Tysons, VA

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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New PPP Loan Guidance — “New guidance from the Small Business Administration changes the compensation limits for certain Paycheck Protection Program borrowers who are considered owner-employees.” [Washington Business Journal]

Here’s Where VA COVID-19 Cases Are Up — “Richmond, a city of over 230,000 people, recorded more new cases than Prince William County, which has over 470,000 people. Localities leading in new cases on Thursday were Fairfax County with 81, Richmond City with 73, Prince William County with 66, and Virginia Beach with 55.” [Patch]

Painted Rocks Share Positive Messages — “Local Girl Scouts met in person in the middle of last month, for the first time since the pandemic began, to paint stones for ‘Rock Your August with Kindness,’ the Vienna Arts Society’s (VAS) third summer project. The public may admire or even take home the approximately 150 rocks painted by the Scouts, said VAS member Mary Ellen Larkins, who co-chaired the project with MaryBeth Davis.” [Inside NoVa]

Families Living in Tysons High-Rises — “Tysons shows that high-rise housing can be an appealing home for all ages. In Tysons, 21.4% of residents are under 20 years old, an increase of about 20% since Tysons’ redevelopment plan for more housing was implemented in 2010. The majority of Tysons’ housing stock consists of mid- to high-rise, elevator buildings.” [Greater Greater Washington]

Photo by Michelle Goldchain

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The McLean Project for the Arts (MPA) is looking for students to submit entries for the upcoming Children’s Art Walk.

In previous years, the Children’s Art Walk was an open-air gallery, but due to the pandemic, the juried show will take place virtually. The New Dominion Women’s Club of McLean is sponsoring the exhibit, which is a part of MPAartfest.

Students in the Langley and McLean public school pyramid, as well as students at private and parochial schools, can participate, Bethany Nguyen, MPA’s marketing consultant, told Tysons Reporter.

Entries will be accepted between Aug. 24-Sept. 6. MPA asks students to submit art related to one of three themes: “Abundance,” “Small Stories” and “Natural Inclinations.”

MPAartfest is scheduled to take place Oct. 4-18. People will be able to view the exhibit, which will also include art made by kids during MPA’s summer art camps, online during the duration of the festival.

Last year’s Children’s Art Walk featured work from more than 150 students, according to MPA.

Photo via McLean Project for the Arts/Facebook

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Dara Global Arts Gallery is reopening to the public this Sunday, July 27. The gallery will be open each Sunday by appointment only from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The gallery is located at 2169 Chain Bridge Road, Lower Level in Vienna. 

All visitors are required to wear a mask, and the gallery will be following social distancing guidelines, according to a Facebook post on their page. Additionally, each appointment slot is limited to two people who know each other. 

“We feel that the artists’ emotion, the medium used, and the way you feel when you look at a piece of art is not often adequately conveyed digitally, “said Nawara Elliott, the Owner and Managing Director of Dara Global Arts Gallery.

Dara Global Arts Gallery is an art gallery with a mission to celebrate women’s empowerment and freedom of expression. Their goal is to bring peace and harmony through art, according to their website

The gallery donates a percentage of its sales to different organizations to help children of war-torn countries, homeless women and children and impoverished artists. Some of these organizations include INRA, BRAWS, and Samra Nice Arts.

Those interested in making an appointment to visit the gallery can email [email protected]

Photo via Dara Global Arts Gallery/Facebook

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The McLean Project for the Arts (MPA) is debuting its first online exhibit this week. 

Called “SHIFT,” the exhibit will open on Wednesday, July 15, with an online reception from 7-8 p.m. The exhibit will explore concepts of change or exchange in the paradigm, position, dreams, environment, perspective and more.

“So much has changed in our world in the last few months, in ways both personal, political and global,” Nancy Sausser, MPA’s director of exhibitions, said.

The exhibit, juried by Henry Thaggert and Sarah Tanguy, will feature 48 artists from the mid-Atlantic region, according to a statement from the group. The works displayed in the exhibit were chosen from more than 250 submissions, according to Sausser. 

Artists were asked to answer the question, “How has your world been affected by this ‘SHIFT’ in our lives?”

The exhibition will be available from July 15-Aug. 27.

Photo courtesy McLean Project for the Arts

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(Updated 11:30 a.m.) The McLean Project for the Arts is among the recipients of $50,000 grants from the National Endowment for the Arts CARES Act to help with the financial fallout from the pandemic.

Thirteen other arts organizations in Virginia were awarded the funding, according to a press release from the arts organization.

“This grant provides critical support as we continue to adapt our visual arts programming and carry out our mission during and beyond this COVID-19 pandemic,” Lori Carbonneau, MPA’s executive director, said in the press release.

MPA shared with Tysons Reporter how the grant will be used:

The funding will help us have the resources to reimagine our programming in this new environment. For example, this coming Wednesday, July 15, we will open our first online juried exhibition, SHIFT. We’ve also been actively expanding our MPA ArtReach programming, distributing these weekly art activities to ArtReach community partners, who, in many cases, are struggling with the digital divide of lacking easy access to technology and wifi. Finally, the grant will help us continue to provide our online art classes and art camps, and will support our upcoming (virtual!) MPAartfest coming this October.

The NEA said it received more than 3,100 eligible applications and ultimately awarded the grants totaling $44.5 million to 855 organizations across the U.S. Only arts organizations that had previously received NEA funds were eligible.

“To review the applications, the agency used more than 200 application readers and panelists to review and score each application using the published review criteria,” according to the NEA.

The grants will support staff salaries, fees for artists or contractors and facilities costs, the press release said, noting that arts and culture sector employs more than 5 million people.

Photo by Ian Williams on Unsplash

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