Tysons Corner, VA

A new program for older adults offers the opportunity to try out various forms of art and expression.

ArtsFairfax paired with Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS) to design a series of tutorial classes led by artists. Though these classes are spread out through the Northern Virginia region, the Lewinsville Senior Center (1613 Great Falls Street) will host a series of improvisation classes for onstage performance.

“The new program is an off-shoot program from the annual Creative Aging Festival, which celebrates the positive effects the arts and creative engagement have on older adults,” the ArtsFarifax website said.

The improv classes will be led by Heidi Fortune Picker on Wednesdays from 12:45-1:45 p.m. starting on Aug. 15. The program will conclude on Oct. 30.

These classes are available to anyone who is 50 or older and a member at the center.

If someone does not hold a membership, they can apply for one. Memberships can costs $24 to $48 a year, depending on household income.

Other classes throughout the region will be held at the Sully Senior Center (14426 Albemarle Point Place), South County Senior Center (8350 Richmond Hwy, Suite 325) and Lincolnia Senior Center (4710 N. Chambliss Street).

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Next week, the 1st Stage theatre will host the Logan Festival for Solo Performance for a third consecutive year.

From July 11-21, national names in talent will perform live plays, give talks and host workshops at 1524 Spring Hill Road.

Headlining performances for this season include: “The Things They Carried,” “Joy Rebel,” and “The Happiest Place on Earth.”  Each play touches on dynamic topics including societal views of race, family tragedy and the legacy of the Vietnam War.

“The Things They Carried” is an adaptation from the classic novel which tells a story of a Vietnam soldier who reflects on his life journey.

Meanwhile, “The Happiest Place on Earth” takes a more lighthearted tone when a man reflects on the women in his family while at Disneyland and what “true happiness” means.

“Joy Rebel” tells a story about a little girl who must face her beloved grandmother’s racism and disapproval of her own parents’ interracial marriage.

Before and after each show, community members are invited to take part in discussions about the productions and various other works of art. Though these forums are free, anyone planning to attend a performance must buy a ticket beforehand.

General admission ticket prices are $20 per show for adults and $10 for students with a valid ID. A festival pass includes tickets for all three performances and is available at a discounted rate of  $50. Tickets are available online or by calling 703-854-1856.

Photo via 1st Stage

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Updated 11 a.m. — The lavish McLean home where much of Alexi Balmasov’s art is currently on display is a pretty far cry from the Siberian village it came from. But there’s a fairytale-like quality to both the cottage home a stone’s throw from downtown McLean and the pastoral scenes of Russia inside.

Local art seller Ruzanna Danielian is inviting the public to her home at 1178 Randolph Road for a gallery exhibition on Sunday, June 23 from 1-7 p.m. Drinks will be provided and Danielian said the public is invited to meet interesting people and enjoy good artwork.

“This is a passion for me,” said Danielian. “I choose [to display] what I fall in love with.”

Danielian said she got into the gallery scene by choosing art to display between books at a store she managed in Moscow. While Danielian said at first it was just art to fill in the gaps, she said customers began to take more and more notice of the artwork and soon curating artwork became her career.

In McLean, Danielian said she got started hosting galleries when she put some on display for a friend, but now Danielian says she makes it her mission to find lesser known artists from places and cultures people in the area may not be familiar.

Inside her McLean home, the walls are covered in a carefully curated selection of art from Balmasov, from still-lifes around the kitchen to scenes from rural Siberia along the hallway. It’s a selection Danielian said took her a year of traveling and careful selection to put together.

Danielian said what drew her to Balmasov’s artwork was the unique approach to layers. Oils, acrylics and other paints are all mixed one on top of the other in a single eight or 10-hour session, giving the pieces a unique sense of depth. The styles range from more surreal and impressionistic to realism.

The prices range from $300 pieces sold without frames to larger ones just under $2,000.

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Updated at 1:30 p.m. — Corrects name of the performance venues and updates event information.

The curtains will rise for a new performance venue in Tysons in two years.

Fairfax County announced Tuesday (June 11) that the performance hall, which is a part of Capital One’s redevelopment, will open in September 2021.

Back in July 2017, the county’s Board of Supervisors approved the redevelopment, which includes Wegmans and the Capital One Center.

The 125,000 square-foot Capital One Hall will include a 1,500-seat main hall with an orchestra pit and a 250-seat black box theatre, according to the county.

In addition to hosting Capital One’s corporate events, local nonprofit arts organizations will be able to use the performance spaces for a specified number of days each year through a 30-year agreement with Fairfax County.

Arts organizations can find out more about the user application and scheduling processes for the facilities at a meeting next Wednesday (June 19) from 7:30-9 p.m. at Capital One Headquarters (1600 Capital One Drive). ARTSFAIRFAX and Capital One will give a presentation and have a Q&A session.

To RSVP, contact ARTSFAIRFAX at [email protected] by Monday, June 17.

Image via Fairfax County/Twitter

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A few months after Open Art Studio moved across town and rebranded as New York School of Arts, the school is holding a ribbon-cutting celebration.

The school programs range from art programs for children to portfolio reviews for students applying to arts programs. Founded 10 years ago, the studio was previously located at 225 Mill Street NE.

The event is scheduled for tonight (Thursday) at 6 p.m. at 320 E. Maple Avenue.

Vienna Mayor Laurie DiRocco is set to attend, and the event will be followed by the program’s first “artist talk” event with Katherine Mann, a professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Hors d’oeuvres and wine are on tonight’s menu.

Photo via OpenArt Studio/Facebook

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The McLean Project for the Arts’ “Strictly Painting” exhibit returns this weekend for its 12th year.

“We are delighted to once again honor and showcase the astounding wealth of talented painters working in the mid-Atlantic region,” MPA Exhibitions Director Nancy Sausser said in a press release.

This year, gallery visitors can see artwork from 57 artists.

Adah Rose Bitterbaum, the owner and director of the Adah Rose Gallery in Maryland, is the juror for this year’s exhibit.

The exhibit runs from June 8 to July 13 at 1446 Chain Bridge Road.

A free opening reception Saturday (June 8) will take place from 5-7 p.m.

Image via McLean Project for the Arts

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A second Movers and Shakers Festival is in the works for Vienna, but will likely be one year later than originally planned.

The original Movers and Shakers festival in 2017 raised money for the “Taking Flight” statue honoring late Mayor Jane Seeman.

James Cudney, this year’s chairman for Movers and Shakers, said the nonprofit is hoping to shift the focus from a specific project to broader support for local artists. Cudney compared the festival to ViVa! Vienna! where proceeds go to the Rotary Club and are then given out as grants.

“The premise of Movers and Shakes is a juried art festival,” said Cudney. “The proceeds from that go to grants for arts projects within the greater Vienna area.”

If all goes according to plan, the festival with handmade art along with music, food and beer will be held in 2020.

Staff at a work session on May 20 said they supported the event, though there were concerns about potential funding challenges. As the project moves forward, staff said the proposal will face two levels of approval: approval of the event itself and approval of funding.

Town Council members also said at the work session they will want to check in with staff to make sure they wouldn’t be overworked by another festival so soon after Oktoberfest. Council members also noted that staff will need to check in with nearby property owners to ensure they are on board with the festival.

“We’ve requested to wrap everything up by November,” Cudney said. “They have a couple more things requested from us, and we’ll submit that by the end of the month, then it goes to another work session and to Town Council. We’re pretty close.”

Photo via Facebook

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The Vienna Town Council will tackle a proposed outdoor music and art festival during its work session tonight (May 20).

Movers and Shakers for Vienna Arts, a nonprofit organization that promotes and supports the arts, wants to hold a two-day festival, which would double as a fundraiser, with juried art vendors, live music, food and beer in 2020.

Unlike the Town of Vienna’s two current outdoor festivals with craft vendors — ViVa! Vienna! and Oktoberfest — the proposed one would require items sold by vendors to be handmade.

“Vendors that make their own products cannot compete with prices of goods sold by vendors that sell buy/sell or imported items,” according to town documents. “The overall quality of items sold at an art show with no regulations is not as high as a festival that requires only hand-made items.”

The document also said that high-quality artists selling handmade crafts may refuse to participate in events that also allow the sale of imported items.

The proposed Movers and Shakers Music and Art Festival returns tonight to the Town Council after its organizers made adjustments based on previous comments from the Town Council.

While town staff said in the documents that limited funding and resources are concerns, they noted that the festival “could generate visitors to Town and additional spending at local businesses.”

The festival has support from the Parks and Recreation director, according to the documents.

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A pop-up art store in Tysons is set to showcase art from international artists at a show on Saturday (April 27).

The Dara Global Arts Gallery is planning a reception from 2-6 p.m. in their pop-up store at 7501 Leesburg Pike, which opened in February. The artwork on display ranges from oils and acrylics to ceramic artwork, and the event on Saturday will feature an opera performance.

The gallery is typically open by appointment only, but the event will throw open the doors to the public.

Dara Global Arts Gallery is part of a budding art scene in Tysons. The gallery’s stated objective is “bringing harmony and peace through art,” reflected in the gallery’s emphasis on diversity both in artists and in the type of art displayed.

The artwork will be on display from April 27 through May 13.

The gallery is also planning an event for Mother’s Day on May 5 with special artwork and a jewelry gallery.

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Tysons’s 1st Stage Theatre is remembering the 20th anniversary of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting with performances of the “docudrama” play Columbinus.

The play weaves together factual testimonies from survivors and community members with fictional representations of students impacted by the shooting.

The play was written by Stephen Karam and PJ Paparelli and first premiered in Silver Spring, Maryland in 2005. The 1st Stage production is directed by Alex Levy, artistic director at 1st Stage, and Juan Francisco Villa.

The plan opened March 28 and is scheduled to run until April 20.

Tickets for the show are $39 for general audiences, $36 for seniors, or $15 for students or military.

The 1st Stage Theatre also offers post-show programs for many of its productions.

  • Saturday, April 6 — a discussion with the cast of the show.
  • Saturday, April 13 — Dr. Ebony White, assistant clinical professor of behavioral health counseling at Drexler University, is scheduled to discuss the behavioral health and trauma issues related to the play.

Photo courtesy Teresa Castracane/1st Stage Theatre

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