Tysons, VA

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

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean, and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Monday (Mar. 1)

  • Unruly Theatre Project Auditions (Online) — 7-9 p.m. — (the) Unruly Theatre Project, a professional teen improv company run by The Alden, is holding its first-ever winter auditions for new company members. The pool of eligibility has been expanded this year to include kids in eighth through 11th grade. Open auditions will be held today and on Wednesday (Mar. 3) with callbacks scheduled to take place on Thursday (Mar. 4). Register for an audition date through the McLean Community Center.

Tuesday (Mar. 2)

Thursday (Mar. 4)

  • Bruce Holsinger: The Gifted School (Online) — 7 p.m. — The Mary Riley Styles Public Library in Falls Church is hosting a Zoom discussion with author Bruce Holsinger about his novel “The Gifted School,” which NPR named as one of its best books of 2019. Email Pete Sullivan at [email protected] for a link to the chat.
  • Islam: The Religion and Spiritual Traditions (Online) — 7-8 p.m. — In the first part of its “Great Discussions” series about religions, Fairfax County Public Library will hold a discussion with academic and former McLean Islamic Center board member Osama Eisa, who will provide an overview of Islam. Register in advance to receive an invitation to the event.

Friday (Mar. 5)

  • Meet the Mayor — 9-10:30 a.m. at Vienna Community Center (120 Cherry St. SE) — Vienna Mayor Linda Colbert will hold her monthly office hours. She’s available for a simple “hello” or for questions and concerns. Check back on the Town of Vienna website and Mayor Colbert’s Facebook for the time and place of this meet-up.
  • Jammin Java Show: Christian Lopez — 6 p.m. & 9 p.m. at Jammin Java (227 Maple Ave. E) — Jammin Java is hosting folk rock/Americana musician Christian Lopez and his band. Lopez is releasing a new album titled “The Other Side” this spring. The concert will be held inside, but with very strict social distance guidelines. Tickets are $25, and there is a two-item purchase minimum per table.
  • Passport to the World: Jake Blount (Online) — 7:30 p.m. — Creative Cauldron’s 2021 “Passport to the World” series continues this week with a performance by banjoist, fiddler, and singer Jake Blount, who is part of the folk duo Tui. He will be followed on Saturday (Mar. 6) by singer Susan Derry, who will perform with pianist Howard Breitbart. All shows start live-streaming at 7:30 p.m. and cost $15. The recorded concerts are available to rent afterwards.

Sunday (Mar. 7)

  • The Fast and the Flavorful — 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Rd.) — Tysons Corner has teamed up with the Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce and Capital Auto Club for a car show accompanied by a food tasting. Located in Garage E, the car show has free admission, while tickets for the food tastings will cost $1 each. The Tysons Chamber of Commerce, which will be selling the tickets by La Sandia, says the event will feature 15 to 20 restaurants.
  • Capital Harmonia’s 6th Annual Women’s Choral Festival (Online) — 4 p.m. — The Capital Harmonia women’s choral group is hosting its sixth annual Women’s Choral Festival. The festival honors Women’s History Month, which begins Mar. 1, and features work exclusively by women composers. There will also be interviews with two female composers and a conversation with House of Ruth Director of Development Elizabeth Kiker. The event is free and can be watched on Youtube or Facebook Live.

Image via City of Falls Church

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The McLean Project for the Arts will kick off its spring season next week with an exhibition featuring 20 local artists at the Atrium Gallery in the McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Ave.).

Titled “The Show Must Go On,” the exhibit is being presented by the McLean Art Society, a group of local professional, non-professional, and student artists that organizes exhibitions, workshops, lectures and other activities for both members and the general public.

According to a press release, the exhibit will feature work in an array of media, including watercolor and oil paintings, sculptures, and photography. It will be juried by Arlington Artists Alliance member Jessica Mickey, who previously served as co-director of the nonprofit’s Gallery Underground.

The show will open on Mar. 2 and remain on display through Mar. 13. The gallery’s visiting hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. throughout the week, except on Sundays, when it is open from noon to 2 p.m. Masks and adherence to social distancing guidelines are required.

The exhibit will replace multimedia artist Shanthi Chandrasekar’s exhibition “Beginningless Endless,” which has occupied the Atrium Gallery since launching virtually on Dec. 9.

Image courtesy McLean Project for the Arts

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

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean, and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Tuesday (Feb. 9)

  • Second Draw PPP (Online) — 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. — The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority is holding a free webinar on the second round of the federal Paycheck Protection Program, which is providing loans to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the COVID-19 pandemic. A program schedule and link to register can be found through Eventbrite.
  • On Deck with Mercury — 5-7 p.m. at Vienna Town Hall (127 Center St.) — Vienna Town Manager Payton Mercury holds his monthly community forum for residents to learn about town projects and ask questions. The February forum will focus on planned celebrations for Liberty Amendments Month, which commemorates the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 19th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
  • Virtual Meet and Greet with Melanie Meren (Online) — 7-8 p.m. — Vienna’s Club Phoenix Teen Center and Thoreau Middle School are hosting a discussion with Hunter Mill District School Board Representative Melanie Meren, who will talk about her first year in office, give an update on Return to School plans, and answer questions. Registration closes at 5 p.m. Email Natalie Duncan at [email protected] for more information.
  • Great Books Discussion (Online) — 7-8 p.m. — The Mary Riley Styles Public Library’s bi-monthly Great Books Discussion group will talk about the short story “Tell Me a Riddle” by Tillie Olsen. Get the Zoom link by emailing Marshall Webster at [email protected]

Thursday (Feb. 11)

  • Culinaria Cooking Class (Online) — 7-8:30 p.m. — Chefs from Vienna’s Culinaria Cooking School will demonstrate how to prepare “a special Valentine’s Day meal” with dishes like chicken satay with peanut sauce and molten chocolate cake. A Zoom invite, recipes, and a shopping list will be provided prior to the class, so participants must register by Feb. 8. The $40 fee goes to support the Shepherd’s Center, a nonprofit that serves Vienna, Oakton, Reston, and Herndon.

Friday (Feb. 12)

  • VBA State of the Union (Online) — 11:30-1 p.m. — The Vienna Business Association will hold its annual State of the Union meeting. The speech will be presented by VBA 2020-2021 chairman and School of Rock Vienna owner Jeff Bollettino, and Vienna Mayor Linda Colbert will officiate an installation ceremony for the organization’s 2021 board. RSVP through the VBA website to receive a Zoom link.
  • Virtual Valentine Bingo and Games (Online) — 1:30-3 p.m. — The Town of Vienna and Fairfax City parks and recreation departments are offering a free afternoon of bingo, online games, prizes, and sweet treats to usher in Valentine’s Day. The event is intended for adults 55 and older. Register by calling 703-255-7801 or emailing Kathy Blevins at [email protected] The deadline to sign up is 5 p.m. on Thursday (Feb. 11).
  • Abbey Lincoln Tribute (Online) — 7:30 p.m. — Creative Cauldron continues its 2021 “Passport to the World” series with a concert celebrating the music of American jazz singer Abbey Lincoln. There will also be a performance on Saturday (Feb. 13) by the D.C.-based band RAYMI, which plays traditional music from the Andes. All concerts are live-streamed at 7:30 p.m., and tickets cost $15.
  • Judy Collins: A Return (Online) — 8 p.m. — Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts is streaming a live performance by singer Judy Collins, who will recreate her 1964 concert hall debut at New York City’s The Town Hall. The program will feature music by Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton, and Billy Ed Wheeler. Tickets start at $40, and the stream will be available for rewatch for 48 hours until 8 p.m. on Feb. 14.
  • Valentine’s Day Drive-In Movies — 8 p.m. at The Boro (1640 Boro Place) — The Boro is hosting three drive-in movie screenings, starting with “Crazy Rich Asians” today and concluding with “Valentine’s Day” on the eponymous holiday. While all three films are now sold out, you can join the waitlist through Eventbrite in case additional tickets become available.

Saturday (Feb. 13)

  • Art for a Cause (Online) — 6-8 p.m. — The Junior League of Northern Virginia is hosting a “Monte Carlo Night” with crafts, Valentine-themed games, and two raffles. Materials for the craft activities, which involve painting a glass vase or heart-shaped cutting board, can be picked up at Best Buns Bakery (8051 Leesburg Pike) in Vienna. Tickets to the event cost $40 and can be purchased from JLNV.

Photo via Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

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The nonprofit Falls Church Arts is offering a free, online Valentine’s card-making workshop for anyone looking for some artistic inspiration.

The class is scheduled to place on Saturday (Feb. 6) from 10 a.m. to noon. It will be run by Arlington artist Molly McCracken, who works primarily with collage, assemblage, and acrylic painting, according to her official website.

“This will be lots of fun and perfect for all ages,” the event posting says.

Event organizers say participants should use whatever materials they have on hand, but suggestions include:

  • a variety of solid and patterned papers, including card stock or heavyweight papers
  • scissors
  • glue stick or adhesive
  • blank note cards
  • pens, markers, colored pencils, crayons
  • ribbons
  • hole punch
  • embellishments such as stickers, glitter, sequins, and doilies

Registration is required to receive a link to the Zoom event, and the workshop size is limited. Questions can be sent to [email protected]

Photo via CraftFancy/Flickr

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The McLean Project for the Arts is unveiling its two latest exhibitions today (Wednesday) with a virtual launch and artists’ talk at 7 p.m.

The Emerson Gallery will feature “Vertical Interval,” a collection of paintings and digital works by McLean-based artist Joseph Cortina. The exhibit draws on Cortina’s background as a painter and filmmaker to explore “the fleeting, elusive quality of time-based media,” MPA says.

“Vertical Interval” has been paired with multimedia artist Shanthi Chandrasekar’s exhibition “Beginningless Endless,” which will be displayed in MPA’s atrium gallery.

According to MPA, Chandrasekar has a background in physics and psychology and employs drawing, painting, and sculpture to explore “big questions of science and the natural world” in “Beginningless Endless.”

MPA Curator and Director of Exhibitions Nancy Sausser says Cortina and Chandrasekar had been on her radar for some time.

She also likes using the nonprofit’s two galleries to showcase exhibits that reflect on each other in some way. Both artists have an abstract element to their work, and these specific exhibits are focused in different ways on the idea of space.

“Shanti’s very interested…in sort of the cosmos and physics and, you know, that greater cosmic space,” Sausser said. “Joe is really interested in the space within the painting, and he has a lot of open area within his paintings that’s undefined and sort of becomes a place you can enter into.”

MPA will display both exhibitions online and in its physical galleries at the McLean Community Center, though the Emerson Gallery is largely closed to the public for the time being.

For its fall show, MPA allowed up to six visitors in the Emerson Gallery by appointment, but climbing COVID-19 case numbers in the region convinced staff members to change their approach for the new exhibition.

Sausser says people can contact MPA if they are interested in arranging a private viewing of “Vertical Interval,” but the nonprofit is mostly approaching it as a virtual show.

Images from both exhibitions will be available online tonight at the same time as the virtual launch, which will include prerecorded interviews of the artists by Sausser. Chandrasekar and Cortina will also appear live from their studios to answer questions from the public.

While navigating the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging, Sausser says it has also opened new opportunities as MPA staff had to develop there digital and video skills. She hopes to continue offering virtual options even after both galleries resume normal operations.

“It’s definitely more work, and people aren’t experiencing [the work] the same way, but maybe the audience who gets to experience it is a little larger,” Sausser said.

Photos courtesy McLean Project for the Arts

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As the holidays approach, Tysons Galleria has announced that it will display a new interactive art installation called “Warm for the Winter.” The installation serves as a coat drive to benefit Alexandria’s Volunteers of America and their donation initiatives.

Through this initiative, Tysons Galleria is collecting new coats, scarves, and gloves for Northern Virginia families in need from Nov. 20 until Dec. 11. The art installation was designed by Richmond-based artist Noah Scalin and utilizes the donated coats before they are given to the families, according to a press release from Tysons Galleria.

“It has been a challenging year for so many, and we are excited to be part of this initiative to support our local community,” Tysons Galleria Senior General Manager Rich Dinning said.

Volunteers of America has helped underserved people for 125 years, the press release says. According to CEO Mike King, the partnership was a “natural fit” since Brookfield Properties — the real estate company that owns Tysons Galleria — is one of the largest mall operators in the U.S.

“Our goal is to collect as many donations in as many communities possible, and we are able to maximize those efforts through their shopping centers across the country,” King said. “We look forward to working with them in the coming weeks and look forward to the opportunity to give back to American families this holiday season.”

Scalin will design a custom installation with more than 3,000 coats that will be displayed through Dec. 31 before the coats are donated to those in need. Scalin’s work is interested in reorganizing the noise of American culture into recognizable signals by “illuminating people, moments, and objects that should be prioritized over the distracting spectacle of society,” according to the release.  

Community members can donate new coats, scarves, and gloves at collection points throughout the mall near Maggianos, PF Chang’s, and on the lower level near J. Crew. Organizers are requesting new items because of COVID-19 restrictions. 

Photo by Joshua Hanson/Unsplash

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If quarantine has hurt your Instagram game, a new mural coming to a Vienna dance studio might help spice that up.

Velocity Dance (319 Mill Street NE) went to the Board of Architectural Review last week for permission to add a new “angel wings” mural in front of the building. A memo said the new mural was part of a campaign to paint more of them across town to encourage people to explore the town.

“The applicant is proposing a mural on the existing painted cement block wall at the Velocity Dance location on Mill Street,” staff said in a memo. “The applicant is working with the Vienna Public Arts Commission to participate in a campaign to paint angel wings on buildings throughout town.”

The painted boom boxes will have what members of the Board of Architectural Review referred to as “historic artifacts” like an LP, a 45, and a cassette tape.

The mural was unanimously approved, with a note that the mural will be available to the public for photos after hours.

Image via Town of Vienna

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If you’ve been getting more in touch with your artistic side over quarantine and would like a little feedback, a free artist workshop in Falls Church is meeting virtually to offer feedback.

On Monday, Oct. 5, and the first Monday of every month after, Falls Church Arts is hosting a virtual “cafe” via Zoom to critique and discuss art at all levels of skill or experience.

“It is a free event, an artist cafe and critique group,” said Ruth Altheim, a member of the Falls Church Arts Board of Directors. “We email a picture of the artwork to the facilitator, Pamela Huffman, the day before and when we’re on zoom, Pamela shares the images from her computer screen so all participates can easily see and comment on the artworks.”

The cafe runs from noon to 2 p.m. and invites can be received by emailing [email protected]

“Show a piece of art you’d like feedback on — something new or old, something in progress or complete –and our community of artists will share their thoughts,” Falls Church Arts said in a press release. “The meeting is open to all so invite your artist friends. Feel free to participate even if you don’t have a piece to share this time.”

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The City of Falls Church announced today (Monday) that they will allocate $44,000 in Arts and Humanities grants.

Five proposals were reviewed by the program and will receive a total of $21,200, with each project being fully funded. Five proposals received operational grants with $27,300 awarded.

Recipients include:

  • Creative Cauldron: two grants include $5,000 in funding for “Live at the Cauldron” and an operational grant for administration, utilities, and facility overhead
  • Falls Church Arts: the $4,200 grant will increase web capabilities with a new easy to navigate website and an operational grant will help with gallery rental
  • Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation: two grants will help create promotional, publicity and marketing materials for the 2021 Tinner Hill Blues Festival along with an operational grant for administrative and general expenses
  • The Little City CATCH Foundation: grants include funding for Watch Night and an operational grant for professional services, storage space, office supplies and website costs
  • Washington Sinfonietta: two grants include a free holiday concert at Falls Church Episcopal Church and an operational grant to cover their annual insurance premium

Photo via Creative Cauldron/Facebook

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Later this week, the McLean Project for the Arts will unveil its latest exhibition: Sculpture NOW.

The new exhibition will feature over 50 pieces from the Washington Sculpture Group, according to a press release. A complete list of artists can be found online.

Interested community members are invited to attend a virtual exhibit opening reception on Thursday (Sept. 17) from 7-8 p.m.

Those who want to engage with the display further can either register to see the works in person or attend a virtual art talk which will be held on Oct. 22 from 7 to 9 p.m., the press releases added. There will be limited availability for in-person viewing of the exhibit.

“Sculpture NOW” will be on display until Nov. 14, the press release said.

Image via McLean Project for the Arts/Facebook

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