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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.

“Memory Bricks” by artist Winnie Owens-Hart in the historically African American Hall’s Hill/High View Park community.

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

Arlington Cultural Affairs and the Arlington Commission on the Arts are introducing the P.L.A.C.E. Grant, a new grant program that seeks to provide opportunities to artists, makers and performers from underserved and under-represented communities. Six $15,000 grants will be awarded. Applications are now being accepted through April 28.

The P.L.A.C.E. Grant, which stands for Promoting Local Arts and Community Equity, is a competitive grant program that will support community-initiated projects related to Arlington’s history, built environment and/or cultural heritage. The grant reinforces the goals of the Arts Commission to advance cultural equity in Arlington for all and enhances Arlington County’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

This grant seeks proposals that are at the intersection of arts, culture and heritage to provide opportunities to communities that have had limited access to programming, education and other art services. Arlington’s historic communities are a critical priority for this funding. Parties eligible to receive a Fiscal Year 2023 P.L.A.C.E. Grant include:

  • Individuals who reside in Arlington County (P.O. boxes are not eligible).
  • Institutions, community groups and organizations serving Arlingtonians and/or utilizing historic property.
  • A civic/citizen organization and/or homeowners association that serves Arlington County.
  • A 501(c)(3) organization in Arlington County.

How To Apply

The application process is electronic via Slideroom. The application period is now open, and applications will be accepted through Friday, April 28. To complete this process, applicants will need access to a computer with the latest version of Adobe Reader software, internet access and the ability to send and receive emails. The Grants Office can assist applicants with limited computer access or who need help submitting an online application.

Please direct any requests for application assistance to [email protected].

Click here for more detailed information about the new P.L.A.C.E. Grant.


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

WE PAUSED! A Handmade Book by Studio Pause for Gates of Ballston, chronicles a year in the life of one Arlington community during the COVID-19 epidemic through creativity and art.

Now, that book has been ‘unbound’: becoming an art exhibit with four thematic installations from June 2022 to May 2023, at Gallery 3700, located at 3700 South Four Mile Run Drive, in Arlington.

The third installation, I Lost Being Lost, brings attendees into the process through engagement with the artists at the opening “reception.” Admission is FREE to the exhibit which is open during business hours. An Opening Reception will take place on Saturday, January 28, from 5-7 p.m.

Different from a traditional opening reception, attending the Community PAUSE brings Artists and guests together as they listen to each others’ stories, watch demonstrations of how PAUSErs explore creativity, and create artworks together. Artists and writers will engage guests in two interactive sessions making creations which invite responses to the artworks on display in Gallery 3700. The creations will then be added to the exhibit.

The featured artists and writers include: Sharmila Karamchandani, Edith Graciela Sanabria, Sushmita Mazumdar, MaryLouise Marino, Dena Jennings, Susan Sterner, Kara Billings, Kori Johnson, Michael Peteuil, Joan Lynch, Sharon McDaniel.

We PAUSED! is a Community Handmade Book Project created in 2021 by Studio PAUSE for the Gates of Ballston Apartments, an AHC Inc. community in Arlington’s historic Buckingham neighborhood. The book project was supported in part by Arlington Arts, which is the principal sponsor of the exhibit.

As the COVID-19 pandemic surged and the world grappled with its consequences, artist Sushmita Mazumdar, whose art studio and community space are located in the Rinker Community Center at the Gates of Ballston apartment complex, watched AHC Inc’s resident services team work tirelessly to provide essential services to their residents since March 2020.

“What if we shared everything we did when we paused in 2020 with the residents of the apartment community?” stated Mazumdar. “If they could not come to the studio, as the community center was closed to the public, could we take our stories to them? Could the space become a book?”

Project Director Sushmita Mazumdar rallied allies from her studio community, and others to make the project a reality, securing a grant from Virginia Humanities. Other partners were AHC Inc and Arlington Arts. Kori Johnson, editor; Susan Sterner, humanities scholar; Ella Endo, intern; Ruben Villalta, translator (Spanish); Soheir Ghali, translator (Arabic); MaryLouise Marino, adviser

In 2021-22 each of the 460 households in the GOB community was given a free handmade copy of the book. All copies were made during community bookmaking sessions at the Rinker Community Center, by students in the after-school program, or by PAUSErs at home, or in the studio. The bookmaking kept up with the variations in the pandemic, with building closures, and people’s levels of comfort. Then, they were delivered to each home, inviting the community to connect, reflect and share.

About Sushmita Mazumdar — After a 15-year career in advertising in India and the US, Sushmita started writing stories from her childhood for her American children and making them into handmade storybooks. She has designed programs for the Smithsonian Institution, area public schools and libraries, Glen Echo Park, and Arlington Arts Center, and has exhibited at the National Building Museum, and the Smithsonian’s Dillon Ripley Center. In 2018 she received the Woman of Vision Award from Arlington County and in 2019 she was appointed to the Virginia Commission for the Arts representing Congressional District 8.

Come check out the exhibit at Studio 3700 during the building’s business hours (Monday-Friday: 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Saturday: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Sunday: 12-6 p.m.).

Become part of the exhibit by attending a “Community Pause”/Opening Reception at the Gallery, on Saturday, January 28th, from 5-7 p.m. Visit the for more information.


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

From theater and dance, to galleries, the arts are everywhere in Arlington… even on the bus!

Poets from around the Beltway are encouraged to enter the 24th Annual Moving Words Poetry Competition that takes their poetry on the go. Seven winners will have their poems displayed aboard ART buses traversing Arlington County from March through September, 2023.

Call for Submissions 

Submissions of poems of 10 lines or less will be accepted through February 15, 2023. The seven winning poems will be displayed inside ART buses between March and September 2023. Selected by juror Holly Karapetkova, Arlington’s Poet Laureate, the winning poems will be printed on colorful placards and displayed prominently, enlivening the ride for thousands of commuters. Each winner will also receive a $250 honorarium. Winning poems will also be posted on and will be archived on the Arlington County website.

Eligible poets will live within the D.C. Metro transit area (the Northern Virginia counties Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun, and the cities Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church; the District of Columbia; and the Maryland counties Montgomery and Prince George’s), and must be over 18 years old. There is no fee to enter.

The Moving Words Program was launched in 1999 during National Poetry Month. It was conceived by award-winning poet and literary historian Kim Roberts (founder of Beltway Poetry Quarterly), the then Literary Program Coordinator for Arlington Cultural Affairs. The goal of Moving Words is to promote the work of local writers and make poetry a part of daily life for commuters in Northern Virginia. Originally held in partnership with Metro, Moving Words launched a new partnership with ART in 2016. This move complements another ongoing Arlington Arts’ program, Art on the ART Bus, which places original artwork by area artists inside select ART Buses.

Currently on display aboard the ARTbuses are the winners of the annual Moving Words competition for youth poets. A separate showcase designed for Arlington Public School students, the Student competition is a partnership between Arlington Cultural Affairs and the Arlington Public Schools Humanities Project’s Pick a Poet project, with support from Arlington Transit.

About Juror Holly Karapetkova:

Holly Karapetkova is the author of two award-winning books of poetry, Towline, winner of the Vern Rutsala Poetry Prize from Cloudbank Books, and Words We Might One Day Say, winner of the Washington Writers’ Publishing House Prize for Poetry. Her poetry, prose, and translations have appeared recently in The Southern Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Blackbird, Poetry Northwest, and many other places. She is a professor in the Department of Literature and Languages at Marymount University in Arlington where she lives with her husband and two children.

Submission Form

Interested poets may enter their work by completing the submission form by February 15, 2023. For additional details and eligibility information, click this link, or visit


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

Looking for one-of-a-kind gifts this holiday season?

Returning after a two year hiatus, the studio artists of Arlington’s LAC Studios will hold their Annual Holiday Fine Crafts Show and Sale on Saturday (10 a.m.-4 p.m.) December 3 at the LAC Studios, 5722 Langston Boulevard, in Arlington, Virginia.

Some of our regions finest artists work out of Arlington’s LAC Studios (formerly Lee Arts Center), a quaint 1920’s elementary school was converted into a community cultural center by Arlington’s Cultural Affairs Division.

Participating artists include: Amit Jalan; Claudia Vess; Dana Lehrer Danze; Donna Downing; Elke Seefeldt; Emily Shepardson; Haruko Greenberg; Helen Hensgen; J. S. Herbert; Laura J Fall; Maddie Palmer; Mary Kovis Watson; Susan Elliot; Susanne Seefeldt; Terry Young; Zachary Norrbom; Marsha Lederman, and others.

For information on the Annual LAC Show and Sale, call the LAC Studios at 703-228-0560 or visit

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

The 2700 South Nelson Project is planned to replace the two buildings acquired by Arlington County at 2700 South Nelson Street and 2701 South Oakland Street with a temporary flexible outdoor arts and maker space.

Based on the needs and ideas shared by community stakeholders, the artists and designers at Graham Projects have created two design concepts.

View the designs and share your feedback to shape the future temporary creative open space at 2700 S Nelson! The feedback form will be open through November 21.

As a part of the Public Engagement process of the project, the Graham Projects design team and Arlington County officials engaged nearly 400 participants through several outreach strategies; including targeted meetings with key stakeholder groups, a public virtual Kick Off Presentation, two in-person Pop-Ups reaching residents at popular gathering spots, and an online Engagement Web Page where folks could respond to different examples of public art and placemaking; and share their ideas for colors, thematic inspiration, local history, and on-site programming.

Want to read more about the public feedback that informed the potential design concepts? Download the 2700 S Nelson St Placemaking Plan: Community Engagement Data Analysis.

View renderings and videos about each of the proposed designs at this link, then share your feedback through November 21.

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

Come celebrate Dia De Los Muertos on Tuesday, November 1 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at an evening picnic at one of Arlington’s venerable cultural institutions recently renamed Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington (formerly Arlington Arts Center)!

Bring your own blanket and grab dinner from a local food truck while you enjoy performances and art activities in the park for this annual celebration of Mexican art and culture.

Returning this year is traditional mariachi music by Mariachi Los Amigos. Show off your dance moves to the Salsa, Latin Soul and Boogaloo groves of Arlington’s internationally known DJ’s Leon City Sounds! An array of family-friendly art projects, face painting and other activities round out the evening. Enjoy delicious Mexican food items from acclaimed local vendors La Tingeria.

Although recently renamed, MOCAA has a long collaborative history with Arlington County Government. The independent non-profit holds a long-term lease with Arlington County to operate within the County-owned former school building. Designed in 1910 by noted school architect Charles M. Robinson, the school closed in 1975 and the building became home to the Arlington Arts Center in 1976.

After an extensive renovation in 2005, it now boasts Tiffany Windows salvaged from the former Abbey Mosuleaum by Arlington Arts and the County’s Historic Preservation. The Clarendon School is a designated Arlington County Landmark and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Come celebrate Dia De Los Muertos on Tuesday, November 1 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington, 3550 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22201. For details, visit the website!


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