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This column is sponsored by Arlington Arts/Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

This is a guest column by the Arlington Visual Art Studio Tour.

Every September, art lovers roam throughout Arlington County to meet artists in their studios and see their work. The county is dotted with art studios in homes and commercial buildings. One weekend each year, they spark into view.

This year, fifty artists will open their studios to the public free of charge on the weekend of September 23 and 24.

The Arlington Visual Art Studio Tour organizes this artful weekend by publishing a guide showing what’s on view where. Whether you like paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints or jewelry, you can find makers of all those. And this year, makers of furniture and textile artists are present, too.

Anyone can pick their favorite art works now online, find where they’re made on a custom map, and plan a route. Printed guides are now available at art galleries, recreation centers and libraries throughout Arlington. On Saturday, Sept. 23, participating studios in North Arlington will be open to the public; on Sunday, Sept. 24, South Arlington artists will take their turn. Each day studios will open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A special exhibit at Gallery 3700 (3700 S. Four Mile Run Arlington VA 22206) will feature work by the same artists who are participating in the tour. Called AVAST@3700, the show opened on September 9. The opening reception for the tour will also take place at Gallery 3700, from 5-7 p.m. on Sept. 22. The show, opening reception and studio tours are all open to the public.

The Arlington Visual Art Studio Tour is a joint effort of independent artists and volunteers, supported by contributors including Schnider Investment Group, Dominion Lighting, Falls Church Art and Frame, Palette 22, and in cooperation with Arlington’s visual art organizations. Click here for detailed information.


This column is sponsored by Arlington Arts/Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

A soul-stirring lineup that will have you on your feet with grooves from New Orleans, Havana and U Street NW, the Rosslyn Jazz Fest returns on Saturday, September 9, featuring: the New Orleans-based quintet Galactic, featuring Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph; Cuban percussion icon Pedrito Martínez Group; D.C.’s own Oh He Dead, and DuPont Brass.

The Rosslyn BID and Arlington Arts invite you to the County’s most popular free outdoor music festival on Saturday, September 9, from 1 to 7 p.m. at Gateway Park (1300 Langston Blvd, Arlington, VA).

Join us at Gateway Park for an afternoon of music, food trucks, yard games, community table experiences, and more. Additionally, the Arlington Art Truck is on-site kicking off its new season with, Good Neighbors: Fences into Benches by Michael Verdon, an interactive activation that lets you be part of the creative process as you explore the nature of community.

Rosslyn Jazz Fest is FREE and registration is not required, but encouraged, to help us produce the best experience for all in attendance, as there are capacity limits at Gateway Park. Click Here for full details on the 2023 Rosslyn Jazz Fest!

Jazz Fest 2023 Lineup:

Galactic featuring vocalist Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph — 5:30 p.m.
Galactic is a proud New Orleans-based quintet that has been together for nearly three decades. They have released 10 albums, performed over 2,000 gigs, and garnered tens of millions of streams. They’ve performed with world-class bands and artists — including Dave Matthews Band, Jack Johnson, Counting Crows, and The Allman Brothers Band — appeared on Jimmy Kimmel LIVE!, contributed to the blockbuster soundtrack for Now You See Me, and performed at CoachellaBonnaroo, and New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (a staggering 22 times). They are joined by vocal powerhouse Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph. Visit their website to learn more.

Pedrito Martinez Group — 3:45 p.m.
Cuban born and raised artist Pedro Pablo “Pedrito” Martínez began his musical career at the young age of 11, and is known as a consummate master of Afro-Cuban folkloric music and the batá drum. He has recorded or performed with world-class artists — including Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Palmieri, Dave Matthews, Jackson Browne, Elton John, James Taylor, and Sting — and has contributed to well over 100 albums. Pedrito toured the world in the mid to late 90’s, and was nominated for a Grammy. Visit his website to learn more.

Oh He Dead — 2:20 p.m.
D.C.-based Oh He Dead was founded in 2015 by singer CJ “Bowlin” Johnson and singer/guitarist Andy Valenti. Eight years later, the now six-piece group is known for their energetic live shows and music that ranges from soul to pop to funk to rock. Critics call the lead singer’s voice “a combination of Stevie Nicks and Tracy Chapman” (Kojo Nnamdi), and compliment the band’s “sublime instrumentation” (NPR) and “infectious and soulful sound” (Washington Post). Oh He Dead’s second album, Pretty, will be out on September 15, right after this year’s Jazz Fest. Until then, they are releasing a new single every six weeks. Visit their website to learn more.

Dupont Brass — 1p.m.
Originally composed of five music majors from Howard University raising money for tuition at local Metro stations, D.C.-based DuPont Brass has since grown to a nine-piece ensemble consisting of brass, a rhythm section, and vocalists. Through their training in classical and contemporary styles, DuPont Brass has developed a sound they’ve coined “Eclectic Soul” that mixes varied genres of music, including jazz, hip-hop, and R&B. Visit their website to learn more.


This column is sponsored by Arlington Arts/Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Since the days of Florenz Ziegfeild and David Belasco, hopeful performers and audiences alike have harbored glittering dreams of Broadway.

But each one of those dreams begins in regional theater, where performers train and grow, while audiences enjoy the magic of live theater in their own community. Part of the fabric of our area’s rich cultural scene since 1949, Arlington’s Dominion Stage has just announced its’ 2023-2024 season.

Known as the Fairlington Players until re-branding in the late 1980’s, their first production was Ayn Rand’s Night of January 16th, an interactive courtroom drama whose ending depends on the decision of a jury of audience members (the play premiered in January of 1949, of course). Dominion Stage’s website offers a fascinating digital program archive, replete with ads and notices that offer a fascinating window on changing times.

Take a peek at Dominion Stage’s current season, which launched last weekend:

by Craig Houk
August 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 2023
8 p.m.
Gunston Theatre Two, 2700 S Lang Street, Arlington, VA 22206
Four vengeful, narcissistic actors, with the assistance of a brutish stage manager and a cynical stagehand, abduct and hold captive a theatre critic notorious for shutting down productions and ending careers through his malicious reviews. To confound matters, they intend to carry their plan out during a performance of a show they’re all currently appearing in. Less than an hour before the curtain is due to rise, their scheme begins to quickly unravel; we discover that none of the conspirators are familiar with the actual plan or its designed outcome.

A thriller by William Goldman based on the novel by Stephen King
Fall 2023
Misery follows successful romance novelist Paul Sheldon, who is rescued from a car crash by his “number one fan,” Annie Wilkes, and wakes up captive in her secluded home. While Paul is convalescing, Annie reads his latest book and becomes enraged when she discovers the author has killed off her favorite character, Misery Chastain. The irate Annie has Paul writing as if his life depends on it, and it does.

A dramedy by Harvey Fierstein
Winter 2024
The life of Arnold Beckoff, a torch song-singing, Jewish drag queen living in New York City, is dramatized over the span of the late 1970s and 1980s. Told with a likable, human voice, Torch Song follows Arnold’s odyssey to find happiness in New York. All he wants is a husband, a child, and a pair of bunny slippers that fit, but a visit from his overbearing mother reminds him that he needs one thing more: respect.

A musical with book, lyrics, and music by Jonathan Larson
Spring 2024
Based loosely on Puccini’s La Boheme, Jonathan Larson’s Rent follows a year in the life of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York’s Lower East Side, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS. The physical and emotional complications of the disease pervade the lives of Roger, Mimi, Tom and Angel. How these young bohemians negotiate their dreams, loves and conflicts provides the narrative thread to this groundbreaking musical.

About Dominion Stage

Dominion Stage will enrich the local arts community by expressing, through live theatrical productions, the different contemporary, traditional, diverse, and historically under-represented stories in our community. Our company will provide an inclusive place for new and continued education and personal development for participants on the stage, in technical roles, and as leaders/administrators behind the scenes.

For more information on the upcoming season, visit the Dominion Stage website.


An Arlington tradition for four decades, the public is invited to participate in Dark Star Park Day, on Tuesday, August 1 to watch the shadow alignment that the iconic sculpture was designed to capture.

Dark Star Park is located at the convergence of Fort Myer Drive and North Lynn Street, just off of Route 50/Arlington Boulevard, in Arlington’s Rosslyn neighborhood.

Every August 1st at 9:32 a.m., Nancy Holt’s Dark Star Park (1984), in Arlington’s Rosslyn neighborhood, aligns with the sun. Shadows cast by the spheres and poles of this landmark outdoor sculpture align with their permanent forms on the ground, marking the moment of Rosslyn’s founding. The community is invited to celebrate with light refreshments provided by the Rosslyn Business Improvement District.

The work of pioneering Land art artist Nancy Holt, Dark Star Park is one of the first major examples of “integrated public art” in the nation, and Arlington’s first major commissioned public art project. It also marks the anniversary of the day in 1860 that William Henry Ross purchased the land that later became Rosslyn, where the park is located. As many of Nancy Holt’s site-specific artworks were purposely built in remote areas, Dark Star Park is also extraordinary in that it is among the late artist’s few major artworks in an accessible urban area.

A deeply moving experience in-person, you can get a sense of the event from this video of the 2019 alignment which coincided with a live performance of a site-specific composition by Cuneiform recording artists Janel and Anthony.

In addition to being a regional landmark, Nancy Holt’s sculptural park is the cornerstone of Arlington’s internationally acclaimed Public Art collection. This 40th shadow alignment since the artwork’s inception will launch Arlington Public Art’s yearlong 40th anniversary observance with a series of events and activations highlighting the entire collection, including the dedication of several artworks new to the collection. Join us in celebrating four decades of sparking civic engagement and urban placemaking in Arlington County!

About: Arlington Public Art
Arlington County, Virginia, is home to more than eighty permanent public works of art. Arlington Public Art directly commissions artworks integrated into County capital improvement projects, coordinates artworks commissioned by real estate developers as part of the site plan process and assists community groups to initiate public art projects on public property. We also partner with local arts and community organizations, artists and businesses to present interpretative projects, temporary artworks, exhibitions and more.

Arlington’s history of commissioning public art stemming from County planning objectives began in 1984 with the dedication of Nancy Holt’s Dark Star Park in Rosslyn which features a community-celebrated annual shadow alignment. August 1, 2023, marks the 40th shadow alignment since the artwork’s inception and will launch a yearlong 40th-anniversary celebration with a series of events and activations highlighting the entire collection. Arlington Public Art is a program of Arlington Arts/Arlington Cultural Affairs.

For more information about Dark Star Park Day, click here.


This column is sponsored by Arlington Arts/Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

The Free Summer Concert Series at Lubber Run Amphitheater are a summer tradition in Arlington, with some of our region’s hottest bands lighting up the night.

But on Sunday mornings, the Amphitheater offers performances specifically geared towards families and young audiences.

Munit and Z Luvbugs (July 2), an adorable family band born of time spent together during the pandemic, are the next to take the Sunday afternoon stage, led by Ethiopian-born jazz singer Munit Mesfin (with songs sung in English, Amharic and Spanish). Regional favorite Mr. Jon & Friends, (July 9) is a multiple Parent’s Choice Award winning ensemble.

An ongoing partnership between Arlington Arts and Arlington Public Library includes some special co-presentations of Sunday family performances, continuing with Soul in Motion Dancers and Drummers (July 16) who convey African history and culture through their dynamic performance. An infectious blend of Jazz, Funk and Go-Go are the mixture for the Summer’s final co-presentation (August 6) featuring the acclaimed Uncle Devin (August 8), a 2022 GRAMMY Nominee for “Best Children’s Music Album”.

All Sunday morning performances begin at 11 a.m. and last for about an hour. Lubber Run Amphitheater is located at N. Columbus Street and 2nd Street North, in the Arlington Forrest neighborhood. Click here for further info, directions, and a full schedule of all of the free concerts taking place through August 11 at Lubber Run Amphitheater.

Uncle Devin — Shake, Scrape & Strike.


This column is sponsored by Arlington Arts/Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Kickstart your summer on the good foot with free outdoor concerts taking place in Arlington over the next two weekends with the Friday June 9 launch of the Lubber Run Amphitheater Free Summer Concert Series (continuing through August 11).

Then, enjoy the 26th Annual Columbia Pike Blues Festival taking place on Saturday, June 17! Both of these free activities are the product of decades-long partnerships between Arlington County Cultural Affairs Division and numerous community partnerships.

Free Summer Concerts at Lubber Run Amphitheater
June 9-August 11

East LA’s acclaimed Afro-Mexican rock fusion band Las Cafeteras kicks off the Lubber Run Amphitheater Free Summer Concert Series on Friday, June 9! The LA Times describes the band as a “Uniquely Angeleno mishmash of punk, hip-hop, beat music, cumbia & rock.” The opening weekend continues with The 19th Street Band (Saturday, June 10) and a family performance by the Arlington Children’s Chorus (Sunday, June 11). The concerts continue with an array of music ranging from Latin Grammy-nominated family music duo 123 Andres (Sunday, June 18), singer Lauren Calve (Saturday, July 1), and the Hot Club of Baltimore (Friday, July 21).

Presented by Arlington Arts in collaboration with the Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation, and with the collaboration of the Lubber Run Amphitheater Foundation, the Lubber Run Amphitheater Concerts take place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, between June 9 and August 11. Concerts times are 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturday, with Sunday morning family performances beginning at 11 a.m., three of which are co-presented with Arlington Public Library.

The Lubber Run Amphitheater is nestled within the Arlington Forrest neighborhood, at N. Columbus Street and 2nd Street North. Click here for the complete schedule and detailed information, directions and info about the Lubber Run Concert Series!

Columbia Pike Blues Festival
Saturday, June 17 * 1-8:30 p.m.

“Arlington’s best block party” enters its 26th year on Columbia Pike. Winning accolades for her appearances on TV’s The Voice and with the legendary Prince, vocalist JUDITH HILL headlines The Columbia Pike Blues Festival on Saturday June 17 (1-8:30 p.m.). Featured in the Oscar and Grammy Award-winning documentary “20 Feet from Stardom,” it’s a ‘family affair’ for Hill whose blues musician parents are in her backup band. The family vibe continues with a full line-up of performers of national and regional note that includes: husband and wife singer and guitarist Annika Chambers & Paul DesLauriers, Arlington’s master guitarist and vocalist Bobby Thompson, Baltimore’s Gayle Harrod Band, and acoustic DC-duo Spice Cake Blues.

Co-presented by the Columbia Pike Partnership and Arlington Arts, the Columbia Pike Blues Festival is perfect for the whole family. Bring your whole family to this free event covering three blocks at the intersection of So. Walter Reed Drive and Columbia Pike, in Arlington.

The Columbia Pike Blues Festival takes place at South Walter Reed Drive at Columbia Pike. Click here for more information.


This column is sponsored by Arlington Arts/Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Dancing in the Streets is sure to ensue as the 2023 Music by the Metro — Clarendon Concert Series continues on Thursdays! The free series takes place on Thursday evenings at 5:30 p.m. in Clarendon Metro Park. Presented by the Clarendon Alliance, the series is co-sponsored by Arlington Arts, Industrious and Comcast.

Our curatorial collaboration with the Clarendon Alliance is just one of Arlington Arts’ numerous partnerships with Arlington community groups, associations and business improvement districts (BID’s). As such, the artists you see on-stage at the Lubber Run Amphitheater Summer Concert Series, the Columbia Pike Blues Festival, and the Rosslyn Jazz Festival are all programmed by Arlington Arts.

The remaining two Music by the Metro concerts include:

Crush Funk Brass
Thursday, May 18

Started in 2012, Crush Funk Brass Band is a brilliant, innovative group of young musicians from the D.C. area, comprised of students from The University of The District of Columbia, Howard University and Bowie State. Launched while they were still in school, Crush Funk began playing throughout the city, metro stations, markets, and throughout the community.

Influenced by all genres of music, The bands style is unique, embodying the brass tones of New Orleans second line, with an Urban Capital City modern fun(k) twist. Their music has now been heard at venues and events ranging from the DC Funk Festival and the Arlington County Fair, to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and the Kennedy Center, to name just a few. Follow Crush Funk on Twitter @crushfunk or Crush Funk Brass on Facebook.

The Soul Crackers
Thursday, May 25

Steeped in Memphis and Motown soul, and timeless songs by artists like Otis Redding, Average White Band, Stevie Wonder among many others, The Soul Crackers grew up with this music and honor it with the legitimacy of a crackerjack soul horn band from the 60’s. Lead vocalist Tommy Lepson has won numerous “BEST VOCALIST” awards (WAMMIES) from the Washington Area Music Association and is considered a singer’s singer.

He is joined by The Too Much Sisters — two stellar vocalists Anita King and Caz Gardiner, and together they pull off those beautiful Motown harmonies. Having performed everywhere from Adams Morgan Day to a command performance at The White House, their recordings include: LIVE at the Barns of Wolf Trap (2003); Soul Crackers, 30 Years of Soul, Volume 2 (2015); and A Soulful Christmas released in December 2018 — all available on ITunes and CD Baby.

Click here for more information about the Music by the Metro Concert Series.


This column is sponsored by Arlington Arts/Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Artists and arts organizations who are seeking support for programs and ideas to benefit Arlington’s cultural offerings and amenities take note: applications are now being accepted for Fiscal Year 2024 (FY 2024) for the Individual Artist Grant for individual artists and the General Operating Support Guidelines for arts organizations.

Please see guidelines for eligibility.

Arts organizations that are applying for the P.L.A.C.E. Grant may also apply for a GOS Grant. Applications will be available to those who attend a grant preparation workshop. See below for more details:

About the Arlington Arts Grants Program

The Arlington Commission for the Arts administers the grants program for Arlington County artists and arts and cultural organizations. The Arlington County Policy for the Support of Arts Organizations and Artists (as approved by the Arlington County Board on December 8, 1990) describes eligibility for the program, application procedures and criteria for evaluation.

The Arlington Arts Grants Program is an important way that the County addresses its investment in our arts infrastructure. As you apply for support, consider the ways in which your work helps to further the vision and values of Enriching Lives: Arlington Arts and Cultural Strategy.

For information about these and other opportunities for grants for artists, please click here to visit the Arlington Arts grants page.

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This column is sponsored by Arlington Arts/Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Looking for fun ways to engage the whole family in Earth Day?

A day-long street festival, Earth Day Every Day features live music, great food, kids art activities, a native plant sale, environmental education activities, and even a sustainable art market.

The event takes place from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 23, in front of the Lee Heights Shops, 4500 Old Dominion Drive, Arlington, Virginia 22207.

Presented by the Langston Boulevard Alliance, this is a day for our community to come together to celebrate the beauty and promise of our local environment and the planet. Every year, communities worldwide uplift Earth Day to mark the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. It reminds us all to do what we can, in ways small and significant, to restore, conserve and protect our environment. The festival offers a whole range of opportunities to engage!

Peruse the Sustainable Art Market, featuring a broad selection of eco-friendly finds.

The vendors include: Area 2 Farms — Arlington-based organic produce for home delivery; Bicycle Trash — handmade goods made from overlooked materials; Cosmic Crayon Company — personalized custom recycled crayons in every configuration from your kid’s name to faceted gems; Circuit Breaker Labs — wearable and decorative art created from circuit boards, capacitors and other electronic trash; Trace — zero waste store with clean products from spices to shaving cream; Debra Fabian Jewelry — made from ethically sourced gems and recycled semi-precious metals. Click here to peruse full list of vendors.

Relax and reflect in a colorful installation by Arlington artist Heloisa Escudero, inspiring you to create a colorful magnet as you take stock of everything that makes your life joyful as part of Count Your Joys, the latest installation of the Arlington Art Truck.

To provide the soundtrack for your day, Arlington Arts also helped to program the diverse array of noted performing artists (including several Washington Area Music Award winners):

Munit Mesfin Trio (Noon) — Ethiopian singer/songwriter and MC known for her collaborations with guitarist Jӧrg Pfeil.

Veronneau (1:15 p.m.) — Internationally acclaimed, 7 WAMMIE award winning multilingual jazz band fronted by vocalist Lynn Veronneau and guitarist Ken Avis.

The Honey Larks (2:30 p.m.) — female blues supergroup performing roots music with incredible vocal harmonies of Carly Harvey, Janny Langer and Holly Montgomery.

Karen Jonas (3:45 p.m.) — 3-time WAMMIE Award winner, Americana/Alt-Country songwriter.

Visit the Arlington Public Library Truck for a variety of Earth Day activities: write a postcard imagining the future of Langston Boulevard, pick up some Earth Day coloring sheets, and attend a storytime by one of their children’s librarians. You can sign up for a library card and check out some books when you visit!

With all that dancing and shopping, you’re sure to work up an appetite, so visit the food vendors: Arrowine & Cheese, Café Colline, Chipotle, Crisp & Juicy, Lebanese Taverna, Old Dominion Pizza and Starbucks Coffee! Kids activities abound, including a “Kids Improv” led by Encore Stage & Studio.

Or they can flex their creative muscles with a painting station for children to create environmentally-conscious artwork with the artists of the Arlington Artists Alliance (AAA). Or join Arlington Parks and Recreation to make some 3-D paper sculptures.

That’s just a sample of the fun activities taking place as part of Earth Day Every Day, 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 23. For a complete schedule of vendors and activities, visit


This column is sponsored by Arlington Arts/Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Arlington has one of our region’s most vibrant theater scenes. The next several weeks offer a number of opportunities to step-out and enjoy a wide range of theater offerings right here in Arlington!

Chalice Theatre: The Pirates of Penzance

Now through March 18 | Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington | Barcroft

No matter if you are the Very Model of a Modern Major General or simply a Poor Wand’ring One in search of some quality entertainment, this production offers fun and foolishness for audiences of all ages, along with gorgeous music and memorable banter.

Avant Bard: Julius Caesar
Now through April 1 | Gunston Theatre II | Long Branch Creek

Join Avant Bard as they explore Kathleen Akerley’s modernization of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar with an ensemble of seven actors. Witness a dismantling of the classic story that asks what determines historical outcomes: the ambition and speeches of a few or the shifting personalities and demands of the citizenry? Video and contemporary text will place this question squarely in post-2016 America.

Synetic Theater: Beauty and the Beast
Now through April 2 | Synetic Theater | National Landing

Synetic Theater’s Beauty and the Beast draws on the darkness and sensuality of the original French novel, La Belle et la Bête, and the 1946 Cocteau film of the same name. Told through the vengeful narration of a handsome Prince’s first love, Synetic’s dark and mystical take on the fairy tale explores and challenges the dynamics of love and power as it asks the question, “who is worthy of true love?”

Signature Theatre:

Pacific Overtures
Now through April 9 | Signature Theatre |Shirlington

A stunning exploration of tradition and transformation based on historical events.

In 1853, after 200 years of stability, Japan faces an American expedition determined to open the “floating kingdom” to trade. The isolationist island’s reckoning with the unwelcome western influence is brilliantly illuminated through a kaleidoscope of stories about sailors, samurai, “someone in a tree” and two friends who choose radically different paths. This innovative epic of East meets West is one of Sondheim’s most ambitious and rarely produced musicals.

Selling Kabul

Now through April 9 | Signature Theatre |Shirlington

A suspenseful drama about family and sacrifice from an exciting new voice.

In 2013, a sister secretly shelters her translator brother from an increasingly powerful Taliban while he awaits the ever-delayed arrival of a promised American visa. On the eve of his son’s birth, the walls begin to close in, threatening him, her and everyone they love in a heart-racing exposé with devastating echoes to the present day. Breathtaking and unpredictable through the final curtain, this unflinching exploration exposes the human toll of American withdrawal.

For more information about these and other theater presentations, as well as dance, music and the visual arts, visit

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Photo via Arlington Arts

This column is sponsored by Arlington Arts/Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

In honor of Black History Month, Arlington County announces the donations of Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr.’s Arlington’s Lunch Counter Sit-ins commemorative print portfolio (2019-2022) to the Center for Local History, Arlington Public Library, and the Library of Congress.

These prints honor the 60th anniversary of the seven lunch counter sit-ins in Arlington between June 9-22, 1960. The landmark sit-ins were peaceful protests that challenged widespread segregation policies. Each print showcases a quote from a participant at each of the seven sit-in locations. One set of prints will be on view at Bozman Government Center Library, when the library is scheduled to open in March 2023.

The Arlington lunch counter sit-ins preceded the more widely remembered protests at Maryland’s then segregated Glen Echo Amusement Park, which began on June 30, 1960, but both in initiatives were organized by Howard University’s student-led Nonviolent Action Group (NAG). The group’s success in Arlington (lunch counters ended segregation just 13 days after the sit-ins) inspired the students to persevere in further efforts.

Glen Echo Park’s owners finally desegregated the amusement park in March 1961 after then-Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy threatened to pull the federal government’s lease on the land where the amusement park ran a trolley. Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr.’s prints remind us of the importance of peaceful protest and Arlington’s role.

“Posters have been a part of our culture since the dawn of printing. Initially called “broadsides,” they informed the citizens of proclamations, political views and manifestos. The Declaration of Independence is a broadside”, says the Artist in his article in the latest issue of Library of Congress Magazine. “By the mid-19th century, they had become inexpensive, mass-produced ephemera that we call posters.”

To read Amos Kennedy, Jr.’s full article, “Art For the Masses: Poster Collections at the Library of Congress,” on page 28-29 of the LOC Magazine, click here. For more detailed information about Arlington’s historic lunch counter sit-ins, follow this link.


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