This column is written and sponsored by Arlington Arts/Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.
The COVID-19 pandemic has all of us adapting to new ways of spending our free time. Arlington’s artistic community has stepped up to the plate to offer a broad range of activities to help you manage the stresses of social distancing.
Arlington Arts has showcased many of these on our ARLINGTON ARTS AT HOME webpage. Some are free, others offer you a way to support a local small-business while engaging in healthy and positive activities at-home! Here’s a small sampling:
Bowen McCauley Dance
Arlington dancer Lucy Bowen-McCauley developed a unique stretching technique that was officially adopted by U.S. Olympians such as Dominique Dawes. You can avail yourself of her expertise in virtual stretch classes on Mondays and Saturdays. The Company also is offering a range of movement classes for those with Parkinson’s Disease on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. For details, email: [email protected] or visit www.bmdc.org
Encore Stage & Studio
From stretching and storytelling, to structured classes in theater and dance, Encore has a wide range of Zoom-based offerings for everyone from toddlers to teens. (Some Free. Some Fees Apply). More Info.
Jane Franklin Dance
Keep it moving with free online dance classes occurring daily. Learn different approaches to movement from different instructors each day in genres ranging from ballet and jazz, to clogging and improv. Classes are live-streamed and are not recorded. More Info.
Stay connected to your favorite Signature performers every week with Signature Strong — Live! Join the weekly Facebook Live conversation with Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer and celebrated guests as they chat about musicals, sing a few songs, answer your questions and more. Tuesdays at 8 p.m. More Info.
From fitness classes by their award-winning movement-based performers, to storytelling for children, the award-winning Synetic Theater has much to offer that you can now enjoy right at home. This includes live-streaming of past shows, such as Sleeping Beauty (thru May 25) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (extended thru May 10). More Info.
In addition to programs by the above organizations, Arlington Arts also has assembled a range of art activities you can partake of drawing upon past programs.
Everything from art-making projects to self-guided tours of our internationally acclaimed Public Art Collection. For more info, visit the Arlington Arts at Home webpage.
Arlington will celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. with a free annual event featuring local performers this Sunday (Jan 20).
“Supernatural” actor Christian Keyes is set to host Arlington’s MLK Tribute, which is now in its 50th year. The event will run from 5-6:30 p.m. at Wakefield High School.
Community members and county staff created the annual tribute one year after King’s assassination in 1968 as a way to bring the community together around King’s vision for social equality.
“Arlington’s beloved MLK tribute event is a joyful celebration of Dr. King and his powerful advocacy for social and economic justice, non-violence and empowerment that continues to serve as a beacon for our nation more than a half-century after his assassination,” Arlington County Board Chair Christian Dorsey said in a press release.
The program features music, dance and spoken word roles.
The lineup includes:
- Spoken word artist Outspoken Poetress (Audrey Perkins)
- Inspire Arts Collective
- Soloist Jackie Pate
- Soloist James Gibson
- Arlington resident Joy Gardner
- The Hoffman-Boston All Star Chorus led by Molly Haines
- Teen Network boardmembers
- Winners of the Arlington Public Schools’ MLK Literary and Visual Arts Contest
Guests will be seated on a first-come, first-served basis, and overflow space with a live stream of the program will be available if the auditorium reaches capacity. Anyone attending is encouraged to bring non-perishable goods to donate to Arlington Food Assistance Center.
Photo via Arlington County
Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.
Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.
Tuesday, March 13
Trivia Night: Are you smarter than a Catholic sister?*
Ireland’s Four Courts (2051 Wilson Boulevard)
Time: 6:30-9 p.m.
Test your pop culture and general knowledge against a team of Catholic Sisters, with drink specials and free appetizers. Prizes for top trivia teams.
Wednesday, March 14
Shaping Arlington for a Smart & Secure Future*
County Board Room (2100 Clarendon Blvd)
Time: 6-8 p.m.
Listen to a panel discussion on how technology will shape Arlington, featuring government and cybersecurity experts. A reception with light refreshments will also be held.
Arlington Committee of 100 Virginia Hospital Center Expansion*
Marymount University (2807 N. Glebe Road)
Time: 7-9 p.m.
The Committee of 100 is hosting a panel discussion on Virginia Hospital Center’s expansion, the county’s population growth and evolving community healthcare needs. Optional dinner served.
Thursday, March 15
Parenting Lecture: Parenting an Anxious Child
The Sycamore School (4600 N. Fairfax Drive)
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.
Dr. Christine Golden will discuss the challenges of parenting a child with anxiety and offer some helpful strategies for managing behaviors. The lecture is free to attend.
Friday, March 16
St. Agnes Soup Supper*
St. Agnes Catholic Church (1910 N. Randolph Street)
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.
The church will offer meatless soups and a noodle dish, and more every Friday during the Lenten holiday. Guests are invited to stay for confession and the stations of the cross afterwards.
Saturday, March 17
Whitlow’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration
Whitlow’s On Wilson (2854 Wilson Boulevard)
Time: 9 a.m. – Close
Live Irish music and an open rooftop welcome you at Whitlow’s On Wilson’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Special Irish menu and March Madness games on the TVs all day.
WJAFC Open Day*
Virginia Highlands Park (1600 S. Hayes Street)
Time: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
A co-ed, free clinic to learn the Australian football game. Kids from 5-15 will learn starting at 9 a.m., with an adults clinic and co-ed non-contact game at 10:30 a.m.
Guinness and Gold*
Ten at Clarendon (3110 10th Street N.)
Time: 12-5 p.m.
Tour the Clarendon apartment building with a free Guinness and cash in on leasing deals. Leasing specials are subject to terms and conditions.
Osteria da Nino (2900 S. Quincy Street)
Time: 6:30-10:30 p.m.
Join Tre Monti winery over a four course meal with five wines, including theThea Passito 2012 Romagna Albana DOCG raisin wine. Tickets are $75 per person.
Yorktown High School Presents “Almost, Maine”*
Yorktown High School (5200 Yorktown Boulevard)
Time: 7-9:30 p.m.
Students will be performing John Cariani’s “Almost Maine,” about a remote, mythical town and the effect of the northern lights on the lovestruck residents. Tickets are $10.
Sunday, March 18
St. Joseph’s Table Celebration
St. Agnes Catholic Church (1910 N. Randolph Street)
Time: 1-4 p.m.
Join the church following the noon mass for a procession to celebrate this feast day with a potluck lunch, live music, and a kids woodworking shop.
*Denotes featured (sponsored) event
It’s January, and that means this year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute is less than two weeks away.
The 48th annual tribute event and concert is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 15, from 5-6:30 p.m. in the Wakefield High School Auditorium at 1325 S. Dinwiddie Street.
As is the tradition, the tribute concert is free and features live music, dance and spoken word performances.
This year’s lineup of artists and musicians includes gospel singer Helen Slade, the Duke Ellington School for the Performing Arts Show Choir, Alexandria’s Kingdom Fellow Church’s Worship Without Words Mime Ministry, poet Kim B. Miller and several other local performers.
The program will also “acknowledge the current social and political climate while motivating and uplifting attendees with words of inspiration and praise,” organizers said.
Those interested in attending must reserve free tickets in advance of the performance.
Photo via Arlington Department of Parks and Recreation
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Event will return to Arlington this weekend in preparation for the federal holiday next Monday.
The 47th annual tribute is scheduled for this Sunday from 5-6:30 p.m. in the Wakefield High School Auditorium at 1325 S. Dinwiddie Street.
Hosted by the Department of Parks and Recreation, this year’s tribute is called Freedom: America’s Goal, Our Destiny. It will be a celebration with a variety of live music, spoken word and dance performances.
The performances were produced and directed by inspirational arts programmer Nolan Williams, Jr. The featured work will be performed by BET Sunday Best Allstars finalist Clifton Ross, the NEWorks Freedom Dancers and students from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C.
Jacquie Gales Webb from WHUR Sunday Afternoon will emcee.
The tribute also includes a food drive for the Arlington Food Assistance Center. Guests who’d like to contribute can bring nonperishable food items to the event. Community groups can also register in advance to organize a collection of their own that will end on Sunday night. The group that collects the most donations will be recognized for their contribution during the performances.
The tribute is free, open to the public and does not require any registration in advance.
Photo via Arlington Department of Parks and Recreation
It may seem way too early, but it’s time to start making plans for the holidays, starting with BalletNova’s annual production of The Nutcracker over first weekend of December.
Tickets for the show are now on sale.
Members of the dance school will put on six full-length productions of the ballet at the Thomas Jefferson Community Theater (125 S. Old Glebe Road). The show is approximately an hour and a half long, plus one 15-minute intermission.
Tickets cost between $13 to $35, depending on the show date and location of the seats. There are also discounts available for groups, students under 18 and seniors over 65.
The studio encourages patrons to reserve seats early, as all the performances have sold out in the past. Performance dates and times are:
- Thursday, Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m.
- Friday, Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, Dec. 5 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.
- Sunday, Dec. 6 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased online.
There is also a Nutcracker Tea and mini-performance scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 13, at the Ritz Carlton in Pentagon City.
Photo via BalletNova Center for Dance/by Ruth Judson
(Updated at 12:20 p.m.) Two additional performances have been added to the schedule at Lubber Run Amphitheater.
The Lubber Run Amphitheater Foundation (LRAF) credits its cooperation with Arlington Cultural Affairs and donations from supporters for the added shows on August 18 and 25.
LRAF added the shows in response to requests for more children’s programming. The organization hopes to further expand programming next year if this year’s additions are successful.
Below is the schedule for the remaining performances, including the two new shows in August:
- Friday, July 26 — The Traveling Players — Performing William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing”. Selected as a “Summer School in the Arts” by the NEA, Traveling Players Ensemble is a professional theatre company dedicated to bringing great theatre into the great outdoors through a thriving summer camp and year-round acting classes and workshops.
- Saturday, July 27 — The Tone Rangers — For 25 years, this award-winning D.C.-based vocal group has brought inventive arrangements and keen wit to everything from Gregorian chant to TV theme songs. Nominated for 7 Wammies, they were Best A Cappella Group four consecutive years (2007- 10) and Best A Cappella Recording in 2007. National finalists in the 2002 Harmony Sweepstakes (the Superbowl of a cappella), they are 3-time winners of Mid-Atlantic “Audience Favorite” and “Best Arrangement” awards.
- Friday, August 2 — Hexagon Theatre Company — Hexagon is musical, satirical and theatrical. Every year since 1956, this nonprofit has put on Washington’s only all-original, all volunteer revue of its kind—donating more than $3.5 million to 40-plus organizations.
- Saturday, August 3 — Rico Amero — He makes music. He tells the truth. Join Rico for a night of hiphop jazz.
- Sunday, August 18 — The Great Zucchini — He will delight the youngest members of the community with his popular, comical, magic show. Bring the kids, grandkids, and young neighbors to Lubber Run to this engaging show for children.
- Sunday, August 25 — Cantor the Miraculous — The magic continues with Cantor the Miraculous who dazzles audiences through wizardly interaction and artistry to bring “quality prestidigitation from a master crafts person.” The whole family is welcome. This show is at 5:00 p.m.
The amphitheater, which was refurbished in 2011, is located at N. Columbus Street and N. 2nd Street, two blocks north of Route 50. All shows are free and open to the public. Performances on Fridays and Saturdays begin at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday shows begin at 6:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
Information about last minute weather cancellations can be obtained by calling 703-228-1850 the day of each show. Picnics are allowed but alcohol is prohibited.
The Twilight Tattoo performance at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall tonight will be moved indoors and expanded due to rain and large expected crowds
There will now be two performances — one at 6:00 p.m., and one at 7:30 p.m. — and those performances will take place inside Conmy Hall. The latter will be held in honor of Arlington Neighborhood Day.
Twilight Tattoo is described as “an hour-long military pageant featuring soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) and the U.S. Army Band ‘Pershing’s Own.'”
From JBMHH Community Relations Officer Leah Rubalcaba:
Please be advised of a change in tonight’s (May 8) performance of the Military District of Washington’s Twilight Tattoo at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, being hosted in honor of Arlington Neighborhood Day. It will be moved indoors to Conmy Hall due to [rain] and the fact the Summerall Field grounds are saturated. Also, due to the large number of groups expected at tonight’s performance, the Military District of Washington will have two performances of the Twilight Tattoo — one at 6:00 p.m. and one at 7:30 p.m. The Twilight Tattoo performance being held in honor of Arlington Neighborhood Day will be the 7:30 p.m. performance. The show is one hour in length — so it will end at 8:30 p.m. We hope to see many of our Arlington Neighbors at tonight’s 7:30 p.m. show. Please plan to arrive at Conmy Hall shortly after 7:00 p.m.
“Photo-Op” is an hour-long opera that tells the story of a presidential candidate and his wife who “approach a political campaign with naiveté and ambition and come to realize that the campaign is a crucible from which they emerge fundamentally changed; their relationship is no longer a love match but a political alliance.”
The end result is a performance that’s about “the absurdity of modern presidential politics.” From a media release:
All of the obligatory campaign events are included: stump speeches, rope lines, debates, sound bites, and, of course, photo-ops — but James Siena’s text reduces them to the absurd, taking familiar “politician-speak” and turning it on its head. Photo-Op’s music is by Conrad Cummings, composer of UrbanArias’ April hit Positions 1956. Cummings’ minimalist-influenced score is hard-hitting but harmonious. UrbanArias’ new production, directed by Alan Paul of The Shakespeare Theatre, is a DC-area premiere. Photo-Op is also the second collaboration between UrbanArias and Bowen McCauley Dance. Lucy Bowen McCauley serves as choreographer, helping to provide an artistically complex and engaging production. Soprano Laurie Williamson (Ragtime and King David) and baritone Michael Mayes (Central City Opera, Fort Worth Opera) star in this production, which also includes an ensemble of dancers and an unamplified orchestra of four.
Tickets to Photo-Op are $22 online, or $17 for seniors and students. The showtimes for the limited engagement are Sept. 8 at 8:00 p.m., Sept. 9 and 2:00 p.m., Sept. 14 at 8:00 p.m. and Sept. 15 at 8:00 p.m. All performances are at Artisphere’s Black Box Theater in Rosslyn (1101 Wilson Blvd).
‘R.U.X. (Rockwell’s Universal seXbots)‘ debuted last year during a fundraising event at the Ballston Mall. It tells the story of a man’s desire to revamp his father’s company with a new business plan — selling sex robots. The playwright, Maurice Martin, is a 20-year resident of Arlington. The show, which is not recommended for children, premieres at Fringe on Friday, July 13.
The director of ‘Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s a Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ along with most of the cast and crew, hails from Arlington. The show is a punk rock interpretation of a Shakespeare classic. It begins on Friday, July 13, and is recommended for ages 13 and up.
‘The Hair Chronicles‘ debuts on Saturday, July 14. The three playwrights — Nileah Bell, Mary Nyingi and Michelle Whittaker — live in Arlington and used Marymount University as the setting. The performance focuses on three women searching for graduate paper topics, who discover they share issues with their hair. The show is recommended for ages 13 and up.
Another group of local performers is made up entirely of teens. ‘Mindset’ premiered in March, and was created by students at H-B Woodlawn. It’s described as a “surrealist rock opera,” and is recommended for ages 13 and up. The 35 cast and crew members in Mindset begin their Fringe run on Saturday, July 14.
All of the shows in the Capital Fringe Festival are original works created and produced by the artists, and are performed at 15 different venues throughout D.C. The festival runs through July 29, and a full list of performances can be found online. Tickets, which are all $17, plus a one time charge for a $5 Fringe button, are also available online.