Arlington is celebrating Black History Month with dancing, food and art at the 21st Annual Feel the Heritage Festival next month. The event will take place at the Langston-Brown Community Center (2121 N. Culpeper Street) from noon-4:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 9.
Avon Dews will provide live music and the Soul in Motion Players will offer an African dance and drumming performance. Kids can enjoy face painting, balloon art and making art projects while adults check out the vendors.
Anyone interested in taking in the history of the High View Park neighborhood can join in a cultural walk starting at 2:30 p.m. The group will stop at significant locations along the route, where walkers will be encouraged to share memories about the neighborhood, its residents and its traditions.
There will be a raffle during the event and the winner will receive two round-trip airline tickets to anywhere in Africa that Ethiopian Airlines flies. The $5 tickets can be purchased in advance online or at the event.
Volunteers are needed for a number of opportunities around Arlington, from helping with Spanish immersion classes to participating in a dance performance. More information about these opportunities and others can be found online.
- Edu-Futuro seeks teaching assistants for spring semester (January-May) Spanish immersion classes. The classes take place on Saturdays, and immerse children in Kindergarten through eighth grade in the Spanish language through games, songs, and art projects. Volunteers will assist teachers with projects, maintain a safe classroom environment and communicate with students and parents. Volunteers should have experience with children and must be fluent or advanced in speaking and writing Spanish. Call 703-228-2560 for more information or to sign up.
- Arlington Public Library needs assistance at a couple of its branches. Circulation support is needed at the Columbia Pike Branch, and includes duties such as checking in materials, sorting materials by call number, shelving items and preparing items to be shipped to another branch. Volunteers must be able to use a computer, should be detailed oriented and must be able to bend, stretch and stand for long periods of time. The Cherrydale branch needs someone who can take care of materials that must be sent back to other branches. Call Barbara Dean at 703-228-7688 to inquire about either opportunity.
- Jane Franklin Dance is looking for teenagers interested in being part of a children’s production. Interested performers will learn two dances for the production, which takes place on January 27, February 2 and April 13. Anyone age 12 or older may volunteer and will be asked to attend a few rehearsals. Participation in all three performances is not required, but is preferred. Contact Jane Franklin at 703-933-1111.
The D.C. area belly dance studio Sahara Dance is putting on a show at Artisphere on Saturday, Aug. 18 from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. Entitled “Carnival,” the show is billed as “Mardi Gras meets Middle Eastern moulid,” and will feature dance performances; variety talents; live music; games, prizes and raffles; beer, wine and festival food; henna tattoos; and tarot card and palm readings.
More than 100 bellydancers from around the D.C. area will participate in the performances. The event will also feature a special performance by Mohamed El Sayed, a noted Egyptian dancer and musician.
Tickets to the event are $20.
Photo courtesy Sahara Dance
As a non-profit cultural organization now celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Comité Pro Bolivia will showcase eight large Bolivian dance and music ensembles. Each performance will vary from Suri Sicuris, which is traditionally performed before the ostrich (suri) hunt, to the Tinku dance of strength and agility.
The event is free, open to the public and will begin at 8:00 p.m. It’s being held at the Lubber Run Amphitheater at North Columbus and 2nd Street North (two blocks north of Route 50). The amphitheater is wheelchair accessible.
Bolivians make up 20 percent of the approximately 33,000 individuals in Arlington’s Hispanic community. Numerous Bolivian dance groups have been active throughout the county since the 1990s. The Comité’s stated goal is to focus on the dancing traditions which help bring together the Bolivian Community in Arlington and to also create a feeling of belonging and home.
The event and is co-sponsored by Arlington Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Folklore Studies Program at George Mason University. For more information, call 703-228-1850 or visit www.arlingtonarts.org.
Photo courtesy Arlington Cultural Affairs
The Virginia leg of the Southern Regional Pole Dance Fitness Competitions will take place at the hotel from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 28. More than 20 women will compete for the title of Ms. Virginia.
Emphasizing fitness and form over eroticism, the competition is drawing both professional competitors and amateur competitors from pole dance fitness studios across Virginia. The finalists were chosen via YouTube video submissions.
Three women will judge the competition: pole dance instructor Jane Allen, former exotic dancer Trixie Lovett, and Torwa “Fiya Starta” Jo.
The general public is welcome to view the competition, but tickets start at $25.
Screen grab of Ms. Virginia competitor via YouTube
(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) World of Beer, which is coming to 901 N. Glebe Road in Ballston, has requested a permit for live entertainment and outdoor seating. The Arlington County Board is scheduled to vote on the permit this weekend.
The original application requested a permit for live music and dancing from 7:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. every day. However, after receiving advice from county staff, the permit request was revised to be in line with other similar permits around the county. It now says live entertainment would run until 12:00 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and until 1:30 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, with exceptions on certain holidays.
The application also requests outdoor seating on the sidewalk along N. Glebe Road. A separate application was filed for a 70 square foot canopy sign.
County staff who have reviewed the request note that there are no residences close to the location and the live entertainment would not negatively affect businesses in the area. Therefore, they’re suggesting the county approves World of Beer’s permits.
The restaurant’s website still lists the expected opening date as July 2012.
The whole family can enjoy the free event at the Langston-Brown Community Center (2121 N. Culpeper St) from 12:00-5:00 p.m. Visitors can taste soul food and browse vendor displays while being entertained by various types of music and dancing teams, in addition to a comedian. Children’s activities such as arts and crafts, face painting and balloon art will keep little ones occupied.
On the more serious side, the “Hall of History” will display photos and artifacts from Arlington’s historically black neighborhoods, along with African Americans in the Civil War. There will be a WalkAbout of the Hall’s Hill/Highview area. Visitors can also take advantage of health services, from free screenings to flu shots.
Attendees can buy raffle tickets to win a vacation getaway. The winner receives two round-trip tickets to one of 40 destinations in Africa.
Parking at the event will be limited, so free shuttles will run from Glebe Elementary School (1770 N. Glebe Rd) and the Carver (1415 S. Queen St) and Charles Drew (3500 23rd St S.) Community Centers.
Jackie Carter was charged with disorderly conduct following an incident on April 30, 2011, in which she booed a Bowen McCauley Dance Company performance at Kenmore Middle School. The incident was detailed by the Afro newspaper last week, and then picked up by the Washington City Paper on Friday.
The performance, which featured live music by a Kenmore Middle School band, included a dance number that Carter said she found to be “racist and offensive to African-Americans and African American women especially.”
“The skit involved a white child and her black mamee singing and dancing together to the song ‘Lil Rabbit where’s Ya Mamee,’” Carter wrote in a lengthy blog post. “The Mamee scene was a celebration of the many black women, enslaved and used as wet-nurses and the many other unspeakable crimes committed against their enslaved minds, souls and bodies.”
Carter says she booed a performance of the scene on April 29, 2011, but left peacefully after police showed up. Carter, whose daughter was attending Kenmore, then expressed her disapproval to numerous Arlington Public School officials, who listened but apparently declined to take any definitive action.
As Afro reported, Kenmore’s principal later defended the performance, writing a note to parents explaining: “The word ‘mammy’ used in the song is a colloquial affectionate term for mother or grandmother and was used historically and still today in some areas by both African and White Americans, especially in the south.”
On April 30, Carter again showed up to Kenmore to protest the performance. Carter says she handed out letters of protest to members of the audience before the show. During the scene, she started booing. That’s when she says she was assaulted by several people associated with the dance company, including current Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes, who’s also an honorary Bowen McCauley board member.
“Mary Hynes and 4 additional Bowen-McCauley staff members began hitting me and pulling my arms in many different directions,” Carter alleged. “I yelled out ‘get off of me’ … a man, representing Bowen McCauley put me in a head lock and squeezed my neck.”
“I attempted to return to my seat when another man also Bowen-McCauley staff member began pushing me in my chest and blocking my forward movements,” she continued. “I was able to get around him, I return to my set and continued booing the ‘Mamee’ scene.”
Carter says she left the theater after the scene, but was then confronted by police. She was ultimately detained and charged with disorderly conduct, a Class 1 misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
“We had to arrest Ms. Carter at the school on 4/30/11 because she caused quite a disturbance,” Arlington County Police spokeswoman Det. Crystal Nosal told ARLnow.com in May 2011. The incident did not make the department’s weekly crime report at the time.
“It didn’t make the Crime Report because it was just a disorderly conduct charge released on summons,” Nosal explained.
According to court records, the next hearing in Carter’s case is scheduled to be held in Arlington County General District Court on April 23.
Update at 5:45 p.m. — Hynes declined to comment, citing the pending criminal charge against Carter.
Circuit Court Judge to Retire — Arlington Circuit Court Judge Joanne F. Alper, the first woman appointed to the Arlington Circuit Court, has announced her retirement. Alper plans to retire on May 31, 2012, after serving on the circuit court since 1998. “Judge Alper developed a reputation as a tough, fair, hard-working Trial Judge,” the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s office said in a press release. “She enjoys complex litigation, challenging legal issues, and is known as a champion for Victim’s Rights.”
Adios, Artisphere Salsa Tuesdays? — Tonight may mark the end of Salsa Tuesdays at Artisphere, one of the few regularly-scheduled features of the financially-challenged arts facility in Rosslyn. Artisphere’s new business plan calls for the facility to be closed to the public on Tuesdays. Salsa dancing at Artisphere may return, however, on different days. [Washington City Paper]
BikeArlington Distributes 1,000+ Lights — The county’s BikeArlington initiative has distributed more than 1,000 sets of free bike lights over the course of three giveaway events. The giveaways were held on trails in Rosslyn, on Columbia Pike, and at the intersection of the W&OD and Custis trails. [CommuterPage Blog]
Yorktown Grad Wins Writing Contest — Bryce Wilson Stuckie, a member of Yorktown High School’s Class of 2004 and a recent Virginia Tech grad, has been named one of the two winners of The Nation’s sixth annual Student Writing Contest. Stuckie wrote a heart-wrenching and thought-provoking 800-word essay about the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting massacre.
The annual wine and food festival known as Vintage Crystal: A Taste of Wine and Jazz was held Sunday afternoon in Crystal City.
The event featured tastings of more than 30 types of Spanish and South American wines, as well as free food samples from local eateries like Jaleo, Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Kora. There was also live performances of Latin jazz, rumba, salsa, and samba music — complete with dancing.
Here are a few of our photos from the event.
Sign Vigilante Arrested — “Arlington anti-sign vigilante” Robert Lauderdale is facing a felony grand larceny charge for allegedly stealing 240 apartment leasing signs from the Crescent Apartments near I-66. Lauderdale says he removes the signs to reduce clutter along his street and unilaterally enforce Arlington’s sign regulations. He was arrested, taken to jail and booked earlier this month after police showed up at his apartment in the wee hours of the morning. [Falls Church News-Press]
Virginia Is ‘Top State for Business’ — Virginia is once again “America’s Top State For Business,” according to CNBC. “Virginia is a perennial favorite with its strategic location, friendly business climate and diverse economy,” the channel said. The Commonwealth also captured the title in 2007 and 2009. [CNBC]
‘Flash Mob’ At Arlington Central Library — It lacked the spontaneity of a true “flash mob,” but the Bowen McCauley Dance company’s performance of “Mamma Mia” at Arlington Central Library over the weekend was, at least, cool to watch. [YouTube]
FBI Investigating Arlington Nat’l Cemetery Problems — The FBI is investigating possible criminal wrongdoing connected to the mishandling of remains and records at Arlington National Cemetery. The agency is looking into possible contracting fraud and falsification of records, among other potential crimes. [Washington Post]
When the adjacent El Chaparral Meat Market closed earlier this year, the owners of Boccato Gelato & Espresso in Clarendon (2719 Wilson Blvd) spotted an opportunity. They signed a lease for the space, and are now in the process of converting it into a bar/lounge.
The new “Boccato Lounge” will serve as a “place for families and the community to gather,” according to co-owner Cristian Velasco. Featuring beer, wine and live entertainment, the lounge will similar to Tryst in Adams Morgan — a hybrid coffee/alcohol hang-out spot.
Velasco says the lounge will allow Boccato to give its coffee and espresso program the attention it deserves, while giving customers more room to enjoy their drinks. There will, of course, be free WiFi.
The lounge will include a stage where local musicians will be able to perform and movies will be able to be screened. Velasco envisions Latin, jazz and bluegrass musicians taking the stage on some nights, and DJs performing on other nights. The rest of the lounge space will be able to accommodate various community uses, including yoga in the mornings, educational events during the day, salsa dancing at night and kids activities on weekends.
“Chill atmosphere, good music,” is how he summarized the concept.
Meanwhile, Velasco is busy opening a second Boccato Gelato on King Street in Old Town Alexandria. He expects the store to open in late June. No word yet on when Boccato Lounge may open.
H/t to John Fontain
It’s not every day that a group of belly dancers spontaneously shows up outside a Metro station and starts performing for onlookers. But that’s exactly what happened Friday night when dancers from the Saffron Dance belly dancing school in Clarendon (3260 Wilson Blvd) organized their very own flash mob.
The ‘official’ video of the performance is above.
While some flash mobs have been greeted with looks of abject confusion from bystanders, Clarendonites seemed to know the drill — they took out their cell phones and cameras and started recording the encounter.
“All had a great time and there were no arrests,” the video’s YouTube page notes.
H/t to Danielle H.
Nightlife on Columbia Pike has just gotten a bit more vibrant with the addition of Club 31-11, a nightclub, hookah bar, lounge and pool hall all rolled into one.
Club 31-11 (3111 Columbia Pike) is housed in a two-story building that was formerly home to an Ethiopian restaurant. It features Latin fusion cuisine and multiple DJ stations in an eclectically-decorated, two floor building. It opened for the first night of publicly-announced music and dancing last night, as first reported by a new blog called Pike Town Center.
Manager Moe Aniba says the club will host parties and events on weekends. He said more details will be released once the establishment’s web site launches.
Aniba said he’s still in the process of putting the finishing touches on the club’s interior and sounds systems.
Uncompensated Care Costs Local Hospitals $102 Million — While discussing health care on a local TV interview show earlier this week, Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) cited a figure that seemed unbelievable. Moran said that in our congressional district alone, hospitals spend more than $100 million per year paying for those who don’t have insurance or can’t pay the bills. That figure appears to be accurate, says TBD’s Facts Machine.
Lawmakers Outline Priorities — Arlington’s state lawmakers discussed their priorities for the 2011 legislative session earlier this week. Proposals include eliminating the sales tax on food and replacing it with a higher income tax for the wealthy, increasing the state’s low cigarette tax and setting more stringent requirements on petition drives. More from the Sun Gazette.
Leaf Bag Collection Enters Final Week — If you still have bags of leaves lying around, now is the time to get rid of them. Arlington County’s final leaf bag collection will begin Monday. See the collection schedule here.
Non-Stop Bhangra at Artisphere — Organizers describe it as a non-stop party that feels like a scene from a Bollywood movie. San Francisco-based Non-Stop Bhangra will be rocking the house at Artisphere’s Saturday Night Dance Party this weekend. The party starts at 11:01 p.m. and features dance lessons, dance performances, live music sets and “DJs spinning an eclectic mix of bhangra, hip hop, reggae and electronica.” More from Arlington Arts.
Flickr pool photo by Chris Rief