Ballston Company Raises $100 Million — Ballston-based Snagajob has announced a $100 million funding round. The company is planning to hire at least 150 new employees for its Arlington and Richmond offices and make some significant acquisitions. [Tech.co]
Democratic Challenger Launches Campaign — Small business owner and Planning Commission member Erik Gutshall formally launched his campaign to unseat Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey at last night’s Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting. Gutshall’s primary pitch to Democrats is “responsive, progressive leadership that you can trust.” Garvey upset many Democratic voters by endorsing independent Board member John Vihstadt and campaigning (successfully) to kill the Columbia Pike streetcar project. [InsideNova]
Bikeshare By the Numbers — Critics of Capital Bikeshare are pointing to some system stats to suggest that it’s inefficient and serves a narrow segment of the population, though the reality is a bit more gray. Capital Bikeshare lost 30 cents on the dollar — rider revenue covers 70 percent of operating costs. But that’s not too shabby compared to other transit systems. In terms of operating costs per passenger-mile, Bikeshare is between Metrorail and Metrobus. Critics also point out that 84 percent of Bikeshare members are white while the District’s population is only 44 percent white (and Arlington’s population is 64 percent white). [Daily Signal]
DESIGNArlington Winners Revealed — The 11 winners of the annual DESIGNArlington awards for architectural and landscape projects have been announced. Among the projects receiving a “Merit Award” is the somewhat controversial sewage plant fence art project entitled “Ripple.” [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
‘No Drone Zone’ Reminder for Pope’s Visit — Pope Francis begins his three-day visit to D.C. this afternoon. The Arlington County Police Department and the FAA are reminding residents and visitors that the airspace around the District, including Arlington, is a “no drone zone.” [Twitter, FAA]
Widening of I-66 Inevitable, Says VDOT Chief — Widening I-66 to three lanes between the Dulles Connector Road and Ballston is an inevitability, says Virginia Transportation Sec. Aubrey Layne. However, VDOT will exhaust every alternative before moving forward with expansion, Layne said. [WTOP]
Celeb Posts Pic from Arts Center Installation — A giant dart on the front lawn of the Arlington Arts Center in Virginia Square is gaining some fame. Comedian Nick Swardson over the weekend posted on Instagram a photo of a woman jokingly posing as if the dart had hit her in the rear end. He was apparently unaware that the woman was DC’s 107.3 FM personality Sarah Fraser. The dart is part of a well-reviewed installation at AAC called “Play.” [Sarah Fraser]
Prescription Drug Take-Back Day — Arlington County will participating in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day this coming Saturday. The police department will be accepting anonymous returns of pills and patches at fire stations 2, 8 and 9 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. [Arlington County]
New Office Lease in Rosslyn — Tax services Ryan, LLC has signed a lease for the 21st floor of the Rosslyn Twin Towers building. The towers at 1000 and 1100 Wilson Blvd are also home to Raytheon, SRI International, Sands Capital, Strategy&, Politico, WJLA and the Washington Free Beacon. [GlobeSt]
Pope Prayer Protest at DCA — Airport workers and a local pastor will hold a “worker pray-in” at Reagan National Airport this afternoon, in advance of the pope’s visit to D.C. Workers are seeking “a living wage, improved training and adequate resources.” [SEIU 32BJ]
Flickr pool photo by Edobson22207
Brief Ebola Scare at EPA HQ — Hazmat and EMS teams were dispatched to the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Crystal City this morning for a possible Ebola patient. After an assessment by a doctor, it was determined that the patient — a man in his 50s — did not have the likely symptoms of Ebola.
Arlington Launches Startup Competition — Arlington County is partnering with the website Tech.Co to run a contest to attract new startups to Arlington. Starting today, startups can apply for the chance to receive three months of free work and living space, plus free legal advice and public transit funds. [Tech.Co, Arlington Economic Development]
Stolen Car Crashes in Fairlington — A stolen car crashed in a quiet Fairlington neighborhood early Tuesday morning, after fleeing from a traffic stop. The suspects fled the scene and police were unable to track them down. [Patch]
Arlington Artist Survey — Arlington Cultural Affairs is surveying local artists about their needs for space to create art. “We would like to understand the space requirements of artists so that we can optimize the use of our current facilities and plan for future growth… Arlington Cultural Affairs is working both internally and externally to ensure that Arlington’s cultural scene remains vibrant and engaging.” The survey deadline is Sept. 30. [Arlington Arts]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Barcroft will hold its annual Chalk4Peace event on Saturday, Sept. 12 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. There will be music and chalk will be provided.
Children will be able to draw on the blacktop and sidewalks around the school. The art will stay there until it is washed away by rain, said Principal Colette Bounet.
“They [kids] get to hang out with their friends,” Bounet said. “They get to draw on the ground, which they usually don’t get to do.”
Chalk4Peace is a global initatiative started by artist John Aaron 10 years ago to help connect communities and promote peace and art.
“The peace aspect [for the Barcroft event] is more just getting out with your community,” Bounet said.
About 50 to 60 kids show up each year to the event, Bounet said, adding that at any one time there are usually 25 to 30 kids drawing.
Chalk4Peace first came first came to Barcroft nine years ago, said art teacher Marel Sitron, who helped launch the event. The original Chalk4Peace event was founded in Arlington in 2003.
“I just think it’s a wonderful event because art is an universal language,” Sitron said.
Both Bounet and Sitron draw during the event, they said. In previous years, Sitron chalked the Mona Lisa in chalk as well as other large pictures, she said.
Children who participate in Chalk4Peace also bring a box of cereal to donate. Last year, the school filled five to six large tubs of cereal boxes, Bounet said.
“We’ve just found it’s very appealing for kids to give to other kids,” she said.
Arlington County’s public art program is seeking a new “Public Art Project Manager.”
Project managers are responsible for developing and managing public art projects for the county, as well as advising on county requests for art and design enhancements. They also help educate residents and county staff about the importance of art in Arlington.
“The work entails communication and project-related activities to publicize, advocate for, support and elevate the profile of public art and design enhancements in the County,” according to the job listing.
“The work also includes collection maintenance oversight for Arlington’s collection of permanent public art and portable works, the associated database and website, and supports the work of the Public Art Committee of the Arlington Commission of the Arts.
Project managers work under Angela Adams, the public art administrator.
The position became available after one of the former project managers moved to a different department to take a part-time job, said Jim Byers, marketing director for Arlington Cultural Affairs. Byers could not say who moved from the department because it’s a personnel matter, he said.
The public art department website currently lists Deirdre Ehlen and Aliza Schiff as project managers.
Those wishing to apply need to have a bachelor’s degree in an art or design-related field, such as fine arts, art history or urban planning. Candidates also need two years experience in arts administration, public arts or a design-related field.
The application is available online.
An American flag that was flying outside of American Legion Post 139 in Virginia Square was apparently stolen earlier this morning.
Sharon Walker, the club manager at the post at 3445 Washington Blvd, said she noticed the flag was gone when she went to check on a mural currently being painted on the side of the building. The POW flag, which flies below the American flag, was lying on the ground and the rope that held the American flag was torn she said.
She first thought that someone had saw it on the ground and picked it up, but that didn’t quite add up, she said.
“If someone had picked it up, they’d also pick up the POW flag,” Walker said.
She asked neighbors if they saw a person take the flag, but so far no one has seen anything, she said. This is the first time in her 31 years at Post 139 that someone has stolen the flag.
A mural of an American flag is currently being painted on the side of the building, and artist Scott LoBaido said there is something ironic about the situation — that the flag was stolen while he was painting the huge mural.
“It just broke my heart,” he said. “It just broke my spirit.”
LoBaido is currently on a mission to paint an American flag on a VFW or American Legion post in every state. The Arlington American Legion is the last stop on his 50-state tour and this is the first time someone stole a flag while he was painting a mural.
“It’s the last one I’m doing. It’s Arlington, Virginia. It’s the Arlington National Cemetery,” he said. “That’s what it is all about.”
LoBaido filed a police report online, but he hasn’t heard back from the Arlington County Police Department. He said he hopes one of the buildings nearby has camera footage of the person stealing the flag. He checked in with the building across the street, but it did not have cameras.
“I consider it a hate crime,” he said. “It’s vandalism. It’s against the law.”
Desecrating the flag from an American Legion post doesn’t make a political statement, he said, it only hurts the service members who fight for it.
“You don’t desecrate the flag because you’re hurting the men and women who gave you the right to protest,” he said.
He urges anyone who saw something to call police. If the thief is caught, LoBaido says he knows the perfect punishment: the person should spend a week doing community service at a local VA Hospital to see the type of sacrifices military personnel make for the flag.
“The irony is here we are at Arlington. The Arlington National Cemetery is down the street,” he said.
A flag will “absolutely” fly tomorrow at the American Legion, Walker said, but she was not sure how much it would cost to replace it.
Artist Scott LoBaido has chosen the post at 3445 Washington Blvd for the next mural on his Fifty State Tour, in which he aims to paint a flag mural on either a VFW or American Legion building in all fifty states.
LoBaido has been painting renditions of the stars and stripes for some time. According to the artist’s website, in 2006 he completed a similar mural-painting tour in which he drove across the United States and painted a flag on one rooftop in each state, so that they could be seen from airplanes by departing and returning soldiers.
LoBaido has received national attention for his art, including being named ABC News’ Person of the Week for his 2006 tour.
Post 139 Commander Bob Romano said that when he received the pitch for the flag mural last Thursday, he jumped at the chance.
“It was just too good to pass up,” said Romano.
Although the post has had to spend some money to rent a lift for the artist, the mural itself comes free of charge. LoBaido is scheduled to start work on Sunday, Aug. 16 and finish on Wednesday, Aug. 19.
According to Romano, a dedication ceremony is being planned for Thursday, Aug. 20 at noon. Romano said it will be primarily an American Legion event, and hopes that some Legion Riders will make an appearance.
“I think this is a good thing for the post,” said Romano. “When I first heard about it, I thought, ‘This has to happen.'”
Photo courtesy Bob Romano
(Updated at 3:25 p.m.) The beginning of a mural has appeared on a wall along Lee Highway from the corner of N. Uhle Street to N. Veitch Street.
The mural is the work of local artist Kate Fleming, a 2014 College of William and Mary graduate who now works for the Smithsonian’s Office of Exhibits Central. Fleming was initially approached in 2014 by John Laswick from Engleside Cooperative, the co-op building behind the 110-foot wall, to paint a mural, according to Fleming’s blog.
Now after a year of designing, planning and waiting for warm weather, Fleming has started to add paint to the once dirty retaining wall.
Painted a muted lime green, the mural has pencil sketches on it depicting buildings and houses. A sketch of the Iwo Jima Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery is also depicted.
The finished mural will be an abstract cityscape of Arlington and the District, Fleming said. The mural contains Arlington landmarks, including Arlington neighborhood on the right half of the mural. On the left, she will paint Key Bridge leading to D.C. and multiple District landmarks like the Washington Monument and the Capitol Building.
“It’s more about shapes and color and overlapping than a straight depiction of the city,” Fleming said.
Painting a mural is expensive, especially since the wall needed to be cleaned before Fleming could start, she said on blog. Engleside Cooperative is funding part of the mural, but Fleming also received Arlington Commission for the Art’s Spotlight Artist Grant for 2016. The grant gave Fleming $5,000.
“Getting the funding from the Arlington Commission for the Arts and Arlington Cultural Affairs has finally gotten this project moving in a real way. It’s been a full year in the works, but things are finally starting to pick up speed,” Fleming said in a June 25 post.
However, the project hit a small snag after being selected for the grant. Because the mural is technically on private property, county staff thought she her mural might be considered a sign, and subject to the county’s stringent sign ordinance.
From her blog post entitled “Speed Bump:”
Progress on the mural (and on this blog) hit a bit of a speed bump last week. As I was putting the finishing touches on the design in Illustrator (more on that later), I got a call from Angela Adams over at Arlington Public Arts. Angela was a huge help throughout the Spotlight Grant application process. She was calling to let me know that my project did not fall under the jurisdiction of the Arlington Public Arts Committee. This seemed, at first, a good thing; I would not need to go through the Public Art Committee’s approval process and so I could get started right away. But there was one catch: because it was determined to be a non-public art project, Angela and I concluded that I would have to follow the County sign ordinance.
Fleming was instructed to go to the county zoning office, where she spoke with a staff member. After a few days in which she stopped all work on the mural, she called the staff member and was told that her mural wasn’t a sign after all, it was going to be considered private artwork under county regulations.
“I have the County’s go-ahead and that’s what matters!” Fleming wrote. “I lost a few days of work in the process, but I’m getting back on track,” she wrote in her July 12 post.
It took Fleming a little over a week to pencil mark her mural, and she expects it to take weeks to paint it, she said. Once completed, the mural will have 10 different colors, including shades of blues and greens. The mural will be abstract and won’t necessarily be a day or night scene, though people could consider it to depict Arlington and D.C. during the day, she said.
A lot of thought went into the design of the mural, Fleming said, in order to give it a complex, abstract feel but with identifiable structures. Fleming said she and Laswick want people to be able to look at the mural multiple times and “to see something new every time you looked. So it’s complex and layered that way.”
Fleming’s contract for the mural has a completion date of Sept. 30, but Fleming said she hopes to finish by the end of August or beginning of September.
The Arlington Commission for the Arts recommended approval for $215,810 worth of grants that are to be allocated among 17 organizations and three individual artists. These grants, specified in a County Board agenda item, are a part of county funding set aside for Arlington’s support of the arts in the county’s Fiscal Year 2016.
The total amount of the grants is $16,710 more than was allocated to the arts in fiscal year 2015.
The following organizations are the recommended recipients for the proposed cultural grants, in descending order by amount:
- Synetic Theater — $32,529.00
- Arlington Arts Center — $31,927.00
- Bowen McCauley Dance — $23,962.00
- BalletNova Center for Dance — $18,162.00
- Washington Shakespeare Company — $14,194.00
- Encore Stage and Studio — $13,571.00
- No Rules Theatre Company — $12,980.00
- Teatro de la Luna — $11,284.00
- UrbanArias, Inc. — $9,638.00
- EducationalTheatre Company — $5,802.00
- Arlington Artists’ Alliance — $5,316.00
- The Arlington Players — $5,152.00
- Washington Balalaika Society — $5,012.00
- National Chamber Ensemble — $3,799.00
- Jane Franklin Dance — $3,061.00
- Indian Dance Educators Association — $2,546.00
- Dominion Stage — $1,875.00
Three individual artists, Kate Fleming, Melanie Kehoss and Sushmita Mazumbar have been recommended by the Commission to each receive $5,000 “Spotlight Grants.”
Additionally, 26 organizations have been recommended to receive non-monetary support in the form of space and services:
ACW Dances, The Metropolitan Chorus, Alma Boliviana, Old Dominion Cloggers, Arlington Philharmonic Association, Opera NOVA, The Arlingtones, Peter’s Alley Theatre Productions, Bangladesh Center for Community Development Inc., Potomac Harmony Chorus, Cambodian American Heritage, Inc., Prio Bangla, Inc., Centro Cultural Peru, Inc., The ProBolivan Committee, Dance Asia, Requiebros Spanish Dance Group, El Tayrona, Shristee Nrittyangon, Inc., Festival Argentino, Signature Theatre, Inc., First Draft, Sultanas Troupe, Hālau O’Aulani, Tinkus Tiataco USA, Los Quetzales Mexican Dance Ensemble, Vietnamese Cultural Society of Metropolitan Washington.
The neon light sculpture which has graced the facade of the Arlington Arts Center’s historic Maury building for the past 10 years will be moving on this summer.
The piece is moving across the river to the Anacostia Arts Center. Kraft’s studio is located in Anacostia.
“I’ve been proud for the piece to call AAC home for the last 10 years,” Kraft said. “Following refurbishment and conservation in my studio, the piece will be re-installed at the Anacostia Arts Center where it will be a part of Anacostia’s renaissance for years to come.”
Arlington Arts Center said in an email that they are “thrilled that the piece will live on in the region.” Once it’s gone, AAC plans to use its portico space and grounds to feature the works of other artists, including an artist who’s part of the center’s new PLAY: Tinker, Tech & Toy exhibition, which starts next month.
“AAC will also be working with Arlington Public Art to select and install a longer-term sculpture to be sited on the portico in 2016,” the center said.
The events, which are free to attend, feature live music and, for paying customers, sips of various wine varietals.
“Expert noses from [Washington Wine Academy] help guests select and enjoy the perfect wine for an after work beverage to kick-off the weekend right amidst the calming sounds of falling water mixed with live music,” according to the Crystal City website.
This year, the event is being combined with ArtJamz, which offers aspiring artists paint and canvas so they can create their own paintings in a social setting.
Wine in the Waterpark and ArtJamz will run from 6:00-10:00 p.m. tonight and will take place every Friday in June at the Crystal City water park (1750 Crystal Drive).
On Wednesdays in June, from 5:00-8:00 p.m., Crystal City will hold Blues, Brews and Barks, featuring beer and live music in a dog-friendly setting. The event will take place at the 2121 Crystal Drive courtyard.
Attendees are encouraged to pick up food from local eateries before going to the park. Beverages will be available in the beer garden. Attendees can get two drink tickets for $5 if bought in advance.
Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser
A new art piece will lambast the closure of Artisphere on the venue’s final day of live performance.
Artist Carolina Mayorga can neither confirm nor deny that she will assume the form of the Virgin Mary apparition during a performance titled “Our Lady of the Vanishing Arts.” But Mayorga, who’s dressed as the holy figure before, says there’s a good possibility a divine apparition could materialize at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 6.
“[The Virgin Mary] is thinking about making an apparition at Artisphere,” Mayorga says, chuckling. “She might appear. She’s thinking about it.”
During the performance piece, which lasts an hour and precedes a musical performance by Stooges Brass Band and Black Masala, Mayorga will perform mock holy rituals and anoint Artisphere attendees.
“I have these cardboard letters that spell the word art,” explains Mayorga. “and I’m going to burn them in a little metal tray, mix that with oil, and use a brush to [paint dollar signs on attendees’ foreheads].”
A live organist will play Catholic mass classics such as “Ave Maria” alongside the performance.
“I call it Ash Saturday,” says Mayorga.
The point of the performance, explains Mayorga, isn’t to belittle religion. Instead, it’s to mourn the loss of a local artistic institution.
“I benefitted from Artisphere for a long time,” she says. “I did an artist in residency with them in 2013. They’ve always been supportive of my work.”
Some of the art from Mayorga’s residency still clings to the gallery’s walls as a permanent installation.
“When you want to do a special performance, you need a venue like Artisphere,” Mayorga says. “It really hurts to lose it.”
Photo courtesy of Artisphere.
The 3rd Annual Arlington Festival of the Arts returns with an explosion of color, an abundance of talent and a myriad of artistic media.
This two-day art show, produced by Howard Alan Events and hosted by the Clarendon Alliance, features the finest artists from around the country including exceptional local talent, as well as new and emerging artists.
Bold and vibrant paintings, contemporary and whimsical art, life-size sculptures, photography and jewelry are among the many original works of art that will be on display and for sale, transforming Highland Street in Clarendon, into an outdoor eclectic art gallery. A free art giveaway will feature the work of award-winning artist Joyce Stratton, www.joycestratton.com. No purchase will be necessary to register for the giveaway.
The artists are juried by an independent panel of expert judges and hand-selected from hundreds of applicants based on quality and diversity. All of the artwork is original and handmade. “We have a very selective jury process and choose only the finest artists providing festival-goers with an extraordinary experience,” says festival promoter Howard Alan.
All of the artists will be on site for the duration of the show and festival patrons are encouraged to engage the artists as they explore the exhibits. The prices are set to suit all budgets and will range from as low as $25 up to $30,000. The wide array of art will appeal to collectors and art enthusiasts as well as those looking for unique and affordable gift items.
“You have the opportunity to meet many different artists in one location and personally connect with them before purchasing a piece, which makes the investment much more meaningful,” assures Alan.
The artists, local merchants, restaurants and hotels all benefit from the festival, which drives additional guests and dollars to the community. Howard Alan advocates the importance of supporting the arts and artists because this in turn helps the community. He believes we can make a difference that will positively impact the local economy. “We need to invest in each other, investing in our artists and our community will help to fuel the economy,” adds Alan.
Howard Alan Events develops and produces some of the nation’s finest juried art shows in more than 40 venues each year, many are ranked among the top 100 art fairs in the country by Sunshine Artist magazine. These shows, which attract locals and tourists alike, include the Alexandria King Street Art Festival (Alexandria, VA), the Downtown Aspen Art Festival (Aspen, CO), the Beaver Creek Art Festival (Beaver Creek, CO), and the Las Olas Art Fairs, (Fort Lauderdale, FL).
The 3rd Annual Arlington Festival of the Arts runs Saturday and Sunday, April 18-19, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm each day, admission is free. The artists will be set up along Washington Boulevard, Clarendon Boulevard and N. Highland Street. For additional information about the 3rd Annual Arlington Festival of the Arts and other Howard Alan Events shows across the country, visit www.artfestival.com or call 561-746-6615.
The preceding post was sponsored by Howard Alan Events
Arlington’s Population to Decline? — Contrary to the conventional wisdom that Arlington’s population will continue to rise over time, one University of Virginia forecast predicts that Arlington’s population will fall — from 229,302 people today to 197,065 by 2040 — as millenials grow up, have families and seek refuge from urban life and affordable single family homes in the exurbs. The forecast predicts a 56.8 percent increase in population for Loudoun County and a 141.4 percent increase in population for Stafford County. [Washingtonian]
DCA Name Disputes Continue –Many locals still cannot agree on what to call what Congress has named Ronald Reagan National Airport. Some people, particularly Democrats, prefer just to call it “National.” The name change happened 17 years ago. President Clinton didn’t veto the change, his press secretary recalls, in part because “in February 1998 we were rather occupied at the White House with a young lady named Monica.” [Washington Post]
Japanese Artist at DCA — As part of the National Cherry Blossom festival, local artist Yoshiko Oishi Weick will demonstrate the art of Japanese ink painting from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. today at Reagan National Airport’s B/C terminal.
Tenant At Last for National Gateway — The German discount grocer Lidl, which has its sights on the U.S. market, has purchased 217,500 square feet of office space in the National Gateway I building at 3500 S. Clark Street for $56.6 million. The office building, near Potomac Yard, has lacked an office tenant since it was built seven years ago. [Washington Business Journal]
Low-Key School Board Debate — The two candidates seeking the Democratic endorsement for School Board faced off at last night’s Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting. Reid Goldstein and Sharon Dorsey both said they would raise teacher salaries, but would not commit to specifics. They also both voiced support for additional art education. [InsideNova]
Arlington-based PBS is celebrating the upcoming fifth season of its hit Downton Abbey with a building-sized mural on its Crystal City headquarters.
The temporary art installation, featuring the likeness of Downton character Lady Mary , is 90 feet high and 54.5 feet wide — 4,900 square feet total — and took about 140 hours to complete. It was installed at 2100 Crystal Drive in partnership with the Crystal City Business Improvement District and building owner Vornado/Charles E. Smith.
“Downton Abbey is the top PBS drama of all time and we are thrilled to showcase that in Crystal City, where PBS calls home,” said Angela Fox, president and CEO of the Crystal City BID, in a press release.
“Crystal City residents, workers, and visitors are encouraged to take photos of themselves with the project, and hashtag #DowntonPBS,” the press release said.
The fourth season of the British period drama drew an average audience of 13.2 million viewers, according to PBS, making it one of the highest-rated dramas on American television. The fifth season will premiere on Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015.
Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser.