Arlington County’s annual tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is moving online this year, forgoing all in-person experiences due to COVID-19.
This 52-year tradition was first organized in 1969, about ten months after King’s assassination, by local community members and county staff.
This year’s edition honoring the civil rights leader life and legacy will be held on Sunday, January 17 at 5 p.m. It will include a collection of online performances, music, spoken word, and dialogue that participants will be able to select from.
The tribute is being produced in partnership with Encore Stage & Studio.
All videos and content will go live at 5 p.m on the event’s website, but will continue to be available on the site into the coming months.
In addition, Volunteer Arlington’s annual MLK Day of Service will also be online this year. On Monday, January 18, starting at 9:30 a.m., residents can participate in 12 different service opportunities, engage in volunteer trainings, or learn more about their community.
There will also be collection sites for the Arlington Food Assistance Center outside of eleven community and fitness centers.
The current schedule of programming for Arlington’s MLK Day tribute is below:
At 5 p.m. on Sun., Jan. 17, visit the MLK Tribute webpage for a dynamic experience that allows the user to select the content they wish to view. The content will remain online for the coming months.
Specific program elements will include content sections with videos from past MLK Tributes and never-before-seen works:
A video compilation highlighting clips of music, dance, spoken word and dialogue from recent MLK Tributes, including:
- Duke Ellington School of the Arts Show Choir’s renditions of The Best Is Yet to Come and Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around
- Original work by spoken word artist Kim B. Miller, Your Calling
- Motherless Child and I’ll Rise Up, performed by the Duke Ellington School of the Arts Dance Ensemble
- Scene from the 51st MLK Tribute, performed by actor Deshawn Harris (as MLK) and Yancy Langston (voice of Benjamin Mays)
- Arlington native Joy Gardner solo rendition of A Change is Gonna Come
- Remarks from Arlington resident Joan Mulholland, activist and educator
- Lift Every Voice and Sing, produced by Balm in Gilead, Inc.
Specific Music Options
- I’ve Been Buked and Scorned, soloist James Gibson
- I Know I’ve Been Changed, soloist Karen D. Archer
- You’re All I Need To Get By, duet with Duke Ellington School of the Arts students Kianna Kelly-Futch and Kyree Allen
- Is My Living in Vain performed by local quartet The Four
- The Wall Between Us, performed by Kimberly D. Gordon and written by Anne Smith
- Arlington native Joy Gardner solo rendition of A Change is Gonna Come
Specific Dance Options
- Chains, performed by Worship Without Words
- Precious Lord Take My Hand and Glory, performed by the Inspire Arts Collective
- If I Could, performed by Kailah Doles
- Motherless Child and I’ll Rise Up, performed by the Duke Ellington School of the Arts Dance Ensemble
Specific Spoken Word Options
- New original work from spoken word artist Kim B. Miller
- Reflections from Encore Stage & Studio students
- Original work by spoken word artist Kim B. Miller, Break the Chains
- Original work, Stand, by Outspoken Poetress Audrey Perkins
Other options include historical footage and a presentation by Samia Byrd, Chief Race and Equity Officer for Arlington County.
About the Program
Arlington’s first tribute to Dr. King was in 1969, the year after his assassination. The goal of this program is to bring people together (virtually or in-person) to support the community’s vision of social justice and community. This year’s program is produced in partnership with Encore Stage & Studio.
Virtual Day of Service
Volunteer Arlington’s annual MLK Day of Service program has also pivoted to be online. On Mon., Jan. 18, from 9:30 a.m.-noon. Online volunteer opportunities include service projects, advocacy panels and volunteer trainings. Learn more and register by Thurs., Jan. 14. by visiting https://volunteer.leadercenter.org/mlk-day-service.
Food Donation Collection
Food donations to benefit Arlington Food Assistance Center clients will be collected outside at the centers below from Jan. 15-18.
- Arlington Mill
- Aurora Hills
- Barcroft Sports & Fitness Center
- Lubber Run
- Thomas Jefferson
- Walter Reed
Learn more about the 2021 MLK Tribute event at https://parks.arlingtonva.us/mlk-tribute/
Photo via Adam Fagen/Flickr
Arlington Under Flood Watch — In addition to the Winter Weather Advisory that is in effect today for snow and ice, Arlington is also under a Flood Watch from 4 p.m. today and 7 a.m. Thursday. [Twitter]
Return-to-School Update — “Specific details and dates for future in-person learning transitions for students in Level 2 and Level 3 will be communicated to staff and families in early January. We continue to evaluate all metrics, and to focus on effective mitigation strategies to ensure the health and safety of staff and students.” [Arlington Public Schools]
Volunteers Needed for Bridge Work — “We need three more volunteers this Thursday to replace some rotting boards on Trollheim bridge. This event is a crucial step on the path to applying a non-slip treatment.” [Twitter]
Beyer Hails Buttigieg Nomination — Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) is hailing Pete Buttigieg’s reported nomination as Secretary of Transportation, calling it “barrier-breaking.” Buttigieg, while running for the Democratic presidential nomination, held a large campaign event in Arlington. [Press Release]
Nearby: Burglaries at Eden Center — “Multiple businesses were broken into at the Eden Center between 0200-0300 hours. Police and Detectives are on scene and business owners have been notified.” [Twitter]
The efforts come after successful fundraiser that raised more money than the friends needed to apply non-skid treatment to the bridge, which is nicknamed the “Trollheim Bridge” and has a reputation for being dangerous to bike riders.
After scrubbing away mold, moss and mildew, the Friends are turning to fixing loose boards and replacing damaged boards, another hazard on a bridge that the organization says is “notoriously slippy.”
The opportunities are part of the ongoing effort to “make Trollheim Bridge a little less trollish,” said the announcement on the website.
— Peter DeNitto (@ThePeteD) September 11, 2018
This Saturday, the friends will be reattaching boards bicyclists often hear “flopping around” on the bridge. Next Thursday, they will be replacing rotting deck boards. On Saturday, Dec. 5, there will be a second event for fixing boards on the bridge.
“There’s a lot of freaking loose boards,” the announcement said. “If we run out of boards, we’ll start flipping some of the boards to extend their life.”
The Friends encourage those who are interested to register via the above links. According to the registration page, volunteers are asked to bring water, gloves, a safety vest and a cordless drill, if they have one.
Extra money from the GoFundMe fundraiser went toward a pressure washer that is speeding up cleaning, as well as extra non-skid treatment for two other bridges with many crashes, including Bridge 1 north of Mount Vernon estates.
In May, the National Park Service released a study of the trail that recommends widening it in some places, particularly hot spots for crashes. There were 225 reported bike and pedestrian crashes on the trail between 2006 and 2010, according to the study, though most were reported in parts of the trail south of the bridge.
The 18.5-mile Mount Vernon Trail sees approximately one million annual users.
The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail, founded in 2018, supports the National Park Service and helps keep the trail safe through education, trail maintenance and community events.
Prosecutor Files Petition Against Judges — “A northern Virginia prosecutor who says her county’s judges are infringing on her discretion to dismiss charges and enter plea bargains is asking the state Supreme Court to intervene on her behalf. Arlington County Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti filed a petition Friday asking the court for a relief from a policy imposed by the county’s four Circuit Court judges.” [Associated Press]
New BBQ Pop-Up Coming to Pentagon City — “In their spare time [chefs Kevin Tien and Scott Chung] dreamed up Wild Tiger BBQ, which launches Thursday, August 20 next to Bun’d Up at Pentagon Row in Arlington. The pop-up will run Thursday through Saturday for the first few weeks.” [Washingtonian]
‘Bumper Crop of Mosquitos’ — “With the floods of summer come the pests of summer — bloodsucking mosquitoes. It takes several days to a couple of weeks for mosquitoes to hatch, molt and fly out of floodwater, but the swarms eventually arrive, in greater numbers than before the flood. After the recent flooding from thunderstorms and Tropical Storm Isaias in the Washington region, a bumper crop of mosquitoes has emerged.” [Washington Post]
Retired Colonel Helps With COVID Response — “When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early March, retired U.S. Air Force Colonel David Ashley quickly found his planned spring and summer mountain climbing trips canceled. He spent about a week doing projects around his Arlington home, but after 27 years in the military, he realized he need something else, something with more purpose.” [Arlington County]
Cab Exec’s Offensive Post Makes Headlines — “An elected town council member in Strasburg, Va., who also is chairman of the 6th Congressional District’s Republican Committee admitted this week that he posted, then removed, a sexually offensive meme targeted at Sen. Kamala D. Harris… [John] Massoud, who is vice president of Arlington’s Blue Top taxi service and was an unsuccessful candidate against ex-Del. Bob Brink for a House of Delegates seat from Arlington in 1997 and 1999, moved to the Shenandoah Valley about 10 years ago.” [Washington Post]
Analysis of Rents Near Metro Stations — “The most expensive rents ($2,200 and up) are found in areas of Arlington and Washington, DC. Rent near the Ballston-MU station is in the mid-range among DC Metro stops. But while the median price increased near Court House, it decreased near Ballston-MU, according to the analysis. The median rent for a one-bedroom unit near Ballston-MU is $1,975, a 1.3 percent decrease from 2019.” [Patch]
Clement Rips Dems for Redistricting Stance — “An independent candidate for Arlington County Board has criticized the Arlington County Democratic Committee for its opposition to a nonpartisan-redistricting constitutional amendment on the state ballot in November. Audrey Clement, who is challenging incumbent Democrat Libby Garvey for County Board, said the Democrats’ vote seems disingenuous for a party that claims to be about good government.” [InsideNova]
Arlington Makes Top Travel Destination List — “For all the talk of a move to small, less densely populated destinations, Hotwire also ranked much bigger cities. Its ‘midsize must see’ picks were St. Louis; Tampa, Florida; Atlanta; Arlington, Virginia; Tucson, Arizona; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Virginia Beach, Virginia; Pittsburgh; Miami; and Cincinnati.” [CNBC]
Online Forums Devolve into Shouting Matches — Falls Church News-Press columnist Charlie Clark writes about how a Nextdoor post about kids not wearing masks during a baseball game erupted into a barrage of insults and debates among neighbors. Nextdoor is not alone in becoming a forum for heated local debates on hot button issues: last month the popular Fairlington Appreciation Society Facebook group shut down after flame wars broke out over issues related to the Black Lives Matter protests. [Falls Church News-Press]
Virtual ‘Arlington Cares’ Event Tomorrow — “This free, virtual event will recognize the 2020 Community Service Award Winners and remind us of the importance of serving others. A heartwarming opportunity for all ages that will celebrate the overwhelming goodness that is within our community.” [Event Calendar]
Reduction in Homelessness Prior to Pandemic — “For the 20th consecutive year, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) Homeless Services Planning and Coordinating Committee has conducted a regional Point-in-Time (PIT) enumeration of the area’s residents experiencing homelessness and those who were formerly homeless. This year’s enumeration and survey occurred on January 22, 2020. Arlington saw a 7-percent reduction in overall homelessness, down from 215 persons in 2019 to 199 in 2020.” [Arlington County]
More Flood Damage in Waverly Hills — “After countless floods in Arlington’s Waverly Hills neighborhood soaked his basement, Tom Reich finally ordered a custom-made waterproof door to protect his home’s bottom level.
On Tuesday, the day before it was scheduled to arrive, yet another storm dumped buckets of rain on the region — and especially on 18th Street North. There, overwhelmed storm water mains sent three feet of water coursing down the street.” [Washington Post]
Beyer Furious at Response to Shooting Inquiry — “‘For nearly three years Bijan Ghaisar’s family and community have sought answers from federal authorities about why these officers killed Bijan and what consequences they will face. This response which tells us nothing after an eight-month delay is an insult to the people we represent,’ said [Rep. Don] Beyer. ‘The contempt such a pathetic answer shows for public transparency and accountability is unacceptable and will further damage the standing of the U.S. Park Police at a time when the region’s trust in them is already at an all-time low.'” [House of Representatives]
Report Businesses Flouting the Rules, Gov. Says — “As Virginia starts seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases, Gov. Ralph Northam reiterated Friday what has become a familiar message about limiting crowds, washing hand frequently and wearing face coverings. But he added a new fourth point: Report businesses flouting the rules to the local health department.” [InsideNova]
Freddie’s Closes Temporarily — “Out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to close temporarily. One of our employees has tested positive for COVID-19. We are actively reaching out to customers and staff who may have been in contact since Wednesday July 8. We are beginning the process to have the restaurant fully sanitized so we may safely reopen as soon as possible.” [Facebook]
Nearby: MoCo Starting School Year Online — “Montgomery County students will begin the next academic year online, with a phased approach to bring them back to school buildings part-time by the end of November, according to the school district’s draft plan released Saturday.” [Bethesda Magazine]
Confusion Over Governor’s Mask Order — “At a briefing this afternoon, Gov. Ralph Northam emphasized that Virginia’s new indoor mask requirements weren’t intended to be criminally enforced. But the text of the order (released ~3 hours later) defines a violation as Class 1 misdemeanor.” [Virginia Mercury, Twitter]
Virus Hits Latino Communities Hard — “Fredys Medina, a diabetic construction worker from Arlington County, waved off his wife’s suggestion that he had the virus after he developed a cough and fever in late April, and he continued to work. Two weeks later, he collapsed on the living room floor. By the time paramedics arrived, Medina, 56, was gone. His wife, Leonor Medina, an unemployed hotel housekeeper, was left with an $8,000 funeral bill.” [Washington Post]
Clement Questions County Board Actions — “An independent candidate for the Nov. 3 Arlington County Board race contends that current board members are overstepping their bounds in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Audrey Clement says that the board’s May 19 vote continuing emergency operations gives the government far too much power for too long.” [InsideNova]
Volunteer Award Winners Announced — “Volunteer Arlington, a program of Leadership Center for Excellence, is honored to announce the recipients of the 2020 community volunteer awards which will be presented virtually at Arlington Cares on July 14.” [Volunteer Arlington]
Alleged Armed Robbery in Crystal City — “At approximately 2:56 p.m. on May 23, police were dispatched to the late report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 9:30 p.m. on May 15, the victim was in the area of 18th Street S. and S. Bell Street when he was allegedly approached by seven suspects. One suspect displayed a firearm and threatened the victim. The suspects stole the victim’s phone and wallet then fled.” [Arlington County]
Man Rescued from Potomac Near Chain Bridge — “A man is in the hospital in serious condition this morning after being pulled from the Potomac River [early Tuesday morning] in a daring rescue operation. The incident occurred just north of the Chain Bridge in an area that is extremely difficult to access from land.” [WJLA]
Arlington Nat’l Cemetery Time Capsule Opened — “An interdisciplinary team recently unsealed a memorabilia box more than a 100 years old at Arlington National Cemetery, in honor of the Memorial Amphitheater’s centennial. And now, a peek inside the old copper box, along with its historic relics, are available virtually, as ANC hosts it’s first-ever online exhibit starting this week.” [U.S. Army, Washington Post]
Bus Protest on I-395 — A caravan of buses made its way up I-395, through Arlington and into D.C. yesterday. The buses were heading the the National Mall to protest a lack of federal help for the motorcoach industry. [@hhowardWTOP/Twitter, @STATter911/Twitter]
Whitlow’s Reopening Friday — “Open for carry out daily starting this Friday from 4-8pm! Cocktails, Jell-O shots, frozen boozy slushees and a limited menu! Check out the menu and our new online ordering store.” [Facebook]
Rosslyn BID Offering Reopening Consulting — “Today, the Rosslyn BID announced the launch of Rosslyn Ready, a multifaceted program to support and organize businesses in promoting proper safety measures when people are welcomed back into the neighborhood… In just under a week since launch, 90 businesses and restaurants have signed up to be part of the program.” [Press Release]
New Org Looking for Drivers — “Cooperative for a Hunger Free Arlington is looking for volunteers to deliver meals to local Arlingtonians on Thursdays and Fridays for the next few weeks. You must have your own car and a valid license.” [Facebook]
In celebration of National Volunteer Week, Arlington Free Clinic (AFC) would like to say THANK YOU to our amazing volunteers!
Our 450+ volunteers are the foundation that allows AFC to provide free, high-quality care to our low-income, uninsured neighbors in normal times, and they have enabled us to continue caring for those most vulnerable to being overlooked and forgotten during the COVID-19 crisis. When it would be easy to say, ”I need to look out for me,” they have instead said “What can I do to help?”
From the moment we announced our new protocols last month, volunteers have stepped up — whether it’s a provider offering to learn our new telehealth system, an interpreter signing up to be “on-call” for virtual visits, pharmacists coming in to make sure our patients’ prescriptions get filled, or nurses making check-in calls to ensure patients and their families all are well, informed and have the resources they need.
Thank you for your incredible work and dedication to our mission.
Learn more about Arlington Free Clinic’s continued work during the COVID-19 crisis here.
If you’d like to support us financially, please consider a gift in honor of our volunteers for Volunteer Week.
Meridian Pint Closes Temporarily — “I regret to inform you that one of our employees has contracted COVID-19. He was hospitalized and tested positive on Sunday, April 19th after not working in the restaurant for 9 days. In an effort to keep the rest of our staff healthy, as well as ensure the safety of our guests, we have decided to shut down until further notice.” [Facebook via @fritzhahn]
DCA Is a Ghost Town — A series of photos of emptiness at Reagan National Airport can make one envision tumbleweeds blowing through the terminals. [PoPville]
Beyer Critical of Administration’s Supply Chain Management — “A group of House Democrats today raised serious issues with the Trump Administration’s handling of the supply chain for COVID-19 response, and sought improved transparency and federal coordination to mitigate the inadequate, harmful, and dysfunctional engagement.” [Press Release]
Arlington Chamber Holds Volunteer Day — “Local volunteers from various Chamber member businesses and organizations lent a helping hand to area nonprofits as part of the 21st Annual Arlington Chamber Volunteer Day… The projects provided were in accordance with the CDC guidelines to ensure that participants were practicing social distancing.” [Arlington Chamber of Commerce]
No Word Yet on APS Graduation — “Will members of Arlington Public Schools’ Class of 2020 have an in-person send-off to celebrate their achievements? That remains an open question. Bridget Loft, the school system’s assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, on April 16 said the school system was looking for ‘creative ways’ to celebrate graduation – and neither ruled in nor ruled out some sort of communal send-off ceremony.” [InsideNova]
This column is written and sponsored by Arlington Arts/Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.
(Updated 04/13/2020) Utilizing existing resources and equipment from another program, for the last week Arlington Arts has been sewing masks to be distributed through Arlington County Department of Human Services and the Arlington County Police.
The basic, non-medical grade cloth masks resulting from this effort are being supplied to high-risk populations ranging from homeless shelters and the County jail.
The initiative was conceived and coordinated by the Director of Arts Enterprise, Joan M. Lynch. A professional costumer who formerly ran the Arlington CostumeLab, Joan has many stage and film credits to her name. Working at a safe distance from one another, she and sewing partners Andrea Blackmon and Sharon McDaniel of Arlington Weaves, and Tessa Luque of the Washington Opera started turning out about 50 masks per day. In the week since first posted to social media, the program now has over 100 volunteers.
More volunteers are welcome, and they will be supplied with instructions, fabric, elastic and thread for pick-up, and arrange to drop them off for weekly distribution.
Interested volunteers or those with elastic or fabric to donate toward the effort may email: [email protected].
Arlington Arts is grateful for the outpouring of support from the Community. While there is currently an abundance of volunteers, we still welcome donations of elastic or all-cotton fabric.