Tysons, VA

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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Tuesday Morning Notes

Driver Hospitalized After Leesburg Pike Crash — Eastbound Route 7 closed for much of the morning yesterday (Monday) while police investigated a crash near Gosnell Road in Tysons. The highway reopened around 1 p.m., but a driver was hospitalized, and the crash investigation remains ongoing. [Fairfax County Police Department/Twitter]

Fairfax Water Extends Deadline for Utility Relief — Fairfax Water announced last week that applications for its Municipal Utility Relief Program will now be accepted through December 1, 2021, or until funding runs out. Applicants must confirm that they are experiencing financial challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit Fairfax Water’s website for more details. [City of Falls Church]

McLean Powerball Player Wins $2 Million — “The Virginia lottery player in McLean won $2 million by matching the first five numbers and only missing the Powerball number in the Jan. 13 drawing.” [Patch]

McLean Community Center Seeks Governing Board Candidates — MCC is looking for district residents to serve on its 2021-2022 governing board, which sets policy, approves budgets, and oversees the community center’s programs. Both adult and youth candidates must obtain 10 signatures and return their petition to MCC by 5 p.m. on Mar. 12. [McLean Community Center]

Staff photo by Angela Woolsey

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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!

Monday (Jan. 11)

  • Introduction to Zentangle (Online) — 6:30-9 p.m. — Falls Church Arts is offering lessons on Zentangle, a drawing technique intended to inspire creativity and encourage mindfulness. This is the first of four classes that will take place every Monday until Feb. 1. The program costs $120 for all four classes. Sign up through the nonprofit.

Tuesday (Jan. 12)

  • On Deck with Mercury — 6-8 p.m. at the Vienna Community Center (120 Cherry St. SE) — Vienna Town Manager Mercury Payton will discuss the town’s 2021 legislative agenda with Town Attorney Steve Briglia for his monthly community forum. In-person attendance is limited to support social distancing, but the meeting will be available live on Zoom. It will also be rebroadcast on the town’s cable access channel, and a recording will be uploaded to YouTube.
  • Great Books Discussion (Online) — 7-8 p.m. — The latest session of the Mary Riley Styles Public Library’s Great Books Discussion, which focuses on literary classics, will center on “The Plague” by Albert Camus. Contact Marshall Webster at [email protected] for the Zoom link.

Wednesday (Jan. 13)

  • Code Create Vienna (Online) — 5:30 p.m. — The Town of Vienna is holding a virtual public meeting for residents to provide input on proposed changes to the town’s residential zoning standards. Staff will review the proposals, present a visual preference survey, and take questions. The meeting will take place on Zoom.
  • MLK Day Virtual Book Discussion (Online) — 7 p.m. — Staff at the Alden Theatre will host a talk about Raymond Arsenault’s history book “The Sound of Freedom: Marian Anderson, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Concert That Awakened America.” This is part of the McLean Community Center’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations. Registration is required and ends at 5 p.m. on Jan. 12.
  • Mystery Book Discussion (Online) — 7-8 p.m. — The Mary Riley Styles Public Library’s mystery book group will talk about “Fer-de-Lance” by Rex Stout. Email [email protected] to sign up for the Zoom discussion.

Thursday (Jan. 14)

  • MLK Day Podcast Discussion Group (Online) — 7 p.m. — As part of its MLK Day celebration, the McLean Community Center kicks off a month of discussions on “Seeing White,” the second season of the Center for Documentary Studies’ “Scene on Radio” podcast series. The series examines the historical origins of whiteness and racism in America. Registration is required and closes at 5 p.m. the day before each Thursday night session.
  • Thursday Evening Book Group (Online) — 7-8 p.m. — The Mary Riley Styles Public Library’s Thursday Evening Book Group will discuss “My Brilliant Friend” by Elena Ferrante. Light refreshments will be served. Email Marshall Webster at [email protected] for a Zoom invite.

Friday (Jan. 15)

  • New Year, New You Virtual 5K (Online) — The McLean-based Junior League of Northern Virginia is hosting a virtual 5K run that will kick off today with a stretching activity. Participants can take part from any location from Jan. 15-18. Register through the organization’s website.
  • Mayor’s Walk — 9:30 a.m. at Vienna Town Hall (127 Center St.) — Vienna Mayor Linda Colbert will meet attendees in front of town hall to take a stroll through town while chatting and answering questions from the community.

Sunday (Jan. 17)

  • Front Row Series: David Shifrin (Online) — 3 p.m. — Clarinet player David Shifrin will play pieces by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Luigi Bassi, and Duke Ellington in the latest installment of the Chamber Music Society’s “Front Row” concert series. The performance will be followed by a Q&A, all of which will be streamed by the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts until midnight on Jan. 24.
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McLean Community Center Executive Director George Sachs officially announced yesterday (Thursday) that he will retire on May 7 after more than a decade in the position.

MCC started advertising for the executive director job in December, signaling that Sachs would step down.

Though he has been preparing to retire since enrolling in the county’s deferred retirement option program three years ago, Sachs is still coming to terms with the prospect of leaving MCC.

“Really, I don’t want to leave,” Sachs admitted. “It’s just that I’ve come to a realization in my life. I turn 70 years old, and looking back and looking forward to what I want to do, I’m ready…to move forward.”

For Sachs, serving as MCC’s chief administrative officer was the culmination of a nearly five-decade career that began in 1974 when he got his first full-time job working at Fairfax County’s recreation department.

Sachs went on to work at the Fairfax County Park Authority for five years, a tenure that included opening the county’s first RECenter at Wakefield Park. The facility is now known as the Audrey Moore RECenter.

Sachs first joined MCC as its deputy director in 1991 after managing the recreation and sports facilities at George Mason University for nearly 10 years. He spent four years with MCC before moving to South Carolina, where he owned and operated his own chain of health and fitness centers.

However, after the Great Recession hit in 2008, Sachs says he struggled to compete as a small business owner. He decided to return to Fairfax County in 2009, when MCC hired him again, this time to manage the Old Firehouse Teen Center.

Appointed as MCC’s executive director in 2010, Sachs shepherded MCC through an extensive $8 million overhaul of its Ingleside Avenue center, a five-year process that involved relocating staff to four different sites around McLean and culminated with a reopening in 2018.

“It gave more space and openness to the center,” Sachs said of the renovation. “…It’s just more inviting for people to come in. When you come in the center now, you can actually see that there’s activity in the center.” Read More

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The McLean Community Center’s annual commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day will look a little different this year.

Typically, MCC marks the occasion — which falls on Jan. 18 this year — by hosting live performances that explore the civil rights leader’s life and work, but with the COVID-19 pandemic still rendering in-person gatherings ill-advised, the organization is offering a trio of online programs instead.

“Our Beloved Community: Uniting Through Stories”

The most ambitious effort, this community service project invites older community members to share a story that they would like to pass on to younger generations, whether it is historically or just personally significant.

The stories will then be matched with volunteering “story adapters” who will interpret and adapt them into another art form, such as a short play, song, visual art, or a video.

The Alden Theatre, which is producing and overseeing all of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day activities, will provide virtual workshops on Zoom for the story adapters to help them develop their projects.

“While we have all witnessed the damaging effects caused by COVID-19, it is our senior neighbors that have, perhaps, struggled the most due to the isolation in which we find ourselves,” MCC says. “Recognizing this is a problem easily solved, we look to the principles of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with the goal of uniting our community through outreach and personal connection.”

All residents of McLean and the surrounding areas can be a storyteller or adapter. MCC says any participants 13 years old or younger should have parental supervision when working on their stories.

Registration to become a storyteller or adapter is currently open with a deadline of Feb. 5. The deadline to submit story adaptations is Apr. 30.

Virtual Book Discussion

To observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Alden will also host a virtual book discussion on Zoom about “The Sound of Freedom: Marian Anderson, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Concert That Awakened America” by Raymond Arsenault.

The history book focuses on an Apr. 9, 1939 concert at the Mall in Washington, D.C., by singer Marian Anderson, who became a key figure in the fight against racial segregation after the Daughters of the American Revolution refused to let her perform at Constitution Hall because she was black.

Alden staff members will lead a conversation about the book on Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. Preregistration is required and closes at 5 p.m. on Jan. 12.

“Seeing White”

The Alden staff will host a discussion group on “Seeing White,” the second season of the Duke University Center for Documentary Studies podcast Scene on Radio.

Hosted by Jon Biewen and guest Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika, the 14-part series examines the history of racism and the concept of whiteness in the U.S. It can be found any podcast app or on the Scene on Radio website.

Focused on two or three episodes each, the discussion sessions will be held at 7 p.m. every Thursday from Jan. 14 to Feb. 18. Participants can register for individual sessions or for all of them.

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Wednesday Morning Notes

McLean House Fire Caused by Unattended Cooking — Fire investigators have determined that a condominium fire that occurred in the McLean area approximately 9:05 p.m. on Monday (Dec. 21) was caused by cooking left unattended in the kitchen. The blaze displaced three occupants and resulted in approximately $93,750 of damages. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Fairfax County Exceeds Face Mask Donation Goal — “In total, 77,010 cloth face coverings were donated and distributed this year. To provide free masks to the most vulnerable, including low-income families, the county put out a call in May for the community’s help to sew and donate 65,000 masks for children and adults.” [Fairfax County Emergency Information]

Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ends Use of Cash Bail — “Fairfax County’s top prosecutor formally announced Monday [Dec. 21] that his office would no longer seek cash bail, saying it exacerbates inequalities between the rich and poor in the criminal justice system.” [The Washington Post]

McLean Community Center Finds New Way to Celebrate Christmas — “The McLean Community Center on Dec. 12 held a special event to take the place of its traditional “Breakfast with Santa.” Youngsters ages 2 to 8 had the chance to take a photo with Saint Nick in a contact-less, outdoor environment. Santa was safe and secure in an inflatable snow globe.” [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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McLean Community Center Executive Director George Sachs will retire next year, MCC Marketing and Communications Director Sabrina Anwah confirmed to Tysons Reporter yesterday (Monday).

Sachs has served in the role for more than a decade, a tenure that includes overseeing the massive, $8 million renovation of the community center’s Ingleside Avenue facility that was completed in December 2018.

While more details about Sachs’s decision to retire likely won’t come until the new year, MCC has put out an advertisement for the position on the Fairfax County government’s job database.

As the MCC’s chief administrative officer, the executive director plans, organizes, and manages the agency’s facilities, programs, and services, which range from community events and classes to musical and dramatic performances at the 386-seat Alden Theatre.

According to the job posting, the executive director is also responsible for hiring and training both professional and volunteer staff, supervising MCC’s website and public communications, reviewing the budget, and serving as a liaison to elected officials as well as local public and private groups, among other duties.

Qualifications include:

Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with a bachelor’s degree in arts administration, recreation administration, or a closely related field; plus five years of progressively responsible supervisory experience administering diversified recreational or cultural programs, preferably in a large recreational or cultural facility. A master’s degree may be substituted for one year of the required experience.

CERTIFICATES AND LICENSES REQUIRED:
The following must be obtained within 90 days of employment:

  • CPR
  • First Aid
  • AED

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Strong leadership skills with the ability to foster a healthy organization and encourage teamwork and collaboration.
  • Demonstrated success and experience in recreation operations, planning and programming.
  • Ability to identify and mitigate risk in operations.
  • Experience with budget development and management.
  • Ability to oversee a robust communications and marketing strategy.
  • Experience overseeing capital projects and improvements.
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.).
  • Knowledge of virtual meeting and conferencing platforms.

NECESSARY SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • The appointee to the position must satisfactorily complete a criminal background check, credit check, and Child Protective Services check.
  • Must be able to communicate with others verbally and in writing.

The job posting notes that the position requires frequent evening meetings, along with occasional weekend and holiday work. Applicants may also be required to lift up to 15 pounds, and while the job “is generally sedentary in nature,” the ability to read and work on a computer is essential.

The advertised salary range is between $95,447 and $159,078 annually.

The posting is scheduled to close at 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 15. MCC will hold panel interviews to select its next executive director.

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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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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 (Dec. 8)

Wednesday (Dec. 9)

  • Gingerbread Houses Crafternoon (Online) — 3-3:30 p.m. — The Mary Riley Styles Public Library will go live on its Facebook page to make gingerbread houses. Participants can pick up Grab and Go Kits at the library at 120 N. Virginia Ave. through Dec. 15, while supplies last.
  • Reopening FCPS Schools — 6 p.m. at Vienna Town Hall (127 Center St. S) — The Town of Vienna is hosting a town hall meeting with Hunter Mill School Board Representative Melanie Meren to discuss questions and concerns regarding reopening Fairfax County Public Schools.
  • “The Red Balloon” in Community Hall — 7 p.m. at McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Ave.) — MCC is hosting a free screening of the French short film The Red Balloon. Attendees must wear a face covering and practice social distancing. To register, use this link.
  • Virtual Improv Show (Online) — 7 p.m. — The Alden‘s professional teen improv company, The Unruly Theatre Project, will present an hour-long improv show. Tickets are free, but registrations must be made at least two hours in advance of the show’s start time. To register, use this link.

Sunday (Dec. 13)

  • McLean Uncorked Part 2 (Online) — 5-6 p.m. — Participants can enjoy four pre-purchased, unique wines during a virtual wine tasting with The Wine Outlet in McLean. Participants can purchase the wines by visiting the store in person (6727 Curran St.) or by shopping online.
  • Holiday Wine Tasting (Online) — 3 p.m. — Participants can enjoy six wines and an Italian snack platter. The cost is $99 for two people. Tasting kits can be picked up from Thompson Italian (124 N Washington St.) between 12-1:30 p.m. on Sunday (Dec. 13).

Photo via Thompson Italian/Facebook

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Updated on 12/1/2020 — The Church Street Holiday Stroll was moved online this year. The live stream of the event can still be viewed on the Town of Vienna’s Facebook page. Tysons Reporter apologizes for any confusion or inconvenience caused by the outdated information in the Weekly Planner.

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 (Nov. 30)

  • Church Street Holiday Stroll — 6-8:30 p.m. at Vienna’s Historic Church St. (131 Church St.) — Enjoy favorite holiday tunes performed by school choruses and others, along with s’mores, children’s activities, and more, the website says.

Tuesday (Dec. 1)

  • Holiday Gingerbread Decorating (Dec. 1-25) — 6:30-8 p.m. at McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Ave.) — McLean Community Center will provide a pre-built gingerbread house, traditional candy decorations, and frosting. To register, use this link.
  • Children’s Book Writing and Publishing Workshop (Online) — 7-9 p.m. — Learn how to effectively write, publish, and market a children’s book with a masterclass from Global Book Publishing CEO Sush Dutta. To register, use this link.

Thursday (Dec. 3)

  • The Boro Howliday Series — 5:30-7 p.m. at Boro Park (8350 Broad St.) — Pets and their owners can enjoy a dog pop-up zone. Toys and treats will be provided for the dogs, and guests can enjoy treats as well with specialty seasonal warm beverages, the website says.

Friday (Dec. 4)

  • Fairfax Virtual Employment Expo (Online) — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. — In lieu of its usual employment expo in Fairfax County, the Jewish Council for the Aging of Greater Washington is hosting several virtual events. Job seekers of age 50 or more can attend workshops and network with employers. To register, use this link.

Saturday (Dec. 5)

  • McLean Holiday Arts & Crafts Festival (December 5-6) — 9 a.m to 5 p.m. — The McLean Holiday Art & Crafts Festival is a juried arts show. See behind the scenes and watch how these artists create their masterpieces. Support the arts and buy a unique gift for someone special, the website said. Admission is free. To register, use this link.
  • Cookies with Santa — 11 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. at Vienna Volunteer Fire Department (400 Center St. S.) — Share holiday wishes and Mrs. Claus’s delicious holiday cookies with the jolly ol’ elf, the website said. The cost is $5 per person. To register, use this link.

Staff photo by Ashley Hopko

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