instead of the originally scheduled summer camps, the center might offer amended programs that take into consideration community health guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a press release said.

The camps will potentially take place in July if the Reston Community Center is given clearance.

“The new camp schedule will operate under the enhanced social distancing and public health guidelines issued by Fairfax County and the Commonwealth of Virginia for these kinds of experiences,” the press release said. “Because of social distancing guidelines, there will be a maximum of nine campers in each camp.”

The potential schedule will be released sometime in June, and registration will be available online.

All of the new camps will take place at the RCC Hunters Woods and RCC Lake Anne, since other facilities will be closed, the release said.

Families who registered their kids for the original set of summer camps will be given a full refund, according to the release.

Photo via Reston Community Center/Facebook

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Restonians broke from a 16-year-long tradition of celebrating Founder’s Day at Lake Anne Plaza this year.

With social distancing guidelines and a stay-at-home order in effect, the Reston Historic Trust & Museum encouraged residents to find ways to celebrate the birthday of Reston’s founder Bob Simon and the community’s founding.

Alexandra Campbell, the director of the trust and museum, said she was glad the community was able to find embody one of Reston’s founding principles — to live, work and play in the neighborhood — in a new but truly Restonian way.

“While we are sad we could not hold this event on the plaza and could not connect with the community face to face, it has been a reminder that we can enjoy Reston’s history every day in our own homes. The community reflected and celebrated Reston’s unique history with us in a variety of ways,” Campbell said.

Nonetheless, residents submitted videos uploaded social media posts showing how they celebrated Founder’s Day from home.

Foley Academy of Irish Dance, which was scheduled to perform during Founder’s Day, shared a performance from members at home.

Kristina Alcorn, author of “In His Own Words,” shared memories of her book project and friendship with Simon.

Reston Community Center also encouraged residents to enjoy a film created by Rebekah Wingert of Storycatcher Productions for Simon’s memorial in April 2016. The film was commissioned by Reston Community Center.

Nonprofit organization Cornerstones — which has been on the frontline of offering financial assistance and resources to people affected b yCOVID-10 — also wrote the following about Founder’s Day:

When Robert Simon founded Reston in 1964, his pioneering vision helped create a compassionate, thriving, and equitable community where everyone could live and work. Today, during this unprecedented economic and health crisis, our community’s resiliency and generosity remains a shining example of his legacy. We are proud to join the Reston Museum in celebrating Founder’s Day and thanking the many individuals, faith-based organizations, and community partners who have supported Cornerstones over the past 50 years. Our continued work together will help sustain neighbors hurting today and begin rebuilding stability, empowerment, and hope so everyone has a bright, healthy future in our community If you know someone who needs a hand-up, please encourage them to contact us at 571.323.9555 or visit cornerstonesva.org. We are ready to help!

Chuck Veatch, founding and current band member of the Reston Historic Trust & Museum, described this year’s founder’s day as the “most unusual” in Reston’s history. He encourages Rsetonians to continue to take part in celebrating the day.

This is our 17th Founder’s Day and marks my 56th year living working playing and or serving in Reston. I will miss welcoming everyone in person to Founder’s Day this year but really want to see how each of us celebrates in this the most unusual Founder’s Day in our history.”

Photo via YouTube

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Though Fairfax County and independent groups announced several closures in the area, not everyone seems willing to give up the weekend fun.

Reston Now checked out several events and compiled important updates from around the area.

For people looking for things to do, a staffer at Kalypso’s Sports Tavern said that St. Patrick’s Day festivities scheduled for this weekend are still on, as of today (March 13).

On Saturday (March 14) animal lovers can attend the Lucky Dog Animal Adoption event at Kalypso’s Sports Tavern (1617 Washington Plaza N.) from noon to 2 p.m. and head to the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at Lake Anne Plaza.

Today, the Reston Community Center announced several cancelations and closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All artist events have been canceled, including the following, which were supposed to take place over the weekend:

  • “The Diary of Anne Frank” shows on Friday (March 13) and Saturday (March 14)
  • the Reston Community Orchestra performance on Sunday (March 15)
  • the Kundalini Yoga and Meditation session on Sunday

Though the Reston Community Center itself is not closed, staff are working to keep surfaces clean and disease-free with improved measures, the website said. Updates can be found on the community center’s website.

The Lucky Leprechaun 5K, which was originally scheduled for Sunday, has been postponed, according to its Facebook page. For more information, registrants can check out the PR Races website.

At the Reston Regional Library, the St. Patrick’s Irish Dance Performance has been canceled, along with the Learn How to Read Braille Workshop, according to a library representative.

Photo via Tim Mossholder/Unsplash

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Friday Morning Notes

Spring Flea Market Set for March 7 — The flea market takes place at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods at 9 a.m. to noon. The event is free and open to all. [Reston Community Center]

County Minority-owned Business Employ 80,000 — “According to the last Economic Census, African-Americans own nearly 9,000 companies in Fairfax County. In addition, the county is home to 25,000 Asian-owned businesses, 14,000 Hispanic-Latino businesses, 42,000 woman-owned companies and 12,000 veteran-owned firms in the county. Together these firms employ 80,000 people in the county and have total annual revenue of $14.4 billion.” [Fairfax County Economic Development Authority]

Nearby: Concerns Over Pet Shop Owner — “A Virginia man who is charged with animal cruelty told WTOP that he is innocent, and plans to move forward opening a pet shop in Fairfax County. But there is already a similarly named business in Northern Virginia, and a trademark question led to greater concerns.” [WTOP]

What You Need to Know for Super Tuesday — “There are 14 candidates on the ballot. While a number of Democratic Party presidential candidates have suspended their campaigns, these candidates will remain on the ballot unless they officially withdraw from the race with the state. The names of any candidates who withdraw will be posted at the polls. [Fairfax County Government]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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A film festival celebrating artist Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu and others with different disabilities is coming to Reston.

On Sunday, March 1 at 2 p.m., people have the opportunity to see a film about Yunupingu’s success as a blind Australian artist.

This show is part of a larger project called “ReelAbilities,” which highlights artists with disabilities. Other films will be shown throughout the NoVA area, according to the event page.

“The festival will feature domestic and international award-winning films and engaging programming and art and performance that inspire the community to explore and celebrate our shared human experience,” the event page said.

The screening will be held at the Reston Community Center Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road). All ages are welcome to this free event. People interested can simply show up to the event — tickets are not required.

Photo via Denise Jans/Unsplash

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(Updated 2/14/2020) Presidents’ Day is Monday and that means closures around the area.

All Fairfax County government offices, public schools and public libraries will be closed, according to the county website.

Trash and recycling will be collected on a regular schedule if community members are customers of Fairfax County, the website said, which added that people with a private company should contact the company directly.

Both Reston community centers at Lake Anne and Hunters Woods will be open from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Monday, according to the website.

In the Town of Herndon, recycling will be collected on Tuesday (Feb. 18) instead of Monday, the town’s website said.

The Herndon Community center will be open from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m., according to the site, which added that its government offices will be closed.

Regarding public transportation, the Fairfax Connector will be running on a Holiday Weekend Schedule on Monday.

The Metro will be running on a Saturday schedule from 5 a.m. until 11:30 p.m., according to the WMATA website.

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Op-Ed: Thank You to Reston

This op-ed was jointly submitted by Reston Community Center’s executive director Leila Gordon and Beverly Cosham, chair of the Board of Governors. It does not reflect the opinions of Reston Now. We publish articles and opinion contributions of specific interest to the Reston community. Contributions may be edited for length or content. 

The Reston Community Center Board of Governors and staff want to express their appreciation to the nearly 200 people who came out on a cold and rainy February Monday to contribute their ideas about RCC’s future.

The event was designed to begin a conversation that the Board and staff will be having with and throughout the community for the next several months as we explore the development of a new strategic plan to take effect in 2021. A film by Storycatcher Productions about Reston Community Center’s past, how it fulfills its mission and what it seeks to be in the future, was screened. It will continue to be refined, and then posted to RCC’s YouTube page with other RCC video stories and Board of Governors meetings. A film summary of the February 10 “RCC: Past and Future” event will also be posted.

Following the film, Dr. Kara Fitzgibbon, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Survey Research, presented findings from RCC’s 2019 Community Survey that UVA conducted. The full report, including the data appendices, is posted on the Reston Community Center website:  http://bit.ly/RCCSurveyReport. As Dr. Fitzgibbon noted in her presentation, the data collected is extensive and will be a foundation from which RCC can explore strategic planning priorities to serve Reston effectively and efficiently. 

The energetic conversation in the RCC Community Room that followed the survey report-out composed the second half of an energizing evening. Yes, the noise level grew challenging and there were too frequent interruptions; but the amount of positive energy and creativity that flowed was very impressive, nonetheless. The comments shared with the Leadership Fairfax facilitators from all the people eagerly offering them will be compiled and presented to RCC Board and staff teams. More meetings with smaller groups and more individualized focus areas will take place. 

Even with the abundant creativity and breadth of feedback received on February 10, there is still a lot of discovery to come. RCC will engage with the community in meetings on each individual strategic plan pillar to delve more deeply into the topics to get greater focus on various aspects of each. Pursuit of new facilities always necessitates lengthy investigation – not only to find out if there is support for a new building, but also what the ramifications are financially, what program elements should be served, how new facilities should function and by whom they should be operated. RCC is at the beginning of that exploratory process. Similarly, new programming, pricing, communications platforms and tools – all these pillars of RCC planning will require further conversation and research. 

Participants who registered for the February 10 event will be contacted if they left questions to be answered, and they will be invited to continue their involvement as RCC plans meetings for the months to come. People who want to join the conversation will be welcome – news about meetings will be posted and advertised.

The beginning of RCC’s future is off to a great start; thank you for joining the conversation.

Photo by Charlotte Geary

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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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Thursday Morning Notes

Donations Sought for Diva Central Dress Drive — Reston Community Center is looking for formal dresses, shoes, jewelry handbags, and accessories for the annual prom and middle school formal dress giveaway. Donations will be accepted through Feb. 29. [Reston Community Center]

It’s All Business for Reston Chamber’s New President — “When Mark Ingrao, the former CEO and president of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce announced he was leaving in June 2019, the Chamber went on a national search to find his successor. In the end, the organization opted to choose someone from within — Charles Kapur, a local banker who was then serving as the Chamber’s chairman of the board.” [Reston Patch]

Accident Closes Spruce Street in Herndon — An accident that happened around 4:30 a.m. this morning has prompted the closure of Spruce Street. Drivers should use Locust Street or Vine Street to detour around the accident scene. [Herndon Police Department]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Forty years ago, Reston Community Center opened its doors to the people of still-young Reston.

During that time, Reston has grown from a community of about 26,000 to nearly four times that number — and growing — as it welcomes transit-oriented development with Metro’s Silver Line.

How should RCC grow along with the community to best serve Reston in the 2020s and beyond? RCC formally asked residents that in 2019, when it contracted the University of Virginia’s Center for Survey Research to conduct a comprehensive community survey.

Restonians can learn the initial results of that survey, as well as participate in discussions about RCC’s future priorities at a special event, RCC: Past and Future, on Monday, February 10 at 6:30 p.m. at RCC Hunters Woods.

The evening will include hospitality and community conversation for residents and employees of Small District 5 (Reston). The agenda of this special annual joint Community Relations and Program/Policy Committees meeting includes a screening of an entertaining short film about RCC’s first 40 years; the presentation on the results of the 2019 RCC Community Survey; and facilitated discussion on four important RCC strategic planning pillars (Facilities, Community Building, Programs and Communications).

RCC convenes the Community Relations and Program/Policy committees jointly each February to hear from its stakeholders and partners. This year will be a special gathering not just for the anniversary celebration, but so RCC’s Board of Governors and staff members can gather feedback as the agency looks toward 2021, when the next five-year strategic plan will be adopted.

“We conclude our present five-year strategic plan in 2021,” said Beverly Cosham, RCC Board of Governors Chair. “Our approach typically overlaps the final year of one strategic plan with the engagement process to find out what is on our community’s minds that will shape the next one. This year, we look back to acknowledge the tremendous impact of Reston creating its community center in the image of the community and what that meant for the past 40 years.”

RCC Executive Director Leila Gordon says this is a crucial time in Reston — and RCC’s — growth. She is hoping for significant community turnout in order to hear and record opinions from a broad cross-section of Reston.

“We know that people want to discuss a possible performing arts venue; development of an online community calendar; partner challenges and other specific issues,” said Gordon. “This event is an opportunity to share views on those topics.”

Advance registration is requested. RCC will be providing translation support (Chinese, Arabic, Spanish and Russian) and offering childcare for busy families with children ages 6 to 12. Please RSVP at [email protected].

Those who want to take advantage of the childcare option must complete a registration form for their children.

The registration process will enable RCC to keep participants informed about the planning progress through the next several months. Interested patrons with questions can also direct them to [email protected].

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Moving Day for Fire Station 25 — “Station 25, Reston, A-Shift had a busy day moving to their new temporary station, located at 1840 Cameron Glen Drive. FCFRD personnel will be operating out of the temporary station while the new Station 25 is built. Crews will maintain continuous emergency response to the Reston community during construction. The existing station on Wiehle Avenue will be demolished in the next several weeks.”

Three Suspects Rob Bicyclist on Washington & Old Dominion Trail — A man was riding his bicycle along the trail near the 1000 block of Crestview Drive when three victims showed him a weapon and took his belongings. The incident happened on Jan. 24. [Herndon Police Department]

Reston Association Board Voting Begins in March — Voting for the month-long election for the Board of Directors begin on March 2. Ballots will be mailed to members and voting can be done online or by mail. [Reston Association]

Playing Games at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods — Residents can gather at the center today (Wednesday) at 5 p.m. to play board games and other tabletop games. Patrons are encouraged to bring their own game collections. [Reston Community Center]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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