Reston’s annual Founder’s Day festivities will take place Saturday, April 8, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Lake Anne Plaza.
This year’s event, celebrating the 53rd anniversary of Reston’s founding, will feature a full day of arts, history and family-friendly activities. Free activities will include a moon bounce and face painting. There will also be a 50-foot Ferris wheel, sponsored by Reston Association, the cost of rides on which will benefit the Reston Historic Trust and the Friends of Reston.
Musical entertainment will be provided by the Langston Hughes Middle School Jazz Ensemble, the Lake Anne Drumming Ensemble, the Lake Anne Choral Ensemble, the Reston Chorale, the Reston Encore Chorale and Catchin’ Toads.
There will also be a public art walk around Lake Anne, sponsored by Public Art Reston, as well as screenings of the films “Another Way of Living: The Story of Reston, VA” and “Fun, Beauty, Fantasy: Reston’s Public Art.” Local authors will also be present for an afternoon book-signing event.
The day will also include comments from local elected officials and the commemoration of bricks at the plaza.
Founder’s Day is presented by the Reston Historic Trust with support from Reston Community Center, and it is co-sponsored by Reston Association and Public Art Reston. A full schedule of activities can be found at the Reston Historic Trust and Museum website. For more information, contact the Reston Historic Trust and Museum at 703-709-7700 or [email protected].
Photos courtesy Reston Historic Trust and Museum
- Three Divas will perform tonight at 7 at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery (1609A Washington Plaza N.). This program is sold out, but names are being taken for a wait list in case tickets become available. Call 703-709-7700 or email [email protected] for details.
- Events at Reston Town Center this weekend include NBA All-Star Weekend watch parties at the American Tap Room (1811 Library St.), the cartoon skate at the ice pavilion and Girl Scout cookie sales in the promenade and Fountain Square.
- CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road) will present the New York Festival of Song as they perform The Picnic Cantata/Dinner at Eight on Saturday at 8 p.m.
- Art exhibitions “CUT” at the Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) and “Springtime in Winter” at Reston Art Gallery & Studios (11400 Washington Plaza W.) will both close Saturday.
- At the Reston Community Center’s Jo Ann Rose Gallery (1609A Washington Plaza N.), “For the Love of Color” remains on display.
- Frying Pan Farm Park will put on a program Saturday from 11 a.m.-noon at Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive). Sunday, from 2-4 p.m., the library will host a talk in its lecture series on World War I.
- New Love Animal Rescue is planning an animal adoption event at Pet Valu (11160 South Lakes Drive) Saturday from noon-2 pm.
- Kalypso’s (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will offer live music from The Reluctors tonight, and DJ Kram will perform Saturday night.
- At the Walker Nature Center (11450 Glade Drive), a free bird walk for adults will be offered Sunday morning, from 8-11.
- Lifetime Athletic Club (1757 Business Center Drive) is putting on a Daddy-Daughter dance Saturday night from 6-8.
- The Mid-Atlantic Flute Convention is going on this weekend at the Sheraton Reston Hotel (11810 Sunrise Valley Drive). Flute choirs will be playing in the hotel lobby throughout the day.
Commemorative bricks for Reston’s annual Founder’s Day are being sold through next week.
The bricks will be installed on Lake Anne Plaza and dedicated during the event Saturday, April 8. Restonians are encouraged to become part of Reston’s history by purchasing one.
“The commemorative bricks support the Reston Museum and Founder’s Day — an opportunity each year to celebrate Robert E. Simon and his vision for this special and inclusive community,” said Elizabeth Didiano, executive director of Reston Historic Trust and Museum.
A commemorative brick can also be lasting gift to someone special, Didiano said.
“[The bricks] are a unique way for us to record Reston’s history,” she said. “[They allow] individuals to share their names, relationships and contributions to Reston where everyone can see them — surrounding the statue of Reston’s founder Bob Simon on Lake Anne Plaza.”
Bricks can be purchased from the Reston Historic Trust and Museum for a tax-deductible contribution of $100 for a standard-sized brick, or $250 for a large brick. Orders can be made on the museum’s website, by emailing Didiano at [email protected], or by calling 703-709-7700.
The deadline to order bricks is Wednesday, Feb. 15.
Founder’s Day is presented by Reston Historic Trust and Museum, Reston Association, Reston Community Center, Initiative for Public Art — Reston, and Lake Anne of Reston Condominium Association.
Photo courtesy Reston Historic Trust and Museum
“Reston A to Z,” a book by author Watt Hamlett and illustrator Jill Olinger Vinson, hits select stores today.
The book takes young readers on a tour of the community and teaches them the story of how it came to be, led by none other than its famous founder — who takes the form of an animal named Robert E. Squirrel.
“[Bob Squirrel] is a delightful character who perhaps bears more than a passing resemblance to Reston’s beloved founder, Robert E. Simon,” Hamlett and Vinson said.
The story is told in rhyming verse, and takes children through the alphabet from A to Z, with each stop featuring a different corner of the Reston community. The book includes colorful, illustrated drawings of the places, activities and nature that make Reston what it is.
Stops along the tour include Lake Anne Plaza, Reston Town Center, Reston Regional Library, the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station, Walker Nature Center, the Reston Farmers Market, the W&OD Trail and more.
“The book also highlights features of Reston such as its lakes, pedestrian paths, swimming pools, community garden plots and parks,” say Hamlett and Vinson.
They add, the book also features other creative touches like a hidden acorn on each page, a coloring page, and a travel log where kids can check off the places or things in the book they have experienced around Reston.
All in all, the book is an homage to the town Hamlett and Vinson have grown to love as residents for so many years.
Hamlett, the book’s author and photographer, has lived in Reston since 2000. He says he was inspired to write this book out of his love for Reston that grew from exploring it over many years with his wife and two sons.
“I hope the book serves as a tribute to Reston’s beauty, community spirit and the vision of Reston’s founder, Robert E. Simon,” Hamlett said.
Jill Olinger Vinson, the book’s illustrator, grew up in Reston and is a graduate of South Lakes High School. She returned as an adult to live in Reston with her husband, and her two sons were born in Reston. She now lives in neighboring Herndon.
“Reston A to Z is available for sale locally at several locations, including the Reston Museum at Lake Anne Plaza. For all copies purchased at the Museum, 100 percent of the profits will go directly to the Reston Historic Trust. The Museum is also selling stuffed Bob Squirrel plushes.
Hamlett and Vinson will be signing copies of the book at the Reston Museum on Saturday, Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to noon.
The book is also available for purchase online from Mascot Books, and at other Reston retailers including Scrawl Books and Dawn Price Baby, as well as online from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million. The book retails for $15.95.
Photos courtesy of Watt Hamlett and Jill Olinger Vinson
Tickets are now available for the 15th annual Reston Home Tour, a chance to see inside a variety of fine Reston homes to benefit the Reston Museum and Historic Trust.
The self-guided tour is Oct. 15. The theme is Embracing Change, celebrating lives that have changed and homes that reflect their owners.
There are six home on the tour, ranging from a condo on Taliesin Court filled with art from around the world to a sprawling modern house on Putter Lane to Nantucket-inspired home on Old Brookville Court.
Tickets are $25 in person through Oct. 7 at the Reston Museum, Chesapeake Chocolates, Appalachian Spring, the Wine Cabinet, and GRACE. They are $30 online.
See a more preview photos of the homes on the Reston Museum’s website.
The Reston Museum and Historic Trust recently got an endowment boost from two men who grew up in Reston, and the historic trust board is hoping that will inspire other Restonians to make year-end contributions.
The RHT is in the midst of a fundraising campaign with a goal of of raising $100,000 by Founder’s Day in April 2016 to expand its outreach and educational programs; employ a full-time director; and retire the debt on the Reston Museum at Lake Anne Plaza.
Ben Barokas and Ben Lillienthal, both of whom now work in the tech industry, gave a combined $30,000 to the RHT. Barkoas is a 1991 Herndon High grad. Lillienthal attended Lake Anne Elementary and Langston Hughes Middle School before attending high school outside of Reston.
“Both Ben Lillienthal and Ben Barokas understand that giving back to organizations where they grew up, like the Reston Museum, is important and the right thing to do,” the endowment chairs wrote.”
The museum is also conducting a campaign urging residents to donate a $1 for every year they have lived in Reston.
Really, that’s no more than $50 or so since Reston is a fairly young community just heading towards its 52nd birthday.
The RHT is organizing the online fundraiser “to help support our mission and honor Robert E. Simon, Jr.’s legacy. The campaign is designed to help RHT collect $100,000 toward the retiring the mortgage, securing our space on Lake Anne Plaza for generations,” RHT officers said in a statement.
Founder Simon died in September at age 101.
The RHT has a goal of raising $100,000.The nonprofit would then be able to expand its outreach and educational programs; employ a full-time director; and retire the debt on the Reston Museum at Lake Anne Plaza.
To donate now, visit RHT’s Go Fund Me page.
The Reston Home Tour returns on Oct. 17 with a new perspective on six Reston homes.
The theme for the tour’s 14th year is “Spaces Reimagined.” The six Reston homes featured for 2015 have been “altered and reimagined with creativity and inspiration to reflect their owners’ visions,” home tour organizers said.
The tickets to the self-guided tour are now on sale ($25 prior to Oct. 10; $30 from Oct. 10-Oct. 17 and anytime online. Tickets for groups of 10 or more are $20 each.
Proceeds benefit the Reston Historic Trust and Museum.
Here’s a sneak peek at the homes:
After 30 years and two renovations, the owners of this art-filled home overlooking Hidden Creek Country Club course still call it “ongoing.”
Lake Newport Road
Home 1 — This is the home of an interior designer, who was able to alter the spaces to take full advantage of the views of Lake Newport. The owners added stepped terraces, a water feature and a gas fire pit cocktail table.
Home 2 — The owner and founder of KPA Design Group wanted a house with great bones in a beautiful setting, and one that was “in need.” The owners altered some of the floor plans, adding organic materials, ledge stone, wood cabinetry and flooring, warmed and naturalized the interior.
Check out the lifestyle at one of Reston’s newest luxury rentals. Public spaces at The Harrison include an indoor lap pool with spa, a cycle-spinning, yoga and Pilates room, a fitness center with cardio equipment and a rooftop club and pool with an outdoor prep and grilling area.
Turtle Pond Drive
This home has Reston’s only residential cinema — complete with a Marilyn Monroe bathroom.
This renovation began within minutes of ownership. Tedious, painful and toxic (and ongoing for four months) is how the owners describe removing the popcorn and decades of paint to expose the beautiful, modern concrete slabs that are now their ceiling.
When builder Klingbill constructed this traditional home, he separated each space with doors and walls, as was the fashion in 1968. Reston’s Synergy Design and Construction had a another idea, and today’s version is open, spacious and contemporary.
For more information and photos of the Home Tour homes, visit the Reston Museum’s website.
Photo: Remodeled kitchen of Links Drive home/Courtesy Reston Home Tour
Bring the kids to the Reston Historic Trust and Museum on Sunday for Family Fun Day.
The free event is from 2 to 4 p.m. at Lake Anne Plaza.
There will be live music, children’s activities, beer tasting and other fun for all ages.
The museum is also hosting a membership drive. Annual memberships are $45 ($30 for seniors and students). Members will receive the newly published booklet, “Reston History,” based on the Reston Museum exhibit “From New Town to Our Town.”
Members also receive 10 percent off shop purchases and discounts from many Lake Anne merchants.
The owners of the museum space at Lake Anne Plaza, which the nonprofit historic trust has been renting since 1997, have given the space to the organization, says Historic Trust chair Shelley Mastran.
While the Historic Trust will still have to pay the mortgage, it gives them an asset to jump start the future, she says.
“Our goal is to be financially self-sustaining and to hire a full-time executive director,” says Mastran, who says the organization would like to raise $2 million in the endowment campaign. “The space is worth about $200,000, and we have received pledged of nearly $300,000 from board members, so we are already about $500,000 towards our goal.”
The Historic Trust’s board announced the endowment campaign and gift of the museum space at a reception at the Greater Reston Arts Center on Wednesday.
The Historic Trust, founded in 1996, hired a part-time executive director, Katie Eichler Jones, in 2013. Eichler Jones is a native Restonian and trained museum professional who has brought new energy and ideas to the organization, says Mastran.
Eichler Jones says one of her goals is to increase the outreach programs she has started.
“We want to be more self-sufficient and secure the museum’s future,” she said. “The endowment will enable us to expand our reach.”
The Historic Trust currently has an outreach in which it brings Standards of Learning-related programs to Reston public- and private-school students. Some of the subjects: “Going Green,” which is about Reston’s community gardens; “Our Community,” which covers urban planning; “Art as Science,” which looks at public art and Reston’s fountains (and has students create their own fountains); and “1964,” which looks at cultural and political history in America during the year Reston was founded.
Eichler Jones says it is particularly important to get younger residents involved in Reston’s history as the community enters its next century, as well as a period of growth with the arrival of Metro.
“We have a whole bunch of young professionals moving here who don’t have a sense of why Reston is cool,” she said. “We want them to know about our history, our public spaces and public art.”
Donations to the Historic Trust can be made on its website.
Photo: Children take part in mural painting event at Reston Museum/Credit: Reston Museum