McLean Project for the Arts is going to Tysons for its diamond jubilee.
The nonprofit will celebrate six decades of supporting and showcasing the work of artists in the mid-Atlantic region with a 60th anniversary gala at Capital One Hall (7750 Capital One Tower Road) on Sept. 18.
Announced yesterday (Tuesday), the celebration will be highlighted by an augmented reality exhibit crafted especially for the occasion by Arlington painter and digital artist Joseph Cortina, whose work was previously displayed by MPA at its Emerson Gallery in December 2020.
“We are delighted to include this new work by McLean area artist Joseph Cortina as we celebrate sixty years of exhibitions at MPA,” Executive Director Lori Carbonneau said in a press release. “After exhibiting Joe’s work in our MPA galleries and seeing his company’s (Cortina Productions’) installations in museums in Chicago, Boston, and New Orleans, we are thrilled for it to be a highlight of our 60th anniversary year and a centerpiece of our…celebration.”
Titled “Illusion of Depth,” the installation will serve “as a reflection on the meanings of depth, from seeing into and beyond the obvious limits,” building on “fascination with the concept and dimensions of depth and its effects on visual experience,” according to the press release.
In addition to the art exhibit, the gala will feature a cocktail reception with hors d’oeuvres and “light fare,” dancing, and live music by the band Round Midnight.
MPA is currently fundraising for the gala, reporting $239,000 raised toward its goal of $350,000, as of Aug. 18, according to the event page.
MPA has two galleries in the McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Avenue), where it regularly puts on contemporary art exhibitions from both emerging and established creators from around the region. It also offers classes, summer camps and the annual MPAartfest at McLean Central Park.
By this time next year, Anastasia, Aretha Franklin and Gloria Estefan will all have graced the stage at Capital One Hall (7750 Capital One Tower Road).
As its inaugural season draws to a close, the Tysons performing arts venue is starting to fill in the schedule for year two. Among the highlights will be the return of its musical theater-focused “Broadway in Tysons” series, which kicked off last October.
Announced earlier this month, the series’ second iteration will have five visiting shows instead of three, beginning on Nov. 25 with the 2019 Tony Award-winning adaptation of “Tootsie”:
- Tootsie (Nov. 25-27)
- Hairspray (Jan. 20-22, 2023)
- Anastasia (Feb. 3-5, 2023)
- R.E.S.P.E.C.T. (March 22, 2023)
- On Your Feet! (April 21-23, 2023)
While individual tickets aren’t available yet, Capital One Hall started selling season subscriptions at 10 a.m. today (Monday). Perks include discounts on single tickets, priority access, and the ability to reserve the same seat throughout the season, though the one-night-only, Aretha Franklin-centered “R.E.S.P.E.C.T.” has to be added on.
Capital One Hall first opened to the public with a Josh Groban concert on Oct. 1, 2021. Upcoming shows include a 1980s throwback with Men at Work on Wednesday (Aug. 18), “Wheel of Fortune Live!,” the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, and more.
The hall ceased requiring masks and proof of a COVID-19 vaccination for patrons on March 18, but masks are still encouraged, according to the website.
RCP, which typically performs at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage, will present a youth-centered production of “Newsies” from July 8-17. The program, which launched in the fall, enables students between the ages of 13 and 18 to get exposure to the process of building a theatrical production.
Capital One Hall opened in October and offers “steeply discounted” rates for small nonprofit organizations, according to RCP President Kate Keifer.
Keifer told FFXnow that RCP has been working with Capital One for the past three years as one of the first community partners to take advantage of the program, which is overseen by the local arts agency ArtsFairfax. The organization was selected to perform in The Vault, a 225-seat black box theater.
Here’s more from RCP on the production of “Newsies”:
Based on the 1992 motion picture and inspired by the true story of the Newsboy Strike of 1899, Newsies tells the story of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy who dreams of a better life. After publishing giant Joseph Pulitzer raises newspaper prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack rallies a ragged band of newsies from across the city to strike against the unfair conditions and fight for what’s right.
RCP’s production of Newsies is directed and choreographed by Alisa Claire and Brian Collier, visiting teaching artists from NYC’s The LMproject, located in New York City. The production team also includes Merissa Driscoll (musical director), Dan Widerski (technical director) Mary Jo Ford (company manager), Franklin Coleman (lighting designer), Richard Bird (sound designer), and Lori Crockett (costume designer).
“Newsies” will be performed at 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are available online.
However, RCP will still call RCC home.
“While our full mainstage season will still perform at Reston Community Center, and that will remain RCP’s performance home, we have developed our Apprentice Program as a brand new offering of our organization to provide young students with a pre-professional theatrical experience that matches the tone of this fantastic new venue,” Keifer wrote.
Keifer hopes the program will marry the group’s longstanding tradition of producing high-quality theatrical productions with an emphasis on student education.
The ultimate goal is to reach new audiences and develop “a new generation of performing and technical artists.”
For a second year in a row, ArtsFairfax will hold its annual celebration of the local arts community on Oct. 28 at Capital One Hall, which also happens to be one of this year’s award recipients.
The Tysons performing arts venue will receive the Jinx Hazel Arts Award, the top honor from ArtsFairfax, the nonprofit Fairfax County arts agency announced last Tuesday (May 17).
The 2022 Arts Awards will also honor philanthropists Gary and Tina Mather, actor and former Reston Community Center assistant technical director Mark Brutsché, and George Mason University’s Fall for the Book festival, which will get a new Innovation Award.
“We are delighted to honor the remarkable contributions of this year’s Arts Awards honorees, who have all demonstrated a deep commitment to our community and to making Fairfax arts and culture more accessible,” ArtsFairfax President and CEO Linda Sullivan said in the news release.
According to ArtsFairfax, the awards ceremony draws approximately 300 patrons every year. The 2021 awards were among the first events hosted by Capital One Hall, which opened on Oct. 1 at 7750 Capital One Tower Road.
Proceeds from the awards support the nonprofit’s activities, which include artist residencies, grants, promotion of local arts and cultural organizations, and advocacy for the arts.
ArtsFairfax announced on Thursday (May 19) that it had received a $55,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to expand its artist residency program, which currently places professional artists in middle schools across the county to help educate students.
With the grant, the nonprofit says it will bring artists to a public elementary school, a public library, a county park, a community center, and an affordable housing development.
“By placing professional artists in communities with less access to arts, artists in residence can share their art form and spark creativity for participants of all ages,” ArtsFairfax said.
Here’s more from ArtsFairfax on this year’s Arts Awards recipients: Read More
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Local Vietnamese Community Recognized — A Virginia Historical Marker recognizing the significance of Vietnamese immigrants in Northern Virginia will be dedicated at Eden Center in Falls Church on next Tuesday (May 24). The community was nominated by Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School students last year as part of a statewide Asian American and Pacific Islander History Month contest. [City of Falls Church]
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“Wheel of Fortune” Coming to Tysons — “‘Wheel of Fortune Live!,’ a new live stage show, is kicking off a tour in September that includes a stop at Capital One Hall…Guests can audition to go on stage and will have the chance to spin a replica of the iconic wheel and solve puzzles to win prizes, including $10,000 and trips to Paris and Hawaii. Audience members will also have the chance to be randomly selected to win cash and prizes.” [Inside NoVA]
It’s Wednesday — Rain overnight. High of 72 and low of 52. Sunrise at 5:55 am and sunset at 8:19 pm. [Weather.gov]
Something good is coming to Tysons, especially if you’re comedy legend and six-time Emmy winner Carol Burnett.
The multi-hyphenate star will receive the Sondheim Award from Signature Theatre at a glitzy gala that the Arlington theatrical company will hold at Capital One Hall (7750 Capital One Tower Road) on May 16.
Burnett will be the 11th person to win the Sondheim Award, which is named after musical theater great Stephen Sondheim, who died in December. Introduced in 2009, the award has previously gone to Dame Angela Lansbury, actor and singer Patti LuPone, and regular Sondheim collaborator James Lapine, among others.
2011 Sondheim Award recipient Bernadette Peters and Broadway actor Santino Fontana will headline the gala with live performances. The ceremony will also feature D.C.-area artists Tracy Lynn Olivera, Nova Y. Payton and Bobby Smith, accompanied by jazz pianist Mark G. Meadows and Signature Theatre Resident Music Director Jon Kalbfleisch.
According to the news release, in addition to honoring Burnett, Signature Theatre will present its J. Watkins Distinguished Service Award to Merrill and Mark Shugoll, a couple who run marketing research firms that support theater companies across the U.S. and founded the local nonprofit ArtsSpeak!
“The award was created in 2018 to honor those leaders who’ve made an extraordinary impact in the greater DC community through their advocacy and passion for the arts and arts education,” Signature said of the service award. “…Merrill and Mark Shugoll have made a huge impact on Signature as well as the arts industry in DC and across the country.”
Single tickets are being offered for the first time in the Sondheim Award’s history, per the press release. They will cost $58 and go on sale at noon on Monday (May 2).
Proceeds from the awards gala will support Signature’s “artistic, education, and community programs,” the press release says.
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McLean Symphony Marks 50th Anniversary — The McLean Symphony held a concert at Capital One Hall on Saturday (April 9) to celebrate 50 years of existence, all of them led by conductor Dingwall Fleary. The concert featured two premieres of original compositions, including one by a local student, and the attendance of Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears.
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Local Artists Partner for Capital One Hall Concert — The Virginia Chamber Orchestra, which now resides at the Tysons performing arts theater, will play music by Aaron Copland tomorrow (Saturday) in a joint concert with the College of William & Mary Symphony Orchestra. Artwork by members of the McLean Arts Society will be displayed in the Atrium. [Virginia Chamber Orchestra]
It’s Friday — Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 58 and low of 45. Sunrise at 7:05 a.m. and sunset at 7:27 p.m. [Weather.gov]