The venue may be different, but there was no stopping this year’s Broadway Night.
The South Lakes High School Chorus and Parents for the Choral Arts are putting on the 16th anniversary of Broadway Night at 7 p.m. on Feb. 27. For the first time, the show will be produced and presented virtually.
The theme of the show will be Screen and Stage, and will feature songs that went from screen to stage or stage to screen. The show will also feature performances from students in fifth through 12th grades from the South Lakes High School pyramid schools.
“Community and love are at the center of the South Lakes choral program, and this feeling is always especially palpable in our annual Broadway Night,” South Lakes High School choral director Rita Gigliotti said.
“The success of this annual show is in the synergy of our extraordinary professional creative team combined with our talented, dedicated students and the love and support of our SLHS community, our Parents for Choral Arts Booster organization, the Reston Community Center, and local community business sponsors.”
The show will feature special appearances from Frank Abagnale, the primary subject of the movie, autobiography and musical “Catch Me If You Can,” and more than a dozen Broadway and film actors.
Broadway Night offers the school’s chorus and performing arts students an opportunity to work with professional choreographers and directors. Given the inability to rehearse and produce the show in person, student performers have worked with directors and choreographers virtually.
Prices are grouped in four categories. A family, group or household virtual stream is $60 and an individual viewer stream is $20. A VIP supporter price is $125 and a student, senior or choral supporter ticket is $10. Broadway Night is supported by ticket sales.
Tickets are available for purchase on the chorus’ site. It is recommended to purchase tickets by 5 p.m. on Feb. 27. If you are unable to watch the performance live, a recording will be uploaded and available for viewing for 60 days after the show.
“Music is a universal language. Its ability to tap into our hearts and souls is widely recognized by the way we feel when we engage in it,” Gigliotti said.
“Music’s ability to synchronize our energy creates community. You are going to feel the community and love of individuals near and far in this year’s show, all coming together to support our performing arts students.”
The performance will also support The Actors Fund, a charitable organization that helps the entertainment industry. Gigliotti also said the performance will be dedicated to front-line workers and those who have been impacted by COVID-19.
Image via South Lakes High School
Monday, Feb. 22
- Undefeated (2:30-3:15 p.m.) – Meet Kwame Alexander, one of the hottest young adult book authors writing today. The New York Times best selling and Caldecott Medal-winning author (for his 2019 book “The Undefeated“) will talk about his writing process and give a short reading.
- Brothers Gupta (6:30-7:30 p.m.) – After being rejected many times, Suneel Gupta dives into the question of if “charisma”can be learned. He gets into a conversation with his brother Sanjay Gupta, and famed CNN medical correspondent, about his new book focusing on this topic. This virtual event is hosted by Politics and Prose.
Tuesday Feb. 23
- Burn (6-7 p.m.) – In October 1933, George Armwood of Princess Anne, Maryland was lynched. It was the last known lynching in a state with a horrific history of the crime. Join filmmaker Will Schwarz – and founder of the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project – as he virtually screens and discusses his documentary film, “Burn: The Lynching of George Armwood.” This event is for adults.
Wednesday, Feb. 24
- Backyard Bats (7-8 p.m.) – Learn about the enchanting life of the world’s only flying mammal from Leslie Sturges, President of the Save Lucy Campaign. She’s teaching participants about the seven bat species that call this region home and how to spot the animals in your own backyard. This event is virtual.
Thursday, Feb. 25
- A Reckoning (Noon to 1 p.m.) – This virtual event from Woodlawn & Pope-Leighey House in Alexandria features four poets giving voices to the erased lives of those who were enslaved at Woodlawn. Readings are accompanied by music from harmonica player Cliff Bernier.
Friday, Feb. 26
- Asteroid (3 p.m.) – Last October, a NASA spacecraft touched down on Bennu, an asteroid, and collected samples of the rock. Hear from Dr. Ben Ashman, a member of the mission’s navigation team, about how they did it.
Saturday, Feb. 27
- Geocaching (2 p.m.) – Go on a Global Positioning System-led treasure hunt at Lake Fairfax. Geocaching continues a much-beloved activity, especially during the pandemic since it’s almost entirely done outdoors. Bring your own GPS and learn how to find your own treasure.
Photo via alobenda/Pixabay
The Herndon High School marching band is reaching out to the community as it renews its annual fundraising effort.
The band, dubbed the “Pride of Herndon,” has launched its Tag Day campaign to help fund music instruction, uniforms, sheet music, instruments and instrument repair.
The fundraising effort is typically done in-person as band students go door-to-door handing out flyers about the band and tags for the concert schedule while asking for donations. Tag Day is the largest fundraising event for the band.
Due to the pandemic, the band is hosting its fundraising effort virtually through the end of February. The band’s target is to raise $25,000.
As of Friday morning, the fundraising site shows the Pride of Herndon has raised just over a quarter of its goal.
Contributions to the band may be made directly on the band’s site via PayPal, on the fundraising site for this year’s Tag Day, or checks may be mailed to PO Box 1293, Herndon, VA 20172-1293.
“With all the learning being virtual this year due to COVID, we are trying creative ways to keep our students engaged and excited to continue making music together,” Kathleen Jacoby, Director of Herndon High School bands, said in a video promoting the fundraiser.
“To perform at the high level we do, we need instruments and other equipment, plus instrument specialist to come help out, and that costs money. Instead of knocking at your doors this year, we have created this online Tag Day site. Your contributions mean a lot to us, for the band means a lot to our students.”
Image courtesy Herndon High School
Tuesday, Feb. 16
- Bean-efit (4-6 p.m.) – On Mardi Gras, get a free meal from a local restaurant if you work in the hospitality industry. Organized by local restaurateurs (including Bayou Bakery’s David Guas), 25 restaurants across D.C. and Northern Virginia are providing a free bean dish to the first 100 restaurant workers to show up at each location. Among those participating is Taco Bamba in Vienna and Sonoma Wine Bar in Alexandria.
Wednesday, Feb. 17
- The Black Arts Movement (7 p.m.) – Join Fairfax’s Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Lambda Kappa Omega Chapter for an online discussion of the Harlem Renaissance and Black Arts Movement. The event is sponsored by the Fairfax County Public Library.
Thursday, Feb. 18
- Girl Power! (7 p.m.) – Celebrate the launch of author Jen Petro-Roy’s new book Life in the Balance along with Reston’s Scrawl Books. Then, on March 25, join Scrawl Books and Petro-Roy to ask questions and discuss the book after reading it.
Friday, Feb. 19
- Animal Predators (6-7 p.m.) – Owls, coyotes, bears, oh my! Learn about all the animal predators stalking the local woods. Afterwards, sit around the campfire at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park in Chantilly and roast up some s’mores.
- The Places We Forgot (Anytime) – Inhabit once-abandoned locations at this new virtual exhibit from Workman Art Center in Lorton. Photograph artist Brendan L. Smith has taken pictures of abandoned places across the country and the results are enchanting.
Saturday, Feb. 20
- Raising Ivy (11 a.m. to noon) – Local author Greg Manora details a family’s true story of coming from poverty, slavery, and segregation to football field and the halls of the Ivy League. This event is part of the Fairfax County Library’s series of Black History Month events.
Sunday, Feb. 21
- Virginia is for Comedy (9 p.m.) – Laugh at locals as the Comedy Roadshow, a 30-minute virtual stand-up show every Sunday, makes its way to Virginia. This Sunday will feature only VA-based comedians, including funny people from Sterling, Arlington, and Richmond.
Photo courtesy of Bayou Bakery
On Friday, Girl Scouts troops will start selling cookies in-person at least eight locations between Herndon and Reston.
For those looking to stay home, Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital is also offering online cookie sales, which will be delivered through the Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital chapter. Online sales began on Monday.
Here are the locations for Reston and Herndon, according to the Girl Scouts’ cookie finder:
- Ledo Pizza (2254 Hunter’s Woods Plaza)
- Starbucks (11170 South Lakes Drive)
- Dunkin’ Donuts (2280 Hunter’s Woods Plaza)
- Flippin’ Pizza (11130 South Lakes Drive)
- CVS (11680 Plaza America Drive)
- Starbucks (1857 Fountain Drive)
- Food Lion (3059 Centreville Road)
- Lucia’s Italian Ristorante (2531 John Milton Drive)
Most of the booths will be out on weekends, with some also selling cookies on Fridays. The cookie finder lists dates next to all locations.
All cookie sales end March 14.
“This year we had a decrease [in in-person booths], but of course, Girl Scouts have found a way,” said Tygerian Burke, the marketing and communications manager for Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital.
Buying cookies online works like this:
- Customers can type their zip code into the cookie finder and find local troops selling cookies virtually. Each time the page loads, it will feature a different virtual booth.
- When customers click the link corresponding to the troop of their choice, the link will take them to a page with a description of what the sales will go toward and directions for buying the cookies.
- The cookies can be shipped to the customer’s house or to someone else as a donation.
The Girl Scouts are also having cookies delivered via GrubHub, a promotion that started in the D.C. area on Thursday, Burke said. Drivers can deliver cookies to homes within a 25-minute radius of where a scout or troop is located, which in D.C. traffic, will mean varying distances, she added.
She advised checking social media for Facebook Live promotions of GrubHub deliveries throughout the month-and-a-half of sales.
Burke said some troops within the council are setting up drive-through locations as well as signs with QR codes linking to their personalized virtual booth pages.
Girl Scouts are selling Thin Mints, Samoas, Trefoils, Do-si-dos and Tagalongs — as well as a new cookie called Lemon-Ups — for $5 a box. Two specialty cookies, S’mores and Toffee-tastics, go for $6 a box.
Image via Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital
Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and 25 other technology companies will be represented at a virtual career fair hosted by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority on Thursday (Jan. 28).
The Cyber and Cloud Virtual Career Fair will focus on the information technology, cyber, and cloud industries. Participation is free of charge for job seekers, and the FCEDA is encouraging professionals of all experience levels to attend. People with security clearances are especially in demand, though that is not a required qualification.
“Our region is a top cyber and cloud hub and there has never been a better time to land a job in this industry because of the thousands of open jobs here,” FCEDA President and CEO Victor Hoskins said in a press release. “We are proud to be working with such a diverse group of companies that are letting us help them cast a wide net to find the right talent to fill these jobs and keep our networks, businesses, agencies and people secure.”
This is the latest in a series of job fairs that the FCEDA has been organizing throughout the past year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous events included fairs focused on hiring and reskilling, and women in technology.
According to the FCEDA, the first three job fairs in the series “collectively attracted over 2,100 attendees and resulted in 3,100 completed conversations between job seekers and hiring reps from a wide range of employers.”
The tech industry is expected to grow rapidly in Fairfax County in the coming years. About half of the more than 86,000 open jobs on the FCEDA’s job board are in technology fields, and the D.C. area is projected to add more than 130,000 tech jobs within the next five years.
The FCEDA’s job fair series is part of an initiative funded by Fairfax County to attract, retain, and retrain workers.
“Cloud and cyber companies are an important and growing facet of the Fairfax County tech economy,” Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said. “I am delighted to see the talent initiative that the Board of Supervisors funded helping residents find jobs and emphasizing the importance of these sectors to Fairfax.”
Because the cyber and cloud career fair will be conducted virtually, candidates do not need to be currently located in Northern Virginia, and some companies are open to remote work options, the FCEDA says.
Interested job seekers can visit the FCEDA’s Work in Northern Virginia website to register and to see a full list of participating companies.
Photo via Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash
Tuesday, Jan 19
- Mr (Fictional) President (6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.) – Hail to the fictional chief. A day before a real president gets inaugurated, participate in a virtual conversation with actor Martin Sheen who played President Bartlet in the NBC television drama West Wing. Journalist Ken Walsh will be asking questions about how fictional depictions of government have impacted the real thing and why we view our national leaders the way we do. This event is hosted by the Smithsonian Associates.
Wednesday, Jan. 20
- Bull Run Festival of Lights (5:30 p.m.) – While this annual show of glimmery holiday lights was extended well into January, this is the final day for the season. So, bring your family, talk a socially distant walk, and appreciate this extra little bit of joy.
Thursday, Jan. 21
- Fiber Art (9 a.m.) – At Reston Community Center in Lake Anne, five local fiber artists are displaying contemporary quilts. Each artist has a different approach, but uses fabric and thread as their medium. Located in the Jo Anne Rose Gallery and runs through the end of February.
Friday, Jan. 22
- Date Night (5 p.m.) – The Winery at Bull Run has all the pieces for a perfect outdoor but warm date night. A package includes a pair of rocking chairs around a fire pit, two glasses of wine in logos that are yours to keep, and one cozy blanket to snuggle up in together.
Saturday, Jan. 23
- Hunt for Dinosaurs (1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.) – There are dinosaurs on the loose at Claude Moore Park in Sterling! Join a park naturalist in the search. Afterward, warm up by a campfire and toast some marshmallows (provided, individually wrapped, and Halel available upon request).
Sunday, Jan. 24
- Notes From the Field screening and Q&A (3 p.m.) – Playwright and actor Anna Deavere Smith (best known for her role as Dr. Nancy McNally in the tv show West Wing) screens her new film “Notes From the Field” about systemic racism in the American justice system. Afterwards, she will appear virtually for a question and answer session.
Photo from distelAPPArath/Pixabay
Monday, Jan. 11
- Winter Walk of Lights (5:15 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.) – Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights in Vienna is now extended a few extra weeks to January 20. Take a socially distant walk through the glittery, wondrous light display.
Tuesday, Jan. 12
- Family Karaoke (6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.) – If you ever held dreams of you and your family traveling around in a colorful bus together singing songs like the Partridge Family, here’s your chance… well, sort of. Grab the mic and join the Fairfax County Public Library for virtual family karaoke. All singing abilities and ages welcome. So, you know, pick an appropriate song.
- A Virtual Evening with Melinda Gates (8 p.m.) – Spend the night with one of the richest people in the world. Scrawl Books in Reston Town Center is celebrating the paperback launch of Gates’s book The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by offering tickets to an online event to hear her speak.
Wednesday, Jan. 13
- Virtual Yoga (10 a.m. to 11 a.m.) – Start the day with mindfulness and meditation. Join this virtual yoga session led by Jennifer Eubanks, who runs a local yoga studio, through the Fairfax County Public Library.
Thursday, Jan. 14
- Women Who Lead Speaker Series (7 p.m. to 8 p.m.) – Hosted by the Junior League of Northern Virginia, this month’s features Gwendolyn Bingham. She’s a retired US Army 3-star General and was the first woman to hold a number of roles in the Army, including Quartermaster General. There will be time for questions and answers.
Friday, Jan 15
- Pomegranate-themed oil painting workshop (Noon to 3 p.m.) – Join local artist Suzanne Lago Arthur for a one-day, three-hour oil painting class. Hosted every other month, January’s is themed around the seeded fruit pomegranate. While welcome to work in any media one prefers, the lesson is about oil painting.
Sunday, Jan 17
- Audubon Afternoon (3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.) – Hosted by the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia, learn about how birds stay warm. Avian evolutionary ecologist Dr. Sahas Barve will lead this workshop which will perhaps provide some advice to us humans on how to stay warm on this winter’s afternoon.
Photo via Unsplash
Virginia Polar Dip Goes Virtual — The annual event is going virtual this year due to the pandemic. Camp Sunshine is allowing participants to take patron several virtual events at any point between Feb. 6-14. [Camp Sunshine]
Microsoft Expands with New Lease — The company is expanding its presence in Northern Virginia by signing a lease in Rosslyn. [Bisnow]
Local Music Students to Perform in Virtual Concert — ‘Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) choral teachers have put together a virtual choral concert and presentation involving 350 middle and high school students from 37 secondary schools. The concert and presentation of student work will air at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 27.’ [FCPS]
Photo by Marjorie Copson
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.
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:
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.
An end to 2020 is almost upon us. If ever a year deserved a send-off of champagne and confetti, it was this one, but as they did with many other traditions, concerns about COVID-19 have curtailed or put on hold many of the usual New Year’s Eve parties.
Still, there remain plenty of options for ringing in the new year.
For people who like to close out the year with a song, the Times Square Ball Drop will feature singer Andra Day headlining an evening of live performances. The event is closed to the public this year, but it will still be broadcast on TV and online.
The great outdoors also offers a world of possibility.
The Fairfax County Park Authority is turning its annual First Hike Fairfax program into a three-day affair that starts on New Year’s Day. People who send in a photo of their hike by Jan. 3 will be entered into a contest to celebrate the park authority’s 70th anniversary.
How do you plan on ushering in 2021? If you have a special New Year’s tradition that’s not included below, feel free to share in the comments.
Image via Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash
Although last year’s festival was postponed and eventually canceled, organizers anticipate that the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival will be on for 2021.
The festival, which typically takes place in the spring and is hosted by the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE), will take place on Sept. 10-12.
“Even with news that a nationwide roll out of a COVID-19 vaccine will be available, there is still uncertainty that an outdoor event will see a return to normalcy by May. We believe taking this proactive step will better ensure that we can safely host our annual vibrant celebration of the arts,” said Jaynelle Hazard, GRACE Executive Director and Curator.
Erica Harrison, GRACE’s associate curator and festival director, added that the same reasons that motivated the center to cancel the festival this year guided decisionmaking for 2021.
“Recent guidelines influenced this decision, including the Governor of Virginia’s modified stay-at-home orders, strongly urging all Virginia residents to limit indoor and outdoor in-person gatherings to no more than 10 people, and the Centers for Disease Control statement encouraging the continuation of social distancing and avoidance of mass gatherings and crowded places.”
Harrison said Boston Properties, its onsite partner and sponsor, could accommodate the new dates.
“The board and staff of Greater Reston Arts Center, and our community partners do not make this decision lightly, knowing how deeply this impacts our artists, our audience, and the organization. We look forward to next year, the Festival’s 30th anniversary, and delivering another culturally-enriching, successful, and safe experience for all.”
Photo via GRACE
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
The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Reston area.
Monday (Dec. 14)
- Silent Night (10 a.m.) — Enjoy a screening of Silent Night during this free event at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods. The movie features a “fact-based World War II story on Christmas Eve,” according to RCC’s website. Registration is open online.
Tuesday (Dec. 15)
- Babes in the Woods (10-11 a.m.) — Toddlers between the ages of 18 and 35 months can take part in this monthly activity. Due to COVID-19, the number of registered participants is limited.
Wednesday (Dec. 16)
- Lake House Open House (Noon to 2 p.m.) — Join Reston Association for community time and light refreshments at the Lake House, which is located at 11450 Baron Cameron Avenue.
COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall (7 p.m.) — Community and medical leaders. Will host a virtual downhill to answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Friday (Dec. 18)
- Holiday Lights on the Farm (5:30-8:30 p.m.) — Thousands of lights will line a mile-long route through Frying Pan fARM park on select evenings. Multiple dates are available.
Saturday (Dec. 19)
- Reston Market Saturdays (8 a.m. to noon) — The weekly Lane Anne Reston Farmers and Crafters Market returns to Lake Anne Plaza.
Photo via Reston Farmers Market